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Old 1st April 2016, 08:21 PM   #1
russc is offline russc  England
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Default Audio Technica AT-150MLX

I have my Bushman inspired DIY turntable and DIY WTL tonearm (replacing Project 0.5 turntable).
Ran it first with AT110E cartridge - it (the cartridge) had never sounded so good.
Without the infamous Project rumble I was experiencing why some folk love vinyl.
Bass was there in spades, drums, the lot. Couldn't be happier.
Now the fly in the ointment - prior to finishing the turntable (and before I heard how good the AT110E could be) I purchased an AT-150MLX - well, I thought after my efforts I deserved it. I imagined it would give me what I had plus a little bit more.
Initially, the AT-150MLX was bass lacking and somewhat bright - very tiring to listen to. Click the image to open in full size.
Believing this must be a capacitance matching issue (even though the AT110E played so well) I removed the input loading capacitor (100pf) from the phono pre. I didn't have any other values available so it was loaded by cable capacitance only. That got rid of the brightness but didn't get me any more bass. I have since obtained a capacitance meter and measure cable at 63pf (meaning with 100pf loading was 163pf - barely over recommended 150pf ). Any ideas why bass may be lacking and why the 2 cartridges should play so differently?
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Old 1st April 2016, 08:31 PM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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Any chance the polarity is reversed between channels? The 150MLX I'm using has no lack of bass.

Low input C is critical for this cartridge!
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Old 2nd April 2016, 10:10 AM   #3
russc is offline russc  England
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Spot on! Poorly marked litz wires reversed on left channel. Thank you, I don't know when (if) I'd have discovered that myself.
If I was going to make a habit of swapping cartridges I'd obtain some small diameter coloured heatshrink. However, hopefully the cartridge will stay for many years.
Next job is rebuilding PhonoBox back to spec as per PhonoBox thread.
What is ideal input capacitance for this cartridge?
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Old 2nd April 2016, 11:29 AM   #4
SY is offline SY  United States
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150pF, including the cables and input C of the preamp. This makes nearly all tube preamps and many FET ones unsuitable unless they use cascodes or some sort of trick input circuit.
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