Gluing a V15 typeIV stylus - for Dice45, mostly
Hi Bernhard -
Well, mostly on your recommendation I picked up a rather unused V15 type IV on Ebay, and now have 2 issues:
First, when gluing the stylus assembly, do you actually glue into the body the brass sleeve that houses the stylus and supension, or just the external mounting structure and body?
Second, this cartridge has apparently been sitting unused a very long time, and perhaps was never broken in. It is as though it has no suspension whatsoever! Actually at first it seemed to work well enough, then the sylus practically siezed in the suspension.
I applied silicone treatment, Amsoil silicone spray first sprayed into the cap to produce a liquid that could be dripped onto the elastomeric suspension while I moved the stylus around. This gave good results, although it's stiffening again somewhat. I plan to continue this procedure in hopes of a complete cure.
I notice the replacement stylus is no longer offered by Shure, but that there is a type III that should fit, at $110. Hmmm.
Any help is very much appreciated. I like what I'm hearing so far.
as i currently design a mechanical linear tracker, i also need a high-compliant MM cartridge to try out how the bearing's stick-slip behaviour is. So i will have to glue a cartridge very soon. I will choose an Elac which is very similar to the Shure in construction. If i do not get a V15V cheap.
I plan to have a new website. There will be a page with a documentation of the cartridge glueing process with photographs. If you prefer to cure your Shure for another while, maybe waiting pays back and you have a recipe with pixes. :)
Oh yes, and put a piece of very small tubing, maybe a drinking straw or smaller, over the cantilever during the glueing.
Try glycerine to make the suspension rubber soft and supple. And if that doesn't work, try to get another stylus.
Anyway, the thing which made the V15IV so special was that it was dead flat and high-resolution anyway.
I don't wish to spoil your day, but it sounds as if the rubber has dried out with old age regardless of wether it was used or not.
I don't think you can fix the problem in any other way than with a new stylus assembly...
Thanks for the quick reply! I've checked out your website a few times, looking for anything new. Now I can expect it.
Hard to say what's happening inside the stylus assembly as I apply this very thin liquid silicone, which is intended to help preserve such rubber and plastic material. I applied more and listened at lunchtime, and the sound is really pleasing and surprising - very communicative! So I'll keep working with this sylus, although I suspect it will sound OK for a while, then rapidly deteriorate. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic.
If it actually stabilizes and lasts, I'll be looking for some slow-setting epoxy, and for your pictures!
My usual cartridge is an Ortofon MC25FL, and the Shure has much more body, and delineation of the whole bass region. Less top end, but not completely missing. I also have a Shure M97xE, and it's not anywhere near the league of the V15. This is all in a Well-tempered Arm, carbon fiber, with Micro Seiki air/vacuum SX111FV table.
Apparently the VN5MR stylus shank is dimensionally different, and $159 anyway. I found a VN35MR for $87, so that may be worthwile. I only spent $80 for the cart.
Still Working Nicely!
So far I can recommend this silicone suspension restoration technique for MM cartridges with stiff suspension. I've done it a couple more times since the last post, and now I've got it tracking well at about 1.25g, and starting to think about gluing it in.
I remove the stylus assembly and hold it with the stylus up, so there's a recess to capture the silicone liquid. I use a piece of wire insulation as a pipette to draw a large drop of the liquid (sprayed into a small container, like the cap itself), and drip it on the suspension. Now I exercise the suspension by moving the stylus, mostly in the way it's designed to move - up and to the sides diagnonally. The silicone will soak into the elastomer, or at least into the shank and disappear.
This procedure caused my nearly frozen suspension ( NOS or nearly NOS) to start working adequately on the first application. The silicone is a spray from Amsoil, intended to preserve rubber, plastic, and leather from drying out and cracking (perfect).
This V15 cart is SO different sounding from anything I'm used to (and how much is due to the funky suspension?) - MC One, OC9, Lydian, MC25FL, M97xE. The orchestral power zone in the mid to upper bass is really very satisfying, and it achieves a nice sense of space even without the typical dry and extended-sounding top end of MC carts.
Doesn't hurt that it does this at 1.25 grams. Now, how much better can it get after gluing? This is a fun way to play with $80!
you really make me curious and eager to buy a V15Vmr. Never did my glueing with a V15IV or V15V, but i did it with a V15III and many Elacs.
Heard raves from a guy who glued a V15V and an Ultra 500 (bold soul !! :) ) according to my technique.
Nevertheless i doubt that detail resolution achievable with a decent MC can be reached by a glued MM. But sonic entirety of the glued MM will be better in almost all cases.
I don't expect great resolution from the Shure or any MM, so there's no disappointment there. Was just listening to my favorite bass extension/resolution LP, Brothers in Arms, and this thing sets the record for Shure! It may not get the ultimate image or leading edge, but it gets a great deal of the heart of the sound, for example, the realistic roundness of a classical guitar plucked string and the body of the instrument.
I'm about to try the gluing using the bits and pieces of info I've gleaned from your various posts. Certainly, now that I reflect on it, the most important part is the consistent treatment of the shank within its cavity, and to prevent excess glue from reaching the opening at the rear as you earlier mentioned. The thin sheet metal of that square tube looks like sonic disaster unless well damped.
You might step in with a quick guide here without pictures, before I get carried away?!
(sigh), couldn't you please spend another week to find out whether your cantilever suspension comes back into life permanently?
Ok, if you cannot wait (currently i've no access to my website to up load any pixes), take a super cheap MM cartridge with a similar cantilver plugin and PRACTICE!!!
Some advice on the epoxy: select a slow settling one. Pot time of 2 hours is better than 1 hour.
The epoxy i have used is Ciba Geigy Araldite AW 106 with hardener HW953U.
Degrease your glueing surfaces with isopropanole or better, medical gasoline. if possible, grind or metal-brush the glueing surfaces as rough as possible; a Dremel may be useful here.. again, degrease the surfaces to be glued.
You will need a short piece of injection needle as nozzle to fill the mixed epoxy into cavities of the cartridge or the cantilever plugin later. Buy nozzles from www.smallparts.com or make yourself one from an iknjection needle, using the cutting disc of the Dremel.
TME, an inner nozzle diameter of 0.8mm or 1.0 mm does a fine job. Most important is that your hands have enough power later to extrude the mixed epoxy without quivering. So if in doubt, better take a bigger inner diameter. Repeat, practice on a cheap or broken MM smaple 1st, do your 2nd try on the Shure.
Fill the epoxy into separate syringes so that the air bubbles come out. Can take hours. You need the syringe's scales to extrude exactly the same amount of resin and hardener (asssuming the epoxy requires an 1:1 mixture) Epoxy takes a considerable mixing error but you do not want to find out the hard way how much and how the glueing will deterioate, do you?
Put all your tools, pincers, tweezers, tiny screwdrivers, the drop-bottle with isopropanole (needed to dissolve/wash-off epoxy) within reach, do so in advance.
Apply glue protectors (straws) on the cantilever unit.
Now extrude 2 equal amounts of epoxy, say, together 0.5 to 1cm^2 (do not be filthy with it), and mix them thoroughly. After mixiing it, fill half of it into a 3rd syringe and let it settle for 15 minutes. Then insert the piston and try to get the air out of the epoxy (only partial success possible) thru the syringe nozzle. Apply the injection needle nozzle on the syringe.
Now you can carefully apply epoxy on the sqare brass tubing of the cantilever plugin and inide the square hole. Apply as few epoxy as possible in order to prevent any clogging. Remember my previous posts?
you can plugin and out the cnatilver plugin a few times and make sure the glue is where intended and nowhere else.
Apply glue to all all surfaces of cartridge body and cantilever plugin which face each other and fill cavities between them.
Have lots of patience in doing so, remember the glue is a true fluid albeit of very high viscosity and it always strives to run towards the center of earth :). Within it's pot time, it outwits your patience for sure, do not let it outwit your will, stay focused. Let the the gravity help you, let the glue slowly run in place. Use the syringe with the mixed epoxy to get glue into places you cannot put a spike or tiny screwdriver into.
You can move the cantilever plugin in and out very slowly in order to suck the glue where you want to have it but make sure you are done with it within pot time.
Target is to get epoxy into all cavities not needed for proper working.
After epoxy viscosity has grown toooo high, you can use up the rest of the epoxy to cover, dampen and stiffen the cartirdge housing where it appears appropriate to you. You won't believe it but it will dry up glossy like a transparent lacquer.
Now see that you keep the cartridge dustfree (otherwise it will have a fur) and motionless for the next few (better 72) hours. Use a cartridge box for that. Let the epoxy dry up 72 hours before you use the cartridge.
So, done. If you happen to make mistakes because you could not wait on my pixes, well, that's too bad, ok?
Thanks Bernhard, I didn't mean to coerce you into spilling the instructions before their time had come! I can probably wait, although your description is quite good without images.
The ancient suspension on the type IV is still kind of iffy - and additional silicone is beginning to seep out while the cartidge is in use, so it's probably saturated.
I keep adjusting the tracking force according to the VTA it settles at, and any mistracking produced. It varies, and I chase it around. If it ever really stabilizes, and I believe it will eventually sag and assume a permanent belly-dancing position, then I'll glue it.
I used C37 on an M97xE a couple of years ago, but didn't learn much. I don't think it was particularly effective since I didn't really understand the need to glue the shank thoroughly into the body. Now I have much better information! I'm looking for a locally available epoxy with intermediate setting time.
cannot repeat it enough times:
Practice with a cartridge which you are willing to abandon afterwards!
Choose a cartridge witha bent cantilever or whatever, as long as it stillis complete....
And for Audiotechnika style cartridge, forget what you have learned, practice again
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