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Old 8th February 2005, 02:49 PM   #1
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Default Sansui Turntable - Cartridge ?

Hi Folks. I own a mid-70s Sansui SR-222 Turntable. A very simple & basic spinner - - it's in top working condition as it's been fully serviced, and it sounds pretty good. I bought it for "a song" at a local repair shop. The technician installed a Stanton 500EMKII cartridge/stylus, which sounded decent, but I improved upon this when I switched to a Grado Black. More detail to my ears.
My question is this: I realize that the "Black" is the entry-level Grado. Will I be wasting my $ if I try to upgrade yet again? Have I hit the wall (because of this model of Sansui) or will I hear even more detail with higher end Grados, Ortofons, Shure...etc ? I'm willing to spend a few bucks on a great cartridge; as I said, I picked up the table for a song and it is in top working condition.

Also, another chap recommended perhaps adding some weight to the platter by putting some heavy modeling clay on it's underside. Anybody have any thoughts on the matter? Will this be too much for the motor/belt?

Thanks!!
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Old 8th February 2005, 05:18 PM   #2
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Hi igloomaster and welcome,
Iím not certain that a better (read: more expensive) cartridge will greatly improve the sound on this kind of turntable.
Although it might work perfectly well, I think we can hardly speak of a high end turntable.
No need to fit a high end cartridge then.
Iím pretty sure the Grado will perform better compared to the Stanton 500.
Perhaps a Stanton 680 would be a nice match as well.

/Hugo
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Old 8th February 2005, 07:01 PM   #3
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If it were me, the choice to upgrade would depend on how many records I had. If you have a lot of records, then it might be worthwhile to upgrade the cartridge.

It also depends on what sort of electronics and speakers you have. There's no sense in spending a lot on a cartridge unless the rest of your system warrants it. Plus, with more expensive cartridges it quickly becomes a matter of choosing one that suits your system's tonal balance and your listening preferences.

Another thing to consider is that there are many cheap tweaks you can try to improve the performance of your turntable. I'd say spend some time at Home Depot for cheap tweak parts, and spend the rest of the money on used records.
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Old 8th February 2005, 10:12 PM   #4
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Keep in mind that the cartridge is probably the least important part of the TT... the Grado is quite decent (i've an older Black here waiting for test to head off to Hugo).

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Old 9th February 2005, 06:38 AM   #5
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thanks for the replies! i appreciate the input/advise & will think about this.
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Old 13th February 2005, 07:16 AM   #6
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i just picked up another Sansui SR-222 Mark 1 turntable off of ebay.... $76 includes shipping. i think that's good deal, since i paid $150 for my 1st one at a local hi-fi shop in the boston area. so now i'll have 2 of these for my basement studio set-up. (turntables on a table on the concrete basement floor = GREAT for zilch floor-borne vibrations!)

i've got new old stock Shure m75 cartridge on the way... going to experiment with it .... mounted on a separate headshell, so i'll trade off between Grado prestige series.
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Old 12th August 2009, 02:51 AM   #7
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consider some of the things i have done but only if the people who have responded to you with there info has given creed to an upgrade.

earth the inside of the turntable again with a better cable and more than is already earthed if you can. use a high quality copper cable with a gold spade.

change the mat for a ringmat desighn.

change the mains to a basic russ andrews pick these all up on ebay

use a high quality shielded design interconnect with gold phonos for the output.

also change the head leads. give it a marble platform for complete rigidness. but as all have said if you really like it.

if you have a big collection of vinyl and use it.

and if the components you have especially the phono head amp is up to the job of retrieval
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Old 12th August 2009, 03:38 AM   #8
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When it comes to cartridges you'll get almost as many answers as people you ask!

I assume, being mid-70's, your table has an "S" shaped arm? If so, that rules out the really high compliance cartridges (except perhaps for the shure M97xE with the damper brush assembly) as they don't tend to do well in heavier arms. Grado's are a fairly good compliance match for the older "S" arms.

Within the standard (non-wood, non-reference) line of Grado's you basically get better diamonds and cantilevers as you move up the color coded line. The highest end ones are (or at least used to be) nude tipped. And the higher end bodies (coils) supposedly have better channel balance. Someone who used to work for Grado said the bodies all come off the same assembly line using the same parts, are tested and graded, and assigned their rank in the line from there. Grado is kind of mysterious about the differences in their products so that seems as good of explanation as any.

These days, in the under $200 category, most seem to opt for the Shure M97xE which is a bargain, one of the low end Grados, The Audio Technica AT440 (probably not a great match for your arm), the odd Ortofon (also likely not a good match), Goldring, or one of the high output moving coil Denon's (the DL-110 or DL-160). They all sound significantly different from each other--most would agree a much greater difference than say comparing 2 decent amplifiers.

They also vary in their tracking ability (how they handle high signal levels), hum pickup, and stylus shape which affects where the stylus rides in the groove. If your records have mostly been played with one particular stylus, a different shape can bypass some of the wear in the grooves and you might get better sound. If you mostly buy used records, it doesn't matter as much.

The Grado isn't great at tracking, nor is it great at rejecting surface noise, but they image well and have an involving sound that many like. The Shure is a better tracker, has less distortion, is less prone to surface noise and hum, but some say a bit less involving in it's "presentation".

The Denon's have a few detractors but those who like them *really* like them. They present a very deep wide soundstage (some say it's *too* big) and sound even more lively and musical than the Grado. They also excel at rejecting surface noise and the DL-160 has a high-end stylus gets around a lot of vinyl wear. But they're also not cheap and have a lower than normal output (but should be OK). And if you're going to put a lot of hours on it (or it might be physically damaged), being a moving coil, the stylus is not user replaceable.

There are probably better sites and forums than this one where mostly vinyl lovers hang out if you want to explore more options or get more expert opinions. The Vinyl Asylum at audioasylum.com is one of them.
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Old 22nd August 2009, 11:00 PM   #9
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Your original post was sent in 2005 so I wonder if you are still looking for opinions If however you still are,I would be in favor of a more advanced cartridge,even one that costs more than the price you've paid for the turntable itself.This for various reasons.One is of course sound quality,as I guess you,as all of us ,want the best possible sound from your records.Second,a better cartridge will most probably have a better tip that will cause less groove damage over time.Third,your SR222 has a tonearm of around same quality as an old Linn Basik LVV in my opinion,a tonearm that today would cost as much,even more than what you've paid for the whole turntable.Such arms were of medium to high mass designs,and today can be good partners to entry level MC cartridges from Benz,Ortofon,Denon etc...
Now for the turntable itself Weak point is the plinth I believe.You could internally damp it instead of adding mass to the platter,unless you are sure that adding mass to the platter will not stress the motor.Adding damping and mass to the plinth will make it less resonant and will have a positive effect on overall sound.A new belt will help as well as oiling of the platter bearing and motor.Praer4life has made some good suggestions too,so all together will take the 222 to its limit,till next upgrade.Good luck
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Old 3rd September 2009, 04:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketScientist View Post
When it comes to cartridges you'll get almost as many answers as people you ask!

I assume, being mid-70's, your table has an "S" shaped arm? If so, that rules out the really high compliance cartridges (except perhaps for the shure M97xE with the damper brush assembly) as they don't tend to do well in heavier arms.
S shaped arms can be made very light too. Better find the specifications of the turntable so you can know its mass. Or measure it (if you can disconnect the S-shaped arm from the counterweight).
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