broken stylus for pioneer pl518. Please advise. - diyAudio
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Old 30th December 2005, 10:40 PM   #1
tade is offline tade  United States
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Default broken stylus for pioneer pl518. Please advise.

I recently got an old pioneer pl518 TT from grannie's. It has a sure "pro 9" cartridge attached. This is my first TT and i was delighted with its performance when listening to it the other day. Today I disassembled it, coated sheet metal in rope calk and painted the plinth from a disgusting grey to a cool black. Perhaps in a hurry to listen to it again, dropped the needle and pop whent the stylus...

So i need a new stylus. Problem is i cannot find this cartridge online, and am hesitant about ordering a 'Similar' replacement. Do you know where to get a replacement and is it worth it? Or will i be much happier with a brand new cartridge?

Many thanks
Thaddeus.
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Old 1st January 2006, 11:10 PM   #2
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According to Shure on their cartridge website at http://www.needlz.com/library/xrefphono.asp , in their discontinued_styli pdf file, they no longer have a replacement stylus for the Pro 9 cartridge. Apparently it was an OEM cartridge which was “supplied only to specific retail outlets”, so unless you can find one of those retailers, you probably won’t be able to get one. You might have to get in touch with Shure directly to find out who those ‘selected retailers’ were. Shure recommend that you replace your cartridge with one of their M97xE cartridges – that’s currently their top-of-the-line cartridge. None of the styli/cartridge specialists around the world, of the ones I've checked (Britain, Australia, NZ and USA), seem to have a replacement stylus for your cartridge.

I’m sure that you would be happy with a new cartridge, but your hip pocket might not be so happy! It depends what you want to pay. You’d have to spend at least US$30 to get a reasonable cartridge, and the upper limit is many thousand dollars! In general, the higher the price, the better the cartridge, particularly within brands. For instance, a $200 Ortofon would be far superior to a $50 Ortofon, and you would notice the better sound. Shure, Ortofon, Goldring, Grado, Audio Technica or Stanton, amongst others, all make good moving magnet (MM) cartridges, which would be a direct replacement for yours. Have a look at one of the specialist cartridge/turntable websites such as Needle Doctor, LP Gear or Garage-a-Records, as they all have a good selection of cartridges at reasonable prices.

It would be slightly cheaper to buy a new stylus, and it would perform just like a new cartridge, as the stylus suspension and tip is the only thing that wears out in a MM cartridge, according to Shure. But I’m not sure where you’d get it from, as they seem to be very rare for your cartridge. Because the stylus is the main wearing part of a MM cartridge, it is usually the majority of the cost of a new cartridge. I’ve just had a look at the Ortofon and Shure cartridges at Garage-a-Records, and the stylus for each model is about two-thirds of the cartridge price.
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Old 2nd January 2006, 10:27 PM   #3
tade is offline tade  United States
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Thank you for your wonderful post! I have ordered a replacement stylus from sure which may fit in my current cartridge. Fingers crossed! Do you recommend a mm over a moving coil? Seems like having a higher voltage produced as close to the record as possible will make for a better signal.
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Old 5th January 2006, 03:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by tade
Do you recommend a mm over a moving coil? Seems like having a higher voltage produced as close to the record as possible will make for a better signal.
There may be some advantages to the higher voltage. However, it comes down to what you prefer. I have a number of good quality moving magnets but, personally, I think that very good moving coil cartridges, such as the Denon cartridges, sound slightly better. However, there's not that much difference between MC's and Shure's best, the V15 Type V (I own one), and it's more expensive to use MC cartridges after buying voltage boosting transformers or pre-preamps, so top quality MM cartridges like Stanton or Shure are good choices.
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Old 6th January 2006, 03:01 AM   #5
tade is offline tade  United States
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I took a gamble and ordered a replacement from sure for another model. the working park looks exactly the same as the old one and sounds the same to my ignorant ears. : )

Tickled.

What if you made a mm design but using a field coil instead of a magnet to save wight? Like if you ran a current right through the stylus? You could run the magnet right off of the pre amp power supply so it would cancel any fluctuation.
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Old 8th January 2006, 06:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by tade
What if you made a mm design but using a field coil instead of a magnet to save wight? Like if you ran a current right through the stylus? You could run the magnet right off of the pre amp power supply so it would cancel any fluctuation.

I’m not really qualified in the area of miniature electro-mechanical and electro-magnetic design to say much about cartridge design. (I know a bit about relays from my past work in electronics, but it’s not really the same – the relays I adjusted, repaired and used in circuits were bigger than cartridges!) Really, the only people who could answer those type of questions would be engineers who have worked for cartridge manufacturers. Cartridge manufacturers Shure and Van den Hul http://www.vandenhul.com have fairly good websites with plenty of info. Shure have a question and answer section, a FAQ area and a cartridge design history section which give plenty of info, and VDH (originator of the Van den Hul stylus shape often used in expensive cartridges) has some of his cartridge technical papers, and an excellent FAQ section.

However, I think you may be heading down the wrong path – electro-magnets (if that’s what you were thinking) aren’t necessarily lighter than permanent magnets, and are probably much bulkier. There are miniature reed relays, but I think the magnets in cartridges need to be much more powerful than those in reed relays, which have to move what is basically only a bit of wire, so are relatively weak magnets. Try to move a much larger set of contacts, like in a car horn relay, and you need a decent, bulky coil to get a good magnet. While you don't have to have your magnet move anything, you need your cartridge 'generator' to produce a reasonable voltage and current (MC cartridge at least 0.2mV, higher current; MM 3mV, less current) to drive a preamp and produce acceptably low signal to noise ratios.
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Old 9th January 2006, 01:28 AM   #7
tade is offline tade  United States
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that makes sense.
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