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kjunom 29th March 2006 12:52 AM

cart help
I recently got a Sony PS-x50 off EBay and now have it working. The tracking was off and I got a manual and did an electrical setup. However the tip of the stylus for the ADC K8E cartridge was missing.

I had previously purchased a JVC for experimentation that wasn't packed as well so I'm using its Audio Technica 3003 and is pretty lifeless.

I also have an old Shure M91ED that is missing a stylus.

So, for mostly rock and classical and some jazz, which cart should get a new styuls, or both, or a different cart?

The JVC motor/platter assembley is now in the frame of an old cheap Dual turntable performing as a record cleaning machine. By poring on some DIY solution, ala this site, some firm cleaning with an old diswasher brush, spinning almost dry (boosting up the volts gets it spininning impressively fast) and a final dry with a light drag using a lint free cloth. I've cleaned about a dozen albums. I think a vacuum would be a nice upgrade and the Diskwasher brush should probably also be replaced. Nothing on the stylus after playing several records. So I think I got them clean.

Thanks in advance

sreten 29th March 2006 08:58 AM


In the States you can't go too far wrong with a Grado Black,
its a very good sounding cartridge for those on a budget.

Though its not exactly bright.
If you think you prefer more lively, go for the Audio Technica AT95E.


kjunom 29th March 2006 11:56 PM

grado choices
budget wise, I'd be in the Grado blue/red choices, unless a good argument could be made to go up to the gold level. Getting the Grado Black is only about $10 more than either stylus.

sreten 30th March 2006 12:02 PM


Grado quote all their cartridges as the same compliance but I'm not sure.

Trouble is for a relastively heavy arm there is not much choice in
lowish compliance cartridges.

I think the Black is lower compliance than the other Grado's,
the AT95E has ideal compliance for the arm.

You could always buy a Grado Black and fit a Blue stylus,
seems to be the same price as a Blue.


kjunom 31st March 2006 03:20 AM

low compliance
thanks for the advice

I looked around for low compliance carts and Audio Technica seems to have many. The Ortofon X1-MC had a lowish compliance but probably can't be found. The Benz Micro MC20E2 is low but has a relatively high rated tracking force.

The last cart that I used that I really liked was the Micro Acoustics MA3002. One of the channels stopped working, bummer. I'd like a cart that sounded at lest as good as the MA3002. I wonder what is wrong with it?

sreten 31st March 2006 07:46 AM

You could consider a Denon DL110.


kjunom 31st March 2006 12:33 PM

the Deneon DL-110 sounds like a good fit for my tastes and turntable.

There is an Ortofon X1-MC on Ebay for $151 w/shipping which I think would be a contendor. Cheaper yet is a DL-110 for $131 w/shipping.

woodturner-fran 31st March 2006 02:00 PM

I've just bought a DL110 from ebay from that german seller "williams stylus shop". bought it last Sat morning and he says he posted it last monday. Just waiting for it to arrive. They seem well regarded, more so than the grado gold I'm using at the moment.

I've been watching a lot over the past while about what people say about MC vs MM and MC seems a clear winner. The wife bought it for me for my birthday so.......

The fact that you can use your MM stage makes it a easy to use and not as big a change as might be the case with other MCs. Also I read a good few reviews where people preferred the 110 to the 160 (apparently they are the same except that the 160 is conical vs the 110s straight tube holding the stylus tip)

I'll do a post here when I get mine to let you know what I think of it vs the grado gold.


woodturner-fran 4th April 2006 03:21 PM

well the denon arrived. Have it set up on a spare headshell so I can easily change it around. I just used a digital scales to set tracking force. (BTW these are available on ebay off and on as a special offer. I got mine incl shipping for <10 euros! 0.1g)

Comparison to grado gold.... better defined bass, more clarity. This coupled with the fact that its cheaper than the gold, and works AOK off an MM stage means its a winner.

Mine would hardly be run in yet, and the comments above relate to listening over about 7 or 8 LPs.

Something to watch out for it that there is a strong magnetic field around the cart and it tells you in the info leaflet to be careful using a screwdriver to tighten up the mounting bolts. It would be all to easy for the screwdriver to be pulled by the magnet and damage the cantilever.
good luck with your choice!

kjunom 23rd April 2006 11:31 PM

thanks for the review
I got my Micro Acoustics cartridge working by reseating the stylus. The tip looked great under the microscope, so I'm using that for now. I'll get the Denon when I get tired of tweaking the Bugle board. The MA is a very light cartridge and the cantilever looks quite slender, so I think the Denon will be more compatible with the Sony.

At first the OPA2134 opamps in the Bugle board sounded really bad - no highs or lows and a muffled sound. I replaced the first opamp with an OPA2604 and got some lows and highs; Then I moved the power supply from under the Bugle and put 0.1uf ceramic bypass caps between the power supply leads of each opamp and the OPA2134 now sounds comparable to the OPA2604 in the first position. Probably will try the AD8066 next. Would like to try the AD8620 but still haven't justified the expense over the AD8066 for a trial. Different caps are also planned.

I probably was picking up too much ps noise at first and the OPA2604 wasn't as susceptable.

Record cleaning is progressing slowly. They are in pretty good shape; most show only a bit of dust.

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