Ortofon FF15E II Setup
I've got an FF15E cartridge but have no idea what the recommended tracking force limits are for it. Can anyone advise, please?
I read over my old Hungarian HI-FI Magazin (from 1980) and i found that the recommended tracking force is 20 mN. The tracking force limits are 10 to 30 mN.
I hope it was useful info.
The FF15E is an old and noticeably crude cartridge (coarse HF). I had one and remember aligning one for a work colleague in 1982. At the time, it was cheap and cheerful, so I would certainly hesitate to let it loose on a collection of LPs. It's all down to how many LPs you have, how often you listen, and finally, your arm, turntable, and RIAA stage.
I think you need a newer cartridge with a better and more accurately ground stylus profile. Sadly, I can't directly recommend anything because I have enough LPs to justify/need a cartridge much better than the FF15E . Perhaps sreten may be able to help?
perhaps the FF15E you came across had a replacement aftermarket
stylus, which would explain your observations. The FF15E was highly
rated in its day for a budget cartridge, its equivalent in Ortofons
range is the 510 and the OM10. I certainly wouldn't describe it
as an LP wrecker, tracking ability was very good, (for a budget
cartridge), and its mistracking that mostly damages LP's.
Though its also true that the Ortofon recommended replacement
stylus for the FF15E has reduced in performance / quality since
the cartridge was introduced. Only a replacement for all the FF
mark 1 and mark 2 cartridges is now available, its not very good.
The FF15E should be tracked at 1.8g to 2.0g IMO. Certainly no less.
IMO the whole thing should be replaced if tip wear is in doubt. If it
seems it won't track well at 2.0g a better cartridge is required.
What tonearm is it being used in ?
the Ortofon FF15E I had was bought in 1982 and used in a little mono record player I made at the time using an arm stolen from a Thorens TD166. Two years later, I fitted an SME3009/S2 and an OM10. I had the same reservations about the OM10 as the FF15E, so I replaced the stylus with an OM30 stylus (which was much better).
As you say, it's mistracking that damages records, so I've always shied away from budget cartridges, figuring that it's not worth risking 600 LPs to save a little on a stylus. I use a Rohmann on my proper turntable.
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