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Thread: Bgw amp plus eq for free!

  1. #76
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    I had previously identified (not in this thread) the Digiflex H2R2R-3 RCA cable (called H2 here) as a cable I could live with, however it was replaced by model HE2R2R-3 (called HE here) shown on Digiflex Web site. Therefore had to order HE units, shown in post # 65 here, in absence of H2... Well, what I received from the manufacturer are all H2 models, I'm not disapointed at all this time, in fact I'm glad I received these instead of the HE! I guess they had some H2 units left in stock and sent them.

    One of the pics below shows the back side of the cable's packaging, with two white stickers, top one being the dealer's showing what was ordered, and the bottom one is the manufacturer's model number sticker.

    The previous model (H2) has a different Neutrik Rean connector and a nice rubber boot where the cable enters the connector. The newer HE version has that molded plastic thing on the cable just before connector entry, possibly to reduce cable flexing. Compare cable pic here with pic in post # 65. The Link Audio cable, also shown in post # 65, has that plastic thing too.

    Looks more professional to me, and more like a real Neutrik connector, with rubber boot. Plastic may be cheaper though.

    Anyway, If the rubber boots or cables ever fail then the Digiflex carry a lifetime warranty, so they'd get these back...

    Richard

    P.S. Next time the new E-V PL80C mic.

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  2. #77
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    Digiflex warranty




    In a world of whistles and bells, unfortunately there's not a lot of audio stuff manufacturers taking care of their customers like this. Read the underlined...

    "Digiflex offers the best in quality and workmanship, and we stand behind our words by offering the most comprehensive warranty in the business.

    All our standard cables offer a lifetime warranty, except for the following:

    . Snakes and Custom Products: 5-year limited warranty
    . Power Products: 5-year limited warranty
    . Fiber Optic Products: 1-year limited warranty

    Q: I have a defective cable, what do I do?

    A: If you are a stupendously organized person and can find that receipt from that thing you bought 7 years ago on a rainy Tuesday night because you forgot to bring yours, great! (and please call us, we may have a job for you in the archives...) Go see your dealer with the cable and receipt, and they can exchange it for you, or send it back for repairs. If, like the rest of us normal folk, you washed your receipt or tossed it within minutes of getting home, don't fret, we will still take care of you. As long as we can see that it is one of our cables, we still stand by it. Bring your cable to your dealer, and they will contact us to make the arrangements.

    Q: Do I need to register my cable for the warranty? A: No need, the warranty is part and parcel of the product. Hang on to the receipt to makes things simpler, but there are no bureaucratic hoops or triplicate forms to fill out."

    That's what I call service!

    Richard

  3. #78
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    The e-v pl80c mic




    The E-V PL80C is the newer version of the older PL80 mic shown here recently (Post # 72). Its a little lighter than PL80 since it has a neo magnet, and the mic's color has also changed from sort of beige to satin grey, but same general look is kept.

    The mic's response has been modified, its flatter than it use to be, though not flat, with the typical vocal bump in response being less pronounced than in the past. Therefore expecting a little different sound.

    Bottom end is about the same as before. The vocal response bump that formerly started at 1khz now starts at 2 khz and the top end now extends to about 12 khz. The combination of internal design changes opens the door to some other uses, in addition to vocals. Like micing some instruments in cases where a dynamic microphone may be preferred by the user.

    Some instrument mics have mid/high frequency response shape similar to vocal ones. I think E-V tried to hit two birds with one stone in the new version. Primary use remains vocals, but now has wider use scope.

    Compared to the standard SM-58 vocal and SM-57 instrument mics, the Shure mics have a more pronounced MF bump, folowed by a drop and then a HF bump at about 10 khz with ensuing fall. This is what gives the Shures their distinct clarity and popular sound, but sometimes too much presence or overly bright.

    The E-V is smoother than the two in this regard and I generally tend to prefer somewhat flatter sound than too emphasized one. May sound less "impressive". Although either way some EQ can improve deficiencies.

    I usually tend to prefer cardio polar pattern due to their much lower sensitivity to sounds coming from the back caused by the "null" in the polar response at 180°, which is easy to benefit from. The PL80C is a supercardio with two "nulls" at around 120° and 240°, making things a little more complex to manage considering there's still some mic sensitivity to sounds coming from the back of the mic at 180° or so. However, to get the rest, polar pattern is basically where I chose to compromise a little.

    TV shows with a band and singer(s) often illustrate the issue: one stage monitor cab directed at the cardio 180° null behind the singer's mic, or two stage monitor cabs angled towards the 120° and 240° supercardio nulls behind the singer's mic. Purpose is the same: performer hearing him/herself on the monitor(s) with least impact on sounds picked-up by the mic, while minimizing feedback possibilities. That's when they don't use in-ear monitoring...

    Richard


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  4. #79
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    Mixers' evolution

    The first pic, already shown here (post # 18), is that of my first Mackie mixer MS-1202 purchased in 1992, it was given to a member here. If my memory serves me well, the first Mackie Designs mixer was the CR-1604 and the MS-1202 was the next one. Then a whole lot followed afterwards since they not only released other models, but also improved those previously launched, as can be seen when comparing the first pic with 2nd and 3rd pictures showing the MS-1202 VLZ bought in 1996, which I kept. After that version, the changes were minor or cosmetic: e.g. VLZ Pro (XRD mic preamp), VLZ 3 (XRD2 mic preamp) and VLZ 4 (Onyx mic preamp). Mackies were difficult to beat in terms of mixer logic, channel assignments, connectors, flexibility, quality.

    Sadly, in 2003 Greg Mackie had to sell his majority shareholder interest in the company, an investment Capital Partners thing got it, folks here know what that means, so things did changed a lot: manufacturing moved to China, quality went down cost being king, warranty dropped from 3 years to one year, etc. A simple comparison of the knobs on the front panel between a VLZ and a VLZ 3 or better with a VLZ 4 is pretty revealing. Neutrik connectors also appear to be gone. From VLZ 3 versions and on its less interesting...

    As a side note, In the Aug. 9, 2018 announcement appointing a new Canadian distributor for Mackie the underlined words got my attention: "With ADI now handling Canadian distribution, the Canadian market will benefit from local inventory, great margins, quick shipments and stable Canadian pricing."

    However, the "great margins" were removed from the same phrase now elsewhere on their Web site. The announcement might have been for dealers, whereas the other page mostly for the public. No wonder the margins were said to be great on Mackies with low-cost China production. I never bought a third Mackie...

    Instead went for a more quality Allen & Heath mixer seen in posts # 30 & # 45. Found a vertically aligned and clear mixer pic of the Allen as fourth picture here. I already commented in posts # 31 "Choosing the mixer" & # 45 the likes and dislikes I have with the Allen & Heath Z-14. Globally, not as cleverly designed as older Mackies, but better made than recent ones.

    With the added features I can use the 1202 VLZ as a stand alone or even as a submixer to the Allen. The VLZ has two sets of main outputs (1/4" and XLR), with the XLRs having main output level choice of +4db or mic level, giving flexibility in order to connect in the Allen mixer as a submixer.

    The better VLZ includes many items the original 1202 didn't have, like a HPF on mic inputs, Aux 1 Master control and pre/post fader switch, 3-band EQ, Muted channel sent to Alt 3/4 outputs, channel Solo for pre-listening or adjustment, Source assignments, Control Room outputs and gain, etc.

    Then the VLZ is a more complete small mixer, on which they also corrected an unusual thing from the first version. From left to right, the 1202 has Master gain then the Phones gain to the right side of it, not great. On the vast majority of mixers the Master gain control(s) are located to the far right. So Mackie switched the location of Main and Phones gain knobs on the 1202 VLZ to a more logical position with Main at far right. Dealing with two 1202 configured differently on this aspect was prone to using the wrong knob, somewhat of a hassle...

    Richard

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  5. #80
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    DIGIFLEX RCA CABLE ADDENDUM

    While discussing speaker wire losses and their associated resistance, Eargle adds a short, but interesting item to his cabling table: "Note: Paralleling two identical gauges reduces effective gauge by 3." [John Eargle, Handbook of Sound System Design p. 17, same note in his Loudspeaker Handbook, p. 179].

    My understanding is that two identical wire gauges in parallel are effectively equivalent to a three size wire increase, so a lower AWG number (e.g. two 16 gauge wires in parallel would equal a 13 gauge wire).

    Thus, when having on-hand extra cable lengths of the same gauge as presently used for speaker kookup, and would like to benefit from larger speaker wire, then by doubling the present wires and connecting them in parallel with the others, this could meet the expectation while saving the expense of purchasing larger cables. Reducing speaker cable resistance is generally a good idea regarding losses and damping factor. The drawback in the present case is having a little more wiring on the floor from amp to speakers.

    That being said, there are other situations where this "wire doubling" doesn't involve having more cables in the way, though they may be a little larger ones. In fact, the rule mentioned by Eargle should also be applicable when paralleling some other conventional wiring used in audio.

    The two conductors making the twisted pair inside the Digiflex H2 RCA 3 ft. cable shown in post # 76 are not balanced, both are connected at the same place on the RCA connectors (tip), therefore in parallel. This contrary to balanced lines where the twisted pair wires are each connected to a different place on a 1/4" TRS or XLR connector, same signal carried by both, except with opposite polarity. Shield separate.

    The two conductors in that RCA cable being paralleled at each end, the system and ultimately the user, benefit from an effectively increased wire size. The spec sheet of the Neutrik Rean connector used indicates a 24 AWG wire size. Assuming this is the case with the Digiflex, then the effective gauge would be equivalent to 21 AWG, which is better than the 26 AWG shown on the low-cost RCA cable in post # 67 (2nd pic). The Digiflex cable shows no wire size, except for "Cable-XL" on the jacket (post # 76 1rst pic) presumably meaning Extra Large, giving more credibility to the above 21 AWG. Nice, also bought H2 6 ft.

    Two-conductor balanced lines don't benefit in my view from the above effective wire size increase, not being paralleled and connected to different places on the connector. Unless one uses 4 conductor Quad wiring (2 pairs, each parallel connected), as shown in post # 69: two white wires together and two blue ones together, shield connected separately.

    Low-cost RCA cables with one conductor only (plus ground) don't provide either the reduced resistance and effectively larger wire size of paralleling. One larger, and more expensive, conductor may do the job, but this would defeat the cheap price objective...

    Richard

  6. #81
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    I finally got the time to replace the wife's old stereo system with some more recent components I had left and right. By the same token this will free space I need for other gear.

    In a previous post here I mentioned the recent AT LP 120 turntable I wanted to get rid of, e.g. too high tonearm friction for light tracking cartridges, but it didn't fit by a darned milimeter or so in the audio/video cabinet in upstairs living room. Luckyly I didn't have to sand/"grind" a bit the sides of the TT to get the mm. Removing the cab's door is something I didn't really want to do re MDF cabinet screw holes getting looser and its a relatively heavy glass door with wood frame...

    Still went for it, got the missing mm I needed, fixed the hinges' screw holes, door back on, now the TT is in the cab though touching the cab walls on both sides but no force applied whatsoever on TT. Just made it, work and luck! (1rst pic)

    As also seen from first pic, three items are not original for the TT: mat, headshell and cartridge. The LP 120 comes with a felt type mat only, which seems more synthetic fibers than anything else, and not required for our use. Wife's old Technics rubber mat was still good so I put this one on instead, better than felt mat stored in a bag from day one for a possible give away (third pic). Putting wife's mat allowed me to recuperate my nice Technics SLQ2 rubber mat on loan to LP 120 since the beginning (back in stock now).

    The headshell is also from her old Technics being in good shape. The pre-mounted AT 95E cartridge/shell on LP 120 I keep in my stock, as well as the Shure cartridge that was on her Technics. I replaced it with a new lower cost AT 91 cart. which is good enough for the LP 120 poor tonearm precision, and tracks up to 2.5 gr.

    The AT turntable being pretty heavy and the supporting system of each shelf being only four small metal pins in MDF, I decided to add at the four corners between top and middle shelfs small wood blocks to share some of top shelf weight with the middle one considering the small Sony CD player on 2nd shelf weighs less than 3 lb. This way shelfs 1 & 2 share some of the TT load (second pic).

    The bottom shelf houses an Onkyo receiver purchased 2-3 years ago for its separate preamp, and phono preamp sections. Bottom line she "lost" an old faulty Yamaha cassette deck, but gained CD capability, while her old TT and defective receiver were replaced.

    In terms of speakers, well "Martha Stewart decorator" won't allow mid/large size speakers in living rooms, only small ones, therefore she's using tiny ones like on fourth pic... (vented box, 4" woofer and 3/4" dome).

    The three items she got create little space for my own stuff and in the same process 5 items were sent to recycling: two cassette decks (her's and a Sony of mine still working but noisy motor; keeping my fine Dolby S unit), a receiver, multi CD player, and her old TT from which I took some parts as indicated above.

    Wife is pleased with what she has (that's good for me!), so now back to man cave in the basement, where "Martha" has no jurisdiction, taking care of my own stuff...

    Richard

    P.S. I'm testing my new AT LP5 turntable these days with some good old LPs, the Bellari phono preamp and Ultralink/Monster/Digiflex cables. More on this soon.


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  7. #82
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    At lp5 turntable, bellari phono preamp and premium cables



    A) THE SETUP

    Got some time to "test drive" the AT LP5 turntable with related equipment, now that AT LP120 is upstairs out of sight. LP5 not yet in its final location but made sure all was ok, also using a level to make it right.

    This is a no frills TT, all manual, no automatic arm return (not must have but nice), compared to the many features on the AT LP120 though more suited for DJ work. It seems less features, along with more money, is what it takes from AT to get a decent tonearm (J-shaped) and direct drive system, plus acceptable cartridge .

    The LP5 looks generally well made, but the primary on/off switch is located on the back of unit and somewhat hidden. A secondary one is located near the platter. Since the TT has a rated power consumption of only 6 W (LP 120 11W), then I guess it would be tempting to leave the main back switch on and use only the easy access secondary switch with 33/stop/45. However, when using stop only power remains on all the time as indicated by a small blue light near the secondary knob...

    The turntable comes with a pre-mounted AT 95EX cartridge ($90.CAD) whereas the AT LP120 TT came with the AT95E ($70.CAD). So basically the 95EX is a 95E improved for $20. more, and AT says it was designed specifically for LP5 and is exclusive to it. The rubber mat, said to be 5 mm thick, measured 4 mm (the old Technics SLQ2 rubber mat I kept has 3.5-4 mm).

    For a $700.CAD retail price (paid less) AT could have provided a cartridge one step above the 95EX in my view. But in my tests it did perform correctly, sounded good, no particular issue to report. The LP5 also comes with a cardboard cartridge adjustment protractor, contrary to the LP120 (on Internet). I checked the cart's factory adjustments, needle ok with the two dots, but cart body a tiny bit off vs the parallel lines it should match. "Jeweller's" work, no time right now, I'll take care of this at the same time I switch the Shure V15 IV from a Technics headshell to an extra AT original LP5 headshell bought with that TT. Low-tracking force V15 IV and others never got near the LP120 tonearm (S-shaped), as explained below, hence why its still on a Technics headshell inside a nice clear protection box they made.

    Tonearm friction with LP5 is a lot better than LP120 and setting the correct tracking force is now quite easier/straightforward, like it should be. Interestingly, the older SLQ2 Technics turntable had a tonearm friction specification in the owner's manual (lateral and vertical), but neither LP5 or LP 120 does.

    When installing the AT 91 cartridge in LP120 for my wife I had another taste of the poor precision that tonearm offers, staying up or down when a small change is made on tracking force. Arm never seems to be able to move up or down during balancing process, unless one uses a larger mass correction. Screwing around again for way too long to achieve the expected tracking force number. That also led me to purchase a small precision digital scale to double check quickly on the mini B & O scale I use. Shure's SFG-2 more elaborate scale is used for cartridges worthy of it, not for a $40. one as in that case...

    The LP5 RCA/GND wires supplied for hookup look better, more so at 24 AWG, than standard cheap ones but I haven't used them for testing. Instead I went with the Ultralink cables from turntable to powered little red box Bellari VP 549 phono preamp (with ground wire of my own), then Monster cables from phono preamp to a stereo channel on the Mackie mixer using Switchcraft RCA to 1/4" adaptors, finally the Digiflex cables from mixer outputs to power amp along with RCA to 1/4" adaptors at both ends.

    TT's internal phono preamp was bypassed. The Bellari's adjustable phono preamp capacitance was set to 220pf to account for AT cart's usual 100-200pf plus some for wiring. The onboard 20hz rumble filter was on all the time, and as suggested by Bellari the phono preamp's gain control was set to "0" gain to start with, in absence of further testing done yet by me re that gain control (e.g. hot cart may subtract, lazy cart may add).

    The Rolls MOSFET amp used for the test has both RCA and 1/4" TRS inputs but I prefer using the sturdier and more reliable 1/4" connectors (TS here). So that testing installation only is unbalanced all the way (it would normally be balanced between mixer and amp). Even then no noise heard despite some AC power cables being close to RCA cables in that setup. That's what I wanted when purchasing better made/shielded RCA cables.

    Next time comments on how it sounds...

    Richard

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  8. #83
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  9. #84
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    B) HOW IT SOUNDS

    For comparison purposes I try to use as close to previous setup as possible (e.g. amp, mixer, speakers, room, placement), except for TT/phono preamp/cables in this case. Using a very different listening setup it would be more difficult to single out some component, and assign merit or blame. No EQ or Sonic Exciter was used, they were not in the signal path, described in the preceding post.

    I must say it actually sounded very good. No doubt that setup is better sounding than the phono sections of NAD and Onkyo integrated amp and receiver respectively.

    The most striking aspects of that sound are clarity, transparency, sound stage (Dynamic/transient response? See below). The phono straightjacket appears to be off now.

    During the test my wife came downstairs saying she shut down her music upstairs since mine was overpowering hers... That somewhat surprised me since I didn't push it , and had me double check on my setttings: pretty much conservative.

    She thought I was using larger speakers. Not at all I said, only the pair of small nearfield monitor type I pointed at and often use, with maybe 10-25 W from the amp. She was impressed with their sound, me too in fact.

    Bellari says the preamp "... has a very surprising attack that will take your rig to the next level." (seen in the manual after the test, honestly true).

    Does that statement imply the device improves dynamic range? Not yet convinced about that, it may refer to transient response instead. Still, both of us were pleased with the sound, within the limits of small boxes.

    I'm not a strong believer in cables' magical properties on sound, once proper shielding, resistance, capacitance, etc. are met. I don't see the interconnect cables used here as THE reason for the sound's improvements. They probably allow the gear to deal with a proper signal, but after that its the equipment's influence in my view. So I tend to give a lot more credit here to the phono preamp which "processes" the signal, and to some extent to the transducer phono cartridge (AT95EX).

    The V15 IV cartridge must have better response, tracking ability, lower distortion and more channel separation, each being tested to insure compliance with all of its specs according to Shure. Well, looking forward to try this one with the LP5/Bellari...

    Richard

  10. #85
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    Addendum to at lp5 protractor adjustment




    When preparing the turntable for testing I put the AT protractor on the TT and checked quickly cartridge settings, noting it was a bit off re parallel lines it should follow. No further questions asked to get going...

    However, I discovered afterwards the AT protractor's spindle hole is wrong size vs TT spindle which may well introduce some errors in cart adjustment results! Not glorious work from China, and no rocket science.

    Turntable spindle is pretty much standardized at 7 mm diameter, same on LPs I checked, but the protractor's hole is a good 8 mm diameter! Meaning the protractor can move a little on the platter while adjusting cart without really noticing it, being busy turning the platter slowly with one hand and putting the needle correctly on the dots with the other hand, also watching the parallel lines vs cart body...

    As shown on the first two pics there's quite a bit of loose between TT spindle and the factory made protractor hole on the unit provided. Phono cartridge correct alignment is precision work and its important to get it right to benefit from the cart's best performance.

    So I printed a number of protractors from the Internet and double checked the AT95EX adjustments. The next hassle was the punches I have, to make a nice spindle hole in those paper protractors, aren't larger than 5 mm... Then decided to use a scalpel (real surgical precision) to do the cutouts myself for the 7 mm spindle, with no loose this time, though some shade seen near spindle (2 pics). Papers cut on a smooth piece of plywood.

    Since the verification using three other protractors (Stevenson's, Shure's and Styli.co.nz, the latter not shown being copyrighted), revealed the cart was well adjusted, but for a minuscule thing fixed. I assume the factory must be using a reliable template when adjusting cartridges in headshells, better than what is given with the TT.

    Fortunately, it doesn't change the audio test made, but a waste of time this checking has been.

    For precision, the faulty protractor given with the LP5 can't be relied on, therefore another one must be used. And I was initially happy getting a real cardboard one, instead of an Internet paper copy!

    Note the spindle hole size indicated on the Styli.co.nz is too small for a standard spindle so it needs to be enlarged carefully. I've also printed the Baerwald and Fluance protractors but have not used them yet. For the wife's LP120 the applicable AT protractor was previously printed and used for cart alignment.

    Richard


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  11. #86
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    Phono cartridges/headshells




    Kind of an on-going "musical chair" thing with cartridges and headshells, being short of two shells for the carts I have. Not for long since I ordered two more nicely made AT HS10BK headshells, plus their retail price has dropped from $75. to $50. CAD since my last purchase, that's even nicer. The AT shells are used with the better cartridges and the other ones are on shells from the factory (AT 95E & 95EX) or going on shells I already have, like the universal Technics ones.

    I switched the Shure V15 IV from a Technics headshell prior shown here to an AT one (looks good), freeing the Technics for an idled AT 408 cart. More left to do: AT 408 on Technics will move to a new AT shell when I get these, same for Shure M95ED cart now on Technics shell. AT's ATP-3 (DJ) will leave the present generic silver colour shell for a Technics one, while Shure's SC35C (DJ) will get that silver shell (wide/fat body cart on a larger shell), and a Shure/Realistic white cart found will be mounted on the remaining Technics shell.

    I've tried various cartridges over the years, not necessarily chasing an elusive perfect one, since there may be as many "references" as there are audiophiles. The carts represent most of what I bought over the years, except the Shure/Realistic, also had a Grado long ago. Many genuine carts or stylus from Shure or AT are NLA or difficult to find, so when the needles for a cart will reach the end of their life, and a proper option is unavailable, cart is out and others still used, for better or worst. Kept the 260 or so LP records throughout the digital craze, no intention yet to let these go, therefore need stuff for that music to continue playing.

    Shure having abandoned cartridge and stylus manufacturing mid 2018, the few originals left on the market going rapidly, now one must think "strategically" regarding optimization of their use/needles' life. Using the best ones first until worn-out would mean going downhill later, with only "inferior" ones left to use. Then I prefer doing some rotation type use of the carts to prolong the pleasure with some, hence the number of headshells needed to make this turnover easier.

    Google cart searches refer to a number of E-Bay pages, looked quickly at a few since I don't usually shop there. Seen many abusively priced carts, some not in good condition, quite a few with no stylus. I guess people try to make money at the expense of "desperate" LP lovers. A good reason to keep my cartridges.

    More to come with pics.

    Richard

  12. #87
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    THE AUDIO-TECHNICA CARTRIDGES

    AT 95EX (1rst from left)

    This is the cart that comes with the AT LP5 turntable pre-mounted on the AT HS10BK headshell supplied. Designed specifically for that TT, but looks a lot like an improved AT95E instead of a completely new design. AT 95EX rated 20 db channel separation and 2 db channel balance, nothing to really celebrate for, but as mentioned before it sounds ok. Tracking force 2 gr.

    AT95E (2nd from left)

    The 95E came with the AT 120LP turntable. More of a DJ type TT but the supplied cart isn't a DJ model. Up until some years ago AT used to provide a DJ cartridge (ATP-2) with that TT, not anymore though. The cart was pre-mounted on the silver AT HS1 headshell provided with TT (not as nice as the HS10BK in post # 83). AT 95E rated 20 db channel separation and 2 db channel balance, pretty standard specs among some affordable ATs I checked. It lacks some luster sound wise compared to the previous one. Tracking force 2 gr.

    AT 408 (3rd from left)

    Long discontinued, bought two new ones years ago, rarely used one and kept the other. At 1.25 gr. optimal tracking force it was certainly not for the higher-friction AT LP120 tonearm, but with the LP5 TT things look better now. That cart has nice 26 db channel separation (1khz), and 1.5 db channel balance (1 khz), the latter compared to 2 db for most comparable ones, a small difference but still: AT says channel balance is a measure of both production quality and good basic design. The 408 was made in Japan as shown on cart and box, whereas many more recent ATs come from China, like the 95E and 95EX.

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  13. #88
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    ATP-3 (4th from left)

    Discontinued a long time ago too, this is a better behaved DJ cart with some attributes of hi-fi and some of DJ carts. More refined than some other DJ ones, nice compromise. The ATP-3 was also made in Japan, has 23 db/1.5 db channel separation and balance respectively. Tracking force 2-3 gr. Looks like specs/tolerances were better during AT's Japan manufacturing years...

    In the past some ATs came in a small convenient storage box, I turned it into a small turntable accessories box. Over time I accumulated some headshell/cartridge parts (e.g. wires, connectors, screws, nuts, washers) in a small jar. That has proven to be helpful again to mount the 408 on the shell, since the two screw sets given were little too long (+ mass) and the nuts not to my liking. I used instead better fitting ones from the small jar, added a thin white plastic washer under the nuts to avoid scratching the metal shell, plus the cart slides easier now when adjusting it in the shell.

    The Shure cartridges will follow.

    Richard

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  14. #89
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    THE SHURE CARTRIDGES

    First pic: Contrary to the AT cartridges, I realized after I left the stylus guard on each for the Shure group pic. Must have been a reflex associated with handling the V15 IV. I'd hate myself for damaging that fragile cantilever/needle.

    Though I have stylus for the M95ED its shown with no stylus on, that's explained further. Two cartridges are headshell orphans, waiting for the two shells I ordered.

    Second pic shows Shure carts/stylus in a small plastic box cover off: top left is the SC35C with hardware on, plus a small piece of Scotch Tape on the side holding tighter the stylus guard made too easy to remove (not as tight fit vs AT carts), also an original spare stylus at bottom left; top right is the Shure/Radio Shack cart with stylus and guard on, along with another stylus for it (shown vertically for pic purpose only); the two remaining styluses (N75 & N95ED) should go on the M95ED cartridge, the former has no stylus guard, the latter has it, and under that black guard the N95 stylus frame is yellow.

    V15 IV (1rst from left)

    An original stylus is on and got a while ago a nice Shure Micro-Ridge VN45MR stylus as spare. An acceptable (not great) after-market VN45HE stylus (not shown) was also bought as last resort option.

    Now on the AT headshell but stored in the same Technics clear box shown post # 83 (is just a bit looser fitting in the box), however I didn't install this time the optional round spacers between headshell and cart as before in order to reduce mass. I'll see if the cart body remains parallel to the record surface without the spacers (maybe I'll have to put them back?).

    The cart has very high record groove tracking ability (Shure trade marked "Super track IV" for it), it has pretty flat frequency response, rated minimum 25 db (1 khz) and 15 db (10 khz) channel separation, and 2 db channel balance. Optimal tracking force 1 gr.

    Me95ED (2nd from left)

    Haven't decided yet which of the two styluses I'll put on the cart first (details below, see R-1000), also considering the fact one has no stylus guard, then no protection during the periods of time it won't be active on the TT with the cart rotation mentioned before. Not in a hurry to expose a genuine stylus to risk of accidental damage until the cart's turn comes up.

    This 95ED is from Shure's "Encore Series" (hence the small "e"), a re-issue of some popular models that were previously discontinued as I remember. In my view the once popular M91ED cart isn't part of that Encore group simply because the M95ED already does that, but better. At some point in time the 95ED was Shure's next best thing to a V15 as I recall. Also has 25 db channel separation (1 khz) and 2 db channel balance. Tracking force max 1.5 gr.

    I've seen an original M95HE available as new old stock for $199 US. The latest offerings from Shure were M97xE and M92E I think, and a few M44 and/or SC35C might still be available...

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  15. #90
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    SC35C (3rd from left)

    This is a broadcast studio/DJ workhorse tracking at 4-5 gr., a nail some might say and its somewhat bulky. At that tracking force it won't skip easily a record groove in demanding applications. It has a less desirable Spherical type stylus like some other heavier tracking cartridges. Not a refined, high class or high performance cart, but it does the job and is popular within its intended purposes. Channel separation 20 db (1 khz) and 10 db (10 khz), 2 db channel balance. Not sure yet the new AT LP5 turntable could provide the optimum 4.5 gr. tracking force.

    I tend to prefer using AT's ATP-3 when proper. It was described before (post # 43), that shows its more a mixture of DJ/Hi-Fi cart having: Elliptical stylus, easier to match capacitance of 100-200 pf vs Shure's 450 pf, better channel separation (23db/17db @ 1 and 10 khz; 7 db more than SC35C @ 10 khz), channel balance 1.5 db, tracking force of 2-3 gr., etc. However, the ATP-N2 stylus purchased recently (last resort) for the ATP-3's future use is rated 3-5 gr. I think the LP5 TT might be able to do 4 gr. in view of some numbers seen on tonearm counterweight. If not, the LP120 TT upstairs might do it. Need to check that, as well for SC35C.

    BTW in relation to the above SC35C/ATP-3 different stylus types, Shure's V15 IV user manual shows on page 9 a graph with the distortion figures (2nd harmonic and intermodulation) for various stylus tip shapes. I note the gain in distortions reduction is larger from Spherical to Elliptical shapes, than from Elliptical to Hyperelliptical. Long-contact shapes such as Hyperbolic are shown at the same distortion levels as Elliptical.

    SHURE/RADIO SHACK R-1000 EDT (white cart) (4th from left)

    This one was retrieved from someone's older turntable, cart is in good shape, Shure name engraved on the top near the back, its equivalent to Shure's M75 ED. The M75 cart was improved with the ED Type 2 stylus. Way back (70s) I used the one above M91 ED on a Thorens and liked it, later sold it to a friend interested in that gear, along with the L26 speakers. The 91ED was among the first affordable better tracking cartridges, hence the "Hi-Track" on its stylus frame. A pic shows the R-1000 here was made in USA, same for many other Shure oldies, but more recent models came from Mexico.

    The styluses on-hand for that Shure/Radio Shack cart are genuine Shure RS5T and Shure 5X. These are below the designated stylus or equivalent (like N75ED type 2). However, having the M95 ED cart I may not want to "waste" the original Shure N75ED type 2 stylus on a "lower" M75ED cart if I can. The N75ED type 2 needle is similar to the N95ED and may well fit the M95ED cart, so I'm tempted to keep that N75 needle, as a second option for the M95 cart: same type/size stylus and tracking force. Although the N95ED stylus was somewhat more expensive than the other, has a little more tracking ability, and should perform better in the 95 cart.

    At this time, the above is the "strategy" to prolong and optimize use of what I have from Shure and AT. How the V15 IV works and sounds with the new phono setup should follow, as well for the AT 408...

    Richard

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