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Thread: Bgw amp plus eq for free!

  1. #451
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Last night gave a two-hour "road test" to the new stylus on the SC35C using various LPs. Sounds quite acceptable to my ears. Can't really tell the difference between the red and the higher cost light blue SS35C. Shure's sound for less money and it tracks lighter at 3 gr. Had checked my settings before, including with Shure's cart protractor.

    Not Grand Class stuff but for someone on a budget looking for a Shure its an option to consider. If you find a good acceptably priced used SC35C plus Shure N25C stylus, you could be in business for reasonable money, since with that duo you don't really need the almost $100. SS35C stylus.

    In a recent Shure search for tech sheets i came across the following Stereophile review of the SC35C which i never saw before. The comments are impressive, mine posted previously here didn't go as far. Have a look, its a 5 min. read. The reviewer mounted the SC35C on his Pioneer turntable headshell using much too long screws, adding extra mass you normally try to avoid. On this aspect his installation seems a little amateur, not the best example.

    http://www.stereophile.com/content/g...-3-shure-sc35c

    Cart screws situation should look more like on the following pic. Screw goes through the thin plastic washer plus the nut and stops there. Mine exceed a bit due to screws having tapered ends, usually they don't.

    Richard

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  2. #452
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    INTERESTING INFO REGARDING JBL CONE DRIVERS HAVING FOAM INSIDE...

    Came across this info from an authentic JBL document in my stuff.

    The problem with such foam is that it disintegrates with time and becomes sticky, plus it may have moved around inside increasing the cleanup work to be done, e.g. in the driver gap. A pain in the ...

    To do a nice job in removing inside woofer foam rot, you basically have to remove the foil cal and screen at the back, plus cut the dust cap open to check and clean the gap of any foam that migrated there.

    I've posted before an official JBL woofer sketch indicating these have a "Foam vent plug or screen", the key word being "or". Well, old info just found appears to confirm the "or" should in fact be "and/or", since i have a list of older JBL drivers having such foam plug, along with the plug's part number. That means originally these models were positive inside foam presence cases, and i'm pretty confident a number of them also have a screen at the back!

    Moreover, that list is probably not complete, based on doc date and the fact the 2214H i own was released within that date, had inside foam but its not on the list shown... The explanation coming to mind for this is the 2214H, with no foil cal nor screen at the back, was not a retail or catalog model but rather an OEM one, available as repair replacement for example, whereas the others shown were catalog models? (can't say about the M series).

    Please don't repost the info shown on other Web site(s).

    Richard

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  3. #453
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Hi Richard.

    interesting, yes. Particularly for newer members, and visitors.

    But... burying it in a 31-page blog in a sub-forum intended for Professional Amp discussion is probably not the best way to reach an audience.
    I do appreciate the resources and info you bring to the table!

    Best regards,

    -dave/grumpy

  4. #454
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    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the comment, i appreciate. Food for thought, certainly.

    The only place where i more or less agree is the "Particularly for newer members". Personnaly i'd be surprised if say 25% or more of members really knew the foam plug presence or not for each driver mentioned on that list (plus 2214H i added). In other words i think your comment is probably further reaching than you thought!

    If the Administrators see this info being worthy, as we do, maybe i should ask them to make a "Sticky" thread copy of Post # 452 for everyone to see more easily? Best Regards,

    Richard

  5. #455
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    I mentioned a number of posts back, that Shure's long discontinued M95ED phono cartridge, and its later reissue in the Encore series as the ME95ED (with a more modern design), was for some time Shure's No. 2 cart in the lineup just under the V15 carts. Memory served me well then, recently found proof of this, read the short paragraph on pic describing the ME95ED.

    As for the lower cost of the Encore version, well Shure mentions further new manufacturing techniques are involved, however what they skipped is that Shure moved cart production to Mexico in the 1980's where labor costs are much lower...

    I'm still amazed at how good this old No. 2 can perform when properly setup, no wonder it was a "worldwide favorite" as they say. Regarding the M/E 97HE on the left side it arrived somewhat later as i recall, confirmation of this its not on the Encore series leaflet i posted before in this thread, five carts are on it but not the 97. Btw, the description of the 95 shows a seldom occurence (excluding the V15 series and a few), where Shure states "flat frequency response" for one of their not too expensive model. More often than not no response flatness info was given. But i tend to agree this one is flat or so.

    Richard

    P.S. Had a little issue recently with my ME95ED and the cure was a very easy fix, might happen to other owners. Plus decided to use another cartridge protractor with new settings. No looking back here, its a joy! Coming soon.

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  6. #456
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    THE STEVENSON PHONO CARTRIDGE PROTRACTOR

    Among the bunch of phono cartridge alignment protractors on-hand, have mainly used the AT that came with the AT LP5 turntable with some correction to it due to poor China execution of that cardboard protractor). Then switched to Shure's protractor.

    Of the two types mentioned here the Baerwald may be the best known, others are derived from it (having the same null points or so), such as the Shure, Fluance, Styli.co.nz . The other type being the Stevenson, with the Audio-Technica based on it, both using the same null points adjustment. The AT version that one downloads from the Web and prints on paper appears to be better made than the one provided with my LP5.

    Some days ago i decided to try the Stevenson protractor since it has different settings than the other group (description on pic; info given there is not mine maybe from a reviewer i guess). The main claim about this protractor is distortion reduction. A bit more tricky to use than Shure's for example due to the small size of the lines printed on it. But on the positive side the adjustment's precision seems very good.

    The important aspect in using Stevenson's is to verify the scale at the top after printing it from download. This to ensure its printed the exact same size as the original in order to get best results. My small size metric ruler confirms i'm right on the 180 mm reference measurement (might need to print landscape?). As shown on pic, i cut-off the excess paper for better protractor fit on turntable platter, kept only the relevant part. (Pic is clear, no problem to increase its size for text reading purpose).

    One of the protractor manufacturers suggests to put a record on the TT and then the protractor on top. Makes sense to me since some rubber mats are not perfectly flat on their whole surface. Chose an old test LP for this task, one side has test tones i want to keep (face down) and the other side is boring music i don't care about (face up). That manufacturer also suggests trying to get both null points as perfectly aligned as possible, however if you can only achieve one null point to perfect alignment (it may happen) then the one closest to the spindle should be privileged. I was able to get both correctly.

    Mounting distance from tonearm pivot to stylus (the moving back of the cart in shell mentioned in the text) was not a problem at all with the headshells i use, AT 2 models, Technics 2 models, etc., there's even some space left. On the other hand the carts did require some adjustment to conform to the new set of parallel and perpendicular lines. Not rocket science, just precision work.

    Used the 220 Pf capacitance setting on the phono pre, add some from wiring/cables plus preamp should be about right. Some knowledgeable fellows recommend using a stylus tracking force near the top of the suggested range, instead of near the bottom of that range, this to minimize stylus mistracking, apparently a more serious issue than potential record wear from higher mass. In absence of a specific tracking force recommended then its what i do.

    Did two 3-hour record spinning sessions during which i tested the Stevenson protractor settings. First time used the AT 408 cart (recom. 1.25 gr.) and the second time using Shure's ME95ED (1.4 gr.). Done twice to confirm its real, not my imagination or bias: can it be repeated with another cart? Answer is YES. I'm pleased with the results.

    Note the sound's improvement is not limited to tracking near the end of the LP, hell no. The increased clarity, definition and presence i experienced were notable. Some sounds previously softer are more audible now.

    I find the benefits sufficiently superior to justify transferring my other cartridges to the Stevenson settings. The test on these two has revealed both cart's true potential in my view. Then a pretty simple decision for my part: Baerwald type alignment is out, welcome to the Stevenson world... Moreover its FREE! (Looks like vinyl engine where i got the Stevenson some time ago now requires to register for a free account to get downloads. Wasn't the case when i did).

    Richard

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  7. #457
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    THE SHURE V15 IV CARTRIDGE MOVED TO THE STEVENSON PROTRACTOR SETTINGS

    As per last post here, yesterday decided my V15 cart is next in line for the Stevenson settings "magic". However there's a twist this time, i cheated a little in my assessment routine by putting on the cart a brand new original Shure Micro-Ridge stylus (VN45MR) i've been keeping for a while. Enough squirreling as this is also a good time to give it a test drive i thought.

    First, under the small microscope one can't deny its a beautifully made stylus, for diamond shape, polish, color, etc. and the cantilever is straight. Different shape than the standard hyperelleptical VN45HE, and certainly nicer made than most aftermarket stuff. e.g. LP Gear's VN45HEs i bought before are no match to this MR for craftsmanship/quality, though LPG claims they're made in Japan with quality control steps (i wasn't impressed, just ok to me).

    That cart/stylus duo is the best i own, and feel it would be difficult to do much more for my record playing situation with the Aphex interface, Bellari phono pre, Stevenson's adjustment and that Shure duo on-board.

    Pulled out a number of LP oldies for testing, Steely Dan, Chicago, Doobie Brothers, Loggins & Messina, etc. Initially tried 220 Pf phono capacitance, highs sounded aggressive, switched to 120 Pf, great top end problem solved.

    The percentage of sound improvement attributable to the Stevenson settings here is hard to tell at best, since a different type stylus was involved, however it was a very nice sounding 2.5 hr music session. Soundstage, details and balance were outstanding.

    More refined than a 95ED cart but not in the same price range either. As shown on a pic, the V15 IV were individually tested at the factory to meet all specifications. So no donkeys here. On the V15 specs picture shown the channel separation number given is a minimum as indicated. While on a 95ED the 25db separation is the spec.

    All good things having an end, the Micro-Ridge stylus is back in its box after cleaning with Shure's brush. For an occasional treat since its practically impossible to replace it at down to earth money, in view of indecent asking prices on EBay.

    Next post the easy repair of a 95ED cart having an output level issue.

    Richard

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  8. #458
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  9. #459
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    FIXING THE LOW OUTPUT FROM A SHURE 95ED CARTRIDGE

    The rated output from the V15 cart is 4 mv, whereas its 4.7 mv on the 95ED. For the same settings the 95 should play louder than the V15, at least a little more. Was not the case recently, the 95 showed lower output compared to the other.

    Decided to open the 95 (take it apart) and see if i can find a reason for this. In case cart doesn't like being opened, as in its now dead, then i'd buy another one i had in sight (plan B). Removed stylus and connections. Using a pair of small long nose pliers, taking TWO cart connecting pins inside the pliers jaw for stronger hold vs one pin, and started pulling out gently the inserted section that came out relatively easy from the metal case.

    Cart being older the glue was dry, little retaining force now, but the insert part is tight fit in the case.

    The front end of the triangular or so stylus shaft holds the cantilever and diamond, while the back end of it, when inserted in cart body, makes contact with a little bumpy copper looking metal strip.

    Examining cart situation with stylus back on (guard in place) and the insert section partly out i could see the back end of the shaft would barely touch the now flattened copper strip where the audio signal should pass. Common sense says you can't bend the stylus shaft to make contact with the copper strip. That leaves only one option.

    That's where the problem is, the required slight bump in copper strip (say 1/16"+ high) gets flat after a number of stylus shaft insertions/removals. Contact for signal between shaft and copper strip is then poor, hence the low output.

    The remedy is simple and costless. From sideways to the insert section, take a small flat jeweller type screwdriver, slowly push it under the copper strip and carefully lift it a little to bring back the small bump. The back end of the stylus shaft will now make proper contact resting on the strip's bump. The output level is restored to normal, simple fix, didn't have to resort to plan B!

    A 95ED that has seen a number of replacement stylus in/out over the years may develop this issue one day or another. Maybe on other Shure models too. Many such carts on EBay are said to be "working", mine worked too but not at the expected output level in recent times. Now it does and i'm pleased. To assess a level situation, having another cart for comparison purpose and their output level specs is helpful, as i did above.

    This matter might have been the cause of the little noise i heard before, which lead me to balancing the phono line with the Aphex interface. That noise is gone, but nevertheless keeping the Aphex on duty since it provides more than just balancing, also level matching, proper impedance and RFi garbage filtering. Its a no brainer.

    Note i didn't remove the old hardened glue on the plastic insert section specifically to keep it tight fitting in the metal case. Also when putting back the cart together make sure the silver grounding tab is still on the same pin as before and angled, since the tab is inserted tight between the insert section and metal case for proper grounding. Now hopefully i can enjoy the 95ED for a few more decades...

    I have some interesting performance measurements for Shure's V15 IV and the M95ED. Will follow soon.

    Richard

  10. #460
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    The other Shure carts on headshells were there only for comparison purpose of Shure's usual grounding scheme, which the 95ED did not follow. Bottom left on pic, blue wire going to left ground pin and green wire going to right ground pin, that's inverted vs practice seen (the other three carts follow green to left ground pin and the grounding tab is normally on the left ground pin).

    Cart is separated in two parts, left is metal case and right is the insert section. In the middle of the latter there's a "cavity", zoom in to see the copper strip midway with its small bump now restored.

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    On the top pin marked as left ground (LG), the silver grounding tab is there and its bent to follow insert section shape for when it will be reassembled.

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    Pic shows another cart (R1000 EDT, AKA M75ED type 2), near the thumb the silver grounding tab with the GREEN wire going there.

    Note at the rear end of the headshell the four pins are gold plated, this is an older Technics shell. More recent AT headshells i bought at $25. and $50. a piece have no pin gold plating. Cutting costs...

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    Older shells, such as the same Technics, also had color code wiring indications. Not on those recent AT shells. Cutting costs again... (Being Japanese made the Technics shell uses "E" for earth = ground)

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  11. #461
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    SOME CARTS MEASURED DATA

    A) Shure mentioned (post # 455) the 95ED had flat frequency response, and as i said before such mention is not a frequent occurrence for their carts below the V15 series. That left me wondering how flat response could be. Well, based on measurements made in a test report i found flatness appears to be a true statement, better than i expected. The second curve on graph shown (bottom) is cartridge resonant point, at about 19khz reviewer says. It was tested by Len Feldman for Radio-Electronics Nov. 1975. Response curve covered the 20-20khz range.

    Testing the cart down to 20hz is somewhat exagerated considering on most "good old LPs" there is no 20hz and 30hz bass, with a few exceptions such as on test records LF tones, maybe on some short duration pipe organ LPs? VLF recording on vinyl simply takes too much space, would therefore limit the amount of music on LPs. Groove width and spacing need to be larger as frequencies go way down compromising an album's music duration. In that context 40hz bass and up is an acceptable solution.

    In view of the above, it makes sense to remove Feldman's 95ED LF response roll-off results for the 20hz and 30hz ranges. Consequently response is pretty flat, within 2 db. Not bad at all for a cartridge in this price range.

    The other question mark in my mind was does it meet its 25 db channel separation spec (1 khz). It sure does at 28 db measured. This is nice too.

    B) The frequency response curve shown for the V15 IV starts at 40 hz and this is probably not an accident. Seems logical based on the above explanation.

    As for the V15 IV numbers, response was within 1.5 db. Plus the minimum 25 db channel separation spec (1 khz), turned out to be 37.5 db! when measured by Audio Magazine. A dozen more DBs of separation is quite significant. The 18.5 db @ 10khz is also very good.

    The square wave response tested nicely, and the listening test comments are also worth reading.

    I didn't post the whole reviews referred to, only parts, since i don't know if that material is copyrighted or not, haven't seen any indication, but in case it might be the sources are clearly indentified.

    Richard

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  12. #462
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    Any volunteers for a nice trip to north Canada? Sure keeps the beer cold, and no refrigerator required. Won't see any streakers running outside, lol


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  13. #463
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    A 10TH PHONO CARTRIDGE!

    I must be out of my mind purchasing another cart, have enough already, but just couldn't resist the offer i got on EBay. Someone else should definitely have taken it before me, i kept waiting and waiting for somebody to pull the trigger on this since i didn't plan to go for it having already a Me95ED. Well, nobody dared to grab it for about two weeks, except for one rejected bid. I'm surprised getting this older M95ED, i guess guys didn't play their cards right.

    Even more so considering the cart's very good condition (looks practially new, color code connection rings all there, no sign of wear) and the price paid for it: the 1975 retail price shown before in this thread, not inflated pricing on EBay for many carts and some stylus. Seller also agreed to modify his cheap shipping in an envelope! to a good box with parcel tracking, for the same low shipping price!

    Though the availability of nice used 95ED has become a challenge, I think i proved it was still possible to get a good cart, then put a new stylus on it all for $100. or less. This considering there's many acceptable (not great) stylus available for $40. or less, as a starting point.

    Cart came with no stylus, didn't matter to me, since many for sale have a very cheap one on, its broken or is almost worn out anyway. Then i prefer mounting a brand new stylus of my own choice. Had in mind a better quality $80. Japan made stylus i ordered (with holiday closings its due to arrive 1rst week of January).

    I had tested the cartridge upon arrival in accordance with Shure's cart testing procedure and the results are great. Then mounted it on a nice older Japan made Technics headshell i had left and having gold plated connections all around.

    EBay auctions and bids aren't my thing, if overpriced i simply don't purchase, but reasonably priced i purchase not wasting my time with auctions/bids. That simple. Seller here was a nice guy, motivated and understanding.

    Contacted him twice to inquire about some shipping issues/method and i never made any offers nor disputed his little too high pricing. Simply let it go not really expecting a purchase. Then HE sent ME an offer with a reduced price and agreeing to my shipping requirements. Took my time again to reply and on the last day of his time sensitive offer i noted nobody else had pulled the trigger yet, so i closed the deal... No regrets.

    * See Shure's procedure to test a phono cartridge electrically, useful when you buy a used one and want to assess if its ok or not. Quite simple continuity tests involving different cart pins. Go to Shure's web site, then in the find an answer section/Search the knowledge base, type "Testing a phono cartridge body". Not posted here its copyrighted.

    * See Shure's help in trying to find what a cart problem might be, same web site and section/knowledge base but this time type "Phono Cartridge Troubleshooting". It gives likely as well as unlikely issues/things to look at.

    Richard

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  14. #464
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    STYLUS FOR MY OTHER SHURE M95ED

    Have received the stylus ordered from a Canadian EBay seller ($80.ca) for the recently acquired M95ED. Its said to be high quality from Japan. Playing the Japan card is a growing trend to sell. Of the 5 stylus purchased in the last 2 years, 4 were made Japan, one was a Shure original made in Mexico. Putting prices on these: $40.ca, $80.ca, $38.us and $125.us twice.

    I examined and tested the $80 EBay. First with a small mag lens for general craftsmanship, then under the small 50X microscope. Sellers can claim whatever they want, but the lens and microscope show it as it is.

    Well, the sad reality is the cheapest ones (Shure N25C and LPG Japan N95ED, after they doubled the price on the latter) are sometimes better made: ok all around, no flaws seen). Of the three most expensive, one at $125.was ok, the other a step down, and for today's $80. one read on.

    Having an original very low mileage Shure stylus on the other 95ED its easy to compare the copy vs original. On the new, initially the stylus guard was difficult to move on/off position, after some exercise it was ok. The cantilever is not straight leaning a little to the right, then on each side of the cantilever the yellow plastic is correctly cut on the left but not on the right side. Going back and forth with the small microscope between the original stylus and the copy, its pretty clear the copy's diamond is a little smaller/shorter and one side might have needed some more polish.

    High quality as pretended? Worth $80.? Would buy again from seller? Looks more like a glorified $40. stylus to me. Unlikely to purchase again from that seller. Plus his shipping isn't cheap for a small recycled bubble envelope. Stylus wise, details matter and speak about execution. Japan cannot be taken as a guarantee of a nice stylus, here quality control was weak. Sort of a hit and miss game. For that money it still needs to be more impressive...

    I tested the EBay M95ED with the EBay stylus on. It was adjusted according to Stevenson's protractor, tracking at 1.3 gr., same for antiskating. Capacitance set at 220 Pf gave the best outcome. It played well, the cart sounds pretty good for what it cost me. However, my other 95ED with a Shure stylus sounds one step above (e.g. soundstage). This might be due to the EBay stylus cantilever not being straight.

    Again aftermarket stylus are really a mixed bag, more so when you can't really depend on seller claims and needle price to get a good idea of their actual quality. End of this chapter.

    Richard

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  15. #465
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    CREST AUDIO 1980's POWER AMP...

    I posted before in this thread a 1980 ad for the Crest P-3500 amp, one of the game changers in the industry. I didn't have the full spec sheet at the time. Came across that one-page sheet tonight.

    Have a look at the General Specifications as well as the Test Instruments (listening tests) sections. Interesting reading for this early 80's or so touring amp. At the time not a lot of manufacturers went that far in a single page, never mind about today for most cases!

    Richard

    Crest Audio P3500s-other-1.pdf

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