Fifty year old phono cartridges

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by 62vauxhall, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Ortofon...near bottom right of page 151.
     
  2. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Ortofon persevered while Shure bailed out of the phono cartridge business and expanded into the headphones business ...

    Both Fisher and Radio Shack are history - Lincoln Center even renamed Avery Fisher Hall as David Geffen Hall, what an ultimate insult!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  3. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'll say.
     
  4. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Back in 1967 HiFi was getting popular and mainstream. Shure made more cartridges then in one day than they do now in 6 to 9 months. And many mainstream music lovers chose their gear much more carefully then before they bought. We had real HiFi shops in many towns, and often more than one. Shure discontinued their highest end audiophile offerings because they couldn't get beryllium to make the cantilevers. Which is the material they used to reduce tip mass. And they didn't want to redesign them for modern cantilevers.

    Also bear in mind records were not just played at home but on the AM and FM airwaves and there were jukeboxes everywhere. The GE VR 1000 in 1967 was also a very old design in the cartridge world, and being sold at giveaway prices. But back then, cartridges were heavily discounted by most dealers. In Shure, the M 44-7 went from top of the line in late 1963 to being a $12 cartridge in 1967, and the M 44-E, the M 55, the V 15 first model and the V 15 Type II had been released in this time frame, and the trickle down M 75 series had just been released. This was when the M3D was demoted to being a $6.95 budget offering. Stanton and Pickering., Empire, ADC, and Grado also modernized their offerings at that frenetic pace. The records were getting cut louder and louder, the turntables and tonearms and changers got better, the loudspeakers people could afford were better.

    My dealer then had long discontinued selling GE cartridges save for the VR II (which he kept a few of and styli for his mono customers and a few radio stations still using them), he had so many complaints and issues with the first two GE Stereo VR models that he ceased selling them. And made Shure his main cartridge offerings. He kept with Shure until the shop closed in 1984. He also had a lot of scientists, engineers and physicist customers and many also played musical instruments. Most of those Shures got installed on Garrards (he ceased selling them after the SL 95B and Zero 100) and on Duals from 1009 to the 1229, on Rek-O-Kuts and Thorens models. And later on Pioneers and briefly BIC. You didn't buy a box at this shop, he installed and set it up for you, and often delivered it after the shop closed at 6:00 on weekdays. He hand picked the lines and models he sold, he gave amazing customer service and support. He didn't sell it if it was not good enough to put his name and reputation on. If it had a problem, it was his problem real fast. He wanted you as a customer for life. He also had a well equipped service shop to repair what he sold. And a technician in house which was factory trained. His used, refurbished gear even had a 90 day warranty and he repaired it if issues arose. Or refunded you.
     
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  5. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    McLover,
    Thank you for the interesting and comprehensive post. You answered one of my 'questions' which was if the first two GE stereo VR offerings impacted the sales of the VR 1000 because they were/are so bad. I have a Golden Classic and VR-225/227 and they are awful. I am fortunate living here in Phoenix to have 2 stereo dealers close by.
     
  6. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Those cartridges did however work well for mono. Several failed Stereo designs of the first generation did work well for mono, the first Pickering model also being a prime example. Stereo playback was very demanding, and the best Stereo cartridges really got refined to the level of the better mono by 1964-1966 and the third generation cartridges. Remember you're dealing with vertical and lateral motion on the stylus at the same time.

    Remember, not only did vertical rumble have to be vastly reduced, the tonearm designs of the time had to be vastly improved, as 4-5 grams was the heaviest recommended for Stereo, and the tracking forces were being lightened to reduce record and stylus wear and also compliances were getting higher for Stereo needs. Record changers had to undergo severe redesign also, which also threw several companies out of business. A key example being Webcor. The Garrard LAB 80, the ELAC Miracord 10H, and the Dual 1009 were the key changers of the era, as they introduced light tracking and high compliance to automatic record play. And also allowed many cartridges to be used which at the time were only usable on high end manual turntables. Making the record changer practical as main turntable in an audiophile household. Before that, there usually was the audiophile's manual high end turntable, and the changer for wife and children to use.

    Garrard's LAB 80 was also the last Garrard designed and built the old Garrard way without cost cutting before Plessey took over and began pushing everything but the LAB 80 and 401 broadcast turntable towards AutoSlim based mechanisms and cutting costs.
     
  7. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I remember I bought two Stanton 881S cartridges, one in the late 80's and the second one in the early to mid 90's (when the 981S was released), both for under $90. One is in the box and the other connected to my Philips 887 that is in its box in the storage area. Then when I bought a DUAL CS-750, a NOS from a DUAL authorized service shop in Long Island, NY around 2001, I bought a Grado Prestiage Gold for around $120 and that cartridge is still in use. I have not yet replaced the stylus since for most of the past fifteen years, I barely played any vinyl and that stylus should not have much wear. The Grado gives off a slight hum when the tonearm is at rest and I once emailed Grado about the hum but never heard back from them. Long story short, I doubt I want to buy any more Grado products going forward due to this lousy customer support. I bought a Shure V15 Type V at Audio Advisor when Shure was clearing the final inventory for my Thorens TD 126 MKIII, sometimes before 2005 when I had been able to find a used one in pretty mint condition on Audiogon. Again that Shure has been lightly used. The tonearm of the Thorens has some skating problem, which I believe is caused by the slightly damaged plastic cartridge spacer that came with the TT (one of the drilled holes is damaged when I over-tightened the screw) and thereby result in some cartridge imbalance. Unfortunately, such plastic spacer may be tough to find.

    For a while, I was under the impression that 30 year old cartridges are like trash before I stumbled upon this thread. Now it really looks like I could replace the Grado Prestige Gold on my DUAL with the Stanton 881S and perhaps pick up the replacement stylus @PhxJohn has recommended. I do feel the 881S has to be a better cartridge than the Grado.

    On my forty year old DUAL CS-721, one of the very few DD TT's DUAL had made, I had bought a new headshell from the same shop where I bought the CD-750 and IIRC, connected some Ortofon cartridge to it. I removed the factory-installed Shure V15 Type III cartridge with the original headshell. I doubt I can re-use that Shure anywhere since it appears to have been molded into that headshell.

    I will not resume playing my vinyl in earnest until I can get my RCM, which is kind of overdue. I have some 4000 LP's, mostly classical and some are rare. My CD collection finally surpassed my LP collection in size a few years ago and I have been listening to the more convenient format these past few months.
     
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  8. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    My understanding is Pickering has been gone for a while. Is Stanton still around?
     
  9. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
  10. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
  11. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    It is a shame too. Many people really liked those cartridges. I never got to hear them. I had one of the cheapest Stantons that came with a Dual 1237 that I bought used. D71EE I think. The Stanton got replaced with a Sumiko Pearl.
     
  12. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Back in the day, I always went for the top of the line Stanton and really never liked Shure all that much. For under $100, I got the Stanton 881S via mail order, which was an excellent price to me. I never like Pickering, perhaps due to that flimsy brush that was not integrated with the stylus and tended to fall off easily. Then I also have the B&O linear-trackers that had those plug-in MMC cartridges ...
     
  13. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Stanton is owned by Gibson Guitars, and no longer makes cartridges nor styli.
     
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  14. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    So this is NOS ? Stanton 680E.V3 cartridge
     
  15. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
  16. 389 Tripower

    389 Tripower Forum Resident

    Location:
    Moline, IL USA
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  17. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm not sure about Stanton. Someone can attempt to get in touch with them. Yesterday, someone on another forum tried to tell me that Pfanstiehl bought EVG years ago. Sure. I deal with both companies and I can assure you that they are two separate companies. There is so much misinformation on these sites.
     
  18. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I think I will put my GE VR 1000(the newer one...the black one) into my Garrard Lab 80 when it arrives if all is well. Maybe I will get a Shure M55E and an EVG stylus for it and put that on my AR 77-XB. Technically the higher mass arm on the Lab 80 is a better match for the GE VR 1000 but I have no problems tracking anything at 3 grams using the GE VR 1000 with the AR. (With the EVG stylus.....Walco and old EV mistrack even at 4 grams on super heavy bass notes which are rare).
     
  19. stereoguy

    stereoguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn
    John, yes, I'd agree that the Lab 80 would be a better match for the VR-1000. My Type A arm seems to really like the VR-1000, IF I could actually get it working. If I can ever get a Thorens 125 with that early 60s Ortofon arm for a decent price, I'd do it and put the VR-1000 in that. I love the way that combination looks, AND that was considered absolutely state of the art in Turntable match up in 1961.
     
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  20. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    The Thorens and Ortofon would be a great combination. Great equipment is great equipment no matter when it was made. My $2500 Rega does not do anything that my AR 77-XB does not do. And the old AR came out of the factory without needing upgrades for pitch stability. The AR exceeded NAB standards except for start up speed. I had been turned off to buying used turntables as once I bought an AR XB where a PO had put Loctite on the tonearm vertical bearings. It took a little while to determine what was wrong as it would occasionally skip and I was getting inconsistent readings on VTF. When I tried to adjust the bearings and could not, I realized what was wrong. Luckily I was able to return it to the used record store here in Phoenix where I bought it and got the Dual 1237 that I had bought previously from the record store back. If this Lab 80 is no good, I will buy another one. For some reason, used Garrard changers are cheap. Very cheap. Duals from the 1009 forward have the advantage of being more precise and having a quieter bearing. Not every purchase that I make has to be logical or sanctioned by others. I want what I want. I have already dispelled the prejudice that the VR 1000 can only track at 5+ grams and that it is a lousy tracker at that. I bet if the VR 1000 cost $110 instead of $10 and advertised 'Direct Scanning Technology' it would have been much more popular. It certainly requires less fussing with than a London Decca. Now...if I can just find a Shure M55E for cheap. LOL.
     
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  21. vwestlife

    vwestlife Member

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Although it's based on an AT95E, Stanton just introduced a new phono cartridge this year:

     
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  22. stereoguy

    stereoguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Your statement that "Great equipment is great equipment no matter when it was made" is 100% true. I have found that out over the years. When you have an opportunity to nab a great vintage piece of equipment for a good price, do it!
     
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  23. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    AR 3a's, AR 6's, NAD C162, NAD C272, Marantz 2220B(out of circulation, needs repair....probably will just give away), AR-77XB, GE VR 1000, Marantz DV 18 MK II and soon to arrive Garrard Lab 80....all used. Rega RP? with Ortofon Quintet Blue and Marantz PM5005.....new.
     
  24. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Ah-HA! How did you identify it as an AT95E? The way the stylus mounts? Will a stock AT95 stylus fit it?
    (I watched your video a few months ago!)
     
  25. vwestlife

    vwestlife Member

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    The Stanton 750's stylus fits and works perfectly on my AT95E. (The opposite isn't true -- you can't put an AT95E stylus on the 750 due to the shape of the housing.)
     
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