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Audio Technica LP120 Cartridge

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by little_earthquakes90, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. little_earthquakes90

    little_earthquakes90 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yorkshire, UK
    hey folks,

    I’ve got an AT LP120 turntable. Now I know they’re not the greatest but I found it to be the best I could get on a budget and it was compatible with my existing Sony CMT-CP100 which is coming up to 20 years old now but has been flawless since day 1.

    Anyway, the cartridge on the LP120 has some terrible inner groove distortion going on, despite me fiddling with it to make sure it’s in the correct position.

    Can any recommend a replacement that won’t break the bank but is better than the one provided?

    Many thanks!
  2. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Is yours fitted with the AT 95e green stylus?

    If that is the case, I fitted literally 100's of them over the years in a variety of turntables and arms and never came across terrible igd. Tracking at 1.75g with anti-skate also around 1.75 I always found them fairly forgiving - unless severely worn, or with a bent cantilever.

    If it isn't the AT 95e, then you could do a lot worse than get the replacement AT VM95E, which some Hi-Fi dealer friends rate very highly.
  3. JamieLang

    JamieLang Forum Resident

    Nashville, TN
    I can tell you that the 2m Blue made my Technics IGD go away completely....and the bit that I find novel enough to bring up, is it was gone from the first rough "square it visually in head shell, measure overhang, and play" set up--I've got it a lot better and more dialed in now BUT....my point was it DIDN'T have to be as exacting set up. I have a Shure that would be fine more of the time when it was METICULOUSLY aligned. Slightly get off--and IGD would get annoying--and I love ballads, so the last tune on each side was often my faves...

    Anyway--I will also point out that if you're using the built in preamp, YMMV, because it's REALLY high output....I had to switch to an external because my HK's built in was being driven to saturation when the records were cut particularly hot (think old late 70s and early 80s records)....so, there might be some value in sticking with AT's own offerings, which will, I would assume match well. I think they have a $125 and $220'ish ones that are reported to make IGD go buh bye. I've never used them.
  4. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident

    Panama City, FL
    I changed mine to an AT-100E and the difference was significant. I still have my green 95E, not a bad cartridge but I didn't really noticed much IGD while using it. I think the 100E is discontinued which is a shame. Not sure but you can see it here:

    https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Techni...ridge-AT-HS10BK/dp/B017EIH4KO#customerReviews My review is the first one with photos.

    I suspect it is no longer made due to the price because I bought this for around 65 bucks (headshell included as in the picture). You can still find the AT-100E at other places for a decent price but they do not come with a headshell. The 95E easily snaps off but I am unsure if the 100E fits.
  5. Lucca90

    Lucca90 Forum Resident

    I seriously doubt the AT95 is the main cause of your IGD problem, check if the anti-skating is working first, also if you can verify the SRA.
    MikeInFla likes this.
  6. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    San Diego
    Is it a new LP120 and AT95e or used? The alignment could be off and also the VTA. Get yourself one of the Technics plastic alignment gauges and carefully set the overhang to 52mm with the cartridge straight in the headshell. Next, get a much thicker mat for the platter to correct the VTA issue the LP120's have. At least 3/16" thick cork or rubber. Under $20 for both of these tweaks!

    You could also use the AT protractor instead of the gauge>

    With the 3/16" cork mat, I am still able to put a normal thickness rubber mat on top of it and have plenty of spindle left. With the arm height set at zero, this will give you a good VTA with most carts.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  7. Trashman

    Trashman Forum Resident

    One bit of friendly advice for those recommending cartridges to the OP (and others like him) is to include the name of the manufacturer in your recommendations. Some of the newer vinyl users on this forum don't automatically know what an "AT95e" or "2m Blue" is. If you say Audio Technica AT-95e or Ortofon 2m Blue instead, it gives them more info to do a Google search. :righton:
    MikeInFla and Boltman92124 like this.
  8. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    San Diego
    LP Gear has the 100e and 120eb still in stock. They are both excellent upgrades from an AT 95e and match the LP120 turntable very well.
    MikeInFla likes this.
  9. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    If you want to eliminate IGD you need an exotic profiled stylus. But if your problem is very severe then it may be that yours is very worn.
    How old is it?

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