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Best cartridge you've never heard of: the Audio-Technica AT33PTG/II

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by back2vinyl, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    Awesome, thanks for the tips! Do you know how it compared to the AT33PTG/II? I have read that the OC9 is high compliance and fits better with lighter tonearms .
     
  2. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I would take note of the stylus shape. Sometimes Metal is variously recorded so that you get some good and some bad. A really nice stylus shape (like a MicroLine) tends to flesh out those dense details, but sometimes the sound is all dispersed and doesn't gel. It's as if you get great insights into the studio process, but it might be more emotionally engaging on a crappy car stereo. The other side of the coin is that an elliptical tends to highlight ANY damage from previous play, particularly toward the spindle, while often having a more cohesive presentation. Probably the amp, here, comes into play, so know I'm a tubes guy.
     
    Lucca90 and Dr. Metal MD like this.
  3. The Dragon

    The Dragon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Madison, AL
    Never had the pleasure of using the AT33PTG/II. I do have an older AT33E. I have no idea how it compares to the PTG/II. The 33E has a beryllium cantilever and is very responsive. The OC9/MLII is a little bit on the brighter sounding side whereas the 33E is more of a balanced frequency response. If you like a little extra "detail", the OC9/MLII may be just the ticket.
     
  4. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    Cheers! Thanks for the help!
     
  5. ThePoodleBites

    ThePoodleBites Forum Resident

    I don't have the cart, but I'm figuring you might run into tracking issues if the mass is much higher. My AT150MLx has the same (pretty high) compliance, and pushes the (measured) resonant frequency down pretty low. Too much mass and your needle will start skipping on slightly warped records that before played fine.
     
    Dr. Metal MD likes this.
  6. ScaleTheInferno

    ScaleTheInferno Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane
    You're welcome. I've been using an AT440MLB for the past couple of years and love it with metal on this deck. Really brings out the upper mid bite, distorted guitars are crisp and lively, highs are rich and clear which helps cut through. It is discontinued, but still available online. I've been through AT-150MLX, AT-150SA, Denon DL-110, Ortofon 2M Bronze and some others. Audio Technicas are my favourite on this deck. The Ortofons pair well too, but are more sensitive to surface noise and dust. As far as MC goes, I would like to try the OC9. I heard the Dynavector 10x5 was good for rock music, bought a second hand one but unfortunately it wasn't operating correctly on my deck and I had to return it.
     
    Dr. Metal MD likes this.
  7. olschl

    olschl Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I use mine with a Sumiko Premier MMT arm. I use the lighter LP Gear headshell to get under the weight limit of the arm. It's no problem to switch to the Zupreme when I want to listen to my Hana SL, which is rare. The 33PTG/II sounds great with ANY type of music to me.
     
    JMCIII likes this.
  8. DeanWoods

    DeanWoods Active Member

    Location:
    Adlington, UK
    My first post and just wanted to say thank you for all the comments. It’s persuaded me in to buying the AT33Sa. I got a good deal from the guys at Audio Affair in the UK. I was buying blind as nowhere local had stock. I was in two minds between the PTG/II and the Sa but thought what the heck! I don’t think I would have been disappointed either way by the sounds of it. It will be replacing a Rega Ania on my P6. I just can’t live with the IGD. Highly musical for the first part of the side then it all goes horrible (this is my third Ania under warranty. This was the best!)
    Again, thank you.

    Dean.
     
    GreatTone and olschl like this.
  9. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    Welcome to the forum Dean. Be sure to post up your impression of the Sa when you've run it in.

    jeff
     
    olschl likes this.
  10. watchnerd

    watchnerd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I'm also interested in AT33SA.

    Are you also using a Rega arm?
     
  11. GreatTone

    GreatTone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Falls Church, VA
    Not Dean, but I run my AT33SA on an Audiomods arm, which uses the Rega arm tube. It's a good match, sounds amazing.
     
  12. DeanWoods

    DeanWoods Active Member

    Location:
    Adlington, UK
    thanks Jeff. I will indeed.
     
  13. DeanWoods

    DeanWoods Active Member

    Location:
    Adlington, UK
    I am. As soon as I get it, I’ll post some impressions.
     
  14. DeanWoods

    DeanWoods Active Member

    Location:
    Adlington, UK
    Can’t wait to hear it. Along with the amp that’s still in its box, I feel my whole listening world is about to change.
     
    GreatTone likes this.
  15. GreatTone

    GreatTone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Falls Church, VA
    I will say that it took a while for the cartridge to break in. It sounded good for about the first 10 hours, then ranged from not great to downright bad for another 20 or so hours. At one point I played a number of album sides with the volume down while I did other things. Then once it settled in it's been great ever since. The stylus shape is very picky about alignment. Be sure to align sighting on the cantilever and not the cartridge body, because the cantilever is likely not going to be perfectly straight relative to the body. Hope that helps.
     
  16. DeanWoods

    DeanWoods Active Member

    Location:
    Adlington, UK
    Great advice. I’ll do that, thank you. Had the amp running tonight. It’s a whole new level. Separation is outstanding. The whole presentation just had me gripped. Even with Bluetooth. Thanks again.

    Dean.
     
    GreatTone likes this.
  17. DeanWoods

    DeanWoods Active Member

    Location:
    Adlington, UK
    Well the AT33SA landed yesterday and after a quick alignment/overhang set up, I’m seriously impressed. I can hear everything even the layering of the vocals. Main and backing vocals are really noticeable separately. Everything seems more realistic. Not tried it either Roksan amp yet. That’s a few weeks off! Long story!!! Long and short of it is, I made the right choice.
     
    GreatTone likes this.
  18. culabula

    culabula Unread author.

    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland

    Great to hear. It’s my next purchase.
     
  19. sathvyre

    sathvyre formerly known as ABBAmaniac

    Location:
    Europe
    The AT33PTG/II cartridge is the best I ever heard. I always enjoy listening to music and do proper digital transfers of some rare records with that unit.
     
    DeanWoods likes this.
  20. culabula

    culabula Unread author.

    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland

    Mine has been in near-daily use since the 26/07/16 and not given a day's trouble. With the exception of holidays, it gets very heavy use. As of this morning, there is is zero sign of wear and tear and the sound is scrumptious.
     
    DeanWoods and sathvyre like this.
  21. poorbeek

    poorbeek Member

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    I have an Yamaha GT 2000 turntable and at the moment i am using an AT 33 PTG II and am very happy with it.

    Is an SPU 1S or E an upgrade compaired to the AT cartridge in my configuration?
     
  22. Davey

    Davey like smoke from a lithium dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    I'd think the effective mass of the GT-2000 tonearm would be too much for the AT33PTG/II compliance, but interesting that it works well for you. Even on my Micro Seiki MA-505 tonearm with around 14gm effective mass, the resonance frequency is on the low side, and I think the Yamaha tonearm is quite a bit heavier.
     
  23. poorbeek

    poorbeek Member

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    I think the eff mass is around 22gm. Do you think the SPU wil be an better match ?
     
  24. Davey

    Davey like smoke from a lithium dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    May be a better match with the lower compliance of the SPU, of course you give up the advanced stylus shape and cantilever of the 33PTG. But if you are happy and see or hear no ill effects from the low tonearm resonance frequency, maybe not a worry. Didn't mean to alarm you, I just was a little surprised it worked so well :)
     
  25. poorbeek

    poorbeek Member

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    You did not alarm me. I am just curious if an SPU 1S or E will be an upgrade or more of an sidestep regarding SQ?
     

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