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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. Davey

    Davey like smoke from a lithium dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    I don't have any experience with any of the SPU series, or for that matter, any integrated headshell cartridges, so can't say. May be a good idea to start a thread about that, I'm sure others would be interested, I have seen some SPU users around here, but they wouldn't likely see your question buried down here.
     
  2. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    SPU's offer a bit more of a vintage sound, especially with the spherical tip. Audio Technica LOMC's I've used have had a more modern and detailed signature. So I definitely wouldn't say it would be a clear upgrade, depending on one's tastes they might even consider it a downgrade.
     
  3. culabula

    culabula Unread author.

    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland
    Ordered an AT33SA yesterday, should have it tomorrow. Can’t wait !
     
    olschl and GreatTone like this.
  4. olschl

    olschl Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I'm sure you will be elated when you hear it. What phone preamp will you be using? I have a humble Musical Surroundings Phonomena II and I don't feel the need to look further.
    Best of luck,
    Jim
     
  5. culabula

    culabula Unread author.

    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland

    Thanks, I’m sure I will be enthralled. Fingers crossed it gets through tomorrow.

    I usE an equally humble Cambridge Audio Duo, which I find excellent.

    I’m also hoping to add a Linn Karousel next week, so that should further refine matters.
     
    olschl likes this.
  6. GreatTone

    GreatTone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Falls Church, VA
    I love mine. It's got the warmth and natural sound of the AT33EV but with greater clarity and detail. However with the Shibata stylus it is very sensitive to setup. It also takes a while to break in. Enjoy!
     
    olschl likes this.
  7. culabula

    culabula Unread author.

    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland

    Hi -thanks for that. It arrived and I’ve just finished installing it. I can’t find my wretched alignment tool !

    I’ve set it up mainly by guesswork by matching it with photos of my previous AT33PTG/II - and by ear. So far, so good, but I’ll refine it once I find this missing tool.
     
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  8. culabula

    culabula Unread author.

    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland
    AT33Sa now complemented by a Linn Karousel as of this afternoon !
     
    olschl, Andy Saunders and GreatTone like this.
  9. GreatTone

    GreatTone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Falls Church, VA
    How's it sounding?
     
    olschl likes this.
  10. culabula

    culabula Unread author.

    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland

    Outtasite!
     
    olschl, schwaggy, Dr Jackson and 2 others like this.
  11. Gary7704

    Gary7704 My dog Sam eats purple flowers...

    Location:
    Florida
    Is anyone using the AT33PTG/II on a SL1200 MK2?
    Curious to know what your VTA setting are. I'm finding that my tonearm with tails up sounds better than level.

    Anyone keeping theirs plus or minus level?
     
    olschl likes this.
  12. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    What do you think of that cartridge with the SL1200 MK2? I have the same table with some KAB mods that I love. Been using a Denon DL 110 and I'm looking for my next cartridge upgrade. The AT33PTG is on the very short list along with the Denon DL 301 MKII.
     
    olschl likes this.
  13. Gary7704

    Gary7704 My dog Sam eats purple flowers...

    Location:
    Florida
    Love it with the 1200. So much so I purchased a back up. Tracks like a bloodhound, great soundstage.
     
    olschl likes this.
  14. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    That's awesome. Thanks for the feedback. After using a Denon for so long, I want to try an Audio Technica next and the OC9 is likely a tad out of my price range for now. Will likely be getting the PTG! :cheers:
     
    olschl likes this.
  15. olschl

    olschl Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I don't have a SL1200; but I have a Denon DL 301 MKII and an AT33PTG/2. Both are wonderful and great bang for the buck options. I also have the Hana SL. Of all of them; I like the AT33PTG/2 the best, even though the Hana costs $200 more. My setup is a. Oracle Alexandria MK3, Sumiko Premier MMT, Musical Surroundings Phonomena II.
     
  16. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    Thanks for the feedback! That definitely helps!
     
  17. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Gary, I've had many SL-1200's over the years (still have three), but never tried the AT33PTGii on any of them.

    BUT, I just received the SL-1200G yesterday, and mounted the AT33PTGii on it. I used the stock mat, and this AT headshell: AT-HS10 Universal Headshell I like the LP Gear Zupreme (the new 10g one) but haven't tried it with the AT33 yet.

    VTA - I used the stock mat, and with that headshell, the tonearm was parallel when I cranked it down below zero - coincidentally the tonearm was level at the point where I couldn't adjust the VTA any lower! If I wanted to go tail up slightly, I would set it a "0". I am running it level to the platform now, and like the way it sounds... a lot. I may try tail up, but for tail down I would have to go with a thicker mat, a spacer between the headshell / cart, or a different headshell.

    Of course, VTA is all headshell, mat and cart related. In my case stock mat, AT-HS10 headshell.
     
  18. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    Glad to hear you're liking the cart! I know there are many, many threads on this, but in your opinion, is the 1200G a large step-up from the 1200? For example, would recommend saving up for a 1200G instead of upgrading the stock MKII tonearm to say a Jelco, SME, or Rega arm?

    Cheers
     
  19. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    I've used one (AT33PTGii) for a while - I've run it on the Pioneer PL-70Lii, Kenwood KP-9010 and Yamaha GT-2000L too (all of which I still own and setup) with good results.... not so much on the 2000L because of the 22g EM tonearm though.

    The AT33PTGii is a wonderful cartridge. I like the 33 series a lot - I also own the 33ev, the 33Mono, and an older 33E.
     
    GreatTone and dbsea like this.
  20. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Give me more time with this one, but first off see my thread SL-1200G - Talk me out of buying this used one. (time sensitive :-)) for initial impressions of the 1200G I just received yesterday.

    I have a LOT of experience with the SL-1200 platform over 45 years, in fact I think I've owned near every iteration except the MK6, MK7 at some point. I currently own the M3d and MK3 (2 of them).

    I am one who thinks the 1200 platform is frequently badgered and underrated, when it comes to the sound it puts forth it has ALWAYS been a great value.

    Do I think from initial indications, with one day under my belt, that the G is better. Yes, I do. The improvements of the platform are real, you can almost "feel" the quality when setting it up. It is pretty nice, on par with anything I own and I own a few nice ones. It might even be better, but on that I will reserve judgement for a while. Need more time with it.
     
  21. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    Will definitely keep a look out for your reviews! I'm interested in people's impressions on how much better a 1200G is than a modded MK2 (I did a KAB tonearm rewire and RCA upgrade, stack tonearm dampening, Zupreme headshell, better feet), if it is even that much better. One thing I like about the idea of getting a 1200G is that I can eventually upgrade that myself, too, with new wiring, tonearm, etc. My next upgrade will be the AT33PGii most likely as well as the KAB fluid dampener.

    Sounds like you think the PGii mates well with the stock MKII tonearm?
     
  22. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    As I stated to Gary above, haven't tried the PTGii on the Mk2, just on the G........ but compliance spec-wise, etc it appears on paper it would be a good match on the MKii with the 12g Effective Mass. You may need a thicker mat or spacer though, that's a known potential for the AT33 on the stock mat and stock headshell from reading other experiences..

    Realize there is some debate currently if the G and the MKii platform share the same 12G Effective Mass, some think the G is as low as 7g EM... which I don't think it's that low. Technics has not published EM specs on the G and GR.... and there is different interpretations / measurements out there.

    I'll give it a try moving forward though....

    EDIT: I realized after typing that the KAB upgrades may actually change the EM on your MKii, so look into that and run the calcs. Realize the AT33PTG on paper with the 12g EM MKii and stock headshell is around 8.5 hz resonance, which is in the green zone.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  23. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    I still don't fully understand matching cartridge to tonearm with compliance/resonance. How do I calculate if I am in the 'green zone'? Do you have a link that I can read?
     
  24. Gary7704

    Gary7704 My dog Sam eats purple flowers...

    Location:
    Florida
    That is great information! Thanks so much for posting it. It is a great cartridge. Enjoy the G.
     
    Dr. Metal MD likes this.
  25. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Go to vinyl engine, they have a tonearm resonance table - there are lots of links, you can take the easy route and use the table, or learn the formula and plug the numbers in. It's a little involved with math behind it - not complex but I don't know your tolerance for math! :) It's worth doing some reading IMO, it will take you a little time to grasp, depending on your desire!

    I use a spreadsheet and have a plug and play model using the formula where I can tweak things like headshell weight + / - to stock weight, EM, etc.
     

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