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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. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    No problem - realize that the stock mat on the G is just like the one on my MKii, and the VTA adjustments are similar...... so expect the same result on the MKii, give or take a little of course.
     
  2. Gary7704

    Gary7704 My dog Sam eats purple flowers...

    Location:
    Florida
    I will work on it tomorrow. I purchased a Riverstone Audio scale to check tracking force. The turntable was off a bit and I was able to dial in the exact force after I calibrated it. I purchased the 1200MK2 from ebay about 6 years ago. I believe it is from the mid to late 70s. Came with the original box. I was lucky that it was in perfect working shape. I did the heat shrink tonearm mod. I am thinking of changing out the RCA's and ground wire but I want to have some time to enjoy it for awhile (just moved and it was packed away for about 2 years). Again, thanks for the info.
     
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  3. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    If you post your serial number, I'll tell you when your MKii was made! :)
     
  4. ScaleTheInferno

    ScaleTheInferno Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane
    On my 1200, I have a litz rewired tonearm, KAB dampener, isonoe feet, upgraded platter and psu. The KAB dampener made a noticeable difference in tracking stability, particularly warped records, smoothed the roughness in sound, and importantly takes some of the impact away from the needle and cantilever each time you lower the tonearm, which IMO helps prolong the life of the cantilever.
    In terms of cartridge choice, my pick is the AT440MLB (discontinued but some are still around). I'm guessing you're a metal fan. The AT33PTGii works very well with great resolution and depth, but I found it didn't have the liveliness/attack I enjoyed with the 440, which really brings out the bite in metal records. The AT33PTGii is more poised and warmer.
     
    Heckto35 and dbsea like this.
  5. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    Appreciate your input! The dampener is next on the list for upgrades. I'll keep an eye out for an AT440! Also looking at the OC9 but that might be out of my price range.
     
  6. ruben lopez

    ruben lopez Nunc Est Bibendum

    Location:
    Barcelona Spain
    I am very happy with this cart.AT33PTG/II around 40 hours break in period passed.
    Very little surface noise even on my most worn records,definetely a step up from my Benz micro Gold.
    I'm running it through my Black Cube at 56db gain/47kOhm with the bass jumpers on,but i'm still trying different VTA's and VTF.My arm is slightly tail up,(almost parallel with 180g lp's)and 1.95vtf.

    This cart works perfect with High mass tonearms!
     
    Heckto35 likes this.
  7. Tartifless

    Tartifless Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    I have a question regarding this cart, does anyone have a close up picture of the stylus ?
    It seems there is a very fair amount of glue on mine when comparing to other carts I have.

    No impact on sound but I'm interested whether this is just mine or whether it is common.
     
  8. ruben lopez

    ruben lopez Nunc Est Bibendum

    Location:
    Barcelona Spain
    First thing i noticed too!
    If you look close with a microscope looks like a lot of dirt.only it's not.
     
    Tartifless likes this.
  9. Tartifless

    Tartifless Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    I've seen pictures on the web also, it seems normal then ...

    I was afraid I ruined mine.
     
  10. ruben lopez

    ruben lopez Nunc Est Bibendum

    Location:
    Barcelona Spain
    yes, me too. i have good pictures of mine but i'm not able to upload...
     
    Tartifless likes this.
  11. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    About to order one of these to replace a worn DL-301 MkII on my KAB SL-1200 Mk II w/ fluid damper.

    Should I use the stock Technics headshell or my Sumiko HS-12 (12g)? Assuming the former based on the compliance discussion in this thread.
     
    Nielsoe likes this.
  12. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    Would love to hear your thoughts after the upgrade. I currently am using a DL-301 MkII with low hours on my KAB SL-1200 Mk II.
     
    JackG and Nielsoe like this.
  13. Nielsoe

    Nielsoe Forum Resident

    Location:
    Aalborg, Denmark
    I too would love to hear your thoughts as I’m also currently running a Denon DL301 MkII :)
     
    JackG and Dr. Metal MD like this.
  14. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I just ordered one of these to replace a High Output Goldring Eroica MC. Hoping this will be at least a noticeable upgrade. Anyone compared the two? In terms of settings, I have 60db or 70db...I should use 70db right? Also 100ohm for loading but what should I set for capacitance?
     
  15. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    You don't need to worry about capacitance, it's a LOMC. Just use the lowest setting if you have one.

    jeff
     
    Dr Jackson and richbdd01 like this.
  16. The Dragon

    The Dragon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Madison, AL
    I would use the stock Technics headshell based on the compliance specification.
     
    JackG likes this.
  17. Daicehawk

    Daicehawk Member

    Location:
    Russia
    I am using 185 ohm (1:10 SUT with a 30 kOhm resistor in parallel on the secondary winding) with my beloved 33ptg/ii. Tracking at 2.1, antiskate 1.2.
    When adjusted within 1 mm of the effective tonearm length, the 3d is close to the (master) tape. That transparent and sensitive to the alignment. A technics shell on a 1210 mk2.
     
    JackG likes this.
  18. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Thank you!
     
    The Dragon likes this.
  19. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    This cart sounds absolutely wonderful. I feel that I am really getting more out of my Avid Pulsus now that I heard excels with its MC capabilities. I was previously using a HO MC on the MM section. It sounds quite a lot different, probably about as much as I could have hoped for. It’s quiet in the groove and tracks brilliantly.

    One interesting thing...when I hooked it up first, I had some low level hum. I have since discovered that it was proximity of the phono stage main unit to my Krell amp which i think has a pretty hefty transformer in it.

    Since reshuffling my shelves, I now have dead silence even if I whack the volume way up when the record isn’t playing. I thought this was going to drive me nuts but thankfully it’s sorted.

    I won’t go back to MM or High Output MC now.
     
    GreatTone and Dr. Metal MD like this.
  20. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Forum Resident

    I'm surprised a 7 year old thread can still be replied to on this site:yikes:! Anyhow, I just ordered the 33PTG, and I'm curious to how much "better" it will sound compared to my 740ML.
     
  21. culabula

    culabula Unread author.

    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland

    It has the ability to grab your attention when you least expect it. In the main, it just gets on with the exemplary job it has to do, while causing WTAF moments frequently, repeatedly and as often as you play records.
     
    Heckto35 likes this.
  22. sathvyre

    sathvyre formerly known as ABBAmaniac

    Location:
    Europe
    AT33PTG has wider stereo separation, compared to the MM catridges from Audio-Technica. Frequency-wise, I like AT 33PTG/II and AT-VM95ML.
     
    Heckto35 likes this.
  23. Daicehawk

    Daicehawk Member

    Location:
    Russia
    I have 33ptg/ii and VM540Ml. Tembrally they are both similar, 33 has more soundstage depth and extracts way more subtle details, less chalky mids, or more fluid. Mm microlines are hreat, until one hears mc microlines.
     
    Heckto35 and Davey like this.
  24. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Forum Resident

    What do you think of it on the 1240? That's the turntable I'm getting it for.
     
  25. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Good question. Made me pause to think about it.... :) Short answer - your phono preamp might have more to say about how the PTG33ii performs than the 1240 does....

    Long answer:

    Note that first, my 1240 has been back in its box for a couple of years now (been meaning to move it along to someone who could use it) --- I got my 33PTGii about a year after retiring the 1240 and never tried it. As an aside, I think the 1240 is a better platform than the 120 by a lot --- the 1240 is on the same plane as the Pioneers PLX-1000 (which I owned also for a short time, I actually preferred the 1240). Both are higher end Hanipans.

    Compliance-wise, it's in the ballpark and shouldn't be a problem from that perspective on the 1240 --- tonearm / platform quality-wise I would say the 33PTGii is pushing the top end, and if you have a good phono pre that handles LOMC well, then I don't think the 1240 would be a limiter to achieving the potential of a well driven 33PTGii. (well driven again referring to the phono pre - to me that's the more important aspect to the proposed match in this case ).

    What's your phono pre? If it's the Ultraphono in your profile, then you might not like my opinion that though it does do MC, it's not its strong point and a high quality MM cartridge might be a better choice. Note I am one who thinks that you have to get past the $1500 mark on phono pre's before you get one that performs well on both MM and MC. (rough rule of thumb, of course used changes that, I am talking retail. Also, I am certain there will be those that disagree and there are exceptions). On lower end phono preamps I feel that MC is usually a compromise and its tough to realize the potential of a good MC cartridge.

    I know this opinion won't be popular with some (many?) and there may be an exception or two... but you asked and giving you my honest opinion.
     
    Heckto35 likes this.

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