New cartridge for Technics SL1500C

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by RS2099, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. RS2099

    RS2099 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Hi everyone!

    So, my vinyl journey is about to take another step, as I'm looking to replace the stock Ortofon 2M Red that came with my SL1500C.

    After reading a lot on the topic and since my goal is to improve overall sound quality but, above all, to reduce surface noise and distortion, I'm considering one of the following three:

    - AT VM95ML
    - AT VM540ML
    - AT VM740ML

    My favourite one is the 740ML but I'm not sure if the Technics' arm is good/compatible with it. What's your take on this? And, obviously, would you suggest any other cartridges up to ~300€?

    My current amp is the Rega IO and speakers are the Quad Z-2.

    Thank you all in advance!
     
    songsintheraw and Fender Relic like this.
  2. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    VM95ML and done. The differences between the three are minimal (see the specs) so it depends on your system and how good your ears are. I use the VM95ML on my 1210GR plugged straight into the phono input on my receiver.
     
    Musicphil, RS2099 and Technocentral like this.
  3. RS2099

    RS2099 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    I got the Technics overhang gauge incoming, is it worth it to get the VM95ML with the HS10 headshell already assembled?
     
  4. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    That's up to you as to the worth of it. It's very easy to mount that cartridge (two screws, no nuts required) onto the Technics headshell. That said, I wanted a second headshell so I bought my original pre-mounted. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
    Rick58 and RS2099 like this.
  5. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    Normally the 95 series comes mounted on the HS6 headshell. If you are not experienced in mounting cartridges it might be easier for you to get it pre-mounted. You'll still have to use the overhang gauge to align it though.

    The 95ML is the best match for a Technics tonearm out of the 3 you listed.
     
  6. RS2099

    RS2099 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    You're right, it's the HS6, the name on Amazon is incorrect.
     
    Andrea_Bellucci and patient_ot like this.
  7. aunitedlemon

    aunitedlemon Music is medicine, dose often.

    Oh man, if you've never had a micro-line stylus, get one. It'll impress you, guaranteed. Detail and silence. The VM95 is a better compliance match for the 1500C tonearm than the 540/740. Plus the VM95 have captive nuts so if you wind up mounting the cartridge to the head shell it's a lot less of a hassle.
    I have a 1500C and not that long ago I compared the VM95ML to the VM95SH and had fun doing so. The sonic differences between the two stylus shapes surprised me. They're both excellent, but in different ways. If you want to bore yourself reading my ramblings about the comparison, you can- Audio Technica VM95ML vs. VM95SH, generically
    I'm excited for you to get a better cartridge (assuming you're using the 2M Red that came with the 1500c?) as the 1500C is a very capable tt and shows it's merit as you upgrade around it.
    Were you having issues with your auto-lift and/or cue lever? Did you get that sorted out?
     
    RS2099 and woodpigeon like this.
  8. rvxtm

    rvxtm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Romania
    AT VM95ML
    Probably the best deal ever. Excellent sound, excellent tracking and excellent price if you can get it on sale (I got mine at 120 euro / 140 usd)
     
  9. Pmds55889397

    Pmds55889397 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scandinavian
    I have my VM95SH successfully fitted to my Rega TT, will buy a ML stylus and try it on my 1200GR.
    If you want inserted threads in 540ML you can choose rigB solid body.
     
    RS2099 likes this.
  10. RS2099

    RS2099 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Thank you, I'll read your comparison right away! So the 540ML would not be a good choice because of the Technics tonearm, right? Im the beginning, I was really eyeing that or the 740ML to be honest.

    As for the Auto-Lift, I turned it off and that was it. No biggy.

    EDIT: So, I've read your comparison and from the descritption, the SH sound seems more my thing... I am looking for that warmish/lush sound. That was one of the reasons I was eyeing the 540/740ML more, as from what I gathered the 95ML was the more neutral of the three and the other two were a bit more on the warmer side.


    Where did you get yours from?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
    woodpigeon likes this.
  11. rvxtm

    rvxtm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Romania
    Local shop, got it in 2019.
     
  12. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I’m a VM95ML fan. Warm and punchy with spot-on mids and realistic tonality. No idea how it compares to the other two but it hangs in there nicely with my AT33PTG/II for day-to-day fun.

    Maybe a bit better with the 220 pF of the Rega io as well?
     
    RS2099 likes this.
  13. RS2099

    RS2099 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    I'm looking into getting a Denon PMA-1600NE soon as well.
     
  14. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    Normally I like to see a lower capacitance value for any newer AT MM cart. However, since OP already has this built in preamp and seems pretty set on an AT, I'd tell them to give to a shot before doing anything else.

    If they are not fully satisfied they can also purchase an external phono preamp with 100pf or less. Many choices on the market.
     
    JackG and aunitedlemon like this.
  15. RS2099

    RS2099 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    So, around 6 hours of playtime in, the VM95ML feels very sterile and not really engaging...Very good tracker, playback is perfect but I don't find myself getting into the music as I did when the 2M Red was on.
     
    h46e55x likes this.
  16. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Well, you're pretty unique saying the 2M Red is more engaging. Sounds to me like something in your alignment may be off or whatever you're plugged into.
     
    LivingForever likes this.
  17. RS2099

    RS2099 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    It feels like the "magic" button was turned off, I can't explain it better. Sound is detailed, tracking is perfect but... my foot doesn't tap any more.
     
    h46e55x likes this.
  18. FalseMetal666

    FalseMetal666 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    May have something to do with gain. The 2m Red is very, VERY hot. The 95ML has probably half the output.

    Does your phono stage have adjustable gain?
     
    RS2099 likes this.
  19. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    I get what you're saying. Same experience. You're probably used to a more lively presentation. I switched from the vm95ml to the 540ml for this very reason. But it's all about what matches well with your components. I liked the original AT95 better and when I put the 95ml stylus on the old body, a lot of that toe tapping came back!! More extended high frequencies, more air and energy. The 95ml is an excellent stylus.
     
    RS2099 likes this.
  20. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Something is wrong with his set-up. He might be the only person on the planet who thinks the 2M is more "engaging".
     
    LivingForever and patient_ot like this.
  21. RS2099

    RS2099 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    No, I'm using a Rega IO amp, so gain is not adjustable.

    I had the VM540ML on the shortlist... Maybe I did a mistake in going with the cheaper option.
     
  22. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    I'm telling you, find an original AT95 body for cheap and pop that 95ml stylus on it. It makes a difference for sure. You'll have to adjust the overhang a little back to 52mm. Something to try.
     
  23. FalseMetal666

    FalseMetal666 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, I bet that's the issue. The Ortofon says 2M gain is 5mV but it's been measured significantly higher than that, so it may have as much as twice the gain of the 95ML.

    In my limited experience, the 95ML likes 43 - 46 db gain, whereas the 2M is happy with 40 (or less).
     
  24. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    There is something enjoyable about the high output carts like these Ortofons and Shure M44's etc. I really liked the punch my M35x (6mv) had. It sounded fun..it rocked! 43-46db of gain is pretty rare with most MM pre-amps. I know the Schiit Mani can do it.
     
  25. FalseMetal666

    FalseMetal666 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I mucked around with a 2M when I had my Clearaudio Nano v2 and it sounded best with the gain around minimum, which is 34db.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021

Share This Page

molar-endocrine