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Replacement stylus, or whole cartridge

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Posted on May 8, 2020 at 21:24:16
Posts: 4
Location: Northern California
Joined: May 8, 2020
Greetings! I am seeking advice. I have recently been re-discovering my vinyl collection, due to much time home in isolation. I am currently running a Denon DP47F turntable, with a Signet TK10ml cartridge through a Harmon Kardon 330C Receiver into JBL 325 3 way speakers. I realize this is securely mid-fi, and my stylus is about 24 years old. Although it doesn't have huge hours on it, and I religiously use stylast stylus treatment, I think the age is having an affect. once in a while one channel will cut in and out, and it's definitely a stylus issue. Replacement Styli for this cartridge are very rare, and well over $500.00. My question is, is it worth the investment to replace the stylus, or just replace the whole cartridge with something less costly on the stylus replacement front? I have intentions over time to upgrade my receiver, and add some other components back into the system, but I don't want to throw good money after bad. I obviously will need to replace my stylus multiple times in the future, so I have some concern about whether this stylus and cartridge are sustainable over the long run.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

 

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New cartridge. Old NOS stylii can have the same mechanical issues that you...., posted on May 8, 2020 at 22:36:01
viridian
Audiophile

Posts: 6166
Location: Portland, Oregon
Joined: May 26, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
February 1, 2012
...are finding in your Signet. Time really has marched on and you should find a nice cartridge for that table that will cost under $300, maybe under $200. Audio Technica 540, Ortofon 2M Blue, Nagaoka 110 or 200, Vessel, etc.

 

How did you decide it was just the cartridge?, posted on May 8, 2020 at 23:53:06
alaskahiatt
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Posts: 5595
Joined: December 9, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
November 1, 2005
Often times, just cleaning connections at the cartridge, the turntable, the receiver, and the speakers will solve the problem. This was the case with my Harman Kardon 730 receiver.

 

cartridge pins and connectors- clean 'em, then deoxit /nt, posted on May 9, 2020 at 03:04:59
Story
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Location: NJ
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  Since:
February 21, 2019



"Leo 2.0!!"


 

RE: Replacement stylus, or whole cartridge, posted on May 9, 2020 at 10:43:46
Posts: 4
Location: Northern California
Joined: May 8, 2020
I understand the skepticism on me isolating the issue to the stylus. I checked all the other issues, but the issue seems to be fixed (when it happens) by physically wiggling the stylus itself. it is strange it's only one side, but I've checked the contacts on the headshell, to the cartridge, and all contacts to the receiver itself. My hunch is that it's some kind of degradations or reduction in suppleness in the rubber that comes connects the cantilever to the main stylus mount. It's really too bad because I love the sound of this cartridge, I've had the Cartridge since 1988 and have replaced the stylus once, in 1996.

 

Is that the moving coil cart with a removeable stylus?, posted on May 9, 2020 at 12:21:37
ghost of olddude55
Audiophile

Posts: 13498
Joined: July 14, 2017
I know AT made one, and Signet was AT's premium brand.
If you do have to replace the entire cartridge, AT makes some good LOMC carts with the microline stylus. Reasonably priced, too. The AT-OC9ML/II is about $350.
IMO, nothing tracks as well as Audio Technica's microline stylus.
There is a seller with a limited number of replacement styli for your Signet, but they're expensive.

The problem is not that there is evil in the world, the problem is that there is good. Because otherwise, who would care?

 

Vinylengine says it's moving magnet with 2.2mv output. If I were, posted on May 9, 2020 at 20:06:14
alaskahiatt
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Posts: 5595
Joined: December 9, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
November 1, 2005
at my other location, I could actually check the manual in the box. I have a new one still in the box, but I have never installed it. I don't even remember where or when I bought it, but it might be too old now.









 

RE: Replacement stylus, or whole cartridge, posted on May 10, 2020 at 04:20:41
JURB
Audiophile

Posts: 1728
Location: North Ohio
Joined: May 29, 2016
Is this a moving coil ?

If the stylus is replaceable I would try taking it out and putting it back in a few times.

A moving magnet doing that I would say to replace the whole cart.

 

It's such an odd stylus assembly., posted on May 10, 2020 at 05:37:02
ghost of olddude55
Audiophile

Posts: 13498
Joined: July 14, 2017
Bluz Bros. might have one or two in stock but the price is nearly $500.

The problem is not that there is evil in the world, the problem is that there is good. Because otherwise, who would care?

 

RE: Replacement stylus, or whole cartridge, posted on May 10, 2020 at 14:22:30
Posts: 4
Location: Northern California
Joined: May 8, 2020
It is a moving magnet cart.

 

RE: It's such an odd stylus assembly., posted on May 10, 2020 at 14:24:46
Posts: 4
Location: Northern California
Joined: May 8, 2020
I know. The stylus screws directly to the bottom of the cartridge. Maybe the connection is the seating of the stylus against the cartridge.

 

Bet it sounded terrific new. nt, posted on May 11, 2020 at 14:48:56
ghost of olddude55
Audiophile

Posts: 13498
Joined: July 14, 2017
nt

The problem is not that there is evil in the world, the problem is that there is good. Because otherwise, who would care?

 

RE: Bet it sounded terrific new. nt, posted on May 12, 2020 at 04:32:50
JonM
Audiophile

Posts: 175
Joined: December 29, 2000
FWIW, I had a TK9E that assembled the same way. Of the many cartridges I've owned through the years, it was my all time favorite.

I see there is still a replacement stylus available, NOS I assume. I have no idea what condition the rubber bushing is in after all these years. That plus the fact it's beyond my price range. Sigh...

 

RE: Replacement stylus, or whole cartridge, posted on May 12, 2020 at 08:55:02
mrcutter
Audiophile

Posts: 7
Location: Florida
Joined: May 2, 2020
A good phono cartridge is ESSENTIAL!

 

RE: Replacement stylus, or whole cartridge, posted on May 17, 2020 at 12:12:50
bassbinotoko
Audiophile

Posts: 469
Location: Vancouver Island
Joined: January 27, 2009
If a replacement stylus is "new old stock" rather than recently-manufactured, it's possible that flexible plastic/rubber elements have not retained their original mechanical properties. I don't for sure that styli are prone to this, but I've seen foam and rubber stuff on old audio gear that's crumbled to dust or turned to goo. So, I'd vote for investing in a cartridge that has a future.

Something else to beware of when buying "old stock" needles or cartridges: it's human nature to put the old part back in the box after installing a new one, "just in case" the new needle gets broken during a house party or something.

 

RE: Replacement stylus, or whole cartridge, posted on May 20, 2020 at 15:33:07
Bold Eagle
Audiophile

Posts: 6936
Location: America's Heartland
Joined: May 27, 2001
I'd highly recommend replacing the whole cartridge. I just put a 1972 vintage Dual 1229 back in service, and a venerable Shure M91ED had only one channel. After tracing everything, it turned out to be the slip-on connections on the back of the cartridge. I bought a new AT95EX, and have been quite happy with that.

One of the key factors in cartridge sound is the capacitance of the wiring from the cartridge to the preamp plus the capacitance of the preamp input circuit. Most modern preamps have pretty accurate RIAA equalization; but the cartridge's frequency response can be affected by the R & C of the connection. So you might get the sound you like with cartridge A working into preamp B, and then change preamps and find you lost the magic. Been there, done that.

Best of luck.

Jerry

 

It sucks to face the end of good stuff you like ..., posted on August 28, 2020 at 07:22:19
ToddM
Audiophile

Posts: 1548
Location: Atlanta, USA
Joined: May 15, 2001
.. but it may be time to get a new cart. I've been going thru my collection/hoard lately, rotating them in and out to see if I still like them, etc. I've been finding that I DO still like most or all of them but getting the best performance with the best stylus for some of them is going to be expensive. The Pickerings/Stantons (as one example) were just flat-out great back in the day, woefully underappreciated, but their stylus quality fell off pretty steeply after the mid-80's (maybe a bit later?), and so it's either pay out when you can find a reasonably good bet on rapidly-dwindling NOS, or go aftermarket. The prices are in line what I'd pay for a new daily driver ($2-300, tops, more like $100-150 if it gets great reviews), and there are current production styli that you can get for backups. Then you have to look down the road and figure out what to do when *this* one goes bad ... It's really a question of whether you're a collector or a user - I'm surprised to find that I'm maybe not as much of a collector as I would have thought.

 

Agreed, "collecting" vs "using", posted on August 28, 2020 at 07:27:00
ToddM
Audiophile

Posts: 1548
Location: Atlanta, USA
Joined: May 15, 2001
As I posted above, keeping all these old carts functional can be expensive IF you can get the quality styli to begin with. At some point, you have to decide if you're collecting them for their own sake or using them to play the music. I do the former with other stuff (amps, a couple of old cars, a boat, my house ...) but I'm coming around to the latter with carts.

 

RE: Replacement stylus, or whole cartridge, posted on August 28, 2020 at 14:03:06
BCR
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Location: connecticut
Joined: April 7, 2009
Contributor
  Since:
November 16, 2014
Time for something new. Have you ever estimated how many hours are on that stylus?
This is from the LP gear site!

A stylus under good working conditions has a useful life of about 600-1,000 playing hours.

 

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