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Pickering UV-15 D2000-Q (pics)

50.46.131.186

Posted on January 8, 2017 at 14:44:11
user510
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Posts: 1832
Location: Raymond, wa
Joined: December 31, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
October 23, 2004








specs:
stylus descr: quadrahedral
tracking force: 1.3g
freq resoibseL 20 - 45Khz
output: 3.8mv±2db
inductance per chan: 350mh
resistance per chan: 750 ohms
stylus part no. D 2000 Q

When first acquired, I was hoping for a working sample. Alas something is wrong. The elastomer appears to be compliant (by lightly touching the held cartridge), but when mounted to two different tonearms (one low mass, one higher mass), SQ was distorted. Quickly dismounted and now the cartridge is boxed.

I would like to hear one of these with a healthy stylus assembly. My understanding is that the quadrahedral stylus is really a Shibata and intended for quad playback......and my understanding could be faulty.

The cantilever looks to be better than average quality. Tapered shaft, etc.

Thoughts?

-Steve

 

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RE: Pickering UV-15 D2000-Q (pics), posted on January 8, 2017 at 22:57:56
mr.bear
Audiophile

Posts: 3856
Joined: November 13, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 18, 2003
I know you have been very careful with the alignment and so forth but this wouldn't be the first time the diamond tip had a manufacturing error in its mounting to the cantilever.

The Stereohedron I agree is a modified Shibata design (intended for quad reproduction) and is more sensitive to alignment, including VTA (actually 'rake angle'-- measured at the diamond-- is a better description of the critical measurement). Also I have seen azimuth, at the diamond again, be quite far off due to damage to the cantilever (I suppose a manufacturing defect there is also possible.)

Its almost impossible to "see" these qualities with the naked eye and hence you have to experiment to see if anything is out of whack. Did you tweak the VTA and azimuth over a wide range as you aligned, such that it would reveal serious diamond out-of-whackness?

 

RE: Pickering UV-15 D2000-Q (pics), posted on January 8, 2017 at 23:10:30
user510
Reviewer

Posts: 1832
Location: Raymond, wa
Joined: December 31, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
October 23, 2004
re: alignment geometry.....I gave it as much attention as I will with Soundsmith Fine Line stylus. As to azimuth, I tend to check with the stylus resting on a mirror over the platter mat. VTA/SRA is usually a ball-park level the headshell followed by a tune by ear session. It couldn't have been too far off.

Fairly routine stuff. The distorted sound was along the lines of edgy and mistracking noises. Hashy.

I really need to get a suitable microscope for this kind of thing. Anyway, I do think this is an interesting cartridge.

-Steve

 

RE: Pickering UV-15 D2000-Q (pics), posted on January 9, 2017 at 02:48:46
flood2
Audiophile

Posts: 1439
Joined: January 11, 2011
I think that some of your problem may be the VTF - you wrote 1.3g. The D2000Q is intended for 2 ±0.5g IIRC.
However, it is distinctly possible that the elastomer HAS hardened. I have numerous Stanton and Pickering styli that I collected over the years that no longer meet specification.

The Quadrahedral is NOT a Shibata. A Shibata is characterised by 2 rear cuts on the cone which form a curving contact line which is forward of the centreline of the cone. The bearing radius of the contact line is either about 50 um or 70um (roughly) with the scanning radius polished to 6um If you were to do a section parallel to the record surface you get a heart shape. The Quadrahedral has 4 cuts with the 2 cuts formed on each side of the cone (which will be in contact with the record) and a section cut gives you a diamond shape. The line is on the centreline and is straight. The bearing radius is 76um and the scanning radius is <5um.
VERY different styli. The only similarity is that they are characterised as "parabolic" line contact styli.
Regards Anthony

"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats

 

"Hashy", posted on January 9, 2017 at 10:31:03
mr.bear
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Posts: 3856
Joined: November 13, 2001
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February 18, 2003
...was the exact word I used to describe the sound of my Signet cart (before I replaced the stylus this past week)- clearly mistracking.

It looked quite good to the naked eye but it subsequently turned out that the cantilever had been bent, then bent back by some previous owner. It was "close enuf" to play, but sounded awful and I'm sure it did some damage to the LP I was using to audition.

I discovered the damage by ever-do-gently pressing the cantilever tip with my finger-- it split and turned 90 degrees! I assumed I had wrecked it but, looking in my crappy microscope, saw the tube had been severely indented just below the break.

The hashy, scraping sound must have come from the diamond being badly out of whack relative to the cartridge body, resulting in a very bad net alignment. This may have no bearing on your issues but something like it is a possibility. Good luck, Steve.

 

RE: "Hashy" .... yes, posted on January 9, 2017 at 10:47:10
user510
Reviewer

Posts: 1832
Location: Raymond, wa
Joined: December 31, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
October 23, 2004
at this point my assumption is that I need to replace the stylus assembly....or refurbish it.

I'm not at all sure about available products for this specific assembly; the D 2000-Q. I believe there was also a D4000-Q. I'll need to do some actual research when I get around to it.

At this point I haven't given the cartridge much interest in terms of time or consideration. But I've a hunch that when in 100% health and correctly implemented, it might be a good sounding item.

-Steve

 

RE: Pickering UV-15 D2000-Q (pics), posted on January 9, 2017 at 11:03:55
user510
Reviewer

Posts: 1832
Location: Raymond, wa
Joined: December 31, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
October 23, 2004
Thanks for that information on the stylus geometry.
re: tracking force; the cartridge database at VE suggests 1.5 to 2.5g. And that is different from the info sheet that came with my cartridge.

I agree that the suspension is likely hardened (elastomer). Even though I can see some response to its action, it is likely no longer within spec. Good grief, it must date back to the mid seventies.

Further, I'd really like to examine the stylus under a proper micro-scope. I suspect there will be evidence of wear. The casing of the stylus assembly indicates much handling and use.

I'll just need to find a suitable replacement stylus assembly......somewhere.

-Steve

 

RE: Pickering UV-15 D2000-Q (pics), posted on January 9, 2017 at 13:09:28
flood2
Audiophile

Posts: 1439
Joined: January 11, 2011



Sorry, it only just hit me, but I think I know where you got the "1.3g" from!! The sheet SHOULD be read as "1 - 3g"!! The printing is terrible and Stanton/Pickering often have typos and inconsistencies in their manuals. Trust me, the nominal is 2g. Try again at 2g (on a non-critical record!!).
If you get a stylus box, they quote a tolerance around nominal rather than a range (and a smaller tolerance at that) - hence I wrote 2 ±0.5g. In general, I find that Pickering and Stanton generally perform best at nominal or higher. I discussed this with John Kuykendall back in the day and he said that they wrote the spec for the 681 as 1 +0.5 0-0.25 specifically, because the performance was calibrated at 1g even if the compliance and tracking ability would allow you to go lower. He advised me never to go below the nominal.

The D2400Q is the same animal but with a slightly wider frequency response range to 50kHz not 45kHz for the D2000Q.

The UV15 was the first CD4 cartridge (the Stanton equivalent was the 7804DQ) but was significantly bettered by the XUV when that was released. The XUV (for which the D4500Q was made) has a nominal of 1 ±0.5g for VTF.

With Stanton/Pickering, the suspension is a tie-wire so you will always be able to deflect the cantilever. The damping elastomer is the part that hardens and you will see the effect of this in restricted tracking ability and a very curtailed frequency response (it will sound quite dull).

Do you have any test discs for setting VTF? The dead give away for a hardened elastomer is if you get no improvement in tracking ability as you increase VTF. You should be able to get to at least 60um (+14dB) within the VTF range.
Regards Anthony

"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats

 

RE: Pickering UV-15 D2000-Q (pics), posted on January 9, 2017 at 15:03:02
user510
Reviewer

Posts: 1832
Location: Raymond, wa
Joined: December 31, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
October 23, 2004
fwiw, it was better at 2g vtf...but I still had mistracking at high modulation passages within the groove that I dared to play with this one.

I do have a few test records. HFN001, is among them. I'd rather not expose that record to this stylus.

I noticed that Jico lists a replacement stylus assy for the 2000-Q. Theirs is not quadrahedral, but Shibata. I presume the cantilever is low end tubular aluminum. Perhaps it is comparable to oem... Their list price is slightly under $140.00 at the Jico website. Too bad there isn't a SAS listing for this cartridge.

thanks for your input.
-Steve


 

RE: Pickering UV-15 D2000-Q (pics), posted on January 9, 2017 at 15:27:46
flood2
Audiophile

Posts: 1439
Joined: January 11, 2011
Anecdotally, the JICO Shibata replacements have not been considered unfavourably. Personally, I would not consider an OEM replacement at that price. Kevin (KAB) bought some to test and he mentioned that initially tracking was poor but after breaking in that things improved considerably.
At the price though, apart from sentimental reasons, I would seriously consider whether it is still economical to resurrect such an old cartridge especially since the JICO and other OEM replacements do not implement the tie-wire suspension design of the original so you would have to expect that the performance of the original (when it was fresh!) would not be achieved.
Regards Anthony

"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats

 

RE: "Hashy" .... yes, posted on January 9, 2017 at 15:34:40
flood2
Audiophile

Posts: 1439
Joined: January 11, 2011
Other than another D2000Q, your ONLY options are the Stanton 7804DQ stylus or the D2400Q. The D4000 is for the XSV4000 (MM) and is not compatible since the UV15 is an MI design.
The D4500Q is for the XUV which is another MM design. The D4500S is for the low impedance XLZ body...

If the elastomer has hardened, there is no practical way to refurbish it since the tube crimping is one of the controls of compliance and "pinches" the elastomer by the desired amount. The tie-wire is soldered in position. Any attempt to disassemble is basically going to destroy it. Retipping is only viable if you are sure that the elastomer is still "good" and for preference you should only replace the tip itself and not the entire cantilever which will change the mechanical properties of the system from the design values.
Regards Anthony

"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats

 

RE: more close-up detail pics, posted on January 9, 2017 at 19:38:44
user510
Reviewer

Posts: 1832
Location: Raymond, wa
Joined: December 31, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
October 23, 2004

In this photo I've gotten as close as my modest macro lens can get on something as small as a diamond stylus for playing a record. Beyond this, we need a microscope... (wouldn't that be nice)






Above we can clearly see the crimp in the metal tube that secures the suspension donut in place. Or so I presume.



In this last photo you should be able to see the suspension wire and it's solder joint at the end of the tube...as we peer into its back opening.

I don't know about you guys but to me this stylus assembly looks like it has been around the track more than once. How many hours would you guess? I'm thinking it has lots and lots of hours on it.

-Steve

 

RE: more close-up detail pics, posted on January 9, 2017 at 20:03:37
flood2
Audiophile

Posts: 1439
Joined: January 11, 2011
The tarnishing looks not dissimilar to my father's original 681EE which he bought in the very early 70s. There is a high chance that the tip has more than seen out its life given the number of intervening years providing such an opportunity. However, it doesn't yet rule out that it is a possible candidate for retipping. The cantilever looks to be reasonably well aligned.
In photo 2 do I see a dent near the overmould join?

Even if you confirm that tracking ability is "OK" in that you get past say +14dB, unless you look at the frequency response (you could use the pink noise test tone but I think that is risky with an unknown tip), you don't know the state of the elastomer.

I wouldn't put any money into this cartridge to be perfectly honest. A genuine D2400Q from Vickers Hi Fi in the UK is USD225, although given the currency fears over a hard brexit, you might get a better deal by paying in GBP.
Regards Anthony

"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats

 

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