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An interesting look at radical stylus profiles. Link.

24.20.10.236

Posted on January 12, 2021 at 08:37:14
viridian
Audiophile

Posts: 6422
Location: Portland, Oregon
Joined: May 26, 2005
Contributor
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February 1, 2012
Link below:

 

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RE: An interesting look at radical stylus profiles. Link., posted on January 12, 2021 at 22:49:53
flood2
Audiophile

Posts: 2164
Joined: January 11, 2011
Interesting article which suggests that the stylus choice is largely based around subjective rather than objective criteria.
Given that the body is identical and that the only difference is the attached stylus, the results clearly indicate that there is more than just the stylus being changed - the amount of damping must also be adjusted since the frequency response charts clearly show that the Microline had the flattest response whilst the Shibata and SLC tips had a very prominent lift in the brilliance band. From a technical standpoint, the Shibata and SLC have a much larger scanning radius which immediately puts them at a disadvantage in tracing high amplitude HF signals particularly near the inner groove. I would hazard a guess and say that the listening tests would have been conducted in favourable regions of the LP otherwise the ML would sound better on the inner grooves. Shure's research suggests that it doesn't matter what the "cut" of the stylus is, the distortion and tracing ability is largely defined by the scanning radius. There must also be some differences in the tip mass - I know that the SLC tips fit in a laser cut hole in the boron cantilevers for the OC9X lineup whereas the ML is bonded which means the shank sizes are different. I wouldn't mind betting that this must be one of the key differences affecting the subjective preference for the SLC given that a lower tip mass would result in a subjectively cleaner and more lively sound which is how the SLC models are often described.

All of which is to say, that the best technical performance doesn't translate to the best sujective assessment....but then we all know that from our collective experience in this hobby!
Regards Anthony

"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats

 

RE: An interesting look at radical stylus profiles. Link., posted on January 13, 2021 at 06:41:29
dave slagle
Manufacturer

Posts: 5209
Location: NYC
Joined: April 27, 2001
My guess is the biggest place for error in the test setup is Zenith of the diamond. With the advanced profiles, even a 30' variance in diamond set can have a profound sonic effect.

dave

 

RE: An interesting look at radical stylus profiles. Link., posted on January 13, 2021 at 12:19:28
flood2
Audiophile

Posts: 2164
Joined: January 11, 2011
I agree. Azimuth is the other critical parameter and I doubt the reviewer in that article paid much attention to it because it sounded like they aligned the cartridge once and just swapped out the styli. That would affect the perception of imaging and detail.
IME, the Microline can't be beaten for maintaining consistent quality across the entire side of an LP. I would agree with the reviewer about the ML character - AT MMs sporting the ML (440ML and 150MLX) have tended to sound a bit artificial compared to the MC bodies, but that is down to the voicing of the MMs - they all have a lift in the brilliance band which gives an overlit presentation. The 150MLX was better, but still not a natural sounding cartridge to me.

Regards Anthony

"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats

 

I load my AT150mlx at around 36K, and it seems... , posted on January 13, 2021 at 16:13:01
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 880
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
to give a bit more natural sound. But still brighter than my AT33PTG/II.

Mark in NC
Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

RE: An interesting look at radical stylus profiles. Link., posted on January 15, 2021 at 12:05:40
sser2
Audiophile

Posts: 2343
Location: Pittsburgh USA
Joined: July 30, 2003
Indeed, this is as critical as fine adjustment of magnetic tape head, but I am not aware of any arm that allows doing fine VTA adjustment while playing a test record, the same way it is done in tape players.

 

RE: An interesting look at radical stylus profiles. Link., posted on January 17, 2021 at 10:52:42
BillWojo
Audiophile

Posts: 141
Location: NJ
Joined: July 7, 2017
"Indeed, this is as critical as fine adjustment of magnetic tape head, but I am not aware of any arm that allows doing fine VTA adjustment while playing a test record, the same way it is done in tape players."

Take a look at some of the vintage Japanese tonearms that let you adjust VTA on the fly. Two off hand are some of the Micro Seiki tonearms like the MA-202 and the MA-505. Also the Victor UA-7045 and UA-7082 tonearms have a collar that is like adjusting the focusing ring on a fine camera lens incorporated in the tonearm base. Those are the arms that I use.

BillWojo

 

Not to mention the Technics SL-1200 arms. Nt. , posted on January 17, 2021 at 15:43:28
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 880
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
Nt.
Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

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