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Introducing the Phono Cartridge Measurement Library

Angsty

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I’ve experienced some static problems with my MP-300 cartridge using a Luxman PD-151 Mk2 turntable but none that I remember previously using a PLX-1000.
 

gumsrave

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Adding to the Nagaoka MP-500 measurements, I got the following when I measured mine. I bought the cart around 2019 and replaced the stylus at least once before the measurements were taken. From memory it had around 500 hours on it.

Please excuse the poor titles and formatting. These were made was when I was first figuring out how to use the script and I had no intention of sharing them. I thought they might add something to this conversation though.


Nag500 FLAT.png


Gear, from memory, would have been:
- CBS STR-100
- Technics SL-1200G stock arm with KAB damper
- Parks Audio Puffin with 300+pF of capacitance due to extra input diodes
- RME Babyface Pro

Nagaoka MP-500_DENON XG-7001_FLAT.png

Same gear and setup, just a different test record and version of the script. I hadn't been using the cart so it would have had the same number of hours roughly. I didn't reverse the channels on the second sweep, as you can see.

I have since removed the input diodes on the Puffin so I wonder what I would get if I reran these measurements? I don't have the cart set up anymore so it would take a bit of effort.

More broadly, if there has been a production change and the new MP-500s don't show a bumpy response from 1kHz - 20kHz, would this have been a change to the generator or the stylus, or both? In other words, if people like myself with old carts bought a new JN-P500, how likely is it that our carts would be linear like these new measurements? The reason I ask is that the price of the cartridge has skyrocketed but the replacement stylus is roughly the same.
 

mackat

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Thanks for posting your results! Very interesting. I would also love to know what is really causing these fairly drastic differences.

I am a bit curious to measure an MP-200 as well, but the idea of spending ~$300 on a cartridge with a 0.4 x 0.7 elliptical stylus isn’t too enticing to me :)
 

Thomas_A

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Adding to the Nagaoka MP-500 measurements, I got the following when I measured mine. I bought the cart around 2019 and replaced the stylus at least once before the measurements were taken. From memory it had around 500 hours on it.

Please excuse the poor titles and formatting. These were made was when I was first figuring out how to use the script and I had no intention of sharing them. I thought they might add something to this conversation though.


View attachment 358812

Gear, from memory, would have been:
- CBS STR-100
- Technics SL-1200G stock arm with KAB damper
- Parks Audio Puffin with 300+pF of capacitance due to extra input diodes
- RME Babyface Pro

View attachment 358814
Same gear and setup, just a different test record and version of the script. I hadn't been using the cart so it would have had the same number of hours roughly. I didn't reverse the channels on the second sweep, as you can see.

I have since removed the input diodes on the Puffin so I wonder what I would get if I reran these measurements? I don't have the cart set up anymore so it would take a bit of effort.

More broadly, if there has been a production change and the new MP-500s don't show a bumpy response from 1kHz - 20kHz, would this have been a change to the generator or the stylus, or both? In other words, if people like myself with old carts bought a new JN-P500, how likely is it that our carts would be linear like these new measurements? The reason I ask is that the price of the cartridge has skyrocketed but the replacement stylus is roughly the same.
This response would be expected given the extra capacitance.
 

mackat

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Empire 2000T

I came across this cartridge at a thrift shop a while back, sans intact stylus. I realized that one online shop still stocks original styli, so I ordered one from Europe.

The results are fairly disappointing: a downward slope starting at about 1.5 kHz, reaching -2 dB at 5 kHz and -4 dB at 15 kHz. Definitely audible and obvious.

I ran the test at 1.5g, higher than the typical VTF of 1.2g for this cartridge, to help it track better. At 1.2g, it doesn't even make it through 60 μm without distortion.

I have a feeling that this could be suspension-related.

If that is the case, I wonder if it's possible to revitalize it somehow.

Empire 2000T_1.5 g_~80 pF_47k Ω_CA-TRS-1007 #1 - Side B_norm1_1_17 Beta.png
 

morillon

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Empire 2000T

I came across this cartridge at a thrift shop a while back, sans intact stylus. I realized that one online shop still stocks original styli, so I ordered one from Europe.

The results are fairly disappointing: a downward slope starting at about 1.5 kHz, reaching -2 dB at 5 kHz and -4 dB at 15 kHz. Definitely audible and obvious.

I ran the test at 1.5g, higher than the typical VTF of 1.2g for this cartridge, to help it track better. At 1.2g, it doesn't even make it through 60 μm without distortion.

I have a feeling that this could be suspension-related.

If that is the case, I wonder if it's possible to revitalize it somehow.

View attachment 358860
very old..
you can try if a rubber suspension..
very little but several times on the rubber....



 

aaaakkkk

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Empire 2000T

I came across this cartridge at a thrift shop a while back, sans intact stylus. I realized that one online shop still stocks original styli, so I ordered one from Europe.

The results are fairly disappointing: a downward slope starting at about 1.5 kHz, reaching -2 dB at 5 kHz and -4 dB at 15 kHz. Definitely audible and obvious.

I ran the test at 1.5g, higher than the typical VTF of 1.2g for this cartridge, to help it track better. At 1.2g, it doesn't even make it through 60 μm without distortion.

I have a feeling that this could be suspension-related.

If that is the case, I wonder if it's possible to revitalize it somehow.

View attachment 358860
If your replacement stylus is original, then this is not normal. If your replacement stylus is not original, then this may be normal. I had a stylus from Astatic, it had a hard damper, which also did not track well at 1.2 grams. In general, Nagaoka and Empire have a very primitive design for a replaceable stylus; usually there is only one damper. By moving the cantilever back and forth in the damper, you can change the frequency response.
 

mackat

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If your replacement stylus is original, then this is not normal. If your replacement stylus is not original, then this may be normal. I had a stylus from Astatic, it had a hard damper, which also did not track well at 1.2 grams. In general, Nagaoka and Empire have a very primitive design for a replaceable stylus; usually there is only one damper. By moving the cantilever back and forth in the damper, you can change the frequency response.
Thanks for the info! It was sold as original and is, as far as I can tell.

I read somewhere that these old Empire styli didn't always hold up so well.
 

DSJR

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Thanks for the info! It was sold as original and is, as far as I can tell.

I read somewhere that these old Empire styli didn't always hold up so well.
In recent years, I 'heard' an Empire '2000GT' which 'sounded' excellent and had slightly lower compliance I remember, enabling its use in a typical massy tonearm with 'SME style' removable headshell. I have here a 200E IV (they did exist although the E III was the one best known) and the compliance of this is painfully high and with a rough looking 'nail' passing as an elliptical diamond which again was normal for so many of these according to tech reviews done in the UK...
 

aaaakkkk

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Thanks for the info! It was sold as original and is, as far as I can tell.

I read somewhere that these old Empire styli didn't always hold up so well.
In the original replacement stylus, the damper is glued with yellow glue. Looks like light dots on black. The cantilever is also glued to the damper. In Astatic the damper was blue and its size was different.
 

VinyLuke

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Empire 2000T

I came across this cartridge at a thrift shop a while back, sans intact stylus. I realized that one online shop still stocks original styli, so I ordered one from Europe.

The results are fairly disappointing: a downward slope starting at about 1.5 kHz, reaching -2 dB at 5 kHz and -4 dB at 15 kHz. Definitely audible and obvious.

I ran the test at 1.5g, higher than the typical VTF of 1.2g for this cartridge, to help it track better. At 1.2g, it doesn't even make it through 60 μm without distortion.

I have a feeling that this could be suspension-related.

If that is the case, I wonder if it's possible to revitalize it somehow.
I think Empire 2000 should be loaded with total 300pF to achieve more flat response. Maybe try that loading?
 

dlaloum

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very old..
you can try if a rubber suspension..
very little but several times on the rubber....



Yep - good suggestion - the active component is also known as oil of wintergreen... Methyl salicylate....

It will rejuvenate many suspension compounds - but not all.... and there is no way of knowing whether it will work on this one without trying it. (some manufacturers used many differing compounds over the years!)

It is worth a try. but remember to us only a tiny amount.... and it may need multiple tiny treatments, with time for it to soak in/through
 

Thomas_A

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Shure V15Vx SAS B updated with results from brand new stylus here:

 
Last edited:

dlaloum

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very old..
you can try if a rubber suspension..
very little but several times on the rubber....



Yep - good suggestion - the active component is also known as oil of wintergreen... Methyl salicylate....

It will rejuvenate many suspension compounds - but not all.... and there is no way of knowing whether it will work on this one without trying it. (some manufacturers used many differing compounds over the years!)

It is worth a try. but remember to us only a tiny amount.... and it may need multiple tiny treatments, with time for it to soak in/through
 

dlaloum

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Shure V15Vx SAS B updated with results from brand new stylus here:

That new stylus is doing very well at 36k!
 

Balle Clorin

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Audio-Technica AT95E with new stylus. Effect of Azimuth adjustment shown

AT95E AZIMUTH.gif



Compare with the original stylus.. on a different RIAA/ higher capacitance
IMG_2225.png





Back to the new:


Ortofon 50k record, more even balance above 10k then CA TRS-1007
1711869745133.png


  • Cartridge: Audio-Technica AT95E from 1980s, I bought it when I was a student
  • Stylus condition NEW AT replacement ATN95E <1hrs
  • Test record: ClearAudio TRS-1007 side A track 1&2 L/R stereo
  • Turntable and arm: Sony PS 212
  • Tracking force: 2g, anti skate 1.5, in then tracks 80um fine and a very slight mistrack on 90um
  • Phono stage and loading settings: Parks Audio Puffin. EQ=flat . Toslink out to USB converter to PC
    • Capacitance and impedance: 50pF fixed+ 125 cables, 47k ohm .
  • ADC: internal in Puffin.
  • Recording: no adjustment on balance, Azimuth adjustment on cartridge as shown, 5-48kHz, PC and Puffin at 96kHz.
Comments
Very good balance 1 kHz , a bit high distortion. Nice crosstalk after setting Azimuth. 30/32 on Ortofon 1khz test record --and even upto 34/34 on the best crosstalk tracks,

Compare it with the original stylus in post 104.
Post in thread 'Introducing the Phono Cartridge Measurement Library'
https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...tridge-measurement-library.46108/post-1661413


1711876317717.png



Cannot adjust tonearm height for SRA but I managed this, tweaked angle at headshell and manipulated contrast. The cheap Sony PS-222 (or cheap headshell) has bit low tonearm base(angle it seems, few cartridges meets the 92 SRA target, YMMV.



CROSSTALK TEST


1711869247531.png

1711869329896.png

with optimal azimuth
1711869627039.png

.
 

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Thomas_A

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Looks really fine except for distortion. -20 dB at 5k is a bit high. The best cart+stylii give below -30 dB at 5k.
 

Bob from Florida

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Audio-Technica AT95E with new stylus. Effect of Azimuth adjustment shown

View attachment 360314
Ortofon 50k record, more even balance above 10k then CA TRS-1007
View attachment 360318

  • Cartridge: Audio-Technica AT95E from 1980Ss
  • Stylus condition NEW AT replacement ATN95E <1hrs
  • Test record: ClearAudio TRS-1007 side A track 1&2 L/R stereo
  • Turntable and arm: Sony PS 212
  • Tracking force: 2g, anti skate 1.5, in then tracks 80um fine and a very slight mistrack on 90um
  • Phono stage and loading settings: Parks Audio Puffin. EQ=flat . Toslink out to USB converter to PC
    • Capacitance and impedance: 50pF fixed+ 125 cables, 47k ohm .
  • ADC: internal in Puffin.
  • Recording: no adjustment on balance, Azimuth adjustment on cartridge as shown, 5-48kHz, PC and Puffin at 96kHz.
Comments
Very good balance 1 kHz , a bit high distortion. Nice crosstalk after setting Azimuth. 30/32 on Ortofon 1khz test record --and even upto 34/34 on the best crosstalk tracks

View attachment 360322


Cannot adjust tonearm height for SRA but I managed this, tweaked angle at headshell and manipulated contrast. The cheap Sony PS-222 (or cheap headshell) has bit low tonearm base(angle it seems, few cartridges meets the 92 SRA target, YMMV.



CROSSTALK TEST


View attachment 360315
View attachment 360316
with optimal azimuth
View attachment 360317
.
When you say “flat response“, do you mean the RIAA out of the Puffin is off?
 
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