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Introducing the Phono Cartridge Measurement Library

Yes, mass and res can be calculated and Be will be higher. I really have to work at maths, so I let others do it :).
I have more Be styli, so we'll see how it all works out empirically. It's tempting to draw early conclusions.

Like I did with this one, Signet TKN9LCa on a TK10 generator (NOS, sub 20 hours). Tapered beryllium with lc/shibata. I expected perfection, but alas...
View attachment 374503
View attachment 374504
Not what I expected, I can't explain this.
the measurement in my more modest case is just useful for adjustments, very often relative constraints, and not very fundamental research like here... ;-)))
I have not kept these measurements but precisely on 155 lc of origin almost new, rubber ok...
I had an answer on low capacitance that was much less specific , no big peak... easy to manage.... I appreciate it for that compared to other solutions at ml that I have or I had etc....
;-)
 
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I

Stylii are like jewels, some are more perfect than others. Regarding old stylii there is also the suspension issue. Rubber age.
On the ones that have an irrepleaceable low ETM cantilever, it is worthwhile getting the stylus refurbished, and the cantilever retipped.

A beryllium or boron tube cantilever, is a product that no longer exists on the market.

Care needs to be taken with who you get to work on it however, as many retippers simply cut off the cantilever and fit a new cantilever/needle (which they purchase from namiki as a complete unit.... at a guess).

The really good retippers, will preserve that irreplaceable cantilever, replace the suspension, and fit a new needle (of your chosen profile).
 
On the ones that have an irrepleaceable low ETM cantilever, it is worthwhile getting the stylus refurbished, and the cantilever retipped.

A beryllium or boron tube cantilever, is a product that no longer exists on the market.

Care needs to be taken with who you get to work on it however, as many retippers simply cut off the cantilever and fit a new cantilever/needle (which they purchase from namiki as a complete unit.... at a guess).

The really good retippers, will preserve that irreplaceable cantilever, replace the suspension, and fit a new needle (of your chosen profile).
I am not sure how easy it is to find suspensions of original spec. But if the stylus is more or less unplayed but suspension has been exposed to air for a long time, it would be a good option if the suspension only could be replaced.
 
I am not sure how easy it is to find suspensions of original spec. But if the stylus is more or less unplayed but suspension has been exposed to air for a long time, it would be a good option if the suspension only could be replaced.
The hard part with suspension replacements is working out what the compliance is.... And therefore optimal VTF and arm matching... same issue with aged suspension - the original spec is no longer relevant, but it helps as a starting point.
 
Yes, mass and res can be calculated and Be will be higher. I really have to work at maths, so I let others do it :).
I have more Be styli, so we'll see how it all works out empirically. It's tempting to draw early conclusions.

Like I did with this one, Signet TKN9LCa on a TK10 generator (NOS, sub 20 hours). Tapered beryllium with lc/shibata. I expected perfection, but alas...
View attachment 374503
View attachment 374504
Not what I expected, I can't explain this.
Measure enough and you’ll see more of this. Mass is one factor, and by itself does not equate to flat response.
 
Forgive me for the simple question, but why are the distortions different with the same pickup?
Azimuth 1.gif
VM95c.png


By the way, with which software are this plots generated?
 
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Looks similar enough to me, given these are done using two different test records

First graph uses same scale for FR/crosstalk and distortion (ticks on the left)
Second graph uses separate scale for distortion (ticks on the right)

Second measurement was evidently done at 48 kHz, what’s where drops at 10 kHz (2nd harmonic) and 7 kHz (3rd harmonics come) from. For example, 2nd harmonic for 15 kHz would be 30 kHz, which signal with sample rate of 48 kHz doesn’t capture (only up to 24 kHz). For third harmonic multiply by 3

Software is a Python script posted somewhere around here, check other threads here and first post of this thread
 
I've been wondering... if there's a way to make a cartridge database? I suspect there's too much data (there's a lot a data in a curve) and too many variables (different preamps, etc.), but what made me think of it was the CD Drive Accuracy Database.

It seems worthwhile to collect a lot of data from a lot of people if it can be logically organized. Certain cartridges should consistently show-up near the top, and others near the bottom, etc.


...Personally, I don't care because I don't play records. :p I only occasionally digitize one.
 
I've been thinking about online blind AB(X) something or other where people can compare pairs of carts ears-only. Lowbeats has samples recorded for comparison but not blind.

Not sure the juice would be worth the squeeze - from my little sample of the world, people seem to prefer stories over reality.
 
Measure enough and you’ll see more of this. Mass is one factor, and by itself does not equate to flat response.
I think the suspension is at fault in the 9Lca. Without proper damping, it doesn't work correctly. This AKG P8ES has been repaired from being unplayable, but new damper isn't 100%. Not sure about cantilever material in the Supernova v d Hul II?
AKG_P8ES_Supernova_vdHul-II.jpg

AKG_P8ES_VdH_IIS_demper_rep.JPGAKG_P8ES_VdH_IIS_demper_rep2.JPG
 
I've been thinking about online blind AB(X) something or other where people can compare pairs of carts ears-only. Lowbeats has samples recorded for comparison but not blind.

Not sure the juice would be worth the squeeze - from my little sample of the world, people seem to prefer stories over reality.

I think it is useful for it to be out there as there are many people still getting into vinyl. As we can see with the relatively quick adoption of measurements by the young headphone and IEM crowd, these things are historical and can change abruptly from generation to generation. I never really saw any of this for the stubborn old-timers with worn ears on those other message boards anyways. I don't concern myself with lost causes and try to think of better possibilities and I think we are in a good position to help change things. Plus, I think that the recordings and comparisons will make a great historical record, especially as you are in a unique position to do this properly and at and large scale.

The comparison I'd love to see most is that between the Denon DL-103R and the ultra cheap Audio-Technica AT3600L. I think that comparison would really wake people up. Then a nice inner groove comparison of those against a microlinear stylus such as the AT-VM95ML. I wish I didn't get rid of the former before I made that comparison.
 
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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 :)
Hello, You are my idol. Is it possible you please this peasant? Can you test the MP-200 with the MP500 stylus. This ad the hoc combination is common not only to save money but because of mass/arm compatibility. In the UK also some people retip the MP-200 with a paratrace stylus very similar to the MP500, hence results would be of interest. Much appreciated.
 
Hello, You are my idol. Is it possible you please this peasant? Can you test the MP-200 with the MP500 stylus. This ad the hoc combination is common not only to save money but because of mass/arm compatibility. In the UK also some people retip the MP-200 with a paratrace stylus very similar to the MP500, hence results would be of interest. Much appreciated.
Thanks

Unfortunately, I sold the MP-200 a couple months ago as it just wasn’t something I would use.

If I still had it, I would absolutely do that.

If anyone has a spare MP-200 body to loan me, just let me know!
 
Hi all, sorry for the inexperienced question. I’m impressed by and grateful for all the measurements, but I have to admit I don’t quite understand what the graphs mean or what aspects make one cartridge objectively better than another.

I have an Audio Technica AT33PTG/II and I’m wondering how these measurements show it stacks up against others, and particularly if another, less expensive cart offers similar performance for when my cart wears out.
 
Hi all, sorry for the inexperienced question. I’m impressed by and grateful for all the measurements, but I have to admit I don’t quite understand what the graphs mean or what aspects make one cartridge objectively better than another.

I have an Audio Technica AT33PTG/II and I’m wondering how these measurements show it stacks up against others, and particularly if another, less expensive cart offers similar performance for when my cart wears out.

This would be my super quick spiel regarding these measurements. (Again, quick, as I am flattening a lot of things.) I'm going to stick to modern cartridges. I set up my first 10 or so measurements as a sort of primer into what to expect out of stereo cartridges after the 1970s (i.e. what should be considered "good") so you can always turn to that but for this, I'll say the following:

I think that the overall measurements show how little difference there is between cartridges in terms of frequency response, distortion, and crosstalk, at least in terms of what we are measuring, which are new cartridges played on the outer groove, which will only show the best case scenario. You can pretty much split cartridges into those that have a resonance at around 12kHz and those that are flat (and have been traditionally considered the "best cartridges"). Note that you pretty much can't get the latter any more so I wouldn't get worked up about it. The only one I have seen here is the Nagaoka MP500 but I personally don't think it is worth the money.

This being said, there is something not on the measurements that I think is the most important thing of all: the stylus type. It can be thought to determine very important things as the cartridge plays through the record: frequency response consistency, distortion, and the ability to play through record issues. FR drops out as the cartridge progresses, with bigger styli showing bigger differences. Microlinear cartridges will give you the best performance and, frankly, are the ONLY cartridges that I would recommend today. (I have a big post coming about why we need to abandon elliptical cartridges as we were supposed to in the late 1970s with the introduction of cartridges like the Shure M95HE. And how spending more than $100 on one is insane. Hopefully soon.) But here is something else to consider that is something I take more serious now: since there is drop off, is there something beneficial to the Audio-technica house curve, which may suffer a bit at the beginning as it is not as flat, but which may end flatter by the end of the record? Something to consider.

Again, I am simplifying this a lot. But I think these are the things that matter.

TLDR: Your cartridge is an excellent cartridge. Don't worry about it.
 
I've been wondering... if there's a way to make a cartridge database? I suspect there's too much data (there's a lot a data in a curve) and too many variables (different preamps, etc.), but what made me think of it was the CD Drive Accuracy Database.

It seems worthwhile to collect a lot of data from a lot of people if it can be logically organized. Certain cartridges should consistently show-up near the top, and others near the bottom, etc.


...Personally, I don't care because I don't play records. :p I only occasionally digitize one.

Excellent idea, who will make it?
 
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First graph uses same scale for FR/crosstalk and distortion (ticks on the left)
Second graph uses separate scale for distortion (ticks on the right)
Oops, sorry, It takes me one hour to think about, I understand now… my fault. The right and left sides of the graph have different scales! Things can be so simple. FCK

VM95c.png
 
A cartridge database is a great idea. Who will create it?

How does one gauge cartridge accuracy, what are the terms, and, assuming this is possible, how would we rank them? I just don't understand how we can think that we can do something here that is similar to what those people did with a digital medium. We certainly can make educated guesses by supplementing the information we have gathered with these measurements but we are not providing anything conclusive like in that database. (Like I mention in my previous post, to think about cartridge performance, in addition to these measurements I put a lot of weight on the stylus type.) Please remember as I mention in the first post of this thread that these measurements are of sweeps located on the outer groove. These are best case scenarios and all the results (and variables) change as the cartridge progresses through the record, not to mention as the stylus wears. There really are not any test records that I know of that have sweeps near the outer groove that we can use to get more objective data on performance in that area (perhaps one, but it is not available). More, these measurements are system-wide measurements that include all the variables that affect record playback, not just of the cartridges. The more we get into thinking of such a database the more questions I would have. Could we compare cartridges measured on different tone arms, that use different effective lengths, that are set to different alignments? The last one certainly has an effect on distortion at the beginning and end of the record. Things gets messy fast. This all seems very apples to oranges to me.
 
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