View Full Version : New here, and a question about a Yamaha MC-1s cartridge.

11-18-2007, 08:30 PM
Hello, It's nice to find a spot where others enjoy quality sound. I hope I'm not going to be a burden on you.

I was recently given a turntable (a Revolver, to be specific, with a Linn Basik LVX tonearm), and it came with this cartridge.

The cartridge is in great shape, it just doesn't appear to have a stylus on it. IT's still in the lexan and aluminum case it came in. I was wondering if anyone here had experience with this cartridge, and if so, knows where I can get a stylus.



Yamaha B-2
11-18-2007, 08:45 PM
Welcome to AK.:thmbsp: We'll spread your burden around. Think there are about 15K of us. :D

Being an MC (moving coil) cartridge, you can't really 'get a stylus' for it. You have to have it retipped. Several of us here have cartridges at Soundsmith (google it) for a retip at the moment. They have a good rep, but thus far we only have one positive report from an AK member. Should know more in a few weeks. The MC-1s, IIRC, was Yamaha's top MC cartridge. May wll be worth whatever it costs to have it redone.

11-19-2007, 06:05 AM
Slight correction, both Audio Technica and Pioneer made (make) MC cartridges with removeable stylii, and very good ones at that.

01-07-2008, 03:22 AM
Sorry it took so long for me to get back here. I've been up to my ears in things.

This cartridge is in perfect shape besides the retipping issue. Does anyone know what it would sell for? I'm trying to decide what the turntable and this might be worth. There is absolutely no information out there that I can find.

I've got a Denon DP 15F Quartz turntable with a higher end Audio Technica cartridge on it that I'm using now. It's not the best, but with my nerve damage, I'm wondering if I should really be messing with a manual tonearm anymore. I know it's better, I'm just trying to see if it's worth retipping and fixing the revolver or if I should just enjoy the Denon.

The Revolver is fine, I just can't figure out if it's set up for our electricity or not. The plinth says 240, but the motor says 120. The motor is made in swizerland or sweeden if I recall. It looks original. Either there is some circuitry in there to change it, or someone has got a us revolver motor and installed it in there.



Yamaha B-2
01-08-2008, 06:03 PM
Am not familiar with the 'Revolver' name or TTs. My guess is that Yamaha did not make the cartridge, but it is a good one, being the best the sold. Since your original post I've received my Soundsmith retipped Denon DL-303 and am very pleased with the sound. IMHO, the Yamaha is definitely worth the cost to retip. But, perhaps only for the Yamaha collector (like me). For the cost of the retip ($150-350, depending on which cantilever and stylus you want) you could purchase a new HOMC like a Denon DL-160 at the low end or the range, or better. Believe the MC-1s is a LOMC. Do you have the phono stage to handle a LOMC? If not, you'll need a HOMC or MM cartridge.

01-08-2008, 07:09 PM
I just looked up the specs of the Yamaha MC-1S and MC-1x:

CARTRIDGE: Yamaha MC-1s & MC-1x
Type: Moving Coil
Output voltage: 0.2mV (1kHz, 5cm/sec, peak 45)
Frequency range 10Hz - 20kHz (signal up to ~60 kHz)
Recommended load impedance 30 Ohms +/- 20%
Channel balance @ 1 kHz 1.0dB or less
Channel separation: ?
Stylus shape: 8 x 40 mikron Ellipse
Stylus construction: ?
Cantilever: Beryllium pipe
Coils & construction: Sillicon baseplate, IC Aluminiumfilm-coil
Magnet: Samarium-Kobolt
Hausing: Pressure molted Aliminium monoblock
Dynamic compliance: 11 x 10-6cm/dyne (MC-1x, 30 x 10-6cm/dyne)
Static compliance: ? x 10-6cm/dyne
Recommended tracking force: 1.8g +/- 0,1g
Vertical Tracking angle: 20 degrees
Dimensions: ?
Color: silver & Black
Weight 7,8g +/- 0,1g (MC-1x, 18,5g +/- 0,1g)

MSRP: ? any have bluebook info??

01-09-2008, 01:03 AM
I am going to contact soundsmith tomorrow if I can. I'd like to know how much this thing is worth to an interested party. I don't want to take a hit if I sell it out of ignorance of it's value. They will probably know more about it, being in the business, and can tell me more about retipping as well.



01-09-2008, 09:25 AM
The Yamaha MC 1s is a very fine cartridge, but perhaps because its from a large manufacturer, it doesn't have the cachet that many of its peers have. So its probably not worth as much as you might hope. If you have the money, its probably very well worth retipping but it won't be cheap. I have one that I wore out and miss it, but I can't afford to have it done.

01-09-2008, 10:45 AM
AFAIK most of Yamaha's cartridges were OEM from Audio Technica but built to Yamaha's specs.

Yamaha B-2
01-09-2008, 03:57 PM
Anders - Do you know the production dates for Yamaha's cartridges?

01-10-2008, 06:22 PM
B-2 Sorry, no I don't. But it would not give that much info about the state the cart is in anyway, that as you know is all about houres and how it was treated. About the MC-1s and x, they where on sale for about 5 years (1979-83) and the replaced by the MC-1000 that ran for 9 years (1984-92).

merrylander I also have heard this, only it was Yamaha ingeneers designing the carts and then letting AT build them.

Yamaha B-2
01-10-2008, 06:28 PM
Thanks for the info:
B-2 Sorry, no I don't. But it would not give that much info about the state the cart is in anyway, that as you know is all about houres and how it was treated. About the MC-1s and x, they where on sale for about 5 years (1979-83) and the replaced by the MC-1000 that ran for 9 years (1984-92).

merrylander I also have heard this, only it was Yamaha ingeneers designing the carts and then letting AT build them.Am wondering why Yamaha engineers would do any designing? AT are the folks with the many years (even back then) of design of cartridges under their collective belts. Guess I'll be seeing (hearing, actually) just what AT knows these days. Am expecting delivery of their newest TOTL MC cartridge, the AT33R w/headshell, next week. Another 'only sold in Japan' model.

01-10-2008, 07:11 PM
yamaha mc cartridges were not made by audio technica for sure i sold allot mc 9 ,mc 11 in job there are for sure made by yamaha ! they even build mc systems with pure berylium needle (with diamont tip )

Yamaha B-2
01-10-2008, 07:30 PM
Slight correction, both Audio Technica and Pioneer made (make) MC cartridges with removeable stylii, and very good ones at that.Also, Technics offered at least one. As with the Yamaha cartridges, I wonder if Pioneer and Technics made theirs in-house? From what I understand, Sony did, but their operations were quite a bit larger than either Pioneer or Yamaha. But, being part of Matsushita (?), Technics is part of the largerst of the Karetsu's (conglomeration of companies) in Japan, so they could have easily have made theirs in-house. Also, I've put in a query to the 'old guy' at Yamaha USA, who might know. Haven't communicated with him in a couple of years, so wonder if he is still there.

01-10-2008, 07:55 PM
Where else could this knowledge be found? Great job guy's, Great read.

01-11-2008, 03:05 PM
My Yamaha friend suspects that Yamaha built a lot of these cartridges in-house because of the Beryllium cantilevers seeing as how they had such a thing for Beryllium back then.

01-11-2008, 03:23 PM
Now I have a question; my CR-2040 has a load impedance of 50 ohms for the MC head amp and my choice of 33k, 47k, 68k and 100k on the MM head amp. It would appear that Yamaha favoured Audio Technica MC cartridges because they seem to be the only ones that will tolerate such a low impedance. This indicates that if I want a LOMC I probably should go fo the OC9 ML II - (I really don't want to take out a mortgage.)

The Benz Micro MC Gold is reasonable but it likes a load in the 300 or 400 ohm range. The Denon 103R is the same. I could go with the Denon 160 but I read that LOMC are better becasue of lower mass in the coils.

I imagine that my AT31e is only now getting broken in as I rarely used it until the PX-2 and it is happy with low impedance;

Freq resp: 15 - 50,000 Hz
Output vilts: 0.4mV (1kHz 5cm/sec)
Channel Sep: Mim 30dB (1kHz)
Channel Bal: within 1 dB
Tracking: 1.2 - 1.8g (Optimum 1,5g)
Coil Impedance: 10 ohm (1 kHz)
Coil Ind; 30 micro Heneries
Dynamic Compl: 8.5 x 10-6m/dyne (100 Hz)
Static Compl: 32 x 10-6 cm/dyne
Load res: >10 ohms
Load Cap: 100 - 200pf
Stylus; 0.15 m/m Nude square 0.2 x 0.7 mil elliptical diamond
VTA: 20 degrees.

I am beginning to wonder if I really need a new cartridge.

Yamaha B-2
01-11-2008, 03:30 PM
I imagine that my AT31e is only now getting broken in as I rarely used it until the PX-2 and it is happy with low impedance. I am beginning to wonder if I really need a new cartridge.Here are the spec's on AT's new AT33R LOMC. May be the 'new' AT31e.

Audio-Technica presents AT33R Limited Edition. Ultra high quality Audio-Technica 40th anniversary limited edition MC type (dual moving coil) stereo cartridge.

This is Audio-Technica AT33R MC TYPE Stereo Cartridge.
Coil stabalizing (high intensity titanic acid kalium mixed resin) VC mold which actualizes treble sound quality
Gold evaporated short circuit conversion to reconstruct sound in its originality
Vibrating damping design reduces the faintest unnecessary vibration
High quality micro linear needle with low distortion factor allowing as much as approximately 1,000 hours of high stability playback
Improved damper tuning vibrating system a damper systems of high quality AT33 series tradition
PCOCC6N coil with 6N-OFC sub lead wire and PCOCC terminal pin
6N-OFC shell lead wire
Audio-Technica cable design to optimize sound quality
Neodymium magnet strengthens and improves magnetic force
Unnecessary resonance is controlled and reduced by the titanium combination housing
Internal housing anti-vibration damping material further reduces unwanted vibration
Head shell specific design and tuning anti-vibration head shell
Lightweight cylinder attachment increases the degree of arm correspondence
Brass installation screw used to preserve high quality sound

Type: MC type
Playback frequency range: 15 - 50,000Hz
Output voltage: 0.5mV (1kHz and 5cm/sec.
Channel separation: 30dB (1kHz)
Output balance: 0.5dB (1kHz)
Stylus pressure: 1.6 - 2.0g (1.8g standard)
Coil impedance: 17 ohms (1kHz)
Direct current resistance: 17 ohms
Load resistance: 20 ohms or more
Coil inductance: 70 mu H (1kHz)
Static compliance: 40ױ0 - 6 cm/dyne
Dynamic compliance : 10ױ0 - 6 cm/dyne (100Hz)
Needle tip form: Micro linear (ML)
Vertical tracking angle: 23?
External size: H16 W16.6 L26.5 mm
Mass (cartridge): 7g
Head shell attaching mass (with brass screw installation):
27g (heavy weight cylinder) / 23g (lightweight cylinder)


Overall, most LOMCs are not very finicky when it comes to loading. That said, is nice to have a phono-stage that provides the flexibility to change the loading as one 'hears' fit.

BTW - The Needle Doctor has the OC9 on sale for $349. Think I read a response not long ago that someone has them for as low as $300.

01-11-2008, 03:51 PM
they even build mc systems with pure berylium needle (with diamont tip )

That was the MC-1 (x & s) the later MC-1000, MC-3 and MC-5.

B-2: LP Gear has the AT-OC9 at $299.95.

01-11-2008, 04:07 PM
here a scan of the yamaha mc i dealt with. i had on my tt mc 11, mc9 .mc 3
the cheaper mm were made by audiotechnica but these mc for sure not !

01-11-2008, 04:21 PM
Well LP gear sells the stylus assembly for my AT31e, maybe I will just pick up a spare stylus and live with the AT31e, it sounds damn good to me.

01-12-2008, 01:11 PM
I have an old Pioneer MC (broken cantilever of course), and I remember when first seeing it that the moving parts looked very AT like, and I wouldn't be surprised if AT built it (early Pioneer cartidges from the 60s look like they were made by NEAT). But the Yamaha doesn't look at all like an AT. Actually I've had the 9, 7, and 5 also, and none looked like an AT clone. (The 5 may have had a dried up damper -- it was hard to like, but the rest were nice neutral well poised cartridges).

01-12-2008, 06:43 PM
I am not talking about re-labeled carts, as I mentioned earlier in the thread Yamahas engineers designed the carts but AT build them. It is a common thing in the Hi-Fi industry (or any industry for that matter) that companies let other company’s who are specialized in something do the work for them. Basically Yamaha would use AT's factory to build there own carts, labor and machines from AT, drawings from Yamaha (outsourcing is the modern word for this).

But as I also said; this is something I heard, not something I know.

01-12-2008, 08:48 PM
I understand that you aren't talking about relablelled cartridges, but cartridges built to a company's specs by another company. Sometimes its obvious who actually made something, and other times its pretty hard to tell. But there are other companies than AT in Japan who make cartridges, and there are several companies that make MC cartridges that are sold under other names. I would guess them before I'd guess AT for the MC 1. But I would imagine that Yamaha might be perfectly capable of doing it themselves also. Yamaha is funny that way -- they make pianos, motorboat engines motorcycles and a bunch of other stuff in addition to audio equipment, and for a long time, they made a point of making practically everything in house.

01-13-2008, 12:11 AM
Just to round out the AT specs:

AT30E replaceable stylus LOMC

Freq resp: 10 - 50,000 Hz
Output volts: 0.4mV (1kHz 5cm/sec)
Channel Sep: Min 30dB (1kHz), 20 dB at 10K
L/R balance: <1db
Tracking: 1.4 - 2 g
Output Impedance: 12 ohm
Dynamic Compl: 8 x 10-6m/dyne (100 Hz), higher at 10kHz
Static Compl: 32 x 10-6 cm/dyne
Load res: >20 ohms
Stylus; Nude micro line .3 x .7 ml
VTA: 20 degrees.
Mass: 5 gm
Suggested Head amp loading >= 100ohm

Less than 2 hrs on it so far so not broken in, but it's a keeper.

01-13-2008, 06:48 AM
It is my understanding that when the time comes for a new stylus you have the choice of either the ATN30e or the ATN31e. While searching for reviews of the AT31e I saw claims in DIYAUDIO that the suspension on all AT cartridges will fail after a few years. My Signet TK5es are over 20 years old and I bought the AT31e in the middle 80s in London. All suspensions are fine, so what am I doing wrong.:D

01-13-2008, 10:57 AM
I read the same info. This cart, although new to me, hails from the late 70's/early 80's and it has no issues either.

What tonearm are you using? I've got mine on a Grace 707, but suspect the arm is a bit too light to be an optimal match.

01-21-2008, 10:00 AM
As to whether Yamaha made its own mc cartridges or not, I have a Yamaha MC-705 cartridge in my turntable (PX-3) that has a Audio Technica stylus on it.

I have also seen replacement stylus made by Audio technica that are OEM replacements for the Yamaha MC-705 as well as the Audio Technica AT3100/3200 cartridges.

So conclusion is that Audio Technica made the MC-705 for Yamaha.

01-20-2011, 07:25 PM
I have one that looks to be in perfect shape and never used. I bought a turntable or an arm, I forget which, and the guy just threw it in with the deal. I think it came with a tonearm that was one of the first prototypes for the MacIntosh turnable (not the one they just released but one that was on the drawing board in about the late 70s. The tonearm is said to be one of the first prototypes of the Graham tonearm as well (it looks like a Graham) and a forerunner to the models he later first introduced. I'm planning to keep that tonearm unless Mr. Graham longs for his first products and offers me a brand new one of his magnetic tonearms which I'm not expecting.

As to the tonearm, I'm worried about the elastomer suspension. What are the chances that it is good after all these years. I know I could put it on a tonearm and try it but I'd like to check and see what I'm dealing with as I have no idea about tracking, etc. Should one track it high or low to check it out. And what tonearm is it made for. I have an Alphason here that I could use or the Graham prototype or something different that I coudl use but what would be the recommended tonearm for the MC-1s? I may start a new thread if no one catches that I've added to this one.

01-20-2011, 07:28 PM
Incidentally, the pono cartridge looks brand new and never taken out of the fancy plstic box. Probably not but that's what it looks like.

01-20-2011, 07:35 PM
Incidentally, the story about the Graham tonearm is true according to Roger Russel. I understand the story is also in the McIntosh book they put out a few years ago. I have not way to verify mine is one of the first prototypes of this tonearm other than the word of the fellow who sold it to me and the fact that it looks like but not exactly like the early Graham production tonearms.

But all that is incidental to the phonearm cardtridge question which is whether the elastomer is likely to be any good after all these years. And does anyone have any idea of the cost of getting the elastomer repaired.

01-20-2011, 09:54 PM
The only way to tell is to try it. If an MC 1 is in good shape, it will sound very good. If it doesn't sound so hot, its probably the elastomer damper, and while you can try dribbling glycerin or something on it, it won't soak in uniformly, and it will dry up probably soonish, even if it restores the elasticity for a while.
But plenty of cartridges are just fine after decades -- mine was. So give it a shot. The worst that can happen is that you have to have it retipped if you want to use it. That will cost you, but in the (loony modern world of top cartridge prices, it will be a bargain -- only several hundred bucks(!).