View Full Version : Audio-Technica AT311EP cartridge ?


y2k600f4
02-17-2010, 10:00 AM
Hello, I am just getting back into the hobby and I am in the search for more LPs to add to my collection and in the mean time I am re-building (2) vintage stereo systems (one is for a friend another in the hobby). Anyway my TT is a Technics SL-Q350 and my friends is a Sony PS-T2. I am running a P-mount Audio-Technica AT101 cartridge with the associated stylus (Green: ATN5103) it is a .4x.7 mil elliptical and seems to work well for me. He has a Grady Black cartridge that came on his TT that needs a needle ($30 cheapest I have seen), but not sure the condition of the cartridge since just picked it up used. Anyway I have found some Audio-Technica AT311EP cartridges for a decent price that are P-mount with the 1/2" adapter (needed for the sony); they are .3x.7 mil elliptical needles and for the cartridge and stylus run $25. Just about to order a pair (one for me for backup) and one for the Sony. Any opinions on this entry level cartridge/stylus and how it compares to my AT101 or any other cartridges/stylus in this price range ? Thanks.

SA-708
02-17-2010, 11:50 AM
Audiotechnica sold many similar p-mount cartridges of this design, with different model numbers. I have an AT-92ECD that I purchased for $24 shipped via eBay, that I think it pretty much the same as the AT311EP that you are looking at. Its a .3x.7 mil elliptical tip, and comes with an adaptor, brush, screwdriver, and screws in blister card packaging. At the time I was looking for a replacement stylus for an older DR400E cartridge, and buying the whole cartridge with stylus in eBay was cheaper than an authentic AT replacement stylus by itself.

In that price range, I think this cartridge is is hard to beat. Your AT101 has the bigger elliptical, so this should be an improvement. You should be able to use the new stylus on either your old cartridge or the new one.

ke4jhj
02-17-2010, 12:13 PM
The only difference between the AT311EP and the AT-92ECD is the output level, 5 mV and 3.3 mV, respectively. The both use the same .3 x .7 mil stylus, ATN 3472SE.

y2k600f4
02-17-2010, 12:37 PM
The only difference between the AT311EP and the AT-92ECD is the output level, 5 mV and 3.3 mV, respectively. The both use the same .3 x .7 mil stylus, ATN 3472SE.


Thanks Dave for the info. As far as the output voltage is the higher 5mV more beneficial ?

Bob_in_OKC
02-17-2010, 01:13 PM
I use an AT311EP upon occasion but have found I prefer the Ortofon TM14 cartridge that shipped with my turntable. The AT cartridge can be upgraded to a Shibata stylus, if you're interested in that. I took one off a 1/2-inch cartridge and sometimes use it in my P-mount cartridge. The extra gain of 5mV as compared to 3.3mV is not necessarily beneficial, but it's also not so much that it could be a negative. Although you might have to turn up the volume a little higher with the 3.3mV, I've found my own receiver seems to sound better that way. It balances better.

ejman
02-17-2010, 01:50 PM
The AT311EP is a good entry level cartridge that has the virtue of having very inexpensive replacement stylus in a variety of configurations from conical to elliptical to shibata types (and even the right one for 78 rpm records). All of these different stylus tend to "ride" in a different part of the record groove so I use this cartridge on my Dual 1090 to test my "brand new" Goodwill and garage sale records before I decide the level of cleaning required (or even if it's worth cleaning at all)

Picklebp
02-17-2010, 03:03 PM
I went through a similar process recently with a Technics SL-Q312 TT. Audio Technica's seemed like the way to go with Technics TT's and an extremely low budget to work with. Went with the AT 3482H/U, with a .7 conical, from Garage-a-Record, good for both P and 1/2" mounts. They had recommended the 311P, but I was curious about the carbon fiber cantilever on the 3482, as opposed to alloy tubes on other AT products. This, plus good overall opinions of this budget cart swayed me. So far so good. It works very well, played through a Yamaha RX-596 receiver and Boston Acoustics A70 speakers. I'll probably pick up the .3 x .7 replacement stylus down the road for comparison.
Here's a review from a few years ago(note: towards the end reference to the AT-92E):
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/frr.pl?ranlg&1160666818&read&3&4

ke4jhj
02-18-2010, 07:41 AM
Thanks Dave for the info. As far as the output voltage is the higher 5mV more beneficial ?

It wouldn't call the higher output more beneficial. I use the AT-92E and its output level is OK. You just have to turn the volume level up a little compared to the AT-311EP.

myu701
06-03-2010, 07:42 PM
Thanks for this useful information, Dave. I'm right at the same decision point: AT-92ECD ($18.50) vs. AT-311EP ($27), on Amazon. 5mV vs. 3.3mV is a 34% difference in output level. Wouldn't it be better to go with the 311EP?

dumptruck
06-03-2010, 07:44 PM
Assuming a relatively cheap phono section is involved, the extra output can help keep the noise down..

dunhill
06-03-2010, 08:08 PM
http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee125/dunhill1966/AT_Comp.jpg

SA-708
06-03-2010, 08:20 PM
That Amazon price on the AT92E is fantastic, considering the cost of the replacement stylus by itself.

fastbike
06-03-2010, 09:59 PM
Not based on output level. The point is that there isn't really a difference in sound quality between the two levels. Your receiver or preamp will have plenty of gain in the volume control. In fact, the volume will probably track better if its more in the mide range. From that perspective, the is some advantage to a lower output.

There's really not enough difference between the AT92ECD and the AT-311EP to worry about. They take the same stylus, which has much more impact on sound quality than any of the other cartridge variables. They're so cheap that you should just buy both if you're having trouble deciding. The AT-92ECD gets the buzz because the stylus profile is typically found on a much more expensive cartridge. A real bargain. The 311 really doesn't offer anything significant for the extra cash.

Thanks for this useful information, Dave. I'm right at the same decision point: AT-92ECD ($18.50) vs. AT-311EP ($27), on Amazon. 5mV vs. 3.3mV is a 34% difference in output level. Wouldn't it be better to go with the 311EP?

kawal
06-28-2012, 03:51 PM
That is a very slight difference in dB Its only 20x log(5/3.5)=2.9dB so 34% might look a lot but its only 3dB.