View Full Version : whats the difference between high & low compliance cartridge


eldarvanyar
06-20-2010, 02:03 AM
Can someone please explain the difference between a high & low compliance cartridge?

I have a Rega RB251 with a shure m97XE cartrdige is that a good match?

I also have a Thrones TD 166MKII that I am looking to buy a replacement cartridge on

I have a new Pickering Xv15/625e that I can use as well as a spare Shure M97XE


Thanks

Balifly
06-20-2010, 10:41 AM
The simple explanation is :

Stiff cantilever - low compliance

Soft cantilever - high compliance

Stiff cantilever is best suited for heavy tonearm.

Soft cantilever is best suited for light tonearm.

There are also the in between stuffs that guys like Howard could explain, but not me!!!:no:

Fopp
06-20-2010, 11:22 AM
Resonant Frequency = 1000/[6.28*square root (M*C)]. Where M is the mass of the arm and cartridge and C is the compliance of the cartridge. As an example, if we had an arm/cartridge with a combined mass of 14g, and a cartridge with a compliance of 20, the resonant frequency would be 9.535.

This simple equation doesn't take into account all factors, including tonearm damping and, internal cartridge damping, but it will give you general idea of compatibility.

A tonearm whose effective mass is rated at 10 grams or below is considered low mass (e.g. early SME’s, Grace 747 etc.). A tonearm whose effective mass is rated between 11 and 25 grams is considered moderate mass (e.g. SME 309, IV, IV-Vi, V, Triplanar, Graham). Arms above 25 grams of mass are high mass in nature (Eminent Technology, Dynavector).

A phono cartridge whose compliance is rated at 12 x l0ˉ6 or below, is considered low compliance. A cartridge whose compliance is rated between 13 x l0ˉ6 and 25 x l0ˉ6 is considered high to very high. Note: Another way of expressing compliance is um/mN. Here a rating of 5 to 10 is considered very low, 10 to 20 is moderate and above 35 is very high.


Read more: http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/tonearmcartridge.html

hakaplan
06-20-2010, 11:35 AM
Right, except then you get into dynamic and static compliance, neither of which ends up being accurate because of the fact that they are often reported at 100Hz rather than 10Hz. So while the formula is technically correct, the compliance number you plug into it is usually not.

Here's an example. The AT-440MLa has a dynamic compliance of 10CU. That would make you think it's very low compliance. But in fact, it's a high compliance cartridge.

That's why tracking force is a better predictor of compliance. Low compliance will always require higher TF and vice versa.

hakaplan
06-20-2010, 11:49 AM
Can someone please explain the difference between a high & low compliance cartridge?

I have a Rega RB251 with a shure m97XE cartrdige is that a good match?

I also have a Thrones TD 166MKII that I am looking to buy a replacement cartridge on

I have a new Pickering Xv15/625e that I can use as well as a spare Shure M97XE


Thanks
Balifly's explanation is correct and makes it easy to understand. Fopp's explanation is correct, but that may be a little advanced for you. All styli actually will oscillate at a certain frequency, called the resonant frequency. You normally don't see it, because the record is playing all different frequencies. But if you were to play a record of a pure tone of only that particular frequency you would see the stylus jump and wobble all around. The idea is to get that frequency to fall in an ideal range where it is not audible, but also not in harmony with warps and footfalls. And that is determined by the compliance of the stylus and the mass of the arm. That's the rationale for trying to get the best match. As Fopp correctly said, there are often other contributing factors, so rather than using this as a hard, fast rule, use it as a general guide to avoid extreme mismatches.

So, for example, you'd want to avoid matching a very light tonearm with a very low compliance cartridge. That would be a cartridge with a stiff cantilever requiring very high tracking forces. And that makes logical sense.

So with that in mind, you have two medium mass tonearms, and two high compliance cartridges. That's not a perfect match, but it's certainly close enough. The M97xE is a special case. Using the brush in the down position eliminates the stylus oscillations, so it can be used with any arm.

If you're looking at a replacement, ideally a medium mass arm would mate best with a cartridge with a tracking force perhaps from 1.5-2g or so.

Enjoy! :music:

eldarvanyar
06-20-2010, 04:00 PM
Thanks everyone I am beginning to understand.

What would your ideal MM cartridge be for a Rega RB251 and a Rega RB300?

Thanks

catman
06-20-2010, 04:12 PM
G'day mate, you might find this article interesting, especially in regard to the actions of the dynamic stabiliser 'brush' on reducing tonearm/ cartidge compliance 'issues'. http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/shure_m97xe_e.html Regards, Felix.

Bob_in_OKC
06-20-2010, 04:13 PM
Thanks everyone I am beginning to understand.

What would your ideal MM cartridge be for a Rega RB251 and a Rega RB300?

Thanks

This really depends on the sound characteristics each person likes. My first thought would be something like a Goldring 2200. If looking for a lower price, I'd probably look at the Ortofon 2M Red.