View Full Version : Help with old Pickering cartridge...


dustinM
08-27-2011, 02:46 PM
Hi guys. I recently craigslisted a somewhat large lot of old equipment from a guy near my house. I was actually only interested in an integrated amp that was in the bunch. When i got home I decided to hook up the old Technics Sl-3 ( http://www.vinylengine.com/library/technics/sl-3.shtml ). I was astounded by the sound that this turntable that weighs almost nothing produces. I have had NO experience with linear tracking tables before, but I can't help but think it sounds better than my new $500 table.

Anyways, I am interested in getting a new cartridge for this table. As its used, i really don't trust the stylus as I do not have a microscope. Its an old Pickering cart, I can't find much info on them. Would I be better to simply buy a new needle? Or should I go with a new cartridge? How does this stack up against current production P-mount cartridges? Any info greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Some pics below....

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff19/jbarr1989/pic3-1.jpg
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff19/jbarr1989/pic2-1.jpg
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff19/jbarr1989/pic1.jpg
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff19/jbarr1989/pic6-1.jpg
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff19/jbarr1989/pic5-1.jpg
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff19/jbarr1989/pic4-1.jpg

Sam Cogley
08-27-2011, 03:01 PM
Google should bury you up to your eyeballs in Pickering cartridge info. Just a tip - they were the same company as Stanton.

That looks like a TL-1, I have one on a JVC linear-tracking deck. Nice cart.

BrocLuno
08-27-2011, 04:33 PM
Pretty good cartridge. Here are some styli options: http://www.turntableneedles.com/search.asp?keyword=pickering+dtl+1&search=GO :)

SA-708
08-27-2011, 08:11 PM
I like the Pickering TL series; I currently running one on my Technics SL-Q5 turntable, similar to yours, in the system in my office. I've been using a DTL-2 stylus on mine, which I purchased from Garage 'a Records: http://www.garage-a-records.com/proddetail.php?prod=609del

For the price, I personally think you'd be better of with a new needle for this cartridge than an all-new cartridge. This is the p-mount version of the Stanton 680/681 which gets mentioned often around here, and also the Pickering XV-15. If you do want a cheaper option, the Audiotechnica AT92E-CD is a great option, and can often be found for under $20.00

flavio81
08-27-2011, 08:31 PM
For dirt cheap money those are good options:

Audio Technica AT-92ECD
Shure M92E

dustinM
08-27-2011, 09:18 PM
Thank you all for your responses. I am willing to go up to $100 on a cart for this. So I guess my revised question is...

How would this cart with a new dtl-2 stylus stack up against current available p-mount carts in the $100 price range. I'm tempted just to order the new stylus now.

Sam Cogley
08-27-2011, 09:23 PM
IMHO, the only current production offering that's going to touch it in that price range is the Ortofon X1-MCP, and I don't think anyone has been selling them for less than $100 for some time. There's a reason why the Stanton 68x/Pickering XV-15 cartridge is so well regarded and still in production 40-some-odd years after it was introduced.

bangsezmax
08-27-2011, 09:33 PM
Call me crazy, but I think that if the rig sounds great (as you say it does), then the stylus is probably okay. At the very least, it doesn't sound like it's damaged

If you can, why not ask the guy for a rough estimate of how many hours he had on it?

I also thought that linear trackers were supposed to be easier for stylus and groove wear because of the tracking geometry.

If you decide you don't want to chance it with the stylus, by all means send the old one to me.:yes:

E.Man
08-27-2011, 11:13 PM
This is the p-mount version of the Stanton 680/681 which gets mentioned often around here, and also the Pickering XV-15.

In which case the 'Shibata' stylus will fit too. From 'JICO' in Japan and others online. Search under 'Stanton 680/681'.

LAB3
08-27-2011, 11:41 PM
In which case the 'Shibata' stylus will fit too. From 'JICO' in Japan and others online. Search under 'Stanton 680/681'.

I agree on JICO for Pickering carts...or about any MM cart.... I have a Pickering XUV I found a Real

Pickering new/old stylus.....over 200 bucks with the brush that rides in front.

I am not sure this old cart still works to spend that kind of money to find out

it is 30 plus years old and done in. Pop had several carts trying a Shure M70B

that plays very good. I still wonder about the XUV:scratch2:

dlaloum
08-27-2011, 11:45 PM
Take a look at beatcombers thread http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=388991

The Stanton 681 with LPGear Vivid Line stylus came out tops...

The VividLine stylus will also fit your DTL - well within your budget, and the result should be top notch sound!...

bye for now

David

SA-708
08-27-2011, 11:46 PM
In which case the 'Shibata' stylus will fit too. From 'JICO' in Japan and others online. Search under 'Stanton 680/681'.

The issue is, that while a stylus intended for a Stanton 681 would work on this cartridge, it wouldn't weigh the same as the original stylus. Since his turntable doesn't look to have adjustable tracking force (my SL-Q5 lacks this as well), going with a Pickering DTL stylus instead of one intended for a related model is probably a good choice.

Thank you all for your responses. I am willing to go up to $100 on a cart for this. So I guess my revised question is...

How would this cart with a new dtl-2 stylus stack up against current available p-mount carts in the $100 price range. I'm tempted just to order the new stylus now.

As someone with a sizeable collection of p-mount cartridges, I'd suggest that could be your best option. I've got six cartridges at work to swap around on my SL-Q5 and so far the TL with the DTL-2 seems to be the combination I keep returning to.

Without adjustable tracking force, I wouldn't suggest a Grado or Ortofon OMP. Both Turntableneedles and LPGear offer an Audiotechnica that they upgrade to a nicer (Shibata or Vivid) stylus for under $100 which is a combination I have not yet tried out.

SA-708
08-27-2011, 11:51 PM
Take a look at beatcombers thread http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=388991

The Stanton 681 with LPGear Vivid Line stylus came out tops...

The VividLine stylus will also fit your DTL - well within your budget, and the result should be top notch sound!...

bye for now

David

This would be another option for a Vivid line stylus, that would be more likely to weight 6 grams and track at the right force than fitting a JICO stylus intended for another model: http://www.lpgear.com/product/LPGATSER05L.html

Stanton681EEES
08-28-2011, 05:48 AM
Thank you all for your responses. I am willing to go up to $100 on a cart for this. So I guess my revised question is...

How would this cart with a new dtl-2 stylus stack up against current available p-mount carts in the $100 price range. I'm tempted just to order the new stylus now.

Order The new Stylus

dlaloum
08-28-2011, 06:16 AM
Your choices are:

1) DTL2 conical aftermarket equivalent - equivalent to $25 cartridge
2) DTL2e eliptical $80 - equivalent to OMP20 ($150 @ KABUsa)
http://www.turntableneedles.com/DTL-2E-Needle-609-DEL-Genuine-Pickering_p_1212.html
3) DTL2s stereohedron (shibata) $110 - equivalent to OMP30 ($300)
http://www.turntableneedles.com/DTL-2S-Needle-609-DEL-Genuine-Pickering_p_1213.html
4) DTL3/4s TOTL Stereohedron $190 - equivalent to OMP40 ($365)

For options 2 & 3 there are aftermarket equivalents that are high quality... for option 4 you can only get OEM and they are rare (but still good value given the performance!)

The Aftermarket DTL2e/s equivalents:
0.3 mil eliptical
http://www.lpgear.com/product/PICSDTL2E.html
Vivid Line (Hypereliptical?)
http://www.lpgear.com/product/STAD0073S.html
Same but with brush - remove prush for standard p-mount use.... (it is cheaper!)
http://www.lpgear.com/product/STAD6800EEE.html
Shibata (top of the line aftermarket needles)
http://www.lpgear.com/product/STNSL737S.html
http://www.lpgear.com/product/STNSL747S.html


My opinion:
Turntableneedles still have the original stereohedron DTL2s - grab it while you can for $110... - this is the "play safe" option

If you are willing to go aftermarket, the L737s/747s styli from LPgear are shibata (another top of the line profile) - and the L737/747 were the stanton sister cartridges to the TL2 that you have (identical except for the labelling) - at $80 they are a great bargain - in the beatcomber thread I mentioned earlier, it has ended up being awarded top honors in "blind" testing.... (a number of people have tried these and found them to be good!)

For your $80 to $110 depending on the option you choose, you will have a cartridge performing in the $300+ category if you were to purchase a new cartridge/stylus combo. - that is what I call a good deal!

bye for now

David

dustinM
08-28-2011, 03:04 PM
Thank you everyone! I am going to order either the DTL-2e or the DTL-2s asap. I had one last question.... probably a dumb question... but is there any noticable difference between brand name and aftermarket for these replacements? I see that I can get the DTL-2s aftermarket for the same price as the DTL-2e from turntableneedles.com (thank you david for all of the links).. Is this just a great deal? Or is there a difference in quality?

BrocLuno
08-28-2011, 03:51 PM
Depends :scratch2: And unless you know the source like JICO or something, it's a gamble :smoke:

SA-708
08-28-2011, 04:03 PM
Personally, I wasn't happy with the only Pickering aftermarket stylus I tried, and have stuck to genuine replacements since then. The cantilever wasn't properly fastened to the inside of the tube. That was a good number of years ago, and the quality of the aftermarkets may have improved. Others' experiences may vary.

LAB3
08-28-2011, 04:42 PM
Personally, I wasn't happy with the only Pickering aftermarket stylus I tried, and have stuck to genuine replacements since then. The cantilever wasn't properly fastened to the inside of the tube. That was a good number of years ago, and the quality of the aftermarkets may have improved. Others' experiences may vary.

Glad to know this as I am on the fence about replacing the stylus for Pop's old XUV4500Q a real pickering stylus(hard to find)was over 200 bucks for a stylus. I don't know for sure if it even works..big gamble for my budget right now. I was lookin at a Jap made replica stylus for about 85 dollars.

Sorry for the Thread Jack

Louis

dlaloum
08-28-2011, 07:47 PM
The original TOTL styli had naked needles, the aftermarket ones are bonded....

But I am not sure about the DTL2, as it was mid range. (naked is better as it is normally lighter...)

The original Pickering/Stanton cantilevers also had a proprietary anodizing treatment to increase stiffness, the AM cantilevers are a bit of an unknown quantity. The cantilever resonance is a key part of the overall sound of the cartridge....

So those are the question marks...

The other side of the coin is this, the gem quality even on the top of the line stanton/pickering needles was never fantastic (My D7500s stylus is nicely shaped and positioned, but it is a dark industrial gem rather than the beautiful natural gem fitted to the Shure V15HRP, Audio Technica AT20ss, ADC SuperXLM) - the Aftermarket needle may in fact be better quality... (especially the shibata)

And in terms of the overall sound, the feedback with regards to the LPgear aftermarket styli (both the vivid line and the shibata) has been very positive.

My personal experience with TurntableNeedles has also been positive...

So the safe path remains an OEM needle... but the aftermarket path has been tested with these particular brands/suppliers and found to be good...

bye for now

David