View Full Version : Info & opinions on the Pickering TL-3 cartridge.

01-13-2012, 06:35 PM
Picked up a non-functioning Technics TT with a Pickering TL-3 P mount cart with their DTL-3 stylus on it. Used brush & ME and the tip shined up nicely. What I could find says it has the Stereohydron tip. Not really sure what that is. Anyway I was wondering what level this cart was, they seem pricey on that auction sight. What I have gleaned off the web is that it is basically a P mount version of the of the XV-15 cart. Or is it a better version of that cart. Would it be better to put the stylus on one of my XV-15 bodies and would that get good results? I have my Dual 1219 or a Garrard DD132 I could put it on. Would it be better on one or the other? :scratch2:

01-13-2012, 07:28 PM
The TL3 is a p-mount pickering branded version of the XV15 and 680 family.

Stereohedron was pickerings variation of the Shibata style line contact stylus, so that means it has a smaller side radius - so it tracks high frequencies better, and a larger major radius, so it has a long contact patch, which results in lower wear and tear on both the stylus and the records.

Stereohedron = Shibata = LineContact

Other Line Contact types include VividLine, Fineline, HyperEliptical, Hyperbolic, etc...

There is a notch up on this type of needle which is the Van DenHull, Fritz Geiger, MicroLine, MicroRidge type.

The TL3 was available in a basic model with DLT3 stylus and a stereohedron model with DTL3S stylus - which made it a TL3S

Here are some Pickering specifications:

The model down from it TL2S, and up from it TL4S are still available new at:

You can get the original DTL3S here:

or you can fit the DTL2S or DTL4S:

Or you can get one of these which will also fit:
Basic Eliptical
Better Eliptical
Best Eliptical
Stereohedron / Line Contact options

Note: if the arm you are fitting it on has adjustable VTF you can also fit the styli with brushes for the Pickering XV15 / Stanton 680

Line contact

If you want to know what it can sound like - do a search on the Stanton 680 - there have been a series of threads on this cartridge... and it is excellent.

The Lpgear vividline or hypereliptical styli (the last two line contact links) - are highly recomended as being excellent value for money... the original OEM stylus at around twice the price may be better (maybe)

bye for now


01-15-2012, 07:43 PM
Wow! thats a lot of info. Thanks. Now, who are using the TL-3 and what are your opinons of it.

01-15-2012, 09:07 PM
I have one on a technics SL QL15 and it sounds good I prefer the sound profile of a typical AT cartridge in the same price/value range, but if you like a less bright and warmer profile, than you will like it. It does that very well

01-19-2013, 07:57 PM
Resurrecting an old thread. 24 years ago I met the woman who became my wife. Along with her came a Technics SL-Q300 turntable. As it was during the CD craze, we mothballed the TT. (shocking news to many on AK, I know) After moving to a new home a few years ago I pulled the Technics out of storage and connected it to my 2235B. Upon inspection the cantilever was bent. I bought a LP Gear DTL-3 stylus. I've only used this TT a few times since but it sounds adequate. I think I need to spend time doing what one needs to do with the turntable to get it operating at peak performance. The motor appears to be working fine as the strobe is dead on 33 1/3 RPM. I may invest in a DTL3S stylus. Any other suggestions?