View Full Version : Technics - Stylus Help


bonkas
12-20-2012, 03:43 PM
Hi Guys,

I have a Technics SL-23 that I have just bought for my first "Real" turntable.

I need some advice on cartridges and stylus'.

The cartridge has been replaced according to the seller - This is his description:

"The cartridge has been replaced.
It now has a A&R ambridge Magnetic Cartridge. C77.
I have 2 stylus A black one & the Red one is on the turntable.
I think the Black one is stuffed.
When we modified it we set it up nect to a Rega planar 3 & couldn't hear the difference.
I also still have the original cartridge.
Hope this helps."

So since he still has the original cartridge the stylus I have bought "PANASONIC EPS270ED Elliptical" should fit as it is listed in the manual as the replacement.

Now given the cartridge that is on it.. Which should I keep and use or throw away?

Thanks for your input. I am clueless about this stuff.

Regards

boreas
12-20-2012, 04:06 PM
A&R Cambridge, better known as ARCAM. The C77 was their basic entry level model with a conical stylus. (The "C" stands for "conical".) I think it very unlikely that you'll find a replacement stylus for it or, if you do, it will be at a price commensurate with its quality. I think I would use it if the stylus is okay, and save for a better one.

John

http://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_database.php?m=ARCAM&t=any&mod=&sort=2&Search=Search&sty=&ovlo=&ovhi=&can=&dclo=&dchi=&stid=&masslo=&masshi=&notes=&prlo=&prhi=

jimreeves
12-20-2012, 04:11 PM
The Panasonic cart and stylus should be a better choice for you than the A&R, if only because stylii for it are readily available, and it is elliptical.

boreas
12-20-2012, 04:25 PM
The Panasonic cart and stylus should be a better choice for you than the A&R, if only because stylii for it are readily available, and it is elliptical.

Apparently that's gone.

John

bonkas
12-20-2012, 04:29 PM
Aparently I am able to have the original Cartridge with the table so my new stylus if it is really original should fit :) I will see what I have when I pick it up tomorrow.

I would like to have a new stylus on there so what is on there currently is unknown condition

You guys are a wealth of knowledge thank you very much.

bonkas
12-21-2012, 06:39 PM
Here's the new guy...

397305

This is the original cartridge apparently. Can anyone identify it?

397306

397307

If clearer pictures are needed I can upload some from my computer.

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jkilla
12-21-2012, 07:03 PM
Looks like an Audio Technica AT3400 Cartridge to me

bonkas
12-21-2012, 07:05 PM
I take it the stylus I bought EPS-270ED will not fit this cartridge?

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jkilla
12-21-2012, 07:57 PM
I take it the stylus I bought EPS-270ED will not fit this cartridge?

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Unfortunately it will not.

boreas
12-21-2012, 08:37 PM
As mentioned above, it's essentially an Audio-Technica AT3400 but the logo isn't the Audio Technica logo. It's a "private label" cartridge that Audio-Technica rebadged for someone else. Other than the logo it's the same cartridge as the AT-3400.

Even with their own ID, Audio-Technica made tons of identical cartridges under different model numbers, sometimes with different stylus specs, sometimes not. Your cartridge is one of those. You can get quite a few different styli, from ordinary to extraordinary, that will fit your cartridge.

Here's a web page showing a number of them.

http://www.turntableneedles.com/search.asp?keyword=at3400&search=GO

Audio-Technica still offers several of these cartridges so replacement styli are still in production and readily available. I'm sure that the shop you've been dealing with can get one for you and exchange it for the Technics stylus.

John

wualta
12-21-2012, 09:56 PM
It's a Linn Basik. Basikally, it's an Audio-Technica AT95 with a conical stylus, aka AT93 and AT3400, with a Linn logo on it. A good basik-- basic-- cartridge, usually goes for about US$40.

Panasonic/Technics made a zillion EPC-270s and equivalent variants, though they're out of production now. You might be able to find one cheap, depending on the breaks.

bonkas
12-22-2012, 01:06 AM
Am I better off keeping the installed cartridge or the second cartridge a few posts back?

If the one I have showed pictures of. What is a good needle to get for this? Keep in mind I just want clarity but low cost something around the same price as the stylus I just bought.

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wualta
12-22-2012, 07:37 AM
The green ATN95E stylus (Pfanstiehl 710-DE) is a basic 4x7 elliptical (tracks at ~2g) for the "Linn" which will suit you nicely as you save up for the inevitable upgrades. Here in the US it's around $35, and as far as I know it's currently in production.

boreas
12-22-2012, 10:56 AM
Am I better off keeping the installed cartridge or the second cartridge a few posts back?

If the one I have showed pictures of. What is a good needle to get for this? Keep in mind I just want clarity but low cost something around the same price as the stylus I just bought.

Since I don't think you have way of checking the condition of the ARCAM stylus, the safe assumption would be that it needs to be replaced, especially since it's 30 or 40 years old at this point. Because it's 30 or 40 years old, I doubt you'll find a replacement anywhere at a reasonable price, probably not at all. The Audio-Technica "Linn" stylus may be okay but, again, how do you check?

The green ATN95E stylus (Pfanstiehl 710-DE) is a basic 4x7 elliptical (tracks at ~2g) for the "Linn" which will suit you nicely as you save up for the inevitable upgrades. Here in the US it's around $35, and as far as I know it's currently in production.

The above is the direction I'd go. It's likely that you can exchange the EPS-270ED for the ATN95E for little difference in cash if any. It's very good in its own.

John

bonkas
12-22-2012, 09:30 PM
Ok just to confirm.

Keep the audio technica, ditch the A&R?

Purchase the stylus listed above for the audio technica and I should be good to go for a nice sounding table?

I have a few questions regarding replacing the cartridge, should I ask these here or start a new thread?

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boreas
12-22-2012, 09:48 PM
Ok just to confirm.

Keep the audio technica, ditch the A&R?

Purchase the stylus listed above for the audio technica and I should be good to go for a nice sounding table?

That would be my recommendation.

I have a few questions regarding replacing the cartridge, should I ask these here or start a new thread?

Your choice on the thread. I'd suggest that you wait until you have the new stylus before swapping cartridges and save the questions until then. In the meantime you can search the archives here for threads outlining the procedure. There are probably dozens. There may also be instructions in the SL-23 owner's manual.

John

jimreeves
12-23-2012, 08:13 AM
Bonkas,
you'll get most of your set up questions answered in AK member Arcorob's video.
Just go back to the top of the 'Turntables' forum and click on sticky thread #2.

bonkas
12-23-2012, 03:02 PM
Hi Jim,

I have skimmed over that post but have not yet watched the video.

First port of call is to get the right stylus (ATN95E) for the second cartridge I have (Linn Basik. it's an Audio-Technica AT95 with a conical stylus, aka AT93 and AT3400), then watch the video and swap the cartridges over and we should be good to go.

The player is working quite well as it is but a few wierd things are happening which I am hoping a new stylus will sort out.

Regards

boreas
12-23-2012, 03:08 PM
The player is working quite well as it is but a few wierd things are happening which I am hoping a new stylus will sort out.

Regards

For instance?

John

bonkas
12-23-2012, 03:31 PM
Seems to play at a steady speed with no problems at all but every now and then it will get bogged down enough to really notice it in the music - This only happens once or twice per side of a record for less than a second each time.

I have not given the record a thorough cleaning yet though and the stylus is in unknown condition so I thought it was a good place to start.

I am also looking at the specs of the A&R cartridge and Stylus installed now and it's spec is 5mV and the stylus for the Audio Technica Cart I am going to replace it with is rated at 3.5mV - The turntable already seems about 1/2 the volume of the old cheap unit I had. I am thinking this new cart and stylus will make it even quieter.

Ahh the wonders of vinyl :)

boreas
12-23-2012, 03:58 PM
Seems to play at a steady speed with no problems at all but every now and then it will get bogged down enough to really notice it in the music - This only happens once or twice per side of a record for less than a second each time.

I have not given the record a thorough cleaning yet though and the stylus is in unknown condition so I thought it was a good place to start.

I am also looking at the specs of the A&R cartridge and Stylus installed now and it's spec is 5mV and the stylus for the Audio Technica Cart I am going to replace it with is rated at 3.5mV - The turntable already seems about 1/2 the volume of the old cheap unit I had. I am thinking this new cart and stylus will make it even quieter.

Ahh the wonders of vinyl :)

The speed issues have nothing to do with the cartridge or the stylus. It's probably one or all of four things.

It could be that the motor needs lubrication (sewing machine oil or a light machine oil).

It could be that the spindle needs lubrication (synthetic 30 wt. motor oil).

It could be that the belt is slipping. This, in turn, could be the result of one or both of the above.

It could be - and probably is - that the speed control pots (potentiometers) need to be cleaned (Caig DeoxIT D5 if available in NZ or some other electronics cleaner that includes a lubricant - Radio Shack will have somerthing).

I wouldn't expect that the lower output of he ATN95E will cause a problem for you. Turntables running through built-in phono preamps are a little lower in output than other "line level" sources, probably 15% to 20% lower. It's normal. (You do have the turntable hooked up to a set of "PHONO" inputs, right?)

******* If, on the other hand, the stylus tip is actually broken and especially if the tracking force is set too heavy, you could expect increased drag from the stylus which, if severe enough, could slow the turntable's rotation. This will destroy the record.*******

John

bonkas
12-23-2012, 04:18 PM
Thanks John,

I have yet to go through the service manual to sort these things out but I have all the above oils, belt has been replaced not long ago "aparently".

My previous turntable was as you say 15-20% difference in volume, this new one is much much quieter - to get the same volume on ~20% on the dial with a AUX source I need to have the volume turned way up to about ~75-80% for the Turntable Not a huge biggie as I would not listen to my vinyl any louder than this anyway.

You responses are very much appreciated John, Thanks for helping a new guy out :)

illini
12-23-2012, 04:18 PM
In addition to what boreas recommended, replacing the electrolytic capacitors may also improve speed stability.

bonkas
12-23-2012, 04:39 PM
Just a note: Stylus is not broken and seems to be playing okay apart from this little annoyance I will need to sort out! Also tracking at approx 1.8gms

boreas
12-23-2012, 05:15 PM
Thanks John,

I have yet to go through the service manual to sort these things out but I have all the above oils, belt has been replaced not long ago "aparently".

My previous turntable was as you say 15-20% difference in volume, this new one is much much quieter - to get the same volume on ~20% on the dial with a AUX source I need to have the volume turned way up to about ~75-80% for the Turntable Not a huge biggie as I would not listen to my vinyl any louder than this anyway.

You responses are very much appreciated John, Thanks for helping a new guy out :)

Since the AT and the ARCAM are both moving coil cartridges in the typical range of voltages, I don't think you should see a 15 - 20% drop in output from that you saw in another turntable. What I meant was a drop of that sort between a turntable and a line level source like a CD player or a cassette deck or a tuner. The fact that you do hear less from this turntable than you did a previous one is suggestive of a damaged stylus tip, not" reading" all the information in the groove.

If you're using the ARCAM now I'd suggest you stop. You could mount up the "Linn" and give that a go but if you hear and see similar problems to what you're seeing now, I'd stop and wait for a new stylus.

John

bonkas
12-23-2012, 05:26 PM
Yup waiting on a new stylus John.

Unfortunately this will have to way for the new year as everybody has closed down for the holidays.

EDIT: Actually I am also wondering. This Cartridge I have at the moment that I am looking at returning which is the original replacement for the Turntable (EPS270ED) - How does this compare to the two cartridges and stylus I have now? Would it be worth chasing after a cartridge to fit this stylus?

Merry christmas to you john!

boreas
12-23-2012, 06:09 PM
Yup waiting on a new stylus John.

Unfortunately this will have to way for the new year as everybody has closed down for the holidays.

EDIT: Actually I am also wondering. This Cartridge I have at the moment that I am looking at returning which is the original replacement for the Turntable (EPS270ED) - How does this compare to the two cartridges and stylus I have now? Would it be worth chasing after a cartridge to fit this stylus?

Merry christmas to you john!

Merry Christmas to you too!

I don't have any experience with that cartridge but do know that Technics made some quite good ones. The fact that JICO in Japan deems it worthy of one of their excellent (and expensive) SAS styli may be an indication that it's a good one.

The cartridge model is EPC270C. There's one on eBay Oz right now if you feel like splurging. :)

John

griffithds
12-27-2012, 04:04 PM
If Jico is where you are headed for a stylus replacement, then I would suggest you buy their SAS stylus1. It will fit your C-77 making it a P-77 perfectly. The P-77 is the same cartridge the Garrott Bros. in Australia made famous. I'm running the SAS stylus1 in my P-77 as I type this. It is one hell of an upgrade to the Garrott Bros. P-77 which was/is one of the top M/M cartridges of all time.

Regards,
Don

wualta
12-28-2012, 06:04 AM
This one?
http://stylus.export-japan.com/product_info.php?cPath=88&products_id=1468

Nifty!

bonkas
12-29-2012, 04:43 PM
I dont have that kinda money burning a hole in my pocket so that is not an option for me.

I have ordered the "ATN95E" as I already have the cartridge for this.

Also have a digital gram scale on the way after watching Rob's Turntable Setup video, Just need to track down a protractor - Is a printable version acceptable?

boreas
12-29-2012, 04:59 PM
I dont have that kinda money burning a hole in my pocket so that is not an option for me.

I have ordered the "ATN95E" as I already have the cartridge for this.

Also have a digital gram scale on the way after watching Rob's Turntable Setup video, Just need to track down a protractor - Is a printable version acceptable?

Yes, they're perfectly acceptable as long as you make sure to print them out without ans "scaling". That being said, you don't actually need to use a protractor for the SL-23.

If you've downloaded the instruction manual - and if you haven't, you should - you'll see on page 2 that the turntable originally came with an alignment jig. What the jig accomplished is to set the distance between the stylus tip and the rear face of the headshell washer at 52mm. This gives the correct overhang for the SL-23.

Assuming you don't have the jig, you can accomplish the same thing with a ruler and a good eye. Just loosen the cartridge in the headshell, via the single screw on top if you have the original headshell, and then position the cartridge so that the correct distance is achieved.

John

bonkas
12-30-2012, 12:02 AM
Maybe I didn't come away from the video with enough information as I should have.

A protractor will check the alignment of the cartridge and stylus but also give the correct overhang? If now. Will a digital caliper help here?

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boreas
12-30-2012, 12:38 AM
Maybe I didn't come away from the video with enough information as I should have.

A protractor will check the alignment of the cartridge and stylus but also give the correct overhang? If now. Will a digital caliper help here?

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In theory, correct overhang produces correct alignment. Rob's video discusses the procedure for aligning a cartridge on a turntable for which no "shortcut" like the Technics one exists.

Aligning a cartridge with a 2-point protractor is a very fiddly process with a lot of back and forth, back and forth, making tiny adjustments one way or the other until you get it right at both points. Let's imagine that you've done this and that, after finishing, you remove the headshell and take a measurement from the stylus tip to some fixed point on the headshell, preferably one that could be found on any headshell that would fit the table. The rear shoulder of the washer is a perfect choice. Once you've done this and recorded the measurement for future use, you'll be able to correctly align any cartridge in any headshell you use on that table just by setting it up to that one measurement.

That's in essence what the Technics engineers did. They determined the ideal geometry for the arm they designed and, once they had set the arm to that specification, they simply checked the stylus to washer distance. Instant setup from now on.

Yes, a caliper would be a good tool to use to set that 52mm distance.

John