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anyone else running vintage Empire carts?

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by gadget73, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. russdall

    russdall Active Member

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    Yikes! I guess it never hurts to actually read the specs first. Looks like I need to back that whole 2000E/III train up.
     

     

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  2. wualta

    wualta permanently nonplussed cat Subscriber

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    Maybe not. Here are the 2000E/III specs:
    Empire S2000E-III specs.jpg
     
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  3. cafe latte

    cafe latte Active Member

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  4. russdall

    russdall Active Member

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    Well now! That's a stylus of a different color.......
    Thanks, Walt.....Da Wizard.
     
  5. boreas

    boreas "If it sounds good, it IS good." E.K.E.

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    15,536
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    The specs are in the attached file.

    The V-M Audio Enthusiasts is a really good source but with specific regard to the 232 (888) styli, he's selling a mix of original and aftermarket. As it says on the web page, "232 needles may or may not be products of Empire Scientific". When I asked him to find me an original, he declined.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. wualta

    wualta permanently nonplussed cat Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I hope I'm wrong about this, but as far as I know, the only way to tell if the earliest style of 232s, ones that look like the one on the left, are real Empires...
    Empire 888 and 999VE styli _1a.jpg
    ...is to compare them visually to known-real examples, assuming verifiable reals could be found. Gary probably doesn't have that ability, but I'll bet we could do it collectively here. I have only one example of an early 232 stylus, and since it came from Gary I don't know if it's real or not.

    The stylus on the right (I've nicknamed this later style "arrowhead") has what Gary calls a "hot stamp", and because of this it can be easily identified as a real 232-D7 stylus.
     

     

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  7. Cylontymany

    Cylontymany Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    872
    Location:
    Portland,Oregon
    I put the Vividline on my 2000E/III Its the closest stylus to the original.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  8. desertrat748

    desertrat748 Active Member

    Messages:
    395
    And? Initial response? Maybe after a few hours of breaking in?
     
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  9. Cylontymany

    Cylontymany Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Portland,Oregon
    Its not in rotation yet! Have read some other reviews on this combo with happy results and that's why I ordered it. I believe in at least trying to equal the original stylus or putting a better ones like the Vividline for better performance than original. Trying to split hairs on a $12-25 stylus from VM is fine for some-but its not for me. I hope I don't end up eating my words here...
     
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  10. desertrat748

    desertrat748 Active Member

    Messages:
    395
    It’s all good. I’m eating humble pie about 1/2 the time.
     
  11. Cylontymany

    Cylontymany Well-Known Member

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    872
    Location:
    Portland,Oregon
    I also own the LTD 400 & 450 carts I am thinking of putting a Jico 3x7 elliptical on the 400 and the Vividline on the 450 just to do a little sound comparison experiment. I started a thread on this a never got one response.
     
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  12. boreas

    boreas "If it sounds good, it IS good." E.K.E.

    Messages:
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    Sonoma County, CA
    What sort of response are you looking for?
     
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  13. desertrat748

    desertrat748 Active Member

    Messages:
    395
    Everyone wants it all in this Giant cumbersome Empire thread... but it’s nice to go visit this and find what you want.. I’m curious about how they will compare. Cart wise I don’t see anything huge between the chunky types unless they are the upper level models.. it’s just nice to find decent styli for whatever model is out there and available.

    You never know what you will find out there with original or aftermarket.
    I’m impressed with the one aftermarket conical that was available for the 2000Z.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
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  14. desertrat748

    desertrat748 Active Member

    Messages:
    395
    You must have not asked nicely enough?
     
  15. boreas

    boreas "If it sounds good, it IS good." E.K.E.

    Messages:
    15,536
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Hmmm, well........

    It was apparently more difficult a proposition than I initially thought. I originally believed it was a simple matter of looking for a stylus with the Empire logo stamped on it.

    So, after being "rebuffed" by Gary, I ordered a NOS S888SE-ERD from PUN and I like it very much. But I eventually started thinking about it again and it occurred to me that I'd never seen a pink, white, blue, or green generic for the 888 cartridges. So, I reasoned, if that's true and if I ordered one of those colors from Gary, it would of necessity be the real deal. So, in a recent order from Gary, I added an 232-SDE, specifying pink as the first choice and blue as the second. (He's out of white.)

    I figured that my theory would be confirmed if the stylus I received had the Empire logo on it. However, when I got the stylus yesterday, a pink one, it was unmarked so I figured it was a generic. But it had a very slender cantilever (with no dot), much slenderer and also shorter than the one on my S888SE-ERD so I didn't know what I had here.

    This morning I put it under the microscope and what I saw brightened my mood considerably. The stylus is a hand polished nude elliptical! This can't be a generic. Nobody puts that much work and that much quality into generics. So, my supposition that all the 888 styli have the logo stamped into them (as was the case with the few original styli I've seen) is almost certainly wrong. Some, perhaps the earliest ones, may be unmarked.

    So, this would explain Gary's disclaimer that "232 needles may or may not be products of Empire Scientific" and his reluctance to sift through them to find an original. It's just too difficult to distinguish NOS from generic with these. But I have hope for my color theory. It seems to have worked out in this case.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  16. boreas

    boreas "If it sounds good, it IS good." E.K.E.

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    Location:
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    Okay, now I'm confused. These pictures are from a listing currently on eBay. As you can see, the cantilever is tapered. (Mine is not.) It's also fatter and longer. And in the second photo you can see that it has the Empire logo on it. So, what do I have here? A nude hand polished elliptical generic? Or did Empire at some point completely change the way they made the S888VE-ERD?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. desertrat748

    desertrat748 Active Member

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    Someone has to know, or at least I think someone should, but who made Empire styli early on in the 60s and early 70s? In house? USA? Japan or Swiss?

    Early comment about the short cantilever, short stubby has been in my experience genuine Empire for 66 models and blobs; and the long tapered for them were aftermarket from Japan.

    More importantly, how do they sound?
     
  18. wualta

    wualta permanently nonplussed cat Subscriber

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    Location:
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    To make things even more confusing, there was such a thing as an 888VE II. Could it be...? Loan bee holed, a tapered cantilever:

    5.JPG 7a.jpg
     
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  19. boreas

    boreas "If it sounds good, it IS good." E.K.E.

    Messages:
    15,536
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    My brain hurts!

    I suppose what I have is a gin-you-whine S888VE-ERD and that Merlin is selling an S888VEII-ERD (if such exists).

    I'm giving the S888SE-ERD a run now to establish a base line before I try Pinkie. Will report.
     
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  20. boreas

    boreas "If it sounds good, it IS good." E.K.E.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Farz I know, they were all made in house until well into the Benz era when everything was sourced from Japan.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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