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anyone else running vintage Empire carts?

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

  1. desertrat748

    desertrat748 Active Member

    Messages:
    395

    Some Sapphire Bombay Gin will definitely improve any stylus sound.. ask me how I know..

    I’m just jealous of all the beautiful Empire carts that you have to roll! Well let us know how it turns out!
     
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  2. boreas

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

    Messages:
    15,536
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Pictures of Pinky.

    Empire S888VE-ERD 001.JPG Empire S888VE-ERD 002.JPG Empire S888VE-ERD 003.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  3. bobins08

    bobins08 Loving the dream Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I’m back to my Empires. Had a nice stint with my AT35E LOMC, then a Stanton 681EEE with a OEM stylus (probably very long in the tooth too).

    I played my 999-II MEX with OEM white 239-PDE. It sounded the best I’ve heard from it yet. I think break in is longer for this old guy, I have about 30 hours on it and it’s settled down. Still has big Stanton-like bass and big 3D soundstage. It’s kind of a show off and with certain recordings it sounds amazing.

    Playing my 2000x/III with OEM clear 237-DET. I am getting the most enjoyment out of this cartridge. I like it better than the 66 clone and better than the 681EEE but I’m comparing a new OEM Empire to a very old D6800EE.

    The 237-DET is the way to go. I lucked out to get one. Balanced across all frequencies, great tonality, and it does everything right. The conical in this family sounds very close to it, but lacking the separation, the top end detail and air.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  4. boreas

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

    Messages:
    15,536
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Pinky's a keeper. Very articulate and a really good sound stage. From looking at the stone, I'd have to conclude that it has very low tip mass. Add that to the short slender cantilever and you have a very lively little feller.

    I'd love to know who made this thing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  5. desertrat748

    desertrat748 Active Member

    Messages:
    395
    For what it’s worth, I found the 239-PDE (white) to take a long time to break in and the same time frame. About 40 hours and it finally started to come alive. Harsh and too bright to begin with.

    But I just received, 30 minutes ago, a brand new Genuine empire to 239DEC for the 66/Ex and a smoky for my 2000e/iii .. the 2000 lives!

    First time with The Police Zenyatta Mondatta.. to steal from a great guy, Buttery Smooth. The 2000 is Alive!
     
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  6. By-Tor

    By-Tor Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Tulare County, California
    Phew, took me long enough, but an Empire 295LT is now mine. Funny enough the eBay seller lives in the same town as I do, so I should be able to go pick it up tomorrow....erhmm technically later today.
     
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  7. Vinylmasters

    Vinylmasters AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,435
    Location:
    Saratoga Springs NY
    Hoping someone can help me a bit here.... I have an Empire 875XLT, but I'm looking for the step DOWN from that, which I know I have seen somewhere online N.O.S. (barring that, I'd settle for just a used cart, but...). Does anyone know what source had this cartridge? It was sold as Empire and/or Azden I believe?
     
  8. wualta

    wualta permanently nonplussed cat Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,444
    Location:
    West Michigan USA
    The Azden that corresponds to your Empire is the YM-P50VL, and the only thing I know of a "step down" from that would be the YM-P50E, which puts us back with the lousy-tracking blue stylus (S333) which I presume is the same one that came with the Empire 775XLT. This is the only photo I've been able to find, and I don't know of anyone/anything selling it:
    Empire 775 XLT-a.jpg
     
  9. Gretsch6120

    Gretsch6120 Active Member

    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    New Hope, PA
    Walt-you beat me to it by a few seconds. The original 875XLT stylus is the impossibly rare, red S777LAC (aka the Azden AN-P50VL). One (considerable) step down would be the translucent blue Azden AN-P50E elliptical which can be found rather cheaply on ebay. Also known as the Pfanstiehl 245-DE.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  10. wualta

    wualta permanently nonplussed cat Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,444
    Location:
    West Michigan USA
    I guess I should mention that the bodies of all these Azden-sourced cartridges are the same. As usual, the stylus makes the model.
     
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  11. Vinylmasters

    Vinylmasters AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,435
    Location:
    Saratoga Springs NY
    I have two of the original red stylus (VL), and one of the original elliptical, but want a cart for it as well. The aftermarket stylus for this cart is absolutely worthless (the blue one).
     

     

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  12. wualta

    wualta permanently nonplussed cat Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,444
    Location:
    West Michigan USA
    And so, in my experience, is the original Azden (I have several, sadly). So unless Empire specified something different for the XLT series...
    DSC02917a.jpg
     
  13. Vinylmasters

    Vinylmasters AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,435
    Location:
    Saratoga Springs NY
    Yep. The VL is an incredible stylus. The elliptical - the original Empire, not the aftermarket made ones - are OK, just the separation and high end isn't as pronounced as the VL is.
     
  14. Jasonj

    Jasonj New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Is there any source for NOS s2000z stylus? I thought I was getting one from lp gear but then stumbled upon this thread to find out it wasn’t. I’d like to hear the real deal.
     
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  15. boreas

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

    Messages:
    15,536
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Nope. V-M Audio Enthusiasts had a supply of S2000T, S2000S and EXL-30 styli sold collectively under the Pfanstiehl number 239-DET (they're the same as the S2000Z except for the color) but they were eventually all sold.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  16. wualta

    wualta permanently nonplussed cat Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,444
    Location:
    West Michigan USA
    If you've got the money, a source for just about anything will present itself, but did you really want to spend big bucks to get it? and wouldn't that money be better spent on some other upgrade? That's the big question those of us who are lovers of vintage hardware have to ask ourselves all the time.
     
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  17. cafe latte

    cafe latte Active Member

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Ravenshoe
    Can one of you guys measure the distance from the magnets to the stub and also from rear to the stylus tube? Going nuts cant find my old Empire 888 worn out stylus and found Stanton fit and sound really good actually superb. Metal tube is a little long but it can be cut but want to get correct position of magnets. Basically with this mod you can fit a Shibata to an Empire.
    Chris
     
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  18. Stevedel

    Stevedel Active Member

    Messages:
    353
    Sorry to hear that. The 2000Z/T is a wonderful sounding cartridge/stylus combination.

    Gary (V-M Audio Enthusiasts) still has a supply of the 235 SDE white styli. If they are the same as those I purchased (Empire boxed, labeled S999TE/X ERD) then they are a true "nude" stylus with a .2x.7 mil, hand polished elliptical diamond. The 999TE/X is one small step down from my favorite, the 999VE/X. This may be a "last chance opportunity" to find a classic Empire stylus at a reasonable price. It will work in the 999TE/X or 999SE/X bodies and all others in that series.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  19. boreas

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

    Messages:
    15,536
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    I have 2 S999VE/X-ERD styli here, one in use and one in reserve, both of which are diasa. You're fortunate to have a nude. Those TE/Xs that Gary has may or may not be nude but they're the genuine article.
     
  20. Stevedel

    Stevedel Active Member

    Messages:
    353
    Here, Boreas, is an image of a 999TE/X stylus out of an Empire marked plastic box, enclosed in a black cardboard box marked "S999TE/X-ERD".

    The S999VE/X-ERD was much the same except it was in a small walnut box in a wood-grain cardboard sleeve/box. The 1000ZE/X replacement (also from Gary), was a diasa, in a small, flat black Pfanstiehl marked package.

    I'm still trying to make sense of all of this.[​IMG]
     

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