Review of the 'Quest 20' Ortofon/Digitrac

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by eteller, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. eteller

    eteller Addicted Member

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    For all those who have been following the post by Quest of using a Ortofon OM cartridge with a Digitrac stylus, I got mine today and thought I would write a review. I ordered the Digitrac 200 stylus last off of ebay last week, got it no problem. The cartridge did not work as expected, the stylus was fine. I got my Ortofon OMB5e from a german ebayer today. The Digitrac stylus fit the OMB5 fine after clipping off the Digitrac tab. Using Duffy's 'Rockferry' as a test lp, I gotta say I'm amazed for the money spent. The lp never sounded so airy, and I never knew there was such a grainy quality in Duffy's voice, very detailed. For a total of $46 shipped this was is an amazing bargain. Much more detailed than either my Grado green, AT12s or Shure 5x. A big thanks to Quest!!!:thmbsp:

    Original thread: http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=190332
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008

     

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  2. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Lunatic Member

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    Cool - Ortofons are fun to play with :)
     
  3. Quest

    Quest Active Member

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    169
    Location:
    Stockton CA
    “Quest 20?” LOL. That thread is fun. You are making me blush. Thanks for telling fellow AKers about the budget marvel. I’ve been using the bargain combination for a year now. While I have a fair collection of cartridges, I keep going back to The Mutt, the “Quest 20.”

    Eteller is not exaggerating; they sound great- the music anchors in the middle with definite, wide, detailed, and neutral stereo. It is quite refreshing.

    For those that missed it, here is a recap of the long thread. We can piece together cartridges that rival the sound of those costing much more using an Ortofon OM body and a bargain stylus that seems to be the old world, higher compliance, OM 20 or OMP 20 in disguise. The Digitrac 200 NE (nude-elliptical) cartridge, through a fleaBay seller, cost $20, free shipping. The Digitrac cartridges were manufactured by Ortofon in the early 80s. Haven’t heard of them? I have no wonder as they didn’t last long.

    Odds are the Digitrac cartridges do not work- it is a 1 in 4 chance. But the stylus does fit the OM bodies perfectly, after the tab is removed with fingernail clippers, even if they look homely, Frankenstein’s for sure. I have used them on my OMB 5E, OM 5E, and Arkiv. The sound is rare synergy; the combination of the nude-elliptical tip and the higher compliance cantilever make sweet music with plenty of detail.

    The Digitrac package gives extra goodies. Each comes with mounting screws, screwdriver, and either a hard-stylus-brush or a small-and-soft toothbrush so we get our moneys worth. Substitute the stylus on the OM and start spinning.

    Eteller has the right idea. If you do not have an OM cartridge lying around, new budget-saving OMB 5E (bulk package) cartridge runs $32.90 with free shipping at fleaBay from a seller in Germany. He lists them as OM B 5E or OMB5E. Good sound doesn’t have to cost a lot.

    I’m glad eteller, and others, took the gamble. Actually, it is not much of a gamble and the rewards are treasured bargains. We are all on a budget now and this could stretch it a lot further. Go buy some food to pig out on, sit back, and enjoy The Mutt.

    Eteller, I’ll bet the combination was quite a musical surprise.
     
  4. sfox52

    sfox52 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have maybe 10-12 hours on my "Quest 20", it seems to improve with break-in. The detail is what stands out most, it's comparable to my Denon DL 110. I have it at 1.5g VTF, & it seems to sound best with the standard Technics mat.( I use different mats for VTA adjustments.)
     
  5. TerryB123

    TerryB123 Active Member

    Messages:
    298
    I picked up two from that eBay guy for the styli...I have an OM10 and OM3e to work with. The OM 3e is on my Dual 506, wanted to keep an OM around for that table since it's almost designed around that cart. First impression I'm really happy with this, need to tweak my setup though.

    Let's not let this get out too much, I've avoided posting on Vinyl Asylum to keep a few of these around for a little while. Oh right...if it's not a 2M or Denon 104 or AT440 they don't care (tongue in cheek).

    TB
     
  6. eteller

    eteller Addicted Member

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    BTW the cartridge/stylus is so small one does not notice the looks. In the spec sheet that came with the Digitrac cart the recommended tracking force is 1.25gr. so I'm trying that. I will try my stock Technics mat to adjust my VTA as it is a taller cart/stylus combination.
     

     

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  7. ferninando

    ferninando Lunatic Member

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    my purchase of a Technics 1350 TT w/OM5E was the seed of the "Quest 20" dialog when I asked here if the OM5E was a decent cart. I heard it when I got the TT and was impressed but wanted other opinions, and quest chimed in with his digitrac 200NE stylus swap suggestion. The rest is history. My 200NE is home but the TT is waiting for the 300K cue oil from LP gear (slow) before I can experience all the joy you all have gotten from the "Quest 20" swap. I'll get there.
    And thanks Quest for kibitzing with me about some of the swap details, helped alot.
     
  8. Quest

    Quest Active Member

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    Of course we don't want to tell other forums about these jewels. Everyone keep an eye out for that fleaBay seller. Meanwhile, :music:
     
  9. eteller

    eteller Addicted Member

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    Yeah, I would not mind to pick up atleast 2 more styli myself.
     
  10. MartinG

    MartinG Active Member

    Messages:
    155
    I'd like to give this stylus a try. Would it work on a Concorde Pro S? I've got one that came with a used SL1200 that I picked up off of Craigslist. As soon as I get some new cables soldered on it I'll be trying it out with a few different carts. This seems like a cheap way to get good sound out of it.
     
  11. whell

    whell AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I might confuse things further, but here goes. Many of you are aware that Jico is a respected aftermarket stylus manufacturer. I took a look on their web site yesterday and happened to notice Ortofon on the list of styli that they manufacture replacements for. So, I browsed their list, and there on the list were replacements for the OM10, OM20 and OM30 styli.

    What really blew me away was the price - $29.00 for the OM20 and OM30. Strangely, the OM10 was $32. However, compare that price to what the factory styli are going for elsewhere, and I'm thinking "bargain!". So, I ordered up an OM30. It should be here next week, so we'll see how it fares.
     

     

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  12. eteller

    eteller Addicted Member

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    I'm starting to love this Ortofon, fit's my ears and wallet nicely. Thanks for the tip Whell, let us know how it fares.
     
  13. SA-708

    SA-708 Appalachian-American

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    The stylus was loose on my LM-era Concorde 10 body, which was consistent with what others were reporting about other LM cartridges.
    My guess is that it would be a good fit on a modern Concorde body like the Pro S.
     
  14. MartinG

    MartinG Active Member

    Messages:
    155
    I think I'm going to give it a try. I opened up the SL1200 this afternoon. It looks like someone has been in there futzing with the interconnects before. The circuit board they are soldered to looks a little overheated. I'm hoping I can get the new wires on there without messing it up completely. I've only done this once before.
     
  15. orthophonic

    orthophonic Super Member

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    I havd been searching fleaby for a week for one of these.
    How do I find it?
     
  16. sfox52

    sfox52 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It seems the seller has "gone to ground" for now. Don't be surprised when he comes back with a "buy it now" of $29.99 now he sees an increased demand! ( I knew I shoulda sprung for more than one!!:sigh:)
     

     

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  17. Quest

    Quest Active Member

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    Sounds like a Denon cart? I considered one but I think you saved me lots of money.

    The newer DJ Concorde might have better luck fitting the stylus. I have to agree, the old audiophile Ort Concorde 30 and the NE 200 stylus is a loose fitting combination but does firm up work using Parafilm-M or maybe real paraffin.

    This was the seller’s last auction:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170273957690

    If the seller finds out his cartridge, his stylus really, is popular, I suppose we could see a price bump, or he could start charging for shipping and packing. I hope he comes back.

    Anyone else try the combo, or variations yet? I have it playing now.
     
  18. MartinG

    MartinG Active Member

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    155
    Judging from the photo, the price, and the location I think this is the same seller:
    http://www.jettsales.com/58.html
    I just ordered one. I'll post when it gets here.
     
  19. SPAM

    SPAM Active Member

    Messages:
    183
    Location:
    KC
    P-Quest 20 ?

    Finished my OMP hack job.
    First couple pics give an idea how much material I removed, then the money shot.
    I didn't expect to find a hunk of alloy inside there. Dead weight I presume.
    I filed it without wearing a mask; therefore, it's probably lead.
    Had I expected to find a solid core, I might have thought to measure initial mass. How much did I remove?

    TT is a Techincs SL-QX200, one of their upper-middle-class models, which does feature tracking force / anti-skate adjustment. Had to spin the VTF adjustment screw several turns to bring it back to 1.25g

    Hope the NE stylus is compliant enough for the reduced total mass of the arm/cart combo. No troubles yet.
    In fact it sounds wonderful. Better bass methinks than the A-T I'm familiar with.
     

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  20. ferninando

    ferninando Lunatic Member

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    YUP, dats him.



     

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