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Richard
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MessagePosté le: Mer 25 Jan - 06:16 (2012)    Sujet du message: Une cellule d'antan Répondre en citant

Today, I want to add a couple of points about Grado cartridges that I want to emphasize.

- Humming in Grado cartridges seems to involve the preamps that they are connected to. Grado cartridges do not hum badly through every preamp, but probably with most of them. I say "most" because I have read so many compliaints about this. With the correct preamp, a Grado cartridge does not hum objectionably. I do not understand why this is true. Maybe one day, I will.

- Grado cartridges have been favorites with some classical music listeners, as have certain Pickering and Stanton models, which have been enjoyed by a number of fine musicians. The Stantons and Pickerings have been the opposite of the Grados regarding hum: excessive humming has never been a problem with them.
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MessagePosté le: Mer 25 Jan - 23:45 (2012)    Sujet du message: Une cellule d'antan Répondre en citant

My humble and limited experience with Grado and preamp (I have got only two preamp) confirms your point : my Grado became suddenly silent when connected on the Vincent preamp ; but I would not speak of quality of the preamp but rather of a mysterious appropriate impedance match ; they just go well together, like Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger ...
These Vincent electronic devices are made in China on the base of German specifications ; they are neglected by those who are ready to pay more despite they are already sold half a fortune (not mine , which is a small model and I bought it out of use, needing fixing) .
In addition, this Grado MF1+  pleases my ears ; as a matter of fact, it sounds well with Chopin, but also with the great jazz voices and with Paganini where the trebles of the violin  are demanding.
But I stick to your view : looking for a good stylus should be the beginning of everything , and not shaking one's purse for acquiring a prestigious brand ; prestigious because manufacturers and retailers know quite well the audiophile world, not necessarily because of the sound it makes.
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MessagePosté le: Ven 27 Jan - 05:19 (2012)    Sujet du message: Une cellule d'antan Répondre en citant

I will add one more point.

If you want to play records that were made over a wide range of decades, I reommend using a cartridge that accepts a wide range of styli and will allow you to change them safely and quickly. Grado will not let you do this. Actually, you probably will not need a great number of needles, but only the ones that matter to you. Then, see what your alternatives are for acquiring those needles, and finally, which cartridge will accept those needles and sound excellent for the music that you enjoy.

From observing the people who liked Grado cartridges in the distant past, I believe that the people with the same musical tastes also liked certain Stanton and Pickering models, cartridges which offer flexibility that has never been matched by any other cartridge brand and have no problems with hum. Some people, especially in the UK, have liked Shures. I cannot talk from experience about Otrofon or Nagaoka, but I have appreciated what I know about them.

Some aftermarket styli have been quite good, but they don't sound quite the same as the originals. I have actually come across some that are better than the originals, but this situation is very rare.

I just realized that I have used an American word that may confuse my foreign reader. "Aftermarket" is a term that I have borrowed from the automobile parts industry. It means, let's say, a distributor cap for your Citroen that was made by some other company.
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MessagePosté le: Ven 27 Jan - 22:40 (2012)    Sujet du message: Une cellule d'antan Répondre en citant

Sacrilege ! Fitting a non original part on my Citroën ! Never !


As a matter of fact, I have an Ortofon cartridge with a needle in poor condition.
I will investigate about compatible needles.
Sorry, but I did not read your book (not yet) ; would you recommend more or less elliptical styli ? In what range ?
I like Chopin, Puccini, Paganini, jazz voices, saxophone ...
Thank you in advance,
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MessagePosté le: Dim 29 Jan - 05:25 (2012)    Sujet du message: Une cellule d'antan Répondre en citant

For a cartridge that accepts interchangeable styli, I suggest purchasing needles one-at-a-time as your finances permit. There have been three standard elliptical sizes that you will encounter. In the usual American/British system: .2 x .7, .3 x .7, and .4 x .7 mil. Each interacts with the grooves differently. In addition, there are parabolic sizes, too. You can hear the sonic differences of each of thse sizes when you play the same record with them. I will answer you a different way: my least favorite of these sizes is the .2 x .7. The irony of this is that during the 1970s, before parabolic diamonds were introduced, this size was the favorite of audiophiles. If it is not used at the lightest forces, it will damage the grooves. The other two sizes are appropriate for your music. In addition, plain conical styli can be useful. There is no such thing as a single stylus that is perfect for all LPs. I have found that every stylus size is the best one for something. For later stereo records in perfect condition, parabolic styli can be excellent.

Of course, since my book is a practical guide for users, I have gone into much more detail there.

If you have not done this before, and compare these needles for yourself for the first time with a range or records, including records that are not in the best condition, I think that you will be fascinated at what you hear, and a smile will come to your face.
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MessagePosté le: Dim 29 Jan - 10:49 (2012)    Sujet du message: Une cellule d'antan Répondre en citant

Thank you , excellent lecture.
I know where I will focus on now.
One thing I will do is to crosscheck the characteristics of my styli with my hearing experiences.
Whatever the cartridge is, I will concentrate on trebles, stereo effect, balance.
You are right, one listens probably more the brand on the label than the actual efficiency of the mechanical transcription from the groove to the electrical stage.
Your approach seems to me very sane.
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MessagePosté le: Dim 5 Fév - 03:50 (2012)    Sujet du message: Une cellule d'antan Répondre en citant

Hervé,

Pay attention to the sound of the noise. This may be quite a surprise, especailly with records that are worn.
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