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Les cellules General Electric/general Electric cartridges

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MessagePosté le: Mer 27 Jan - 08:09 (2010)    Sujet du message: Les cellules General Electric/general Electric cartridges Répondre en citant

Richard & al.,

I have started a new thread on the GE cartridges as, in my humble experience, they are an excellent choice for mono playback.

Richard a écrit:
You are both correct. I will explain.

GE used the term "Triple Play" to mean that the cartridge body was intended to play all three speeds.
There were nominally two groove sizes (although I sometimes question what the 45 rpm groove really was).

The seller lists a few different cartridge and stylus designations:

REPLACES:  GE RPJ-01S,   GE RPJ-01D,   GE RPJ-O7S,  GE RPJ-07D,  501-D1, 501-D7.
USED IN: GE RPX-040A,   GE RPX-041A,   GE RPX-050A,  GE RPX-053A,  GE RPX-061A,

All the cartridges listed are exactly the same. GE originally sold the cartridges with different combinations of stylus sizes as well as different materials (diamond and sapphire). So, they appear to be different, but they are not. Three tip sizes were made: 1.0 mil for LPs, 3.0 for consumer 78s, and 2.5 for broadcast transcriptions. This third size was only for professional use. I doubt that I have any of this size among my GE needles.

To maintain my own sanity, I refer to all these cartridges as "RPX." You can freely mix and match needles in these cartridges with no problem.
Some people prefer the RPX vs. the later VR-II for playing 78s. I know of one person with keen ears who prefers it for LPs. It's a "mellower" cartridge. The VR-II offers one clear advantage, however: it's gentler on LPs because its tracking force is 4 grams. The RPX, in my experience, needs 8 grams!
The RPX doesn't damage records as much as its force requirement would seem to do. I am talking from experience: this is the cartridge that I grew up with. My own record grooves are not worn so much by damage from the tip itself as they are by having ground-in dirt! I was young and never understood the importance of keeping records clean.

I hope to be able to reduce these pressures as well as to open up the sound. GE's variable reluctance design is fascinating, and the only implementation of this principle that actually was able to keep its place in the market. The stylus tip is located directly between the two magnetic poles, not at the end of a cantilever. Thus, it has much potential to deliver very accurate transients. The design, however, is very tricky to make in a reliable form. It was impossible for GE to get this system to work well in stereo. As with their mono cartridges, their stereo pickups carried different confusing numbers. There were two versions of the first stereo design: they differed in their amount of shielding. These cartridges were simply their mono design split into two separate halves for stereo.

GE's final stereo design is different, however. It is a major refinement throughout. But GE didn't make it for long before they stopped making cartridges altogether.


Regarding the GE VRII tracking force, I had, if you recall experienced way lower force than the specified 4 grams with good results. Final VTF that worked fine was as low as 2,8 grams.

And at the cost of repeating again and again, the GE VRII is absolutely a great sounding cartridge.
Of course there is the limitation of the sapphire tip, but from time to time, diamond tips show up on the bay and there is also the possibility (what I did) to get a diamond retip at Expert Stylus'.

hats off
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MessagePosté le: Mer 27 Jan - 08:09 (2010)    Sujet du message: Publicité

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Gatto Murr
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MessagePosté le: Mer 27 Jan - 09:14 (2010)    Sujet du message: Les cellules General Electric/general Electric cartridges Répondre en citant

Pour ceux qui sont intéressés:


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MessagePosté le: Jeu 28 Jan - 04:52 (2010)    Sujet du message: Les cellules General Electric/general Electric cartridges Répondre en citant

Yes, François, it is coming back to me. And Joseph, too, was able to track his RPX at an astonishing low force as well.

One possible reason is that our American LPs were recorded "hotter" than your European pressings. With wider groove excursions, greater pressure was required to keep the stylus tracking properly here where these cartridges were made. This is a generalization, however, so it doesn't account for everything.

The quality of the stylus assembly matters, too. And I've found that in a lot of cases, the styli were made of good parts that weren't assembled properly. The needle makers regarded these styli the same way that they regarded cheap needles for crystal and ceramic cartridges. These cartridges wre intended to withstand heavy-duty service. This includes rough treatment in radio stations as well as in juke boxes. Unlike Pickering, GE only sold one range of styli designed for one range of applications. When they reduced the required tracking force, they created an entirely new cartridge to go with the new needles.

The RPX cartridge that I grew up with was in an ordinary record changer. So, in general, I regard a GE stylus that tracks the way that yours does as an odball. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

The needles for the RPXs can be quite confusing because they were made in different ways at different times. In fact, from the catalog sheet that Gato Murr posted just above, I noticed a stylus holder that I've never seen before: this is an "L-bar" holder for the clip-in tips for use in the older single-stylus cartridge body, incorrectly listed as being not suitable for these cartridges. It also mentions that the 2.5 mil tip size is for the low-impedance bodies, which is not really corrrect either: all the needles worked in all the bodies (given that they were used with the correct holders, but that's a whole different topic).

The VR-IIs are a lot more straightforward. The "single-play" RPX here is actually a triple-play body with a stylus holder for only one needle. All the single-play bodies are useful in arms that can't take the turnaround knob on top of the arm head.
Richard Steinfeld
Author of The Handbook for Stanton and Pickering Cartridges and Styli
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MessagePosté le: Aujourd’hui à 10:50 (2018)    Sujet du message: Les cellules General Electric/general Electric cartridges

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