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Adsyadsman

AT95E cart modding - tips on how to

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Hi all,

Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but I wanted to reach out to any of you happy modders out there that can hopefully shed some insight...

 

After an accidental incident a member of my family had with the needle on my TT, I need to order a new stylus (needle arm snapped off completely off the cantilever)

I currently am using a AT95E cart, and since I need to replace the stylus, thought I'd get the ATN95EX dark red stylus over the standard ATN95E green one.

The only difference I can see is (apart from being a few $$ more) is the diamond tip is smaller on the EX being 0.3 x 0.7 compared to the stock 0.4 x 0.7 on the green E, so hopefully this should translate into better tracking and 'sound'.

 

But, whilst I wait for this, I thought I should see if I can do some quick mods to improve the cart... so after googling on the interweb there are quite a few 'experimentalliers' that have tried different ideas to squeeze more audio joy from the AT95E with varying amounts of success.

 

Im not too keen on the whole making up custom wood frames and sticking tape, blu-tak, etc on the outside of the cart as Im trying to keep the 'factory fresh' look, and as the TT is a bit of a show-piece, the MRS wouldnt be too keen on a cruddy looking 'thingy' stuck on the end of the tonearm...

 

So, I read about potting the cart with wax or lipstick, etc, to help deaden resonances. And with the term 'simple' attached in the sentence, this caught my attention.

But how?

Is it filling the internals of the plastic mount that the cart body screws into (there are a couple of voids that could be filled), or somehow filling the internals of the cart body itself?

If its the latter, I cant see how this would be 'simple' as the cart body is housed in a 'one piece' pressed metal enclosure, with only a seam on the top, which I would be very hesitant about trying to pry open to reveal the guts.

 

So has anyone done this 'potting' technique? Could you please explain what is involved, and probably more importantly, was it worth it? Did it bring more life into the AT95E?

 

And any other simple mods worth trying? (another one I think I read was blu-tak between the cart body and stylus)

Not too keen on filling the needle tip (another mod I read about) too delicate for me to attempt...

 

Eventually, I'll probably upgrade to a AT100E cart as at least then it opens they way to more stylus options later, but for now, if I can squeeze some more out of the AT95E...

 

Sorry for the long thread, I do tend to dribble a bit when trying to explain something.

 

But looking forward to any helpful advice.

 

Thanks.

 

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Hi

 

Why not just purchase the AT100E cartridge as it is only a little over $100 in many places ....

 

JJ

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Hi JJ,

 

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, I was seriously considering that.

But I can get the ATN95EX for under $40 and the AT95E cart I pretty good. I'd like to keep it in service if I could and use the additional $$ on more discs to spin for now.

Eventually, yeah, a cart upgrade is definitely on the cards, so the AT100E will be on the shortlist to be the new pickup (or may splurge on the 120), but for now that lil AT95E is just crying out to be used.

 

BTW, my TT is a PL-518x, a great solid unit, but on the lower end of the budget scale so I can't justify with the minister of finance throwing too much $$$ at it.

 

Thanks again.

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Hi

 

A cheap upgrade is that thin foam, that is a little thicker than plastic, and cutting a piece and placing between the cartridge and headshell....

 

JJ

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Thanks JJ,

 

I've got some of that self adhesive speaker sealing foam that's about 2-3mm thick, but it compresses fairly easily.

 

I'll try that also.

 

Cheers.

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Interesting thread

The 95E is cheap enough at $43 delivered to take a few risks with.

I keep 1 on hand for emergency duties and test purposes .

I put one on a Strathclyde TT I lent to @jamesg11 and it served him well for over a year on an SME arm.

 The cart punches way above its price point which might not be saying much!

Thatsaid you should just upgrade your cart.

@Adsyadsman suggestion sounds safe or a tiny strip of ultra thin ply.

 

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On ‎16‎/‎03‎/‎2017 at 9:02 AM, Adsyadsman said:

Hi all,

Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but I wanted to reach out to any of you happy modders out there that can hopefully shed some insight...

 

After an accidental incident a member of my family had with the needle on my TT, I need to order a new stylus (needle arm snapped off completely off the cantilever)

I currently am using a AT95E cart, and since I need to replace the stylus, thought I'd get the ATN95EX dark red stylus over the standard ATN95E green one.

The only difference I can see is (apart from being a few $$ more) is the diamond tip is smaller on the EX being 0.3 x 0.7 compared to the stock 0.4 x 0.7 on the green E, so hopefully this should translate into better tracking and 'sound'.

 

But, whilst I wait for this, I thought I should see if I can do some quick mods to improve the cart... so after googling on the interweb there are quite a few 'experimentalliers' that have tried different ideas to squeeze more audio joy from the AT95E with varying amounts of success.

 

Im not too keen on the whole making up custom wood frames and sticking tape, blu-tak, etc on the outside of the cart as Im trying to keep the 'factory fresh' look, and as the TT is a bit of a show-piece, the MRS wouldnt be too keen on a cruddy looking 'thingy' stuck on the end of the tonearm...

 

So, I read about potting the cart with wax or lipstick, etc, to help deaden resonances. And with the term 'simple' attached in the sentence, this caught my attention.

But how?

Is it filling the internals of the plastic mount that the cart body screws into (there are a couple of voids that could be filled), or somehow filling the internals of the cart body itself?

If its the latter, I cant see how this would be 'simple' as the cart body is housed in a 'one piece' pressed metal enclosure, with only a seam on the top, which I would be very hesitant about trying to pry open to reveal the guts.

 

So has anyone done this 'potting' technique? Could you please explain what is involved, and probably more importantly, was it worth it? Did it bring more life into the AT95E?

 

And any other simple mods worth trying? (another one I think I read was blu-tak between the cart body and stylus)

Not too keen on filling the needle tip (another mod I read about) too delicate for me to attempt...

 

Eventually, I'll probably upgrade to a AT100E cart as at least then it opens they way to more stylus options later, but for now, if I can squeeze some more out of the AT95E...

 

Sorry for the long thread, I do tend to dribble a bit when trying to explain something.

 

But looking forward to any helpful advice.

 

Thanks.

 

Hi,

 

I have been playing around with AT95E mods too.  I now have my AT95E glued into a wooden body, I have installed a Jico Hyper Elliptical stylus (trimmed of the surrounding plastic body) and have loaded it to 36K.  I also use a 2.25g tracking force. I am blown away how good this sounds. It is punchy, detailed, no audible distortion on inner grooves or with the SSS on vocals.  I put it up against my AT OC9/II running through a Blue Cinemag SUT, its every bit as good and a little bit more dynamic.  It only loses out a smidge on midrange and air.  Not much in it and way cheaper.

 

I'm putting it through a Schitt Mani with a Swagman PSU, which is brilliant... I'd have to  spend $2,500 on something like an Avid Pulsus to hear an improvement I think.  I have also tried various phono stages, Cambridge 640p, Project Box SE, Lounge, Les Box Modded valve Yaquin MS 23... the Mani / Swagman beats them all.

 

Good luck.

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1 hour ago, nkoulban said:

Hi,

 

I have been playing around with AT95E mods too.  I now have my AT95E glued into a wooden body, I have installed a Jico Hyper Elliptical stylus (trimmed of the surrounding plastic body) and have loaded it to 36K.  I also use a 2.25g tracking force. I am blown away how good this sounds. It is punchy, detailed, no audible distortion on inner grooves or with the SSS on vocals.  I put it up against my AT OC9/II running through a Blue Cinemag SUT, its every bit as good and a little bit more dynamic.  It only loses out a smidge on midrange and air.  Not much in it and way cheaper.

 

I'm putting it through a Schitt Mani with a Swagman PSU, which is brilliant... I'd have to  spend $2,500 on something like an Avid Pulsus to hear an improvement I think.  I have also tried various phono stages, Cambridge 640p, Project Box SE, Lounge, Les Box Modded valve Yaquin MS 23... the Mani / Swagman beats them all.

 

Good luck.

I've got a VL that I got the Wooden body for and trimmed all the plastic away, leaving just the plug. Cleaned it up like you wouldnt believe.

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When I read about modding/potting this cart, I was considering doing the same and buying a wood body, but then I came across a used Clearaudio Concept MM cart. It uses a 95 type stylus with trimmed ‘wings’, which is really easy to do (I practiced on an old stylus). This suits me perfectly as it rules out expensive accidents! ATM I’ve still got the standard ‘black’ stylus mounted (which even the standard ‘green’ stylus improves upon apparently). Compared to the AT95e, the Clearaudio sounds a bit more refined, and any IGD or sibiliance I used to hear is gone. I might lash out and try an EX stylus next!

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8 hours ago, nkoulban said:

I'm putting it through a Schitt Mani with a Swagman PSU, which is brilliant... I'd have to  spend $2,500 on something like an Avid Pulsus to hear an improvement I think.  I have also tried various phono stages, Cambridge 640p, Project Box SE, Lounge, Les Box Modded valve Yaquin MS 23... the Mani / Swagman beats them all.

 

Given the phono stages that you've tried - and given you're in Melbourne - I'd be very interested in bringing over my 'Muse' phono stage for you to have a listen to.

 

PM me if you're interested.  (It will cost you a lot less than $2,500 if you like it!  :) )

 

Andy

 

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19 hours ago, Wimbo said:

I've got a VL that I got the Wooden body for and trimmed all the plastic away, leaving just the plug. Cleaned it up like you wouldnt believe.

Try the resistive loading. I used 2 RCAs and soldering in resistors.  This transforms the AT95s tonal balance for me from a bit harsh and tipped up to smooth and punchy.

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12 hours ago, andyr said:

 

Given the phono stages that you've tried - and given you're in Melbourne - I'd be very interested in bringing over my 'Muse' phono stage for you to have a listen to.

 

PM me if you're interested.  (It will cost you a lot less than $2,500 if you like it!  :) )

 

Andy

 

Hi Andy, thank you for your generous offer.  Unfortunately the bank of wife has implemented cost controls on me for a while.

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49 minutes ago, nkoulban said:

Hi Andy, thank you for your generous offer.  Unfortunately the bank of wife has implemented cost controls on me for a while.

:lol:

 

Andy

 

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56 minutes ago, nkoulban said:

  Unfortunately the bank of wife has implemented cost controls on me for a while.

 

Ah yes, I know the feeling. The bank of wife has seized both of my assets as collateral...

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Meanwhile here's how Stanley Enginneering De do a wood body conversion on AT95E, the process for their body on Tonar Diabolic very similar.

http://info.stanley-engineering.de/wordpress/?page_id=128

 

(Tonar Diabolic? That's another bargain MM cartridge, need more info? I'll post!)

 

a showcase of their other bodies including a nude plastic stylus assembly cut away, (DIY if you have a steady hand!) on a Audio Technica AT95E
 
regards Ian

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