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Cartridge Burn-In Time?

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I really don't want to spark heated debate here (re. Power Cable and Cable Burn-In threads). I just want to know from vinyl enthusiasts if there is a burn-in period for brand new cartridges, and is it significant/noticeable.

I've just purchased a S umiko "Bl ack Pe arl" cartridge and notice that despite bringing more detail and better imaging/soundstaging than the OM10 it sounds slightly 'restrained'. I'm saving for a new phonostage so perhaps that will be a cure? Or maybe the BP is too good for my budget TT?

 

Cheers.

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Like all good components, there's a bit of running in to do with your cartridge. Give it a few more hours before you make any final decisions. The Grado Platinum takes about a hundred hours before it's making music.

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Yes, definitely. Realign your cartridge as well after 20 odd hours, cantilevers can 'give' a little - :P

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Not a lot I can add to the comments here except to say, don't seriously assess/adjust VTA/VTF until well run in.

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Add this; Sumiko cartridges are known for going through a "sounds good-sounds bad-sounds best" cycle during run-in.

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Not so surprising really. A cartridge is a electro-mechanical device. The materials have a certain amount of elasticity which takes a few dozen hours to break in.

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Thanks guys. That's what I wanted to hear really.

 

:cool:

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Only a small voltage here so it will take time. Play it often.

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That's an interesting thought, Robo.

 

I had always thought more in terms of mechanical running-in for carts, not electrical.

 

But I guess that wire, solder joints, magnetic coils... all react at molecular level to current flow ;)

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I'm definitely noticing a difference now as the cartridge is starting to burn in. I'm hearing things in songs I had no idea were there, which is fantastic!

I think I will get a new phonostage too. My in-built one is adequate but something more modern has to be better. I've tried out a Mu sical Fi delity which I love, but as I'm saving for a new (NEW) amp, I might go for something cheaper like a Cambridge Audio 640p in the meantime.

Cheers.

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Thanks for that, Dogman. :)

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Having just installed a new cartridge I was curious about how long it takes to settle/burn in and does the sound change?

 

I went thread mining this morning using the search function and found this very old thread. Keeping in line with the then OP  my curiosity also is not about debating amps/cables etc burning in but more so SnA member experiences with their different cartridge/stylus once fitted and the time it took to settle in and what people noticed in the change. Could be your recommendation too.

 

I thought maybe if people wrote in their -

- Cartridge brand/model

- your VTF setting

- Any noticeable difference in sound and how long it took to reach its "best" sound

- Personal experience on sound characteristic, which could include preferred musical genre used too.

 

We might be able to make a bit of a database of experiences?

 

I am well aware other factors like effective arm mass, VTA, Table, Tonearm, Headshell, Tonearm wires, Azimuth, TT Mats, Room, Speakers, Cables, Amps, phono stage etc can influence this but if we keep it simple and accept every system sounds different but just focus on the users cartridge experience and not drill it down to the gear around it we may be able to share some useful sound characteristcs that others can refer to.  There are plenty of us with very different componants but use the same cartridge with the same happiness so that leads me to think not always is the gear around the cart the main factor in the experience.

 

With regard to VTA lets assume its set to the "standard"  that being top of cartridge is parallel to the record and if you found "tail up" or "tail down"  has worked better for you please share that!?

I'm sure we could drill down to angle degrees but I think fine tuning is a micro detail and this is just to serve as a broad overview for whomever is shopping or thinking of a new cart.

 

Goldring 1042

VTF 1.9

16hrs and building, its said 50hrs of playing time is required to reach its final sound signature - we'll see.

....So I just last week installed new Goldring 1042 and after reading good things was a little taken back how brittle it sounded. I checked my set up and all was correct to manufacturer spec  Upon advice from a member I increased the VTF from 1.75 to 1.95 (still within range) and it was alot better.

Its a very detailed cartridge to my ears, great soundstage but I do hope it settles a little more in the treble.  I do get a little bit of IGD also but out of both speakers on some records, and I think this might be due to the cart having a pretty highout, its not sibilince its more like a VU meter being pushed into the red.
 

Nagaoka MP110

VTF 1.9

Approx 80hrs

The Nagaoka cart is very smooth, less micro detail to me than the Goldring but also more forgiving with set up. Sounded really good from the outset which was what prompted me to ask/learn more because the Goldring didnt have that same nice impression at first drop.

VTF on the Nagaoka for me i found best at 1.9. (suggested is 1.75)  I think after about 30hrs from memory it hit its point, I also found it a very quiet cart but not at the expense of detail, tracks well.

 

Garrot Brotthers FGS Optim

VTF 1.85

Approx 35hrs

On my other table I have Garrot Brothers Optim FGS with VTF 1.85 - this was set up for me at a shop and is slightly tail up. I did increase VTF from 1.7 to 1.85 and it sounded better to me.

Lovely full sound, very comfortable, not as starkly detailed as the Goldring but not lacking detail either.  Tracks wonderfully well, and works perfectly with all genres i've thrown at it.  Sound signature of this cart hasn't really changed over time, but it has got wider and deeper. 

 

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Suprised no one interested in building this up a bit?

Or maybe its just not considered a good idea haha

 

Couple of

- Cartridge brand/model

- Your VTF setting

- Any noticeable difference in sound and how long (many hours) it took to reach its "best" sound

- Personal experience on sound characteristic, which could include preferred musical genre used too.

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