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Hawk66

Best value MM cartridge upgrade

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Hi all,

I am looking at updating the cartridge on the my Audio Technica  LP120 TT.  The stock cartridge AT95E is OK but am keen to try something different without changing anything else.  I have a great amp and speakers that will handle as much detail as a better stylus and cart can produce.

 

Any ideas?? 

 

PS: I am leaning towards Nagaoka PM-200 after reading and hearing reviews

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I would move up to an AT VM95 with a fancier stylus.  I bought a VM95ML and really love it.

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In terms of "best value" upgrade, perhaps read the topic on potting cartridges. 

Keeping the AT95 and "potting" it (ie, filling it with wax or glue).  For a few dollars it reportedly improves the quality significantly, bringing the humble cart in the range of cart's costing hundreds more than the AT95.  (similar reports from potting it can be found on other forums as well).

 

Further improvements can be obtained from some of the new AT95 styli (they come in a range of shapes), however, these will need to be trimmed to fit the old AT95 body.  The best value, indeed!

 

 

You are welcome to try other carts if you prefer, but don't throw out your AT95!  

 

 

Edited by audiofeline

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Thanks for the suggestion. Very interesting!  I am not that game at this stage to try something like this but you never know.. maybe one day.  I really an keen on the Nagaoka MP-200 but with the current value of the AUD it is bloody expensive.. :( 

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The Goldring Electra is an excellent cart for the money. I have a spare new one if required $120. 

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I heard this Grado Gold 2 MI cartridge is good, maybe you can study about it.

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1 hour ago, Hawk66 said:

I really an keen on the Nagaoka MP-200 but with the current value of the AUD it is bloody expensive..

So, not too sure what you want to spend but

 

https://www.lpgear.com/product/ATVM95ML.html  is cheaper by at least half, and has a better stylus tip IMO

 

 

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I agree with others about trying a better stylus...

Try a Jico HE or an LP Gear Shibata.

 

Nagaoka are lovely cartridges.. more on the smoother/neutral side of things than detail Kings. 

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On 01/10/2019 at 2:55 PM, aussievintage said:

So, not too sure what you want to spend but

 

https://www.lpgear.com/product/ATVM95ML.html  is cheaper by at least half, and has a better stylus tip IMO

 

 

there's even a wooden body mod!

 

 

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I added a JICO hyper elliptical stylus to my AT95... in a word...wow!  I no longer listen to my moving coil its that good.  I have also put it in a wood body. I have posted this vinyl rip on YouTube, see what you think?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, nkoulban said:

I added a JICO hyper elliptical stylus to my AT95... in a word...wow!

Same reaction when I changed mine to a Vividline stylus from LPGear.   That has led me to my a VM95ML.  Superb!

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Sounds fantastic! I’ll have to do some research now on the jico styluses 😎

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22 hours ago, Hawk66 said:

Sounds fantastic! I’ll have to do some research now on the jico styluses 😎

I have also loaded it via RCAs with soldered in resistors (36K ohm loaded at 150K ohm)... this sweetens the tonal balance for me.

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Any suggestions on the best outlets to buy Jico stylus for AT95?  There is only a couple that pop up online for the hyper elliptical..Preferably a place in Melbourne..

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thanks! Ordered today from Decibels 

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Now I am also keen to get rid of the preamp from the at-Lp120. Just not that keen on doing it myself 

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13 minutes ago, Hawk66 said:

Now I am also keen to get rid of the preamp from the at-Lp120. Just not that keen on doing it myself 

What? Take it out you mean?

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Yes

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23 minutes ago, Hawk66 said:

Yes

No need really. Just bi-pass it

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Installed the Jico hyper elliptical stylus today and as nkoulban said WoW.. I am  glad I listened to his and Douglas HI-FIs advice.. huge difference...thanks for the tip! 😎

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23 hours ago, Hawk66 said:

Installed the Jico hyper elliptical stylus today and as nkoulban said WoW.. I am  glad I listened to his and Douglas HI-FIs advice.. huge difference...thanks for the tip! 😎

Good choice  :)

 

Just wait to get around 50 hours of use to break in the suspension - then you will really be hearing what your system is capable of  :)

 

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On 16/10/2019 at 7:10 PM, Hawk66 said:

Installed the Jico hyper elliptical stylus today and as nkoulban said WoW.. I am  glad I listened to his and Douglas HI-FIs advice.. huge difference...thanks for the tip! 😎

I'm glad you are enjoying your AT95 cart, I know I am.  I have also just posted a vinyl needle drop of a Dire Straits track using this cart and stylus.

 

 

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13 hours ago, nkoulban said:

I'm glad you are enjoying your AT95 cart, I know I am.  I have also just posted a vinyl needle drop of a Dire Straits track using this cart and stylus.

 

 

Ahh....the magic of Moving Magnet!👌👍

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Just a note on AT cartridges

They are generally underrated 

I have Stanton 681 EEE, Grado Black and Blue and the top one of about 20 years ago, Shure v15 IIII, At VM95E and AT 

150MLX.

I have had MCs as well as many others Grace,Ortofon etc. etc.

The ATs are up with the best of them

The advice is good going to a ML or Shibata on the 95.

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