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2Brix

Entry level mono-cart suggestions please

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Hey folks

 

Looking for suggestions for an entry level mono cart around the $100-150 mark for spinning the occasional mono recorded LPs.

 

Currently for stereo recorded LPs i use a Jelco HS-25 headshell with Ortofon Quintet Blue MC so i have this idea of buying a second HS-25 and setting it with a dedicate mono cart so i can swap over in a "pnp" fashion.  As the use would be quite infrequent i don't want to spend too much on the cart such that (ideally) headshell + cart would cost around $200-250 max.  Tell me i'm dreaming right?   I don't know if that's realistic but anyway throw some suggestions in from personnel experience if possible.

 

p.s. I got VERY excited when i saw the below on Ortofon's website just now but i'm pretty sure it;s a typo!! 😆  Damn I hurriedly tried to find a "buy it now" option to no avail!!!

 

image.thumb.png.f7ca55b3cb89d35f2ee710df543f4945.png

 

Cheers in advance

2B

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22 minutes ago, 2Brix said:

Hey folks

 

Looking for suggestions for an entry level mono cart around the $100-150 mark for spinning the occasional mono recorded LPs.

 

Currently for stereo recorded LPs i use a Jelco HS-25 headshell with Ortofon Quintet Blue MC so i have this idea of buying a second HS-25 and setting it with a dedicate mono cart so i can swap over in a "pnp" fashion.  As the use would be quite infrequent i don't want to spend too much on the cart such that (ideally) headshell + cart would cost around $200-250 max.  Tell me i'm dreaming right?   I don't know if that's realistic but anyway throw some suggestions in from personnel experience if possible.

 

p.s. I got VERY excited when i saw the below on Ortofon's website just now but i'm pretty sure it;s a typo!! 😆  Damn I hurriedly tried to find a "buy it now" option to no avail!!!

 

image.thumb.png.f7ca55b3cb89d35f2ee710df543f4945.png

 

Cheers in advance

2B

 

 

The trick I believe is identifying something that is true mono and not just internally wired for mono.  Otherwise, just wire any favoured cart for mono yourself.

 

I am looking for something cheap with a 1 mil stylus to wire for mono.  I want 1 mil to compare to 0.7 and 0.6 that I already have, on old mono LPs.   I thought I'd found it with a cheap Ortofon Pro S stylus, but have been told it was mislabeled and is really a common 0.7 mil.   

Edited by aussievintage

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If it’s the “occasional mono...” opt for a mono ‘switch’ phono stage.

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Yes i have done that and it works fine, but OCD and paranoria makes me want to protect my "best" cart.

 

I'm actually thinking something like the below would suit me i.e. entry level pnp stereo cart for me to use on mono records and my more "well worn" stereo LPs.   I need to research some more but I guess ideally spherical stylus and 1 mil (rather than 0.7) as @aussievintage is alluding to  

 

image.png.9b449b0c327f0cf673fd9b54d669e59b.pngimage.png.9b63e633eed16dfc45de42a823af085f.png

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I don't think either of them is 1 mil though.  The AT is 0.6  and the Pro S is the one I thought was 1 mil, but Ortofon seems to have mislabeled it initially. 

 

Why not a VM95C instead of the XP3?   It's cheaper.

 

Also, extra tracking weight is a good thing on old records, so I have been using an AT3600L carts.  Cheapest of the lot.  Discontinued but you can still get them easily.

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3 minutes ago, dwbasement said:

Secondhand audio technica mono 3/lp

Would be nice, but I figure for the OPs budget, it would need to be one with quite a few hours on it.  I would need to know the seller well to trust to any estimate :) 

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2 hours ago, aussievintage said:

I don't think either of them is 1 mil though.  The AT is 0.6  and the Pro S is the one I thought was 1 mil, but Ortofon seems to have mislabeled it initially. 

 

Why not a VM95C instead of the XP3?   It's cheaper.

 

Also, extra tracking weight is a good thing on old records, so I have been using an AT3600L carts.  Cheapest of the lot.  Discontinued but you can still get them easily.

Yep i've barely started to research so thanks for those further options for me to look into @aussievintage and @dwbasement  

 

Cheers

2B

 

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With a little further reading i think i've convinced (or confused?) myself that if i'm going to use for mono and stereo LPs a cheap n cheerful spherical R18 (0.7mil) like the OM Pro S premounted to allow pnp will be the go (and adjust tracking force as required). 

https://www.ortofon.com/om-pro-s-on-sh-4-black-p-867-n-1444

 

Anyhoo enough research for today...time for a drink !

Edited by 2Brix

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2 hours ago, 2Brix said:

With a little further reading i think i've convinced (or confused?) myself that if i'm going to use for mono and stereo LPs a cheap n cheerful spherical R18 (0.7mil) like the OM Pro S premounted to allow pnp will be the go (and adjust tracking force as required). 

https://www.ortofon.com/om-pro-s-on-sh-4-black-p-867-n-1444

 

Anyhoo enough research for today...time for a drink !

 

Too late, my bottle of Ardbeg not sits a little lighter...

 

btw.  I really prefer the AT sound to Ortofon, and a 0.6 stylus will often gowhere no other stylus has been before.  Make sure you listen to both, but hey, just try both...

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As far as I know the at mono 3 is the cheapest real mono cartridge that doesn't have vertical generator that we can have in Oz. The grado mc+ is cheaper but for some reason you can't get it here. You can't even drop ship it

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Getting hold of any cart in your price range and strapping it will give you reduced surface noise, and solid mono in between the speakers. Not peak audiophile, but it is the easiest way I have found, if a mono switch is not available on your phono stage/pre/integrated. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, I am sure your local shop could do it (my first effort was a failure due to my using wire which was clear coated- felt the magic after I pulled apart a headphone cable and used the copper wire).

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I built a simple mono switch and it works very well.  Most modern monos are cut with a stereo lathe so a .1m stylus is not suitable anyway, unless you are playing very old monos.

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47 minutes ago, nkoulban said:

I built a simple mono switch and it works very well.  Most modern monos are cut with a stereo lathe so a .1m stylus is not suitable anyway, unless you are playing very old monos.

Actually, I don't believe there is ANY groove size difference.   The 1 mil stylus just rides at a higher position in the V-shaped groove, and when stereo was invented, they realised that if the waveforms for the left and right channels just both happened to bring the groove walls together at the same time, there was a chance a 1 mil stylus might just jump out of the groove.  By reducing the size to 0.7 mil, it rides a bit deeper and safer in the groove and the chance of mistracking is much less.

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Yep i think 1 mil (25 micron) was a red herring....and partly of my making...apols for that 🙃   

 

So my plan will be choosing a cheap n cheerful headshell and stereo cart with a 0.7 mil (18 micron) spherical stylus, thinking that will be most forgiving.  And i'll try to find a headshell-cart combo with as close as possible total weight, and within same tracking force range, to my existing combo i.e. i'd like to eliminate any adjustments when doing a "pnp" like swapover.

 

For the very few mono LPs i presently have i think using the mono switch on my phonostage will be "good enough".  That way i can also use this cheaper headshell-stereo cart on the rougher records in my collection.

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