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Old 1st Dec 2022, 6:17 pm   #1
Michael Maurice
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Default Ceramic cartridge compliance

I've just been restoring a Murphy A682SR radiogram.

It works except that there is an issue when playing modern pressings of LP's. They just skip and skate over the record.

The deck is a Garrard Autoslim

Its not the stylus or the cartridges, the original is a Ronette 105 in which I fitted new styli, then I tried a BSR SC11, and finally an ERC type.

All of them gave the same results on a modern pressing.

Does anyone know of any ceramic cartridge that has a good enough compliance in order to work with modern vinyl records?
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 6:53 pm   #2
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

Something wrong there. My AT60 with SC11 will play all records Iíve tried without any problems, tracking at 4g.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 9:43 pm   #3
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

Are you sure the stylus is a stereo compatible 0.7 radius. Iíve had problems with the 1.0 LP styluses with more modern discs as they are really only suitable for older mono discs.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 9:51 pm   #4
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

Whatever the reason for poor tracking, itís best to increase the stylus pressure until the mistracking stops. Thereís nothing worse for disc wear than a stylus rattling around bashing the groove walls. It would be useful to know how much tracking weight is needed to achieve proper tracking.

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Old 1st Dec 2022, 11:07 pm   #5
Michael Maurice
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

I'm going to try a Sonotone cartridge which I understand is new old stock and see what happens.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 11:17 pm   #6
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

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Originally Posted by Nickthedentist View Post
Something wrong there. My AT60 with SC11 will play all records Iíve tried without any problems, tracking at 4g.

Agree totally. The SC11/12 perform well. Only problems arise if the stylus is worn (or possibly a cheap clone)

75 notes for that ceramic Sonotone is ludicrous IMHO. I would look at investigating the tracking problem in the mechanical sense before spending that, especially as it is unlikely to solve the problem. New old stock is likely to suffer hard rubber.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 12:30 am   #7
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

Just reread the original post, Michael. The last Autoslim I worked on (for someone else) I used a BSR x5M. That played everything I threw at it. The arm was the white one-piece job too, fairly high mass. If yours is unable to track even with more recent carts, there's something very wrong.

I assume you've checked and re-checked the usual stuff like arm pivot being totally free, cueing/arm lifter stud not fouling the arm, downforce, cart cables not tight, deck perfectly level, etc.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 3:03 am   #8
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

Do some low cost checks first, Michael.
Is the arm free enough to move in its bearings?
Check the tracking weight with a proper scale.
Is the record OK on another turntable? just to close off that possibility.
Is the stylus and shaft OK?

Only then worry about the cartridge proper.

Sonotone have a decent reputation for their 9TAHC and similar, but 75 quid would make me think of going magnetic.

David
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 8:31 am   #9
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

I've had the problem of older record players playing modern vinyl before, i'm not the only one.

I stripped the deck down to the last screw, cleaned everything up, removed all the grease and even removed the two ball bearings where the arm pivots sit. Even they were cleaned up!

I reassembled everything and used superlube on all the sliding surfaces, I used sewing machine oil for the pivots and on the motor bearings and idler wheel bearing.

It plays perfectly on older records.

I tried a couple of modern records, they did the same.

I have suggested going magnetic but you cant really use a magnetic cart in an autochanger. I do have a couple of SP25's both Mk 2 and Mk 3 that would do the job.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 8:54 am   #10
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

Michael, do bear in mind that the Ronette 105 is an early Stereo cartridge but has quite a poor vertical compliance. I can understand why this might skate on a stereo groove pitch LP, but I don't understand why you can't get good results with the much later BSR SC11/12 flipunder stylus series.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 9:41 am   #11
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

Could you define what you mean by modern here.

Will it play LPs from the last days of mainstream vinyl i.e. the early 1990s?

Are you only having problem with the current day re-pressings of classic albums like some of the supermarkets are selling?

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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 10:29 am   #12
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben View Post
The last Autoslim I worked on (for someone else) I used a BSR x5M. That played everything I threw at it. The arm was the white one-piece job too, fairly high mass. If yours is unable to track even with more recent carts, there's something very wrong.
I've got that exact deck with the one piece white tone arm, also fitted with a BSR X5M in my Pye Black Box and it plays absolutely everything including those heavily modulated DJ type dance 12" singles without any problem whatsoever.

Those old Ronette 105 cartridges and their copies are a waste of time as they have virtually no compliance - alright for old 45rpm singles and that's about it.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 10:40 am   #13
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

I read a very interesting article recently about record mastering.

As CDs started to take off in the late 80s early 90s, no companies were investing in new mastering machines or pressing machines. The mastering specifically was a great skill, they had to assess frequencies like strong bass notes and alter what got mastered so records did not jump on a massive range of equipment. if one person complained about their single jumping in the 70s/80s it was not a big deal but if everyone with Dansette had a problem it was a huge problem, so it was real skill.


By the 90s the engineers were retiring and thought there was absolutely no point in passing on their skills. So records pressed after say 2000 were badly mastered (as the engineers had retired) and were produced on very very worn out equipment that had not been replaced since at best the 80s! Not a good combination if you wanted a wide range of player compatibility.

Now we're in the 2020s and surprisingly vinyl does look like it's genuinely bounced back, the article was saying the first new mastering machines in decades were being produced BUT the big problem is all that mastering skill being lost still remains and in truth is unlikely to return. So the fact that your ceramic cartridge doesnt work with modern vinyl is very much to do with the quality of the pressings (which are apparently very shallow) rather than the compliance of the cartridges.

By way of confirming this I know someone who runs a record shop here in Hobart, and he says he has quite a lot of compliants about modern vinyl not playing too well and interestingly the biggest culprit is coloured vinyl which for some reason produces extremely jumpy pressings (something to do with the colour additives he thinks)

not withstanding all the above, I can imagine problems with the repro Ronettes but other than coloured modern vinyl I've not had any problems with the repro BSR copies around. Set the tracking weight to 4g and you should be fine
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 10:44 am   #14
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

But the other two cartridges tried also gave the problem. So unless they had ruined styli, then there is some other common factor.

It might just be the combination of meaty cuts and styli/cantilever suspensions past their primes.

I suppose an SP25 and an RIAA box is the plan-B escape route.

David
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 11:07 am   #15
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

I wouldn't waste money on that old Sonotone. It was that same company that I caught out selling both the stereo and mono tip stylus under the same part number. In other words they were selling the 'mono' version of a particular stylus as the 'stereo' version - listed separately, but when you cross referenced them they were the same part number. I moaned about it on here a few years ago and when I eventually checked back they'd started listing them separately, so guess they must have been reading.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 11:07 am   #16
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
But the other two cartridges tried also gave the problem. So unless they had ruined styli, then there is some other common factor.

It might just be the combination of meaty cuts and styli/cantilever suspensions past their primes.

I suppose an SP25 and an RIAA box is the plan-B escape route.

David
You have to give these old players/decks the best chance to work, a new stylus on old suspension is not going to give you that. I tried, not willing to ditch my old classic cartridges, but none work as well as the brand new cheap Chinese BSR or Cz800 clones
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 11:42 am   #17
Jan Zodiac
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

I use an Audio Technica AT-3600L on a Garrard Type A changer. It works perfect. It's a rather cheap, but nice sounding cartridge, that tracks at 3 - 4g.
I'm sure it should work fine for the Autoslim as well, and would definetely be better than the Ronette 105. Of course a RIAA will be needed though.

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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 11:56 am   #18
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Maurice View Post

I have suggested going magnetic but you cant really use a magnetic cart in an autochanger.
Here is a pic of a Goldring G850, original fitment on a Garrard 40b with a steel platter, as supplied standard with a Dynatron radiogram.

Another Garrard, this time an AT6, mk1, fitted with a Goldring G800, worked well and satisfied the new owner.

Alan
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 12:10 pm   #19
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

Interesting, Alan!
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 12:16 pm   #20
Michael Maurice
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Default Re: Ceramic cartridge compliance

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Originally Posted by Nickthedentist View Post
Are you only having problem with the current day re-pressings of classic albums like some of the supermarkets are selling?

Nick.
Yes, the owner didnít have any older LPís or singles.
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