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Cartridge, turntable and prestage matching

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Al ears

Moderator
So I did some experimenting last night. I reduced the tonearm weight and tracking force slightly. Most importantly I started messing with the phase and crossover settings on my subwoofer. I never really adjusted these before. The old stylus produced sound relatively unchanged regardless of phase or crossover setting. Gain was the only thing I ever adjusted. With this new needle adjusting the sub makes a significant difference. The cartridge is starting to grow on me.

Still would like to find a more adjustable turntable with VTA. Most that have this feature are outside my budget.
Didn't realise you had a subwoofer in the system, these can complicate matters. I'd try to get you set-up working well without the subwoofer on to start with and then adjust as necessary.
Glad to hear cartridge is growing on you.
 

DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
752
440
11,270
Sounds cool - if you get results to your liking with some records, it is safe to assume that your cart is properly set up. Some records (in fact, many) are just not well pressed, or poorly mastered - it’s always a good idea to check for comments on a pressing in Discogs.

Another factor which makes a huge difference is the proper cleaning. I use a manual device called Discostat, whih has been around since the 1970s, together with non-mineral water (important) and a German cleaning product called L’Art du Son. I used a vacuum machine (Nitty Gritty) before but I find the manual cleaning better.

Finally, the cartridge. Over the past decade I have found that the Ortofon 2M Black was a great MM cartridge, truly neutral and musical at the same time. it can be found at 500 during sales. Some people prefer more lively cartridges, I think the 2M black is a safe bet for any kind of music, and the Shibata stylus is very forgiving with older records (surface noise is greatly reduced). You can experiment with 2M Red and upgrade later with blue or black.

Hope this helps. Enjoy the music!
Cartridges are a very personal choice, they are one of the few things that can make a difference in sound presentation. Having owned the entire 2M range I preferred the Bronze over the Black any day, but to my ears the Ortofon's are trumped by Nagaoka and AT. In the OP's situation replacing the Goldring with a 2M Red would be a serious backwards move.
 

EricLeRouge

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2020
28
6
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Thanks, but if you look at the thread again the Rega is the last thing the OP requires. The lack of VTA adjustment etc is exactly the issue with his current turntable.
Not saying it's not a good deck, I have owned one myself, but adaptable it is not, not easily anyway. Any deck where you have to remove the whole forearm to adjust VTA will be a non starter for most.
I guess I should retreat from this thread, which seems to focus on VTA, not sound or music. — I always marvel at people's obsession with VTA adjustment. When the last 1% of a proper setup becomes the primary focus of attention, the road ahead will be long and sinuous.
 

Al ears

Moderator
I guess I should retreat from this thread, which seems to focus on VTA, not sound or music. — I always marvel at people's obsession with VTA adjustment. When the last 1% of a proper setup becomes the primary focus of attention, the road ahead will be long and sinuous.
It was the OP that stated he wanted a deck with VTA adjustment and we were trying to assist with this.
You mention sound or music and in my opinion you cannot expect a cartridge to give it's best if you have no ability to adjust the VTA as they don't all have the same body depth.
It would seem somewhat strange to recommend a nice new cartridge to someone if that cartridge cannot be set up optimally on their deck, would you not agree?
It's the reason, along with incorrect tracking force, that the OP posted in the first instance.
 

EricLeRouge

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2020
28
6
45
It was the OP that stated he wanted a deck with VTA adjustment and we were trying to assist with this.
You mention sound or music and in my opinion you cannot expect a cartridge to give it's best if you have no ability to adjust the VTA as they don't all have the same body depth.
It would seem somewhat strange to recommend a nice new cartridge to someone if that cartridge cannot be set up optimally on their deck, would you not agree?
It's the reason, along with incorrect tracking force, that the OP posted in the first instance.
OK, you are probably right. The solution I recommended most likely does require a spacer.
 

StratDoc

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2020
41
10
45
I appreciate everyone's help and advice. Although I have the cartridge sounding better, it still is not right. I can't find the sweet spot - set at 2.0 grams it is too bright, crank down the tracking force and it gets muddled. I made some adjustment with the subwoofer - phase and crossover - which seemed to help but still not there. It is amazing that a$20 stock cartridge would sound better.

At this point I am inclined to think it is a bad match with the turntable. There is mismatch of some sort, VTA, tonearm weight, ???.

The Planar 3 is a bit out of my range. Thoughts on Planar 2 or other tables that would be an upgrade? I have read some posts on the Fluance decks but don't know anything about them.
 
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StratDoc

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2020
41
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45
Pulled this of Goldring site - stating that needing to adjust VTA should not be an issue with this cartridge.

"This means the cartridge can be safely installed in a typical turntable because the angle that the stylus makes with the record surface has been pre-set. The result is an optimised channel balance with zero degrees of horizontal tracking adjustment required. "
 
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Al ears

Moderator
As discussed the Rega turntables are a bit of a nightmare to adjust VTA wise, possibly look at Pro-ject decks. Not heard or seen one but the Fluance RT85 looks a lot of deck for the money and gets excellent reviews.
 

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