Ortofon m2 black sibilance cartridge or stylus? or something else

speedthing

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Hi sorry for posting this ive done a search im still a bit stumped i need a bit more input from people in the know thanks.
OK ive never knowingly had this issue up to just recently and ive now noticed sibilance on some records after getting a new Amp. I can only think that its kind of been there in the back ground not high enough to be an issue till getting the new Amp amp being better having better sound stage etc etc can hear more detail etc etc. I don't seem to have the issue on other formats well I only have vinyl and CD so im thinking its an issue with the stylus the deck is a project carbon acrylic with an M2 black cartridge it came fitted to the deck the deck is 4 and a half years old. The thing is that stylus is like £450 to replace and more expensive is not necessary better im not sure my ears would be able tell the difference between a £100 cartridge and a £500 one would an Audio Technica one be better or better tracking any input greatly received.
 
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speedthing

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Hi Penguin the TT the wife bought me from Richer Sounds new for my 50th about 4 and a half years ago the Amp is a new Arcam A15 and the speakers are Acoustic Energy AE500's swapped them about a week ago they replaced my MA bronze 6. The issue was there with the bonze 6 its there with the new speakers no worse and no better just the same. started to notice it with the new Amp I have seen a few posts where a few people have said they where not keen on the Phono stage on that amp so ive taken it off the Phono stage and im running it through a Project Phono preamp its still the same. I set all the weights up to spec when I installed the deck they have never been changed I also have a test record with a section that has no grooves ive rechecked that the other day and it tracks spot on.
 
The 2M Black is an expensive cartridge that can dig out a lot of detail, sometimes too much as you are noticing. The more refined the stylus shape means more care is required with set unfortunately.
There is a possibility your VTA adjustment is incorrect and you need to lower the tonearm slightly to realign the cartridge so that it is tilted downwards at the back as this will bring in more bass influence.
If you replace the stylus I believe a 2M Bronze will fit your cartridge and this may resolve the sibilance issue.
If you feel a cheaper Audio Technica cartridge is called for I am sure you will be able to recoup some money by selling on the 2M Black.
Has the cartridge been heavily used over those 4 1/2 years?
 
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speedthing

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Thanks Al ears I have checked in the project manual its says the tone arm if set up correct should be level the tube is conical gets thinner toward the front. So if im right I think that should be tilted toward the back but I will check. would you think at nearly 5 years old that the cartridge or stylus would be worn out ish. Ive seen a few post where peeps are saying cartridges can get worn out something ive not thought of before.
I have looked at the Bronze so thats on my list also I did see the Audio Technica do a Shibata cartridge with stylus and ive seen it for under £200.
 
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Thanks Al ears I have checked in the project manual its say the tone arm if set up correct should be level the tube is conical gets thinner toward the front. So if im right I think that should be tilted toward the back but I will check. would you think at nearly 5 years old that the cartridge or stylus would be worn out ish. Ive seen a few post where peeps are saying cartridges can get worn out something ive not thought of before.
I have looked at the Bronze so that is in my list also I did see the Audio Technica do a Shibata cartridge with stylus and ive seen it for under £200.
Cartridge wear is difficult to judge and certainly depends on the playing hours rather than age as such.
Some tonearms have a horizontal line scribed on then so you can use a height gauge to check VTA, not sure about yours but judging VTA on a tapering tonearm can be difficult.
The Audio Technica might be the way to go if the cost of replacing the Ortofon stylus is too expensive .
The AT Microline stylus shape is considered a good all round tracker without the added expense of the shibata
 
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speedthing

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Cartridge wear is difficult to judge and certainly depends on the playing hours rather than age as such.
Some tonearms have a horizontal line scribed on then so you can use a height gauge to check VTA, not sure about yours but judging VTA on a tapering tonearm can be difficult.
The Audio Technica might be the way to go if the cost of replacing the Ortofon stylus is too expensive .
The AT Microline stylus shape is considered a good all round tracker without the added expense of the shibata
Cool ill have a look at the tone arm again and ill check out the AT Microline cartridges. I do listen to my vinyl quite a lot a lot more than my CD's so im thinking I must of clocked up more than quite a few hours on that Ortofon. I think it sounds like a bit of a backward step changing out the M2 black for a lesser cartridge. I listen to Heavy metal and to my mind I don't think with that music that M2 cartridge would make that much difference in sound I can see it would maybe if you listen to classical or jazz but not with Metal its to loud and noisy got to much going on.
 

DougK1

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Agree with Al, the 2M Black can be a pita to set up correctly, but once it is it can sound great. I didn't like it at all, far too noisy, much preferred the 2M Bronze. Unless you're really good at setting up a cart I'd steer clear of Shibata stylus profile and look at a micro-line or fine-line stylus profile. For Ortofon - 2M Bronze, easy swap as you only need to change the stylus, AT carts - any ML series cart.
 

speedthing

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Ch
Agree with Al, the 2M Black can be a pita to set up correctly, but once it is it can sound great. I didn't like it at all, far too noisy, much preferred the 2M Bronze. Unless you're really good at setting up a cart I'd steer clear of Shibata stylus profile and look at a micro-line or fine-line stylus profile. For Ortofon - 2M Bronze, easy swap as you only need to change the stylus, AT carts - any ML series cart.
Cheers DougK1 im going to have a good look at the AT ML cartridges im thinking that the M2 cartridge on that Deck was set up at the factory as this has never been an issue up till a few weeks ago.
 

speedthing

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Yes I do like the look of that AT-95ML I did have a 95E on a technics SL-1200 ive just sold off I know its not an ML but it sounded really good.
I have had a dig about on the net found a really good article on the M2 Bronze think it was an article for magazine. The guy writing the piece was saying its really good for all music but was not happy with dance music and thrash metal.
 

DougK1

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Cheers DougK1 im going to have a good look at the AT ML cartridges im thinking that the M2 cartridge on that Deck was set up at the factory as this has never been an issue up till a few weeks ago.
Seriously doubt the 2M Black was factory fitted, might have been fitted by RS. If the issue has recently started check the condition of the stylus with a loupe for debris etc., might just need a good clean.
 
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DougK1

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Yes I do like the look of that AT-95ML I did have a 95E on a technics SL-1200 ive just sold off I know its not an ML but it sounded really good.
I have had a dig about on the net found a really good article on the M2 Bronze think it was an article for magazine. The guy writing the piece was saying its really good for all music but was not happy with dance music and thrash metal.
Sometimes less technical stylus profiles can sound better with poorly recorded material. More technical profiles can dig out unwanted artefacts and magnify limitations of the recording.
 
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Seriously doubt the 2M Black was factory fitted, might have been fitted by RS. If the issue has recently started check the condition of the stylus with a loupe for debris etc., might just need a good clean.
Agreed, the 2M Black would not have been fitted as standard on that turntable.
If it is indeed the Project Debut Carbon, it would have a 2M Red as standard
 
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My2Cents

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Cartridges typically don't get worn out but the stylus does.
You have had the same stylus for 4 1/2 years? How many LP's do you play a week?
How often to you clean it? (and how)?

Bear in mind that the groove on one side of a 12" 33 1/3 LP is around half a mile long and the stylus pressure on the sides of the grooves as it plays is around 26 tons per square inch.
You may have come across this article already, but if not it's worth reading:

Also, this article from 1954 and reproduced by Shure is an interesting read:

A new LP played with a worn stylus and/or poorly set up can develop sibilance after the first play... one reason I will never go back to vinyl. It really has no business sounding as good as it can, but it demands a lot of constant care and attention of all the equipment to
a) keep it sounding that way and
b) prevent the vinyl from getting damaged.
 
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speedthing

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Agreed, the 2M Black would not have been fitted as standard on that turntable.
If it is indeed the Project Debut Carbon, it would have a 2M Red as standard
Morning
Sorry i got it wrong the deck is a Project 2- Xperience its the clear acrylic one with the carbon fibre tone arm so that might be right about the cartridge but would Richer sound of fitted a £600 cartridge to that deck? think the deck was about the £1200 mark new.
 
Morning
Sorry i got it wrong the deck is a Project 2- Xperience its the clear acrylic one with the carbon fibre tone arm so that might be right about the cartridge but would Richer sound of fitted a £600 cartridge to that deck? think the deck was about the £1200 mark new.
Not something they would normally do unless it was requested.
A 2M Blue cartridge would have been fitted as standard and if I recall correctly it was around £900
 
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DougK1

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Morning
Sorry i got it wrong the deck is a Project 2- Xperience its the clear acrylic one with the carbon fibre tone arm so that might be right about the cartridge but would Richer sound of fitted a £600 cartridge to that deck? think the deck was about the £1200 mark new.
And your wife bought this for your 50th, you have a very good one there hang on to her :)
 
You’ve had a lot of advice, but I’m not sure we’ve identified the key issue. It could be any or several of:-
1. The new speakers are clearer at revealing any inherent sibilance, which quite a few recordings have. MA Bronze were typically quite mellow, something that AE are not.
2. The new amp has a different sensitivity to HF or emphasises it enough to notice.
3. The stylus is indeed worn out after how many hours use?
4. You’re listening more critically having changed your kit, and this now annoys you.
5. The stylus is in need of a thorough clean, but is otherwise ok.

I may have missed what the previous amp was, and I appreciate you’ve tried a stand alone phono stage. Even the capacitance loading will affect the upper frequencies if you’ve got the hearing to pick it out.

I think 1 is the most likely. But how do LPs and CDs compare on sibilance?
 
You’ve had a lot of advice, but I’m not sure we’ve identified the key issue. It could be any or several of:-
1. The new speakers are clearer at revealing any inherent sibilance, which quite a few recordings have. MA Bronze were typically quite mellow, something that AE are not.
2. The new amp has a different sensitivity to HF or emphasises it enough to notice.
3. The stylus is indeed worn out after how many hours use?
4. You’re listening more critically having changed your kit, and this now annoys you.
5. The stylus is in need of a thorough clean, but is otherwise ok.

I may have missed what the previous amp was, and I appreciate you’ve tried a stand alone phono stage. Even the capacitance loading will affect the upper frequencies if you’ve got the hearing to pick it out.

I think 1 is the most likely. But how do LPs and CDs compare on sibilance?
He said he didn't have the issue on other formats and, as he only uses vinyl and CD, I infer he gets no sibilance when playing CDs.....could be wrong....
 
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speedthing

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Hi guy's thanks for all the help you are giving me ill try an answer as much as i can so ive only noticed this after upgrading my Amp. The new Amp is an Arcam A15 the out going Amp is An Arcam A32 i still have this but its old and developed a fault its in for repair at the mo. The speakers ive swapped out MA Bronze 6's for AE 500's the issue was there with the MA's and still is with the AE 500's the issue is no worse and no better with the new speakers. The MA's ended up just being to big for my 6 foot 8 buy 11 foot 5 room just way to boomy and i dont have the issue with CD its a new CD player as well Arcam CD5. I did see a few posts on people liking the Amp but not keen on the Phono stage so ive taken the deck off that and plugged it into a Project Phono stage and its still the same. Which leads me back to the stylus i clean the records with a vinyl solution and a proper record cleaning cloth i dont have a record washing machine or anything like that. On thinking about it i would say that maybe this stylus has had a bit of a hard ish life with me ill pop on a bit later and ill try and work out how many hours of use its had.
 
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speedthing

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Sometimes less technical stylus profiles can sound better with poorly recorded material. More technical profiles can dig out unwanted artefacts and magnify limitations of the recording.
Hi Doug im thinking you might be onto something was sort of thinking something like it my self Metal does sometimes have to much going on in it I find its best with nice punchy bass and a nice clear sound. Ive always used elliptical stylus on my Decks I had a Project 1 before this it was a great Deck I ran that for 15 years with no issues and im pretty sure ive got loads of albums that are not very well recorded.
 

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