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Summer project: AT OC09II low output MC on the Rega RP3

NHL

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Nov 12, 2009
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Step 1: Placed an order for the AT OC9II low ouput MC.

Already have an Ortofon cartridge scale.

Missing a test record and an alignment (Baerwald geometry) tool.

Essentially, I want to recreate a bit more nerve in the music than with the Elys2. 'Rime of the ancient mariner' will be the ultimate track to check if the operation went well. Probably will finish sometime in August.
 

NHL

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Nov 12, 2009
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Step 2: HiFi News Test LP Directors Cut on its way,

AT-OC09II on its way,

Rega Baerwald alignment sheet prepared.

Flea shop LP shopping is cheap and fun, but all the vinyl player setup is obviously more expensive than a good DAC.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Good luck with that. Just a couple of thoughts.

There is no easy way to adjust VTA on the Rega arm, not an issue with their own cartridges but the 'old' OC9 was quite deep, you might like to check that.

Noise was a big issue with the old Planar 3 with such cartridges but the RP3 is supposed to be much better in that respect, I would still look very closely at the turntable support, with a low output mc you need to keep the noise floor as low as possible.

Otherwise you should enjoy that, the OC9 is a cracker, very different from the Rega cartridges.
 

NHL

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Hi Dave,

the idea is to follow mr Gandy and leave the VTA/SRA as it will become. OC09 should have a slight bump in the upper frequencies and the uphill tone arm might keep that under control.

Have had the Elys2 now for 1&1/2 year, premounted, and the step to a MC seems necessary. Initially only considered Dynavector but since everyone else seems to have that MC, then it would be fun to try the more esoteric OC09. This will be the final money thrown down the vinyl path, either it will perfect the sound or I simply have to wait for better DAC's.

Best regards

P.S

About all the RP6 threads: Think that the phono stage and cartridge is much more important than if it is an RP3 or RP6.

D.S
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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NHL said:
Hi Dave,

the idea is to follow mr Gandy and leave the VTA/SRA as it will become. OC09 should have a slight bump in the upper frequencies and the uphill tone arm might keep that under control.

Have had the Elys2 now for 1&1/2 year, premounted, and the step to a MC seems necessary. Initially only considered Dynavector but since everyone else seems to have that MC, then it would be fun to try the more esoteric OC09. This will be the final money thrown down the vinyl path, either it will perfect the sound or I simply have to wait for better DAC's.

Best regards

P.S

About all the RP6 threads: Think that the phono stage and cartridge is much more important than if it is an RP3 or RP6.

D.S
Though I hold Roy in very high regard and sold his excellent products for many years, I could never agree with him on this issue.

We used a lot of RB300s fitted to Xerxes turntables and the F5, OC7 and OC9 cartridges were all popular choices. We found VTA important in maintaining the 'open' character that made these cartridges such good value.

Still this opinion was formed many years ago with the old arm and original versions of the AT cartridges but the important thing is that you are aware of the issue.

We used to obtain nicely machined 1mm and 2mm spacers from Rega, assuming there is enough thread on the arm fixing (we often had to rebate the Xerxes top board) I would be inclined to at least try lifting the arm to the horizontal.
 

NHL

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Nov 12, 2009
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Hi AllEars!

Leema Elements Phono. It is always on, not because I believe that the sound will improve, simply because there is no power switch. Once I feared this would show up on the electricity bill. Got to lend a power consumption meter, and this device simply consumes no energy to talk about, at all.

Best regards
 

davedotco

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Very nice!

The 100ohm loading should be OK for the OC9, I can't remember loading being a big issue with these models.

Bear in mind what you are dealing with here, a largely mechanical e device where minor changes of setup and alignment can make a really big difference, be prepared to take some time.

Let us know how you get on.
 

NHL

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Nov 12, 2009
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Arrived yesterday by mail.

It took an hour to remove the Elys2 with a 2 mm hex wrench, using my large fingers to try and get rid of the four wires, and then using a supplied screw driver to mount the AT09. Nothing broken yet. The Elys2 still had 1.8 gram needle weight.

An obvious difference is that the Elys2 needle is much thicker than the AT09 needle.

Now starts the work with aligning the cartridge, have to postpone it a couple of days.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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NHL said:
Arrived yesterday by mail.

It took an hour to remove the Elys2 with a 2 mm hex wrench, using my large fingers to try and get rid of the four wires, and then using a supplied screw driver to mount the AT09. Nothing broken yet. The Elys2 still had 1.8 gram needle weight.

An obvious difference is that the Elys2 needle is much thicker than the AT09 needle.

Now starts the work with aligning the cartridge, have to postpone it a couple of days.
If you have not already done so I suggest trying to find some suitable hex bolts and nuts to mount the OC9 firmly in the headshell, the OC9 body is pretty deep and if I recall correctly you need 19mm bolts to do the job properly.

Comventional screws and nuts are not tight enough, they easily work lose and this has an unpleasant effect on SQ.

Ideally you should use tweezers to fit cartridge tags, needle nose plyers are fine if they are small enough but do make sure the tags are a tight fit on the pins.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
If you have not already done so I suggest trying to find some suitable hex bolts and nuts to mount the OC9 firmly in the headshell, the OC9 body is pretty deep and if I recall correctly you need 19mm bolts to do the job properly.

Comventional screws and nuts are not tight enough, they easily work lose and this has an unpleasant effect on SQ.

Ideally you should use tweezers to fit cartridge tags, needle nose plyers are fine if they are small enough but do make sure the tags are a tight fit on the pins.
Don't know why you would think this, cap hd screw, philips hd screw,etc will tighten the same as a hex screw/bolt

def of bolt thread length 1.5 times dia

def screw threaded all the way to head

All bolts/screws will loosen over time unless you use spring washers or nyloc nuts or thread lock
 

davedotco

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andybeau said:
If you have not already done so I suggest trying to find some suitable hex bolts and nuts to mount the OC9 firmly in the headshell, the OC9 body is pretty deep and if I recall correctly you need 19mm bolts to do the job properly.

Comventional screws and nuts are not tight enough, they easily work lose and this has an unpleasant effect on SQ.

Ideally you should use tweezers to fit cartridge tags, needle nose plyers are fine if they are small enough but do make sure the tags are a tight fit on the pins.
Don't know why you would think this, cap hd screw, philips hd screw,etc will tighten the same as a hex screw/bolt

def of bolt thread length 1.5 times dia

def screw threaded all the way to head

All bolts/screws will loosen over time unless you use spring washers or nyloc nuts or thread lock
Really not sure what you are getting at Andy unless it is that I am not being precise enough on my classification of bolts and nuts.

I have never found conventional screws of sufficient quality to mount m/c cartridges firmly, the screw heads are to soft and easily damaged and have to be fitted from the top making it extremely difficult to hold the nut securely enough to get a tight fit. This is a practical matter, not a matter of engineering specification.

The use of hex bolts, fitted from underneath and secured by a nut that can be firmly held in place by a suitable spanner is, in my experience mandatory for metal body m/c cartriges. The vibration generated by low compliance cartridges of this type will work lose an inadequately tightened scew/bolt in a mater of weeks, properly tightened hex bolts can stay tight for years.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
davedotco said:
andybeau said:
If you have not already done so I suggest trying to find some suitable hex bolts and nuts to mount the OC9 firmly in the headshell, the OC9 body is pretty deep and if I recall correctly you need 19mm bolts to do the job properly.

Comventional screws and nuts are not tight enough, they easily work lose and this has an unpleasant effect on SQ.

Ideally you should use tweezers to fit cartridge tags, needle nose plyers are fine if they are small enough but do make sure the tags are a tight fit on the pins.
Don't know why you would think this, cap hd screw, philips hd screw,etc will tighten the same as a hex screw/bolt

def of bolt thread length 1.5 times dia

def screw threaded all the way to head

All bolts/screws will loosen over time unless you use spring washers or nyloc nuts or thread lock
Really not sure what you are getting at Andy unless it is that I am not being precise enough on my classification of bolts and nuts.

I have never found conventional screws of sufficient quality to mount m/c cartridges firmly, the screw heads are to soft and easily damaged and have to be fitted from the top making it extremely difficult to hold the nut securely enough to get a tight fit. This is a practical matter, not a matter of engineering specification.

The use of hex bolts, fitted from underneath and secured by a nut that can be firmly held in place by a suitable spanner is, in my experience mandatory for metal body m/c cartriges. The vibration generated by low compliance cartridges of this type will work lose an inadequately tightened scew/bolt in a mater of weeks, properly tightened hex bolts can stay tight for years.
Firstly you never said you were changing from an inferior screw, but a quality screw can come with any head.

A soft screw with any head will be damaged.

So a screw of good quality steel with whatever head will tighten up the same.

My preference would be a cap hd but with the right tools any head will do.

Allen key will hold very securely so will philips, we are only talking m3 to m4 screws after all.

So it doesn't need to be a hex screw if you buy decent quaility screws and use the right tool for

the job.

Sorry if I offended you but just finished a 12hr night shift and was just trying to educate you

in the finer points of engineering fastenings.
 

davedotco

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Whilst I have absolutely no doubt what you say is correct in a general engineering sense, the realities of actually doing the job are very different.

Firstly the screws themselves (M2.5, 2.6?) are extremely difficult to buy in small quantities and those supplied specifically for the job via most hi-fi outlets are aluminium and virtually useless,

Secondly fitting screws from the top makes it very difficult to hold the fixing nut firmly enough to get a tight fit, it is often too close to the cartridge body to get a spanner on it securely.

Inserting the screw from underneath with the fixing bolt on the top of the headshell allowes the nut to be securely held while the screw is tightened but unless the arm is removed from the deck there is insufficiant clearance between the cartridge and the deck to use anything close to a proper screwdriver.

This is where the hex bolt and allen key is so useful, the bolt can be inserted in place from underneath and held firmly by the allen key which only needs an inch or so of clearance.

I am not an advocate of using such force that the arm bearings can be damaged but it needs to be tight to control the vibrations in the cartridge body.
 

NHL

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Yesterday evening I was thinking: 'Imagine what the mp3-generation is missing'. I was completely absorbed by trying hard not to drop or break any of the miniature mechanical parts. AT did provide a test diagram with the specific pickup bought, they had used a needle pressure of 1.5 gram and gone from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
davedotco said:
Whilst I have absolutely no doubt what you say is correct in a general engineering sense, the realities of actually doing the job are very different.

Firstly the screws themselves (M2.5, 2.6?) are extremely difficult to buy in small quantities and those supplied specifically for the job via most hi-fi outlets are aluminium and virtually useless,

Secondly fitting screws from the top makes it very difficult to hold the fixing nut firmly enough to get a tight fit, it is often too close to the cartridge body to get a spanner on it securely.

Inserting the screw from underneath with the fixing bolt on the top of the headshell allowes the nut to be securely held while the screw is tightened but unless the arm is removed from the deck there is insufficiant clearance between the cartridge and the deck to use anything close to a proper screwdriver.

This is where the hex bolt and allen key is so useful, the bolt can be inserted in place from underneath and held firmly by the allen key which only needs an inch or so of clearance.

I am not an advocate of using such force that the arm bearings can be damaged but it needs to be tight to control the vibrations in the cartridge body.
I was talking about fitting the way you are and i,'m afraid you can get small screwdrivers to fit without lifting arm, these are very small screws. It's also why I prefer a cap head and to use an Allen key. Most decent hardware stores will sell these in small quantities and they don,t cost a furtune, especially compared to the price of the cartridge. So get off your high horse and milk it
 

davedotco

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I can see you subscribe to the view that there are always two ways to tackle any issue, your way and the wrong way.

Be that as it may, I was imparting practical advice that I know works well having fitted hundreds of cartridges over the years. The parts are available from any good dealer, though not the more mainstream ones as a rule, and the OP already has the allen key.

As for the abusive tone, I'll let that pass, not realy worth a response.
 
A

Anonymous

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davedotco said:
I can see you subscribe to the view that there are always two ways to tackle any issue, your way and the wrong way.

Be that as it may, I was imparting practical advice that I know works well having fitted hundreds of cartridges over the years. The parts are available from any good dealer, though not the more mainstream ones as a rule, and the OP already has the allen key.

As for the abusive tone, I'll let that pass, not realy worth a response.
You really need to go back and read some of your posts before making a comment like that.

F.u.c.k. me sideways more front than Brighton peir :hand:
 

NHL

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davedotco said:
... having fitted hundreds of cartridges over the years...
I really appreciate now how difficult, time consuming and with individual result this work is. Not ideal for industrial mass production.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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My posts in this thread offer practical advice for a relative novice in the art/science of fitting a m/c phono cartridge to his player and come from my own experience.

I offered tips and advice about a subject that can be difficult and specific instructions on methods that I know to work and point out some of the isues that the OP might face.

I am struggling to find your contributions to this thread.
 

davedotco

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NHL said:
davedotco said:
... having fitted hundreds of cartridges over the years...
I really appreciate now how difficult, time consuming and with individual result this work is. Not ideal for industrial mass production.
There was a time back in the 80s and 90s that fitting and setting up record players was an integral part of a dealers role, none that I can recall came with a cartridge 'factory' fitted, and most of the systems we sold at that time were still analogue.

Add in the routine maintenance, the upgrades of said players and the replacement of stylii that in the case of virtually all m/c models required a complete cartridge replacement and it is easy to see how such a process becomes part of the routine.

That said it is not easy to do this yourself, but it will get easier, much easier if you have suitable tools and the correct fittings.

anyway, good luck and continue to keep us informed of how things go.
 

NHL

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Aligned the cartridge visually with the aid of a printed Baerwald paper. When adjusting the weight, moved the weight in the wrong direction, actually had 4.5 g once. Remeber, the tone arm is scale with a pivot, one is supposed to move the counter weight outwards to lift the needle. How could I miss that?. The needle did not break, adjusting the weight down to 1.6 g. Had to switch to MC setting on the phono stage.

Listening impressions:

Used a 180 g Pat Metheny 'What's it all about'. This record never did sound good with the Elys 2. Strange since it is acoustic only, one instrument and a good quality studio recording. The complete record had a high noise level and much inner groove distortion with the Elys 2. The first impression with the AT-OC09 was, listening to 'The sound of silence', silence! All surface noise was gone and no inner groove distortion was present! It was also possible to hear Pat's finger work on the guitar neck. There was no sign of any MC acceleration sound, have heard some other MC which made all strong sounds appear as it was some accelaration contest.

Anyhow, now part of the exclusive...

Low Output Moving Coil Club!
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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NHL said:
Aligned the cartridge visually with the aid of a printed Baerwald paper. When adjusting the weight, moved the weight in the wrong direction, actually had 4.5 g once. Remeber, the tone arm is scale with a pivot, one is supposed to move the counter weight outwards to lift the needle. How could I miss that?. The needle did not break, adjusting the weight down to 1.6 g. Had to switch to MC setting on the phono stage.

Listening impressions:

Used a 180 g Pat Metheny 'What's it all about'. This record never did sound good with the Elys 2. Strange since it is acoustic only, one instrument and a good quality studio recording. The complete record had a high noise level and much inner groove distortion with the Elys 2. The first impression with the AT-OC09 was, listening to 'The sound of silence', silence! All surface noise was gone and no inner groove distortion was present! It was also possible to hear Pat's finger work on the guitar neck. There was no sign of any MC acceleration sound, have heard some other MC which made all strong sounds appear as it was some accelaration contest.

Anyhow, now part of the exclusive...

Low Output Moving Coil Club!
Sounds like a very promising start, are you still running witha 'negative', vta?

If you are you, need to check the clearance of the cartridge body from the surface of the discs, in use the cartridge suspension will soften slightly and thewhole thing will ride a little lower, just be aware.

Ahhh, Pat Metheny, big fan of his back at the time when Airstream trailers were his cover art of choice. If you have it, give 'Off Ramp' a spin for me, really miss it, it is not on Spotify.......:(
 

NHL

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davedotco said:
Sounds like a very promising start, are you still running witha 'negative', vta?

If you are you, need to check the clearance of the cartridge body from the surface of the discs, in use the cartridge suspension will soften slightly and thewhole thing will ride a little lower, just be aware.
Yes, no shims. It doesn't feel like the AT is so much higher than the Elys 2. Have seen pics of Dynavectors and they look like towers in comparison. Will take a closer look this evening, got it all setup 11 p.m. yesterday. The next record to try out will be 'Daft Punks' new vinyl. The Rega RP3 have so much potential, does not think that the Exact can do it justice either. Have seen that Rega have begun in the MC business recently also, in a couple of years they might have affordable MC's.

A conclusion of this project would be: customize the RP3 with a nice MC if possible! Vinyl will never sound better!
 

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