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LM2940
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AUDIO TECHNICA AT95E VS GRADO BLACK

Hello all,
I am an audiophile on a tight budget. I currently own a GRADO BLACK cartridge which has a problem tracking the inner grooves and loud passages.
Would I see much improvement by replacing it with an AUDIO TECHNICA AT95E?

Buddha
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Re: AUDIO TECHNICA AT95E VS GRADO BLACK

Welcome!

Before buying a new cartridge, I'd suggest making sure your Grado is properly set up.

Your tracking difficulties sound more like an alignment problem than anything else.

This is something I am terrible at explaining.

Don't spend any money yet and more eloquent members will be along soon!

In the meantime, check out...

www.amusicdirect.com

www.elusivedisc.com

www.needledoctor.com

They carry affordable alignment tools and may have some info, as well.

I haven't looked for web resources on "how to," but I will se what I can scare up.

Consider this a "place holder" reply for now!

Buddha
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Re: AUDIO TECHNICA AT95E VS GRADO BLACK

Disclaimer: Of course, I forgot to ask how old your cartridge is, etc...

While I look around, hit us with some more info!

LM2940
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Re: AUDIO TECHNICA AT95E VS GRADO BLACK

Hi! Thanks for the welcome! I recently did a [re]alignment with an alignment tool[don't remember the brand of the tool off the top of my head] and I checked tracking force and anti-skate and everything seems to be fine. I was able to coax a little better sound by upping the tracking force to 2 grams but the inner grooves just don't sound good on most records. The cart is about 2 years old now but with very light use [it just never sounded "right"].
The table is a Thorens TD180 circa 1995 and I'm cleaning the LPs with a Record Doctor vacuum.

Yiangos
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Re: AUDIO TECHNICA AT95E VS GRADO BLACK

Buddha is right.I believe i know what's the problem but before i "hit" you with my "Sounds like Greek to me" English
i will ask you to perform a little test.When the cartridge reaches the inner grooved (leave alone mistraking for the moment) do you notice any increase in distortion or is any of the 2 channels becoming louder than the other ?

LM2940
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Re: AUDIO TECHNICA AT95E VS GRADO BLACK

"do you notice any increase in distortion or is any of the 2 channels becoming louder than the other ?"

Yes, I notice an increase in distortion. I don't notice one of the channels becoming louder but, then again, I haven't really been looking for it. I will try that tonight and get back to you.

LM2940
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Re: AUDIO TECHNICA AT95E VS GRADO BLACK

OK, I did some listening and I can't notice an increase in volume in either channel at the end of a record but I do have an increase in overall distortion.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: AUDIO TECHNICA AT95E VS GRADO BLACK

I would try and balance the arm to zero (free float) with no tracking force. Put the anti-skate to zero and see if your arm is truly feel floating above the platter surface, straight up and down with no side movement.

If you are sure the cart is properly alligned, then increase the tracking force to the mfg recommended and try with no anti-skate at all.

You might see if you or any of your neighbors have a child's microscope and look at the shape and condition of the stylus tip, looking for any possible damage. My kids when younger knew the TT was OFF limits, but curiosity killed a few cats and probably more Stylii.

Most commercial recordings should not tax that Grado model with high velocities. Also make sure this is distortion is happening on most of your good discs on the last track. This would elliminate just this one disc that might be damaged. MAKE SURE THE STYLUS IS NOT DAMAGED BEFORE YOU USE IT ON MORE RECORDS!!!!

Good luck.

LM2940
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Re: AUDIO TECHNICA AT95E VS GRADO BLACK

Thanks, Jim.
I did some closer listening and noticed that I do get more distortion in the left channel and the left channel does seem to be a tiny bit louder than the right. This is in the inner grooves. The outer grooves sound great.
What do you guys think?
BTW, does anyone use the AT95A? Is it a good tracker?

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