You are here

Log in or register to post comments
Reptiles00
Reptiles00's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 16 2006 - 6:28pm
Cartridge Selection and Setup

Hi,
I recently picked up a Stanton STR8-30 Turntable which I believe is more of a DJ table than an audiophile table, but since this table used fit into what I had for funds at the time.... it will do until I can save up and upggrade.

I am wondering several things as to the proper selection of a cartridge and the alignment of the cartridge as it sits on the headshell.

The table came with a Stanton 500B cartridge mounted.... at a 30 degree angle vise square on the shell. I read over a few of the online setup instruction and only one I found mentioned to set the cartridge square on the shell.

I picked up a new AT301EP with a tracking force of 1 - 1.5 grams and the original had a tracking force of 3 - 5 grams.
When I installed the AT, I set it in similar to the 500B's angle and adjusted the cartridge back slightly since the new AT was longer in overhang.
Most of my sound stage seems to now be more right than centered (for mids and highs) while my bass still seems to be pretty much centered on the soundstage.

Can anyone give me some insight on what the proper placement of the cartridge should be in relation to square and overhang on the headshell?
Also, since the tonearm has no height adjustment, should I try to match a cartridge of similar height... the new AT sits the top of the tonearm slightly higher off the LP.

Wow, that was a mouthful

Thanks,
Don

Jim Tavegia
Jim Tavegia's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 4:27pm
Re: Cartridge Selection and Setup

Here is an inexpensive cart protractor that most vinyl-philes should own, or one similar to it. It can get you fairly precise cart allignment. It is not a good a Wally Tools, but with a decent price.

If you are looking for an entry level cartridge the the Stanton 500EEE, which was one of the defacto standard radion station playback cart for decades. The newer Shure M97HE would also be a good place to start if more funds are available. You will want at least an elliptical cartridge, not spherical, if you want better stereo spread.

You can also find any number of phono cartridges at the Needle Doctor that will fit in any price range. Good luck. Turntable Basics Needle Doctor

Reptiles00
Reptiles00's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 16 2006 - 6:28pm
Re: Cartridge Selection and Setup

Hi Jim, Thanks for the great link to the Cartridge Alingment Tool. Its definately something I need.

The Stanton Cartridge is also something I'll look into after I get the alignment too.

I'm just getting back into this and trying to stay in my limited budget. Suggestions such as your really help in making good decisions as to where my money goes. Thanks Again.

As an update, I realigned the cartridge to square on the headshell and my sound stage has come back to center. I do have some work to do, room acoustics, speaker placement, and cable breakin, but then again, I really want to upgrade the whole table eventually.

Don

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: Cartridge Selection and Setup

Hi Don

I have nothing more to add to Jim's comments,except,when a manufacturer states that his cartridge works' in the range of say,1.0-1.5 grams,it usually works better in the upper range than the lower.Also,you get much less vinyl wear by working the cartridge in the upper range than the lower.
of course,experiment and trust your ears.

Jim Tavegia
Jim Tavegia's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 4:27pm
Re: Cartridge Selection and Setup

I am not familiar with the the AT cart, but the E might indicate that it is elliptical and the Stanton 500 would probably NOT be an upgrade. The Shure M97HE probably would. Stick with what you have and after you have it properly alligned you may be satisfied with the results. You could check with the Audio Technica web site for specs on that cart. Michael Fremer deserves a lot of credit for keeping vinyl alive in the 21st Century.

ps I looked up your cart and it is .4 x .7 elliptical. Keep it until you are ready to really move up.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading