Some technical cartridge details

Some technical cartridge details

Postby Harry » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:50 pm

Did you ever wonder about the accuracy of your groove modulation reproduction? I have, over and over. Combining that with USB shots at huge magnifications I have a theory, the reason I like aluminum cantilevers better is they are more accurate.
1- The aluminum cantilever is purchased ready made, the stylus hole is laser drilled, it is exactly 90 degrees to the record.
2- The front of the aluminum cantilever is crushed and bent at the proper angle and then laser drilled so the angle of mounting is correct.
3- The crushed part of the cantilever sticks out straight but at an angle, parallel to the record, the stylus is inserted, and because the stylus tip is located like this the tip of the stylus lines up with the center of rotation and motion of the cantilever. The cantilever is connected to the coils so the movement of the stylus moves the coils directly with no offset angle.
4- The stylus is inserted into the laser hole and goes through it making it automatically 90 degrees to the record.
5- All sapphire, boron, beryllium, diamond, etc. cantilevers have a "V" notch put into the front of the cantilever and the stylus glued to it. REALLY!! This is the way to do it it 2019, random chance that it will be straight and the right angle!! Then is it rotated at the right position so both sides of the line contact are opposite each other, plus the glue can let go and there goes your $900 stylus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Give me a Micro-ridge tip in an aluminum cantilever and I am in heaven. I microscope it and it is straight, it cannot pull out, and the micro-ridge is lined up correctly. The upper midrange sounds right and the bass is so clean you can feel the strings on Gary Karr's contra-bass vibrating.

I have a laundry list of cartridges that have poorly aligned diamonds. My two cents.

Plus what made it worse is I recently moved to the field coil Voxativ full range driver in my Pure Audio Project Quintet 15's and they take no prisoners, mis-aligned cartridges are out!!

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Re: Some technical cartridge details

Postby tom collins » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:27 am

Good morning. I know that I could comb through old posts and compile a list of the cartridges that meet the requirement you just laid out, but could you tell us which ones you have found with line contact/aluminum cant.?
Thanks.
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Re: Some technical cartridge details

Postby MOON » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:19 am

Hi Harry,

I as well would like to know of some cartridges with aluminum cantilevers you would recommend.
Thanks, Greg
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Re: Some technical cartridge details

Postby Stringreen » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:49 pm

Good points Harry.... Thanks
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Re: Some technical cartridge details

Postby Harry » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:42 pm

You would be surprised how many cartridge makers do everything possible to not mention they have an aluminum cantilever!

They ones I have tested and are perfect are the Ortofon 2M Red, Blue, and Bronze, the Quintet Red and Blue, and the Cadenza Red and Blue with the Bronze using an aluminum pipe but not a bent front tip so the contact area will be misaligned to the generator.

The VAS NOVA-MR uses an aluminum cantilever with a properly aligned Micro-Ridge tip and I just compared it to the Lyra Atlas, though they sound different and you could argue which is better, both gave the same amount of detail. This is a new design I asked him to make after doing some research and it was worth the effort. The Atlas costs 4 times the price!!!

The Miajimma Saboten L and Zero both have bent aluminum cantilevers and both sound amazing.

There are many others and I will be exploring them under USB microscope over the winter but the ones mentioned as of now had 90 degree stylus mountings.

This is not to say you cannot have amazing sound using a "V" groove and glue just the odds are not in your favor and the mathematics are against you.

BTW, it is with a full range field coil driver that this becomes painfully clear as everything is arriving at you from the same driver in phase at the same time. When things are this accurate the sound is very susceptible to deterioration from mis-aligned styli. When right it is smooth, clear, clean, and very, very real sounding, plus quiet in the groove.

I'm going to discuss this Field Coil Voxativ later after I really break it in but for now it has become my reference in the Pure Audio Project Quintet 15.

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Re: Some technical cartridge details

Postby suntea » Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:17 pm

Harry wrote:You would be surprised how many cartridge makers do everything possible to not mention they have an aluminum cantilever!

They ones I have tested and are perfect are the Ortofon 2M Red, Blue, and Bronze, the Quintet Red and Blue, and the Cadenza Red and Blue with the Bronze using an aluminum pipe but not a bent front tip so the contact area will be misaligned to the generator.

The VAS NOVA-MR uses an aluminum cantilever with a properly aligned Micro-Ridge tip and I just compared it to the Lyra Atlas, though they sound different and you could argue which is better, both gave the same amount of detail. This is a new design I asked him to make after doing some research and it was worth the effort. The Atlas costs 4 times the price!!!

The Miajimma Saboten L and Zero both have bent aluminum cantilevers and both sound amazing.

There are many others and I will be exploring them under USB microscope over the winter but the ones mentioned as of now had 90 degree stylus mountings.

This is not to say you cannot have amazing sound using a "V" groove and glue just the odds are not in your favor and the mathematics are against you.

BTW, it is with a full range field coil driver that this becomes painfully clear as everything is arriving at you from the same driver in phase at the same time. When things are this accurate the sound is very susceptible to deterioration from mis-aligned styli. When right it is smooth, clear, clean, and very, very real sounding, plus quiet in the groove.

I'm going to discuss this Field Coil Voxativ later after I really break it in but for now it has become my reference in the Pure Audio Project Quintet 15.

HW

Harry - I have the Ortofon Quintet Bronze which you have praised in the past. Does this have it? Thanks.
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Re: Some technical cartridge details

Postby Harry » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:31 pm

It is an aluminum cantilever that they laser drilled and set the stylus angle properly. Good cartridge.

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Re: Some technical cartridge details

Postby Tirebiter » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:06 pm

Interesting theory Harry, and your thoughts bring up one of my own...and that is the forgotten cartridge adjustment option is zenith. Assume that one has a Micro Ridge stylus that has not been set on perfect z-axis rotation on the cantilever. So even if the cartridge is set up with the cantilever in perfect alignment the stylus by default is not and thus sound reproduction is compromised. Thus the only way to correct for the error is to rotate the cartridge to compensate.

Logically, this adjustment in and of itself is a compromise and thus effects sound quality but what I discovered using Analog Magik is that I no matter how much fiddling I did with my Graham Phantom III/ZYX combo with the cartridge set using the Graham jig, I could not get cross-talk readings that were low and balanced. Pretty much the same with VTA/%IMD.

I was not until I decided to give up on the jig setting and induce a microscopic bit of twist to zenith that readings suddenly came into focus. Once optimized, the sound produced by my TT has been fantastic. Mind you, the adjustment to zenith required was minimal and perhaps only in the range of 2 degrees or less but was important to allow all other settings to work, azimuth being the most affected.

In the end I cannot say one way or another with certainty that the stylus on my ZYX is off. The counterpoint is that I have heard it said that there is some question with the the Graham jig alignment as well. Thus to Harry's point it certainly seems to me that without proper geometry, sound reproduction will be compromised and that it can come in many forms.
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Re: Some technical cartridge details

Postby Harry » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:28 am

You are walking in very dangerous territory! The cartridge makers will find you and put you out of your audio misery!

The dirty little secret is it is very rare for a glued in stylus to be oriented correctly. After hearing how good a great stylus can be when perfectly aligned in a laser drilled hole I am won over. This does not mean Sound-Smith doesn't get fabulous separation and crosstalk numbers, they do, I have seen it done and measured it myself. That is not the norm in the industry. I have enough shots of styli to know you have a 50-50 shot of getting a good one. Every one I have seen done with the laser drilled hole has been within one degree, perfectly fixable, and so close you may not even notice.

Then the rotational alignment of the micro-ridge walls so they are 9-0 degrees to there mounting, another mess if you don't have that laser drilled hole.

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Re: Some technical cartridge details

Postby YoungDave » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:57 am

Outstanding thread - Thanks, Harry!
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