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  #1  
Old 07-09-2009, 06:29 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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No such thing as a good "dj" needle any more?

Honestly I can't think of one good cart that's billed as a dj/mix cart that is manufactured now days...ok so the Grado DJ-200i is there but this is one expensive cart that seems to skip too much when back cueing on the standard SL arm and has little visability of the stylus.

Shure...boring and dull sounding hugely let down by a spherical tip, I think if they used an elliptical they would be realy nice.
The 35X is a great cart for the money but not something I want to listen to at home every day.

Ortofon suck...that's all. You know what the Concorde Night Club E wouldn't even play my original 70's CBS master sound Half speed cut copy of Michael Jackson's "Off the wall" almost every track was just constant sibilance and that's tracking at 3g's! Even a Stanton 500AL plays it better.
All in all over priced junk.

Pickering...too low output for the Urei-1620LE, nice sound imo but need's too much gain from that old beast resulting in too much hiss.

New Stanton suck...the quality is just not there any longer and the sound is not the same as the old stuff...oh yeah the looks suck but not as much as Ortofon lol
The old 680 line of DJ carts was my fave, for me it had the perfect balance of sound quality and rugedness...the 680EL tracks like a biatch never have issues with skipping and the output is sooo good it's a great match for the Urei 1620...with most of the time the volume beeing at 7.

Audio Technica..that cart is no longer made :-(

Grado > too expensive and wobbly when backueing on the SL arm

Hi-Fi carts > Not for me

So that only realy leaves the Grado and hi-fi carts as anything worth listening to...I wish Stanton was good again
Sooooo any one selling any NOS Stanton 680EL mk1, mk2 II EL styluses? lol
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2009, 06:56 PM
whaaat whaaat is offline
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I use the 35Xs on my 1200s (which admittedly is mostly used for DVS control vinyl nowadays). For serious listening (and recording to CD), I have the V15xMR on my Heybrook TT2/RB600, but I sure wouldn't want to take a chance on backcueing with it, especially since they don't make the stylus for it anymore!
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2009, 08:53 PM
in2house in2house is offline
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What about the Shure Whitelabel? The stylus is based on the 35x and the body on the V15xr. I do like the sound of them as they sound more robust than a Hifi cart but not boomy.

I don't believe that there is the perfect cart, it really depends on the user's preferences and the mixer in question.
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2009, 12:45 PM
der geile ami der geile ami is offline
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I gave up on the white label after they kept breaking stylii. At one club, the bar manager would remove them after every party and they were consistently damaged upon reinstallation. This never happens with ortofons. It is but a mere anecdote, but given the intended usage environment, potential sound quality and tracking takes second place to working at all.

Ortofons of various colors are completely dominant in berlin
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2009, 02:10 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in2house
I don't believe that there is the perfect cart, it really depends on the user's preferences and the mixer in question.

Totaly! and to be honest if you play trance, minimal or techno the Ortofon's are fine imo
And cos they do such heavy marketing and have such high prices most people know no better.
I can see why they are used though...and as der geile ami said they are tough which I totaly agree with...imo too tough!
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2009, 03:15 PM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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The Ortofon dj line is terribly distorting. The effective tip mass is too darn high to produce clean highs. Even at 3.5 grams (which is more than the supsension actually needs) the high frequency throw dampening is still lacking.

OH, but the NCE mk2 has racing stripes...JOY!

What's wrong with hifi tips? The only issue is that most MM carts that are great are also higher compliance than the 1200 arm wants. So if you use them, you gotta use the 1200 headshells (7.5 grams) and no extra counter weights or headshell weights. And even then you'll be almost too much mass on the arm. But it's doable.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the overpriced dj lines let the better, hifi lines sell for cheaper.

If you like the 680 ellipticals, though, what is it about the eV3 you don't like? They should be internally the same as and the cantilever identical to the ELII. Someone said there was spalding or something on the plastic opening. Is that what you're talking about?

And aren't there always buttloads of EL mk1 on eBay? I've got a bunch of them. The ELII are lower effective tip mass, so I don't use them. Hell, I don't use the 680 at all anymore. Someone's trying to convince me on another forum to get the EEE, but the ELs never backtracked reliably for me, so I have a hard time believing a super-compliant, callibrated version is a good idea for me.
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2009, 03:24 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reticuli
The Ortofon dj line is terribly distorting. The effective tip mass is too darn high to produce clean highs. Even at 3.5 grams (which is more than the supsension actually needs) the high frequency throw dampening is still lacking.

OH, but the NCE mk2 has racing stripes...JOY!

What's wrong with hifi tips? The only issue is that most MM carts that are great are also higher compliance than the 1200 arm wants. So if you use them, you gotta use the 1200 headshells (7.5 grams) and no extra counter weights or headshell weights. And even then you'll be almost too much mass on the arm. But it's doable.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the overpriced dj lines let the better, hifi lines sell for cheaper.

If you like the 680 ellipticals, though, what is it about the eV3 you don't like? They should be internally the same as and the cantilever identical to the ELII. Someone said there was spalding or something on the plastic opening. Is that what you're talking about?

And aren't there always buttloads of EL mk1 on eBay? I've got a bunch of them. The ELII are lower effective tip mass, so I don't use them. Hell, I don't use the 680 at all anymore. Someone's trying to convince me on another forum to get the EEE, but the ELs never backtracked reliably for me, so I have a hard time believing a super-compliant, callibrated version is a good idea for me.

I totaly agree with you on the DJ Ortofon line!
Ahhh the 680eV3...
I have used these tips on the original mk1 680 bodys which I belive to be better than the new stuff coming out (the ones I have are also matched pairs so I don't get hardly any channel inbalance)
Any way these have been hit and miss quality wise, bad plastics moulding and the sound on some sounds ok and while other is nasty and very almost sibilant!
Also these don't any longer come in the plastic boxes but some nasty thing they call blister packing
look it's a disgrace

Not all the V3's came like this..only the newer ones..cheap cost cutting.

Do you accept pay-pal? I would like some of those 680 tips off you if u want to sell

A lot of people REALY hated the blue 680EL II tips but honestly in my system I think they sound nice
I hate to say it but they are my faves over all to mix with ...does this mean my ears are broken lol?
Scott and Shorty have both told me how crap they sounded in their installs compared to the mk1 or 681SE, I like the 681SE but this is not made for modern loud records.
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Last edited by vinyl_junkie : 07-10-2009 at 03:34 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2009, 03:38 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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You seen the big ol' magnet on the end of a Night Club E cantilever

The suspension is a simple black rubber gromet which can also be pulled out and sloted back in quite easy...infact the whole thing is so tough you can pull all this stuff out and put it back in and still play ok..I have tried snapping the cantilever and this takes ages..

After that I tried burning them lol...
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2009, 03:44 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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This is the calibration sheet I got with my matched pair 680's..I wonder if the Quality Control stamp where it says 85 is the year...any one know?
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2009, 03:51 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Also quickly going back to Ortofon I was amazed at how much I disliked this new 2M Blue

It's output is actualy louder than a Night Club E and when hi-fi mags meshured the output it came in arround 9mv!
Also freq responce graphs showed an accent in the highs...and that's what it sounds like! Bright! CD like...and just a smoother night club e that's a bit more refined! But still suffers from top end break up!
The reviews also confirm this..yet for some reason they still highly rate it...
When compared to the Goldring apparently it's like chalk and cheese..two totaly different sounds, I can honestly say I realy dislike the Ortofon sound.
Build quality though as with most Orto's though was very high and the cut of the diamond was very good
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2009, 04:19 PM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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I do dig the Nightclub E's "tone" quite a lot. It just would need to be made out of Boron, Beryllium, or Carbon Fiber not to sound like dog doodoo on loud records. Possibly tapering or using thinner or more hollow aluminum tubes might work. It's also a little too stiff in the suspension for even the heavier mk5 arms, so you need to use the Concorde body with them, possibly the extra counterweight, too. Otherwise the bass distorts without that extra mass and/or downforce. Do the mk5's still come with the extra counterweight? You can always just flip the one around to get a different mass distribution to balance it out. I don't even use the scale on my decks anymore, just a manual vtf scale set.

Last edited by Reticuli : 07-10-2009 at 04:30 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2009, 05:00 PM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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Damn, that's a nice nudey.

From the specs it looks simlilar to an OM5E but with more coil windings on the cart body "engine" end, a slightly thicker cantilever, and a nude diamond like on the 20E. Diamond weighs less, but cantilever on both ends must be more. If it's an MM, then the magnet might be adding the mass and the stylus shaft could be identical. It explains the higher inductance and the 5.5mV (or higher) output. But I'm not sure if it's a proper moving magnet design or a moving iron design like the OM/concordes.

The effective tip mass is stated as 0.5mg, which is the same as the OM5E and OM/SuperOM10E. You shouldn't be getting much sibilance distortion on loud records when tracking at 1.75 grams. Are you sure that's your VTF with them? Don't trust the counterweight scale and obviously use antiskate. Does increasing downforce further (and antiskate) improve treble tracking? Don't completely bottom out the cart, but see what happens. The distortion could possibly be VTA error and pinch distortion from the diamond profile being canted forward or backword and popping up too much like a spherical.

What little tizz or staticy treble you do get will be louder than on an ELII because the 680 series cannot help but roll off the highs with such massively high inductance on uncallibrated tips. Your Urei's (assumed) low input phono capacitance should also be rolling-off the Blue's top end. I'm curious as to how they could still seem bright. Only a severe mechanical resonance from an odd cart design choice could produce that at below 200pF total. They should be-at spec at around 250pF just from the phono input based on their inductance...not including the 125pF cable. At less, it should be more tame.

Maybe your records are just damaged from using shitty djing carts and the 680 series just smooths over it due to their roll-off.

If the compliance is much lower than the quoted 20 Um/mN, you might notice you're no where near bottoming out even at a full 2 grams of the max VTF. If that's the case, then try to keep adding downforce to see what happens. Compliance is a notoriously tricky thing to measure. Ortofon, though, is known for having very accurate numbers.

ORTOFON 2M BLUE SPECIFICATIONS

Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec. 5.5 mV

Channel balance at 1 kHz 1.5 dB

Channel separation at 1 kHz 25 dB

Channel separation at 15 kHz 15 dB

Frequency range 20-25,000 Hz

Frequency response 20-20,000 Hz + 2 /-1dB

Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force 80 m

Compliance, dynamic, lateral 20 m/mN

Stylus type Nude Elliptical

Stylus tip radius r/R 8/18m

Tracking force range 1.6 -2.0g (16-20 mN)

Tracking force, recommended 1.8 g (18 mN)

Tracking angle 20

Internal impedance, DC resistance 1.3 kOhm

Internal inductance 700 mH

Recommended load resistance 47 kOhm

Recommended load capacitance 150-300 pF

Cartridge colour, body/stylus Black/Blue

Cartridge weight 7.2 g

Replacement stylus unit 2M Blue

Last edited by Reticuli : 07-10-2009 at 05:08 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2009, 05:10 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Yeah it's got a nicely cut tip..the design used is simmilar to the super OM's in that it uses an improved split pole pin design over the original OM..I had pics some where but it looks almost the same.
I can't remember from suffering from much sibilance with the 2M Blue but I just found it too bright for my taste.
That over pressed loud and cold dance music vinyl hey thats how it sounded lol where's the Stanton colours the sound in a nice way..
Jazz was ok on the Stanton, very clear and smooth, older vinyl it seemed to pick out a lot of tape hiss and just generaly lacked balls, again stanton sounds warmer probs due to the roll off...
The Ortofon wasn't that bad but I just wasn't keen on it's sound...I use B&W DM-602 S3 speakers which are already bright due to the metal dome tweeter so couple that with a bright cart and damn lol That's what I prob's like the roll off from the Stanton line
The Ortofon was just a bit too reference line for me...kinda like a scientific tool used to meshure things lol It spoted out weekness in anything weather it be crappy pressing or just dull sound..the Stanton is like wearing rose tinted glasses is the best way I can describe it and I love it...
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  #14  
Old 07-10-2009, 05:22 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Do you want to hear a track with the 2M Blue? One that don't sound like poo that is..
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2009, 05:36 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Here is a recording with the 2M Blue...it sounds good
This is a half speed cut vinyl...this very same record won't play on a Night Club E as the top's are just sibilant.
http://cid-0f3faa1d67db688e.skydrive...Track%2001.mp3

Technics SL-1210mk2 with Ortofon 2M Blue > Urei 1620LE (EQ By-Passed) > Marantz CDR-630
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  #16  
Old 07-10-2009, 08:33 PM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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Did you keep the blues?

I'm in the country right now, so I cannot get broadband in any way. Sucks. I'll try and download that sometime, though.

That must be a really bright cart to still sound bright below 200pF total capacitance when its inductance is 700mH. I thought the 500E was too dark on my TCC preamps when I had them modified with 100pF ceramics, and that's a freakishly bright cart, at times. The OM5E is much warmer, though doesn't have as refined mids or tuneful, deep lows. It does, however, lack the 500E's weird distortion harmonics that do not show up on the Hifi News tests but are clearly audible. Few test records are capable of testing for all the high frequency distortion harmonics that are possible, and the Stanton's got something going wrong with it with loud highs that doesn't show from just a basic freq IMD track.

Since you've got 1200's and the Grado's lack of shielding is not a problem with it, I would just get the DJ200i and learn how to spin with it. Not sure what the compliance is on it, but if you don't like bright sound and you want euphonic, you can't do better than Grado. The 680EL's all track better in forward play, but it may simply have been a tonearm mass matching issue. I don't remember what the compliance is on the 200i, but if it's pretty low you should add the headshell weights (sandwich & top one) and move the counterweight way back to compensate. A heavy headshell like the Stantons would also help, as the 1200 stock headshells are among the lowest mass around. The swing mass inertia could make it useable, possibly. I mean, I don't think it was anywhere close to bottoming out even at 3 grams when I had them. And real 20Um/mN compliance and higher is close to knocking the bottom at 2 grams and will indeed do so if the table is knocked. Grado's numbers, if they seem high, might be wrong. Like I said, Ortofon is one of the few with accurate numbers, with Stanton maybe in second place.

I was going to recommend the over-priced 440MLa or more alluring Denon DL-110/DL-160 HOMC that are about the same price if you take into account the ridiculous 440 styli costs now, but all three of those are considered bright in comparison to Grado and Stanon 680 series. So I doubt you'd like them.

As an added bonus with the DJ200i, there is as low or lower tracking distortion on it compared to the ELII, at least when it's 3 grams. I don't remember if I tried it at 2 grams like the 680ELII (and I assume eV3) run optimally at. Isn't there some Beryllium in there? My hunch is the Grado had very low compliance but also very low tip mass. So the downforce I think was simply to keep it from bouncing off the record. With enough arm inertia, again, that will prevent this. Now that I think of it, if Grado's lateral compliance is not the same as its vertical compliance, this might explain things. You end up with really awful tracking performance when a cart has high lateral compliance and low vertical compliance, even though it can possibly sound better that way. Ortofon almost always has them the same on both axiis.

Oh, and learn how not to backcue so much. In general that helps preserve any high quality tip. Hint: You don't have to start BEFORE the downbeat if you use the start button. You’re acquainted with the ELII backtracking ability, so I don’t think you’re unreasonably expecting Ortofon backcue performance.

Shit, I'm giving away all my secrets here. Oh well, I could end up dead tomorrow for all I know. Might as well share it while I got it.

Last edited by Reticuli : 08-01-2017 at 11:17 AM.
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  #17  
Old 07-11-2009, 07:11 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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No I sold the 2M Blue on ebay and surprizingly it sold for quite a bit mind you it did have very low hours on the clock and was only used for archiving vinyl to cd.

I have been tempted to try the DJ200i but it's a lot of money esp if I don't like it...I know with Ortofon I can wack it on fleebay and it will sell for loads cos of the name but this is different.
With rather expensive carts I usualy tend not to do the thing they are intended for and that's mixing lol I usualy just play music and cringe when back cueing thinking ohh there's money burning lol
The other thing I don't like about the 200i and I can tell you from the off is the visability of the stylus.
If they are good and suit me and I like them I don't have an issue with the price of their replacement styluses but I don't know how they sound, how long they last, how they handel etc
I heard a recording of a Quincy Jones track I have with the 200i and it sounded awfull compared to the 680 I have and that put me off...the top end was very soft as was everything else.
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:15 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Also on the Grado website wtf is this supposed to mean: "Stylus Type Diamond " No shit I know it's a diamond but how's it cut?
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:27 PM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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Bonded Elliptical. Odd phrasing. I seem to remember the Grado having MORE highs when it was loaded down with capacitance. So I'll have to look that up. At just over 100pF total it looked similar to my Axis 8 cd decks, but with the slope higher up in the range. For the most part, it will be immune to capacitance changes in the audible range due to the extremely low inductance. Most of the changes that occur will be in the ultrasonics. It sounded fantastic with the PPD01, though at the time it needed a subsonic filter in the path that I didn't have on hand. I know exactly what you mean about burning up money mixing with expensive needles. It makes you not even want to mix.

Last edited by Reticuli : 07-11-2009 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:58 PM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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You know, I was just looking at

http://www.soundscapeav.com/ortofon/pro.html

There is no possible way those numbers are correct for equivolent tip mass. If they were, the NCE issues would have to be the result of really misaligned diamonds causing pinch distortion.

If you look at the NC-S spec, it has the same tip mass listed as the OM5E!! NO POSSIBLE WAY. The NC cantilever is slightly thicker, with the DJS/E being even thicker.

Still, I'm tempted to get a pair of concorde bodies to try and (correction: add) a bunch of mass to my arms and boost the VTA up to see what happens to sibilants. The 500E needs an extra angle if you run it at the full 2 grams. Maybe the Ortofons do too?

Last edited by Reticuli : 07-11-2009 at 09:23 PM.
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  #21  
Old 07-11-2009, 03:02 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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I owned a night club s when I was real young, the shop guy wouldn't sell me the E saying it's not for dj'ing and will damage my wax hahah...I was like sooo why do I see them in night clubs?
Any way the S is a terible cart, if you thought the E was bad the S is 10 times worse...it was so bad it wouldn't play corectly some of my records..and unlike the E where you have sibilance here you have distortion also! Some sounds (mainly synth pads esp in the mids) distort!
In fact I thought they were broken so I had 3 different sets! all the same...even checked them out on different turn tables...the E's played most things ok lol
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:10 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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I just looked at the price of new Grado carts and they come in at just under 200GBP for a pair! Now thats a hella lot of money for me...and I don't even mix much these few months, that could buy me a nice synth or some compressors
which are more usefull lol
Actually really feeling more electronic sounds these past few months...
been making these crazy things lol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q61I_...e=channel_page
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:33 PM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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The Guiness world record holder dj in Vegas told me the same thing about E's destroying records. I suppose that's not entirely false considering a bad cart that's also elliptical will just be worse on the grooves.

Sounds like pinch distortion (wrong VTA and/or spherical) combined with too much tip mass on the NC S. They also need to be run with concordes or extra headshell weights to increase arm inertia to match that stiff grommet suspension. Otherwise you got to run them at 3.25-3.5 grams. Maybe even all of the above. They will distort on loud bass at only 3 on a standard dj arm, except maybe the heavy Vestax J. In fact, I've probably screwed up some records over the years just using the recommended settings. Ortofon needs a 13 Um/mN compliance elliptical tip with low tip mass for the mix dj market and quit all this shit they make for scratchtards. Come on, how many choices of scratch carts do they need? Expect compramised sound and just run with it. One good scratcher and one good mixer is all they need.

What do you have against hifi tips?

Last edited by Reticuli : 08-01-2017 at 11:41 AM.
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  #24  
Old 07-11-2009, 09:36 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reticuli
What do you have against hifi tips?

Don't take enough abuse & Cue burn more than DJ tips..
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:48 PM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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Not in my experience. The cheap ones are better than most DJ tips. Lower distortion. Lower tracking. And I get better cueing than ATP, 680EL, or Grado.
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