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  #1  
Old 06-12-2010, 05:42 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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SUPER Grado DJ100i

Ok ladies...I just got me a pair of these for my 1210's and Urei 1620LE and whooooaaaaaaa first up I want to clear one thing....and it goes like this; No wobble back cueing!

Any way got these through the post this morning, thought they only put one in the parcel cos the size..the boxes are very small but very cool, don't think they changed the design since the 70's. Looks like something your grandparents would have stashed in the utility drawer of the house lol I get all nostalgic just by looking at it.
Love it, you get what you need and nothing you don't all the money is spent in the right places as in the product it's self.
The actual cart looks a lot nicer than in the product photo's too and the 100i body is silver not gold.

Mounting wasn't too difficult after having a glance at the instructions. Mounted them straight on my Technics shell with no extra weight thingy, initially I thought the cart may be too light (Only 0.5G heavier than Ortofon's OM according to the paper work) but turns out it's alright and only a tad lighter than the 680 I had previously on the arm.
Set overhang using my Technics white gauge, set the weight to 2.5G and anti-skating to about 2G's

Grab a GAP Band greatest hits on 180g vinyl....lower pickup and oh yea they sound good, "Burn Rubber On Me" sounded sweet, the output seems to be though even slightly lower than my Pickerings which is slightly lower than the 680EL...only by a tad but it needed more gain from the Urei...I'd say about the output of a 680SE.
Compared to the Pickering and other host of 680 shit I have here the top end is lovely..just how I like it, bottom doesn't have as much slam as a 680 but the whole cart is a lot more balanced than a 680 and it does have a nice kick to it.
Next up a loud pressing on DFA, again lovely sound and no breakup in the highs, next record I tap it and go wikki wikki....stylus dead still in the groove so far and no jumping.
Only ever complaint with them even before owning them was stylus visibility, I like to see the stylus clearly when I'm mixing but It's no biggie at the moment.

I have to say I'm very impressed so far!
But thank the fuck I'm back to using proper all American carts cos I doooo lovvve the sound!

I'll post pics later and may be some sound clips, now I'm going back to listen, but I'm afraid to mix on them lol they are too nice
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2010, 08:12 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Actually the output is quite low even compared to the SE and EL..basically the Urei is starting to show it's age there so I have adjusted the sensitivity of the VU meters but going out today to have a look at better phono pre-amps; anything has better SNR specs than this ol'bird.
Basically they need the input knob around and most of the time over 8 on the 1620 which just introduces unwanted hiss that wasn't as notable at 7, always slated the Urei's phono pre's for being poor in this respect :-(

Had a little mix and these are wonderful, look great when mixing and hold the groove well, better than the 680SE and on par if not better than the 680EL groove holding wise when back cueing!

Sound is that of a Hi-Fi cart rather than a DJ cart, very well balanced with no apparent trend to emphasize any part of the sound but no way is it bland, delivers a good musical performance.







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Last edited by vinyl_junkie : 06-12-2010 at 08:38 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2010, 09:16 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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I should point out that the specs seem to of altered a bit compared to what is printed on their web-page hence why the output is lower than my Stanton's! which would explain everything; These are brand new stock straight from Grado as the shop didn't have any when I ordered so I had to wait a few weeks for shipment to arrive, few things have changed. I wonder if they also improved the tracking cos it's flawless

Here is what this spec sheet says:

Output 4mv @3.54 CMV (45 Degrees)
Frequency Response 10-55,000Hz
Channel Separation - Average 25dB, 10-30,000Hz
Stylus - - Diamond
Input Load - - 47,000 ohms
Induction - - 45 millihenries
DC Resistance - - 475 ohms
Pickup weight - - 6 Grams
Tracking Force 2-5 Grams
Non-Sensitive to Capacative Load
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2010, 10:02 AM
Disko Ole Disko Ole is offline
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Nice! I want to buy some of these myself. Was thinking about 200i first, but I seriously doubt my home system is hi end enough for it to be really worth it. And since the 100i is like 1/3 of the price that 200i cost my wallet will be happier too.

The only thing I'm not too sure about is the output of "only" 5mv...

Last edited by Disko Ole : 06-12-2010 at 10:18 AM.
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2010, 10:03 AM
Disko Ole Disko Ole is offline
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Hm, maybe it's the 200i that's 5mv??? Btw, where did you order from? Juno?
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2010, 10:08 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Hey I got them from here

http://www.divineaudio.co.uk/hi-fi/c.../prod_205.html

They were the cheapest and also free postage, the output is quoted the same for the DJ-100i and 200i

The cool thing is you can put any of the Prestige line of styluses on this body from the Black to the Gold and the 200i BUT I am told the body in the DJ200i has better magnetics not just a better stylus compared to the 100i .
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Last edited by vinyl_junkie : 06-12-2010 at 10:11 AM.
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2010, 11:36 AM
7.8hertz 7.8hertz is offline
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And how about the hum? Is there any with these?
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2010, 01:40 PM
clubman5 clubman5 is offline
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Martin, you like this, you would LOVE the GRADO PRESTIGE GOLD needle. I used the GOLD for years, back cueing and all, great sound.

Then, to experience yet another level of sonic resolution and refined sweetness, THE GRADO REFERENCE PLATINUM WOOD BODY!

I am a BIG FAN of GRADO cartridges.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2010, 03:09 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7.8hertz
And how about the hum? Is there any with these?

No apparent hum on my system I was worried about this as I have heard a few people complain about the Grado Hum
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2010, 03:11 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clubman5
Martin, you like this, you would LOVE the GRADO PRESTIGE GOLD needle. I used the GOLD for years, back cueing and all, great sound.

Then, to experience yet another level of sonic resolution and refined sweetness, THE GRADO REFERENCE PLATINUM WOOD BODY!

I am a BIG FAN of GRADO cartridges.

This is something I have also been looking at Scott, now I know what the Grado brand sounds like I will be more than willing to try some of their more high-end products when I have the money.
At the moment though I will upgrade my pre-amps; I will buy a separate pre-amp for each turntable then go into the Urei.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2010, 03:41 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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I have to say Scott you New Yorker's are all right lol
So far all my fave pro DJ needles have been American

Pickering, Stanton, Grado...even Shure products like the M35X are better than the budget Ortofon's like the OM Pro
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2010, 03:48 PM
7.8hertz 7.8hertz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinyl_junkie
No apparent hum on my system I was worried about this as I have heard a few people complain about the Grado Hum

Thats great to hear. My only concern is the lower output. Im using 680EL's now with my Bozak and wonder how much lower the output is as I dont want to replace my mixer's preamps.

Thanks for the updates and keep us posted on your experience with them.

Efrain
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  #13  
Old 06-12-2010, 04:01 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7.8hertz
Thats great to hear. My only concern is the lower output. Im using 680EL's now with my Bozak and wonder how much lower the output is as I dont want to replace my mixer's preamps.

Thanks for the updates and keep us posted on your experience with them.

Efrain

What I did is turn up my VU meeter sensitivity for the moment, It needed quite a bit of cranking lol GAP band had to initially be played at 10 and VU meters were barely peeking 0db
I still would of liked more omph out of them but I don't want them to change that although 4mv is low-ish it's probs for the best..lower tip mass and all that all for better sound.
I have lots of EL, SE, Pickering tips new, old and a lot vary in output..I tried a EL II tip (Blue) and this was very low output like the Grado (Only a few DB's louder) then I tried a new Ev3 tip and this was heaps louder, the SE was only a tad behind the new one...comparing them to the Grado...the Grado was quieter by quite a bit.
PS I'm looking at those Cambridge Audio phono pre-amps, going to see if I can trial some
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2010, 05:51 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Yo 7.8hertz I had a bit more of a fiddle, I put a Stanton 680EL on one deck and left the Grado on the other.
Put the same record on each deck, set deck A (680) on the input dial to just peek at 0db, stop the record and play the Grado on the other deck now I set the input dial of Deck B to match what Deck A is reading i.e 7 on the input dial
Obviously the VU meeter is reading a lot lower but what I did is increase the gain of the VU meter so now it's reading what Deck A did with the louder cart.

On my 1620 I take the Booth out and feed my main amp as usual (Integrated Amp) this amp has extremely low noise floor..barely audible if nothing is connected..dead silent so all I do is crank up the volume more and play the Urei the same as I did without any excess noise
Nothing changes on the Urei....input dials still at respectable positions so no exess noise added like when the dial is at 10 and the booth out is still the same the only thing that changed was the amp gain but because it's a very quiet amp it doesn't make things any worse...not perfect but a ok work around for now and less chance of overdriving stuff
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Last edited by vinyl_junkie : 06-12-2010 at 05:55 PM.
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2010, 07:34 PM
7.8hertz 7.8hertz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinyl_junkie
Yo 7.8hertz I had a bit more of a fiddle, I put a Stanton 680EL on one deck and left the Grado on the other.
Put the same record on each deck, set deck A (680) on the input dial to just peek at 0db, stop the record and play the Grado on the other deck now I set the input dial of Deck B to match what Deck A is reading i.e 7 on the input dial
Obviously the VU meeter is reading a lot lower but what I did is increase the gain of the VU meter so now it's reading what Deck A did with the louder cart.

On my 1620 I take the Booth out and feed my main amp as usual (Integrated Amp) this amp has extremely low noise floor..barely audible if nothing is connected..dead silent so all I do is crank up the volume more and play the Urei the same as I did without any excess noise
Nothing changes on the Urei....input dials still at respectable positions so no exess noise added like when the dial is at 10 and the booth out is still the same the only thing that changed was the amp gain but because it's a very quiet amp it doesn't make things any worse...not perfect but a ok work around for now and less chance of overdriving stuff


Thanks for the update! I appreciate your performing the comparison!
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  #16  
Old 06-12-2010, 08:20 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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No problem also I have it confirmed that the output has been changed as an improvement.

Here is part of the message from Grado to one of my questions

"Hi Martin

Yes the lower voltage came as a result of improved coil design with the body.

The tip mass remains about the same and the shape is an elliptical about 3.x.7 m."

I don't think there is any reason for people to use poor phono carts any longer...Grado seem to of perfected these, the 100i is affordable to most people, performs well, built well in NY and sounds just great..very natural sounding like a hi-fi cart thats the first thing that struck me...
So if you can't settle on a good cart I plead try the Grado range, Stanton would of still had my vote if they didn't go crap.
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Last edited by vinyl_junkie : 06-12-2010 at 08:36 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-14-2010, 04:34 AM
darrylfunk darrylfunk is offline
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your sra /vta looks wrong from your photos and not sure you have the azymuth of your headshell set right ?!
the arms look very high at the back , although it could be an optical illusion.....
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  #18  
Old 06-14-2010, 05:40 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Hi mate, I'm pretty sure the Azimuth is because I wasn't holding the camera level as I did quickly check when I installed them as to the VTA I can't say I have spent a lot of time tuning that aspect of it yet; the cart seems pretty level when it's sitting on the record but I know the point is to get the arm level, at the moment I have the VTA set to 3.5 on the height ring. I'll re-check azimuth when I get back home and make sure it's ok and also re-adjust VTA if needed
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:54 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Here you go, Azimuth to me looks ok to me any way..I know in that pic the canteliver looks of center but that just came weird looking in the photo..it's actually dead center.
Height wise it's not far off imo to being level, I even looked at it with the grid view in photoshop lol


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Old 06-14-2010, 06:55 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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I got a bit more info regarding correct VTA setup for the Grado carts

"VTA is an important spec that can only be determined by listening to the cartridge.Correct VTA will sound balance not to much bass not too much treble.

As a general rule we recommend that the Grado Cartridge be set up with the front of the cartridge 2 degree forward of perpendicular.

Now that is an average since it will change as soon as you change the record . This is due to the fact that all records have different thicknesses and therefore changes the VTA."
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:54 AM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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VTA adjusts the forces on the suspension, not the diamond in the groove. Yeah, you have to do it by ear like a tone control. Or just leave it level, since it will change by a significant amount, anyway.

Interesting that they changed the coils to get less output and higher fidelity. That must be a new thing on all the 45mH Prestige line. That is pretty low, though, getting into the Denon and 500Emk2 and 700 series Stantons.

Definitely explore external phono preamps. The Biamps' phonos were also hissy. The Urei's line path isn't hissy, is it? Biamps' phonos were also very bright, which clearly the Urei is not. Note that discrete phono stages are, on average, lower noise than IC-based ones, though the newer IC ones are very quiet too, now. You might need 50-60dB of gain, considering the output of the new Grado line. Most are 40dB.

You might want to borrow some phonos from a local shop, as they can each change the tone of a cart quite dramatically even if loading is the same or doesn’t matter. The Denons, for instance, sound really polite on a Xone phono, while on the TCCs they sound crunchy. On Numark phonos, they sound about in the middle.

Back to that output, I'm not so sure this lowered output is such a great idea on Grado's part from a marketing standpoint. The coils couldn't be improving tracking, so taking something that already sounds great and lowering the output away from DJ cart ranges is potentially an issue even if it does increase fidelity more. You couldn't run them on a Xone, Biamp, or many other brands for that reason direct in, without some special techniques employed like running the aux out on the Xone 62 for extra gain, for instance... or live with running it only in the green.

Have you tested the DJ100i for FIM distortion? I'm wondering at what downforce they are optimal at from a distortion standpoint. I understand the low compliance might require 2.5 grams or more for djing purposes, but I've heard the Grado Prestige hifis (like the Black and Red) need more than the recommended 1.5 grams to clean them up. The DJ200i was definitely pristine and undistorted (even in the weird, untestable but audible harmonics) at 3 grams. But how will a hifi one with the same tip mass perform at 1.5? I'm almost wondering if maybe the lower compliance DJ line are a better choice since the hifi ones are known to be downforce-limited by high compliance and tendency to bottom-out just as you're cleaning them up by increasing VTF.

Usually, you want the optimum downforce for distortion to be within the safe range for a cartridge’s compliance. Unless Grado can verify their hifi line from the Black up is lower tip mass than the DJs, which is doubtful.

Lastly, considering Vinyl Junkie’s not having any trouble with tracking (forward or back), anyone ever compared the tracking of the 3-piece DJ100 cantilever to the 4-piece DJ200’s?
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Last edited by Reticuli : 06-15-2010 at 02:57 AM.
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  #22  
Old 06-15-2010, 03:05 AM
clubman5 clubman5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinyl_junkie
No apparent hum on my system I was worried about this as I have heard a few people complain about the Grado Hum
I always heard stories about GRADO being very susceptible to hum, but truthfully, I NEVER had any issues or problems with extraneous noise or hum with GRADO at all.
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:07 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Hi mate, I have to be quick cos I need to be out the door to go to work but I was looking at this phono pre for the Grado's it's SNR is quite good and a lot of people like it..going to see if I can try one out before I buy it

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summar...&Title=Summary

Not sure what the distortions specs are but I track at 2.1G for normal music and 2.5 for DJ'ing and haven't had any sibilance issues and torture tracks like Omar S that would make other carts skip play ok on these at 2.5 (Not lower)
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:54 AM
bossa nolyx bossa nolyx is offline
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I think you shouldn't buy a phono pre only because of it's technical specs. Notably it isn't the best at all.

SNR is good, THD can be much better. And 140 (german price) is not much for a phono pre. But I also read good reviews.

I built a phono pre myself and payd 400 only for the parts (for double preamp for 2 TTs and a high end power supply).

So try it, but try also other preamps to see, what you can get else for your money.

The Lehmann Black Cube Twin is really great but with about 900 not that cheap (also a double preamp for 2 TTs and a good power supply).


One thing to think about:
Many hifi-pres have more gain than DJs would need. On a Urei you could get problems with the input so that you might use less then a half turn of your potentiometers. Preamps with lower gain give you more flexibility on the mixer. With a selfbuilt preamp I had the chance to solve this problem.
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:21 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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First anything will be better than the Phono Pre's on the 1620 imo

The 640P is about 70GBP here new, I don't want to spend too much but I will take into consideration other models for sure.
I didn't pick the 640P cos of the specs but the reviews it seems to get which I know...don't mean a lot

As to the gain thing, if the output is to low or to high sorting it out is easy as I will just order one of those Line cards with a trim pot for the 1620 from Mario and then I can adjust my levels perfectly
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