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  #1  
Old 01-06-2011, 02:37 AM
acidburn acidburn is offline
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Question Cartridge/Stylus for ripping vinyl recommendations?

Hello,

I was hoping for some opinions on a good cartridge to use for ripping vinyl. Up till now I have been using a Shure m97xe and have been pretty happy with the results (relative to the Ortofon DJS I originally started with).

I recently needed to replace the needle on the Shure and tried out the Audio Technica AT-440MLa. While I love the additional detail I get from the AT440mla, it is way too bright for my taste. The bass also seems to roll off a bit too much.

Has anyone had a similar experience with the AT440mla? Can you recommend another cartridge? Perhaps something more like the Shure but with better detailing?

If it helps to know my signal chain, I use a dedicated Technic 1200 turntable, an Creek Audio OBH15 phone pre and a RME Fireface UC when ripping my audio.

thanks kindly,

Sasha
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2011, 12:47 PM
ArmenianSoul ArmenianSoul is offline
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you have to summon vinyl junkie to answer this, he is the "go to" guy on carts and there appropriate applications
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2011, 01:56 PM
Mistick Krewe Mistick Krewe is offline
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a question I have, is what's the math behind matching a cartridge to a preamp?

is it the formula here in the Barney Oliver pre-amplifier schematic the same that would eb generally used in other circuits?
it's the R1* formula, bottom right...
the resistor is just behind the cart in the diagram...

http://www.hpmemory.org/pict/news/ba...sch_preamp.jpg
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2011, 04:14 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Ah but I'm meerly a synth geek who likes turntables lol

Matching the cart to the phono stange is very important, Reticuli has quite a bit of know how on this subject and is key to a well balanced sound.

Think some might find this interesting:

Technics did have an issue with the new interconnects.
'AUGUST 6, 2010

There has been a change in the interconnect cable affecting the following models: Sl1200MK2. SL1210MK2, Sl1200MK5, SL1210MK5.
This changeover likely occured in product with 2009 date codes. So that would be serial numbers beginning (GE9A. 9 is 2009, A is January)
The change involves the interconnect cable electrical capacitance. The older cables had a total capacitance of approx 120pF, the new cable is approx 325pF. This change makes the newer models incompatible with most high output cartridges since the total load capacitance for uniform frequency response is typically under 300pF total. Most preamps have 100pF internal, some have more. Adding that to the 325pF of the cable will produce a peak in the high frequency response, with the most likely affect being exaggerated surface noise and sibilance.'



"'Resolution: KAB has notified Panasonic QC and send a letter to Pansonic, Osaka Japan on 8/6/10.
A response from USA has been recevied 10/13/10:
"There was a wiring change in production that did affect the cable capacitance of this model. As you know there are several factors to determine the overall capacitance of the system, but suffice it to say, the old cable had a lower capacitance. Because of the adverse effects, the factory has discontinued the new cable RJL2P001B12 and have reverted back to the old cable RJL4P002S12 in production, since September 2009." So it appears this will be corrected and eventually new production tables will have the original cable"
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Last edited by vinyl_junkie : 01-06-2011 at 04:17 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2011, 04:22 PM
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mynameismatt mynameismatt is offline
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440mLa... Yes. I love how it tracks but its brightness is too much for me. Folks on other boards mention experimenting with different loading options for the right sound.

Went from a M97xE to an Ortofon OM5E. Great cart but always wanted to try the 440mLa and Amazon had 'em cheap in time for Christmas.

I have 8 carts that I've kept sound files on using the same records. I keep going back to the OM5E, Shure M35X and Stanton 500. The last 2 are strange choices huh?

I can send some sound clips if needed.

Next, I wanna try a Denon DL-160 but don't wanna spend that much. So maybe an OM20 stylus or something from Grado.

Last edited by mynameismatt : 01-06-2011 at 04:24 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2011, 04:26 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Weren't you the dude who posted some clips a while back of various phono stages with the M97xE one was a Creek, the other a Electirx EQ Killer and then the stock Rane pre? Cos from memory shockingly the Electirx kick their ass with the Shure.

Yea some people find the 440 too bright..from what I have heard of it though it sounded great (A&H Xone 92 and McIntosh pre's, thanks to Yaxkin)
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2011, 04:32 PM
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mynameismatt mynameismatt is offline
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Yes, but I don't have those preamp files or the M97xE any longer. (Electrix was just right, Creek was too much and Rane was not enough.)

And YES his Disco mix was fantastic!
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2011, 04:36 PM
Mistick Krewe Mistick Krewe is offline
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the particular speakers you choose to use will have a big effect on final outcome also... to my thinking at least....

for instance, listening to a pair of AR 3As would likely be a bit more laid back than a pair of L100s
all things else being equal...


for what it's worth...
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2011, 05:23 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Yes this is also true...you can have a bright amp or speakers

B&W DM-602 S3 with the Urei 1620LE and a bright amp and a Ortofon cart...really really not a nice combination lol The B&W's metal tweeter can best be described as a fancy milk top hahah tss tss tss tss
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2011, 05:37 PM
Mistick Krewe Mistick Krewe is offline
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i'm not opposed to some tsss tsss tsss....



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  #11  
Old 01-13-2011, 05:35 AM
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RETRODISKO RETRODISKO is offline
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acidburn .. What are you using as a pre for your turntable?
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  #12  
Old 01-13-2011, 03:11 PM
misterharrison misterharrison is offline
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You can listen to an AT440MLa through two different pres here:
http://www.wavemusic.com/community/s...ad.php?t=11286

I really like the way the Heed Audio pre tames the AT bright top-end, but that was through my bright JBL L65's - others thought it lacked something and preferred the other pre (Graham Slee).

Have a listen. As Mistick said, it really depends on how it sounds through YOUR system.
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2011, 03:31 PM
acidburn acidburn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RETRODISKO
acidburn .. What are you using as a pre for your turntable?

I am using a Creek Audio OBH-15 (http://www.creekaudio.com/products/obh15.php). That feeds into a RME Fireface UC and then into my computer.

I swapped out the Audio Technica for a Grado Gold1 and it sounds much more pleasing to my ear. I've only spent 5-10 hours with it so far, but it has much of the detail of the Audio Technica without the sizzle that was hurting my ear. Not sure if I like it more than my Shure m97xe but initial results are good.

best, Sasha
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  #14  
Old 01-18-2011, 04:23 PM
acidburn acidburn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterharrison
You can listen to an AT440MLa through two different pres here:
http://www.wavemusic.com/community/s...ad.php?t=11286

I really like the way the Heed Audio pre tames the AT bright top-end, but that was through my bright JBL L65's - others thought it lacked something and preferred the other pre (Graham Slee).

Have a listen. As Mistick said, it really depends on how it sounds through YOUR system.

Thanks for the link.

I thought sample X was a bit more inline with my taste (warmer, a bit more life to the imaging), but still too much top end for me. I played the samples on my monitors (Mackie HR824) and car.
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  #15  
Old 01-22-2011, 04:49 AM
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There is a synergy betwen components, in my case McIntosh phono preamplifier and the 440 MLA are very pleasing. not that much top end mentioned. i play many of the digital transfers and found them very natural. 80's Records and some early 2000 sounds great.

Im curious about the Grado Gold 1
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Last edited by RETRODISKO : 01-22-2011 at 04:51 AM.
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  #16  
Old 01-22-2011, 10:33 PM
tufftuff tufftuff is offline
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The Grado cartridges provide fantastic detailing with a rolling high-end and defined lower bass to midrange. In this sense, it is a "warm" cartridge, rather than a "bright" cartridge, such as the AT440MLa.

In my testing, I found the Grado Prestige series to have very good imaging and tracking. They are very good for the money.

However, be aware that Grado cartridges can pick up hum from local sources of electromagnetic interference such as the power supply of a Technics turntable.

Last edited by tufftuff : 01-25-2011 at 02:50 AM.
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  #17  
Old 01-25-2011, 02:05 AM
acidburn acidburn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tufftuff
The Grado cartridges provide fantastic detailing with a rolling high-end and defined lower bass to midrange. In this sense, it is a "warm" cartridge, rather than a "bright" cartridge, such as the AT440MLa.

In my testing, I found the Grado Prestige series to have very good imaging and tracking. WitThey are very good for the money.

However, be aware that Grado cartridges can pick up hum from local sources of electromagnetic interference such as the power supply of a Technics turntable.

It's been a week now with the Grado and I really like it. I also decided to upgrade my phono pre to the Musical Surroundings Nova Phonomena: http://www.dagogo.com/View-Article.asp?hArticle=210. The special sauce with that pre is adjustable gain, adjustable load and it works off of DC current.

The combination sounds amazing and even better, I can adjust the gain on the phono pre to get a nice hot signal going into my RME Fireface UC.

Speaking of signal, does anyone have recommendations for how hot to get your source if one is archiving vinyl? If I record at 24bit/44.1 and dither down to 16/44.1, should I try and get the signal to peak at 0db when recording? I assumed I would get clipping if I was in the red for a while, but I could never get the RME Fireface to clip regardless of how I pushed it. What do you all do when archiving your vinyl?

best, Sasha
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  #18  
Old 01-25-2011, 03:18 AM
misterharrison misterharrison is offline
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Hey, Sasha, I'd love to hear a rip through from your Grado/Nova Phonomena/RME rig! I bet it sounds great.

As for recording levels, a mastering engineer whose opinion I trust told me recently that if you're recording at 24 bit, there's no need to go anywhere near 0dB. In fact, he suggested that with mid-range units like RME (in his world RME count as mid-range!) if you push the levels too high you start to approach the analogue stage's limits rather than the digital converter's limits and in his experience you get better results peaking around -6dB while recording and then normalising once you've finished any in-the-box tweaking.

How about some rips, then?
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  #19  
Old 01-25-2011, 04:09 AM
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I heard something similar over here,

the mcintosh pre output is not adjustable, so i adjust the input on the A/D converter, (Focusrite Saffire 6) to -6 -9 depends,

Last step i use Waves L1+ Ultramiximizer, i never let him do any compression, i use it just to aproach to 0db. Note, i use it -0.1db /ceiling

Brainworks new plug in seems to work fine too, i tested to enhance some recordings
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:39 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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As said above don't even get close to 0db, you aren't recording to tape..hiss is not a issue and digital doesn't overload nicely like tape.
I'd say keep it even lower than -6db considering a vinyl pop or click could easily overload the ADC
I'd say keep the peaks at -18db

Read this:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep1...s/qa0910-1.htm
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  #21  
Old 01-25-2011, 06:31 AM
misterharrison misterharrison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinyl_junkie
As said above don't even get close to 0db, you aren't recording to tape..hiss is not a issue and digital doesn't overload nicely like tape.
I'd say keep it even lower than -6db considering a vinyl pop or click could easily overload the ADC
I'd say keep the peaks at -18db

Read this:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep1...s/qa0910-1.htm
Thanks VJ - that's a really useful article.
The gist seems to be hover around -18dBFS, peaking your drums around -10dBFS. Takes the stress out of recording if you're not worrying about overloads!
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:39 PM
acidburn acidburn is offline
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Many thank to all for their info and experience. After having read the article and spoken to a friend in the business, the article referenced makes a lot of sense.

One thing to point out is that the -6db recommendation is so that there is headroom for mixing tracks, applying effects, managing peaks etc. But it seems that what we are all doing on this forum is taking pre-mastered tracks and archiving them to a digital format. Someone has already done the hard part for us

Would it not make more sense to peak at something like -1db or -2db when recording to try and use the full resolution? I mean we are recording the finished product, we are not going to have drum solos that peak at way above the rest of the waveform. I don't need those extra bits to manage headroom.

If I have a vinyl pop or click, I usually erase it by zooming in on the waveform and edit the 10 or 20 milleseconds it appears in. So no need for extra bits on that, especially when recording at 24bit.

Another thing - I still have not been able to get the RME Fireface UC to clip when the signal is hitting 0db. Maybe there is a soft limiter there keeping things from sounding awful?

I will post a FLAC file shortly of one of my recordings for those of you who might be interested in the grado-nova-fireface combo sound.

best, Sasha

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinyl_junkie
As said above don't even get close to 0db, you aren't recording to tape..hiss is not a issue and digital doesn't overload nicely like tape.
I'd say keep it even lower than -6db considering a vinyl pop or click could easily overload the ADC
I'd say keep the peaks at -18db

Read this:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep1...s/qa0910-1.htm
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  #23  
Old 01-26-2011, 07:33 AM
Richi Richi is offline
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I have always kept mine below -3dBfs for anything going to CD. If i'm mixing using the likes of ableton then -12dB is reference. If i'm recording from an analog source again -12dB. Once recorded, peak levels to -3dbfs.

It has been well known for a long time in mastering circles(the ones who do not adhere to the loudness wars) that peak levels should be kept below -3dBfs. This is due to the fact the most consumer level DA will distort above that level. There are a number of stages in the circuit that will distort inside a DA, the converter chip, analog gain stage. It is the intersample peak that causes this

This is made worse when we convert to MP3, convert from WAV to MP3 rates above -3dbfs distortion and pitch changes occur in the MP3 file.

Bob Katz used to go on about this years ago, they would be endless posts on the subject on the old George Massenburg forums. Neilson was probably the authority and you can read some of his papers below.

Stop Counting Samples
Thomas Lund
TC Electronic
http://www.tcelectronic.com/media/lu...les_aes121.pdf

0 dBFS+ Levels in Digital Mastering
by Soren Nielsen & Thomas Lund
http://www.tcelectronic.com/media/ni...0_0dbfs_le.pdf

Last edited by Richi : 01-26-2011 at 07:36 AM.
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  #24  
Old 01-26-2011, 02:54 PM
misterharrison misterharrison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richi
Stop Counting Samples
Thomas Lund
TC Electronic
http://www.tcelectronic.com/media/lu...les_aes121.pdf

0 dBFS+ Levels in Digital Mastering
by Soren Nielsen & Thomas Lund
http://www.tcelectronic.com/media/ni...0_0dbfs_le.pdf
More excellent reading material.
Thanks for sharing.
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  #25  
Old 01-29-2011, 10:02 AM
acidburn acidburn is offline
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Here is a sample of the Grado Gold1 Cartridge ---> NovaPhonomena ---> Fireface UC combo:

http://www.filedropper.com/novapre

Let me know what you think Mr. Harrison.
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