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How Phono Cartridges Work

DonH56

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#1
Not the author of this one but thought some might find it interesting. I have skimmed it but not read it rigorously myself. Way back when I spent a fair amount of time researching the differences and explaining to customers and friends. Even tried winding a MC cartridge once. It was less than a total success. There's a reason I ended up in the RF world... ;)

http://electronicdesign.com/compone...m=email&elq2=f75e5219be304783b44247a7ef93a350

FYI - Don
 

TBone

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#2
thx Don, a late night read to digest ... still have a Nagaoka (Moving Permalloy) somewhere.

Would just as likely to be interested in reading about your winding escapades ...
 

NorthSky

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#3
Cool link.

I find all audio articles related to turntables and open-reel-tape decks so much sensual and sexier than any digital audio articles.
There is something with imperfection in life that is so much more magical and magnetically/fatally attractive than any perfect digital world.
I guess it's because it suits men's natural imperfection better?

Nah, it's all about that platine's surface, that cantilever, that tonearm, that cartridge you install yourself, the four small little wires of different colors, the two screws that attach the cart to the shell, that motor, that belt, the entire physical mechanism, all the manual adjustments, the rituals...brushes, liquids, etc., the needle drop in, the rotations, the speed digital readout, the stroboscope light, the vinyl's surface, its size, the lift. ...Yeah, the "lift".

And the diversity...the several carts and shells ready to be switched for a different tracking sound from the diamond's cut doing its strut bouncing off the groove's walls.

...The "scientology" of phono cartridges.

 
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TBone

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#4
Generally, MC are considered bright, MM duller. But this is certainly not the rule.

Often the best measured performance isn't always related to cost or design. Personally, I look for flat response to at least 10khz w/few humps along the way, and separation in the 30db range.
 
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NorthSky

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#7
I checked your URL image addresses and they end up with .png
I would ask Amir for help; normally I'm pretty good in some aspects of posting pictures, but here I just don't know...how to provide assistance.
 
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RayDunzl

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#11
Hmm.

Those measurements don't include the lower 4~5 octaves.

Is there a good reason for that?
 

TBone

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#12
yeah, i noticed that, far more comprehensive measurements/graphs are on the miller site linked. I controlled-C these particular graphs because they included key separation data.
 

TBone

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#14
Is there a good reason for that?
none really, analog based manufacturers should include such specs ...

recent rip, pre-used LP, L/R channels, f.resp measured 0-500hz compared to CD (not scaled) ...

2ch_dreams_rip.jpg

I consider the above test very difficult, for ANY cart, arm and turntable (particularly in terms of determining speed accuracy).

(Benz Ruby2H, Alphason HR100mcs, Source TT, Classe DR6)
 

Sal1950

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#15
Generally, MC are considered bright, MM duller. But this is certainly not the rule.
IME I might have described them as etched/detailed vs warm/smooth when both are correctly loaded. Same thing really.
When the time came for me to make the final decision on which to use for ripping my complete collection to digital I ended up going MM.
I had my mint Dynavector Ruby and a Stanton 881S with a brand new stylis, the Stanton got the nod.
Now 6+ years down the road I've listened to my rips many, many times and have never regretted that choice. :)
 

TBone

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#16
My experience with Stanton is very much past and limited. Stanton used the Stereohedron (term sounds like an Olympic event) stylus. If I remember correctly, that particular shape was supposedly kinder w/older/worn LPs; making it a favorite w/dj's & radio stations.

I consider the stylus at least as important as coil/iron orientation. When choosing a cartridge, measurements are of key importance, however stylus shape/orientation & cantilever design/material remain my 1(b) criteria, everything else a close 2nd (except for tonearm choice/setup, which rate 1(a)).
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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#18
Right. It is neither MM or MC or even moving iron. It is variable reluctance, an evolution of old GE stereo designs from the 50's. Attached to the stylus, the armature contains magnetic shielding material which moves in the fixed magnetic field, but varies the magnetic field proportionately with stylus movement, generating the signal.

It is indeed an idea whose time has finally come!
 

watchnerd

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#20
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