AT OC9/II Re-release

I recently heard that AT is re-releasing the OC9/II.  IMO, there's a good reason why.  It is a great cartridge and only betterred a little by much more carts.  
The list of cartridges in their stable is quite long already......

Many are based on the OC9 design.  The OC9/II just happened to hit that nice combination of materials and components in its design to really be an excellent all-around performer.  
There has been a III for many years.

I used one, then jumped to the ART9. The OC9 is a great cart for the price. I heard the ART 9 as more refined overall and worth the price of admission.
After a couple of years, stylus disaster. I moved up the cart food chain with another grand.

Do do you mean this?

AT has too many choices. But I guess that's a good thing.
It also exists as market denial for others.
I see my post has a goof-I didn't spend another "grand"
I went with a different brand. 
I bought the original OC9 back when it was new, and "the bargain of the century" according to effusive reviews. It was only available in UK, I believe, and when launched in the US, the price doubled.

I tested it at home, it worked, and I reboxed it and stored it for future use. The "future" came a few months ago. It's a great cartridge! The best? Of course not (I have better, but not by much) and I'd commend it to anyone who doesn't want to pay heavy money for an "ultimate" MC.

The OC0/II added a MicroLine stylus. I haven't heard it, but it surely must improve detail. Mine has a nude "special elliptical" (whatever "special" means) but has the same fine boron cantilever.

I read that OC9/III made other changes internally and the SQ dropped — but I haven't heard it so cannot have an opinion.

The new range goes lower in quality, and higher, but the pricing continues the "bargain" tradition; and allowing for inflation, seems even to lower the cost. 

That's the great advantage of reviving old classics: the R&D costs were already amortized, and the tooling/manufacturing still exists — at least for the OC-Series.

NB: No connection to AT or any Dealer — just an audiophile fan.
Yes. It was first time, with no manual, but it’s not hard, just common sense. I did make mistakes reassembling — alignment and centering, as I mention above — but they were easy to correct. Example: I didn’t center the two-part platter correctly. But the fix was simple: equal-thickness paper shims (spacers) at 5 points around the gap — same way as I center a speaker’s voice-coil in the magnet’s gap.

Also, choosing the new foam was a bit of guesswork: no details were available. I had a few to choose from. Width was easy: if it fits the spaces where the pads go, it’s ok. I chose highish density (it’s not specified on the packaging) with what seemed sufficient thickness, so it would compress when I tightened the Allen bolts, but not compress too much, retaining the "give" it needs to absorb vibration. It seems to do the job.

Two other easy tips... The gap should be checked between the fixed tape read-head and the moving magnetic-strip on the platter (1000 signals per rev — that’s about 2000 per second: very accurate). My gap was WAY off when I got it.

It’s easy to set. I used a precision feeler gauge, but even the Service Manual (which I got later) says just to use a business card. After reading that, I went back and checked the gap I’d set "precisely" with a gauge, this time with a business card — and the card was spot-on.

Checks yours with a card. If it’s too wide or too narrow, there’s only one screw to loosen, you’ll see it — set gap with card — not too tight, just so you can remove the card without a struggle — then retighten screw. Easy.

BUT at all times be SUPER-CAREFUL of that magnetic-strip. I don’t even touch it (skin-oils etc).

One more: when the platter is removed, you’ll see a small electrical switch. It’s marked 50Hz or 60Hz. Set for your local system of course. BUT the switch is a bit misleading: it LOOKS like a slide-switch, and the labeling (50 vs 60) reinforces this false impression. But it’s really a push-switch — DOWN is 50Hz, UP is 60Hz. (I mention it because mine was set wrong when I got it.)

I assume you know it’s a 100V unit (unless yours is special) so a step-down transformer is vital, especially in 220-240V territory.

Of course a pro would double-check everything with instruments, which I don’t have, but if the instruments detect a problem, it’s most likely with aging, out-of-spec components on the circuit boards, not the simple switch.

I hope this helps.

It looks like AT is revamping the OC9 moving coil cartridge lineup similar to the VM series moving magnet cartridge model range with the stylus being the differentiating feature.  Starts in the low end with an elliptical stylus and works up through the different line contact cuts (microline, Shibata, Special Line contact)  One important change is that the mounting holes are tapped for easy mounting/adjustment.  It's about time!