I noticed something quite interesting as I acquired more collections of tonearm and carts 

talking about medium compliance first. at tracking force 1.75 to 2.0 carts line contacts  easily tracks and do any condition vinyl without igd. slightly less detailed. 

high compliance 1.25g  to 1.5g line contact gets picky with the quality of vinyl. but when it's great vinyl condition it's great. or it will distort or sometimes mistrack. Epa100 tonearm. 

what do you think. or did I miss something in the high compliance? 
Dear @anthonya : high compliance cartridges if are in perfect operational condition are not picky in any way or distort or even mistracking, no way my friend.

Now if the cartridge is in perfect operational condition then the problem could be in the tonearm it self or a cartridge/tonearm mismatch.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
... medium compliance first. at tracking force 1.75 to 2.0 carts line contacts easily tracks and do any condition vinyl without igd. slightly less detailed. high compliance 1.25g to 1.5g line contact gets picky with the quality of vinyl. but when it’s great vinyl condition it’s great. or it will distort or sometimes mistrack ...
The terms "track" and "mistrack" are frequently misused.
How are you measuring the cartridge’s tracking ability? If you want to do this reliably, you’ll need a test record.
You forgot to mention your cartridges, or do you think they are all the same if they are high compliance (or low)? 
@anthonya : If a cartridge distort or mistrack and is well mated with a good operational tonearm the that cartridge could has a suspension problem or a stylus tip problem or a bad cartridge/tonearm set up and must be fixed.

I sometimes think that some of the virtues of the vintage MM and MI cartridges (and I do believe that some of them are magical) are inextricably associated with the fact they were high compliance, could track at very low VTF, etc. "Like buttah".
You have a nice tonearm with dynamic damping, perfect for mid and high-ish compliance  cartridges. 
1.25 to 1.5 sounds light to me.  What cartridge is it, and what is the recommended tracking force?
@chakster  yes I am repairing my Epa100 now and upgraded to silicon bearing. hope it helps

but in general even for sme2 we noticed similar issues 

the vinyl quality tends to be more picky. anything I should watch for to improve? 
Why? I wouldn’t touch Technics original rubby ball bearings! 

But Technics cartridges almost always have suspension issue, you need a better cartridge for sure. 

Tracking force at 1g - 1.75 g grange is typical for all those vintage MM.

Vintage vinyl from that era is better than new (if condition is fine), not sure why you blame vinyl condition, you must have some mint- copies to check. 

Hi-Fi News Test LP is what you need.
Back in the day many high compliance cartridges were spec't to track at 0.75 gm to 1.5 gm. Record wear was more of a problem with the styli they had back then. 
Dear @anthonya :  ""  even for sme2 we noticed similar issues ""

as I posted those cartridges needs to be fixed, both are in bad condition.  Do it a favor and dont's play more LPs with those cartridges because you are making an irreversible damages to it.

Both cartridges are very good performers when in good condition unfortunatelly you have a very untrusty sellers.

Btw, who told you that that silicon for the tonearm bearing is really an up-grade?

I did my own work so... almost done. just rewiring left.

ultra smooth and stable now. we will see.

also doing some maintenance on fr 24. anti skate is being installed. it's also a pretty decent for high compliance carts so I read.

once all done I'll check those carts again.

@chakster @rauliruegas got it to work great now at 1.25 g high compliance carts now Epa100 successfully repaired.
both of you right.. it's better detailed. 

Thank you much. 

Nice, my advice is to upgrade your cartridge with something like AT-ML170, Grace LEVEL II, Victor X1II, Stanton SC-100 WOS, Pickering XSV/5000 .... They are all much better than your technics cartridge. 
Yep, any of those super rare and very expensive cartridges (compared to modern equivalents) would be a fine choice, assuming it hasn't died a partial death while sitting in a box under unknown storage conditions for 30 or more years since manufacture.  Sorry, Chak. I am a pessimist or a realist.  I don't know which.
Keep your horror stories for yourself @lewm if you don’t owm any of those. And BTW the OP cartridge is Technics MM from the 70’s (notorious for softened suspension).

It’s been discussed million times, if you want to try some of the best MM (in perfect condition) from my museum I will be happy to help, you must get rid of this phobia, seriously.

If you travel to Japan you should know it’s a different world when it comes to condition of the rare stuff, even rare records from the 70’s in Japan are like new while in the USA they are VG- with cut corner or saw cut or drill hole in the sleeve. It’s a cultural thing! I would’t buy used cartridge from USA to be honest (and some of them are indeed impossible to find in USA). But I have huge collection of mint cartridges from Japan (those audiophiles know how to handle them), we are talking about Japanese cartridges mostly, but even American Stanton or Pickering are still mint or nos/unused if they are from Japanese collector/audiophile. They are crazy about condition like no other nation (imo) amd I’m excited about it. Better have some Japanese connection to get an access to real gems.
What you’ve missed is the other extreme in your comparison, high mass and low compliance.
They’re not renowned for tracking either, and using the hifi news and record review test disk my SPU Royal N tracking at ~3g on an arm of eff mass ~19g distorts slightly on the outer and middle tracking tests and won’t even stay in the groove of the inside one but it’s very tolerant of worn vinyl and I never hear any tracking problems when playing actual music, unlike my London Decca Maroon.

lucky for me the stylus is nos on the 205 and managed to rejunevate it. but I'm so so happy I could repair 4 damaged bearing. and antiskate. smooth like butter. was quoted 500 ++usd for the job gave it a go myself and succeeded. the silicon bearing is self lubricated and I compared to a good condition one by my friend . it's more smooth. 

It's a first for our group of friends that 1 to 1. 25g tracks flawlessly lol, it's so perfect even on not so great vinyls, no igd, very low groove noise. now I see the benefit and my jaw did drop. yes I Will take your advise. slowly looking for those carts. I missed out a couple of those bids. I'm sure I get one on the list soon. was Victor X1 iie. the guy just vanished. then 180occ 170occ I was outclassed . soon soon 

Thank you for your support and info. 

grinning ear to ear.

Dear @anthonya : The 205 was the latest vintage top Technics design and outperforms really easy to both AT ones: 180 and 170 or those Stanton/Pickering models that. I owned/own all of them. The AT are good performers but nothing more, use your money where it counts.

Obviously that the 205 mated with the EPA 100 is a couple on " heaven " and very hard to beats.

Btw, what happen with the P25?, this one is really good cartridge and will mates with your refurbished Technics tonearm.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,

@rauliruegas still working on the p25md.. seem I missed out something there is a treble breakup at high freq. it's a great cart. maybe too heavy headshell. I added the technics weight. 
very true the 205 ii low inductance is magical when Epa100 is in good condition. my Jaws dropped literally. didn't sleep last night listening to all my lp. so so insightful and a huge gain in stage size and mass. unbelievable. 

Thanks for all your help Raul much appreciate
the needle is blackened on the akg.. is that normal? Alot of buildup on the side which I haven't clean. can't make out its epoxy or dirt
I have all the rarest Technics cartridges, the last I received few month ago is p205 mk4 (NOS), I’m still a bit afraid to try it.

Before this NOS sample I had the 205c mk4 (6 of them), 205c mk3 (4 of them), 100c mk3 (two of them). I had an original (used, NOS), also I had Axel’s rebuild versions etc.

Technics are THE MOST problematic cartridges ever! Rubber damper is weak, always too soft, the worst choice of cartridge! I’m telling you based on my own experience, and I have NOS EPA-100 tonearm and even that mega rare EPA-100 mkII right now.

I like Technics tonearms and turntables more than Technics cartridges.
Because you have to spend so much money to find one good sample out of 25 samples and even then suspension will collapse soon (and no one can repair it now).

You Technics cartridge is not even close to the best models like mk4, so the best you can do is to find much better cartridge. Stanton or Pickering are the best for the money, under $450 you can find killer cartridge from top of the line range of models.

Any cartridges I have mentioned before in another post are much better than Technics, they don’t have any single problem with damper (just better design that can last forever). They are fantastic performers (advanced cantilever and stylus tip, coil wire... everything).

So many people were brainwashed by that old MM thread, but Technics appeared to be the worst cartridge and even the OP of that old thread was using ONLY refurbished samples, not the original samples. Technics top model cost over $2k and then you need personal relations with Van Den Hul and abother $1k if he will be able to rebuild it. At the same time a $700 cartridge from another manufacturer can perform better, so go figure.

A person who advocate for a cartridge without even mentioning that it will work only after very expensive rebuild made by VdH is not a trust worthy source to take his opinion seriously. Beware! 

I'm still happy. saved more than 500usd and earn some bragging rights.

I'm aware of the epc 205 issues. was told u can get jico ex and use in in mk3 or mk2L by jico. but technics already satisfy my curiosity.
also many people transplant jico ex into epc 100 easy to do

I have a good sample of Stanton 780 which I'm using now whic jico and retipping is easy, KenT mentioned it's almost same as original the jico replacement . 681eee with d1200 jico. 500al with original conical stylus.

most of this poor suspension can be solved by adding a drop of wintergreen oil let it soak a week and washed out with alcohol. 

was told my friend have Stanton 980 I will beg for it lol.. probably free. broken tip and get it rebuild 

Raul thanks for link, will get it. it's a great cart.. Best micro and depth is very clear. just worried another shot suspension. 
Your Stanton will never perform as original Stereohedron if you will rebuild it, you need an original stylus with Stereohedron tip. When manufacturer is using aluminum cantilever the only benefit of this cantilever is press-fit diamond. When someone glue a new tip to aluminum cantilever it’s nonsense. So in case with aluminum you need a whole new cantilever with factory press-fit diamond.

If you want to rebuild then you have to send it to UK (Expert Stylus & Co) for Paratrace stylus tip. This company is very old and now specialized in Stanton service. Ask them:

You can’t transplant JICO SAS into Technics EPC-100 series, Jico is for 205 series and JICO SAS will cost you more than a better cartridge or very close to it. I’ve been using JICO SAS (BORON) long time ago on my 205c mk3.

In JAPAN ONLY Jico can retip Technics P-Mount mk4 series without replacing original Boron Pipe cantilever, but it’s for locals only (I have a bill from Jico for this job).

On Stanton you can use Pickering stylus, you need an original stylus.
If your model is Low Impedance then stylus from High Impedance is not compatible as far as I know.

The whole mess up with Technics cartridges is like knocking to the closed door or to a brick wall. You can simply use another enter quickly (another high-end MM cartridge).

My advice: stay away from any retipped or refurbished cartridges, it’s just a waste of time and money for nothing. Original cartridge (if it’s a good one) killing it!

The benefits of original Technics (impossible to find in good condition) is Boron Pipe cantilever and very low tip mass. Audio-Technics AT-ML180 has extremely low tip mass and hollow pipe boron (or beryllium) cantilever and MicroLine stylus. Grace LEVEL II BR/MR comes with Boron Pipe Cantilever and Micro Ridge Stylus! Those two cartridges are superior to original Technics for sure, I tried them all (original, not rebuilded sh**ty).

@chakster  follow all your advise closest possible. slowly collecting originals. I already tried replacement VS original and I know exactly what you mean. it just not right. even the newer stuff sounds better than oem stylus on legendary cart. but sometimes I try a stylus when someone who is experienced claimed its not much of a compromise. 

980 probably I will try needlestein.. he had tried himself going to expert stylus. and claim he know what he doing. or go expert stylus straight.

I was told. 980 is the low impedance version tommorow I will pick it up and see what I can do with it. I really dig the sound clip in youtube.. I was like wow... amazing

that's also why I haven't really moved in on technics stuff due to the ttdd suspension.. and stick with CiiL and not so much issues and still easy to get original stylus . furthermore I haven't manage to make it sound right until few days back. I rather have something that sound right rather than must be music for me. 

still lurking the auction sites 
For low impedance version you need SUT or High Gain MC phono stage, I sold this cartridge long time ago when I compared it to Stanton Signature model CS-100 (it was much better in my system).

Now I have low impedance Pickering XLZ-4500 and XLZ-7500.

I bought original NOS pickering stylus not so long ago, it was D4000 new in the box. 

If you want your Stanton to be inspected or rebuild emal to Expert Stylus - they are the best for this cartridge and GBP exchange rate is low now. 
Chak, please don’t take it personally when I react to your frequent recommendations of vintage high end MM and MI cartridges for neophytes to go out and buy. I just think that for the unsophisticated buyer those cartridges can disappoint due to age and/or previous abuse that is not readily apparent. Moreover, none of them is inexpensive, if you can even find them these days.
In fact I do own most of the cartridges you named plus some others from that golden era that you never mention. And I do love them too.
@chakster  : ""  So many people were brainwashed by that old MM thread, but Technics appeared to be the worst cartridge and even the OP of that old thread was using ONLY refurbished samples, not the original samples    """

even you was " brainwashed because you learned about those cartridges through that long thread and what by first hand experiences a lot of audiophiles with very good/high knowledge levels posted, even today you has not that kind of knowledge quality levels.

In the other hand your statement :   ""  ONLY refurbished samples, not the original   """

is totally false and a big lie and you know very well is a lie because here in my country the Audio Technica CEO was and is my friend and all the top of the line MM and MC cartridges just after it realese I bougth it from him ( way before those cartridges been in USA or Europe. ). My 180 totally new and original but I bought from AT not only the best cartridges but the ones by its associated Signet and I bougth from my friend not only cartridges but: tonearms, SUTs like the AT1000T that comes with not to independent transformers but 4 transformers weigth 8kg., all mats, clamps, footers cables cleaning LP/stylus products and even dozens of Telarc LPs where AT was the exclusive world distributor.

About Technics cartridges ( and you know very well. ) I found out a source for NOS 7 samples of the EPC100CMK4 and shared in that thread and seven of us bougth it immediatly, time latter one of the owners ( with a top room/system. Not like your mediocrity/average you own. ) and me needed to fix the cartridges and I contact directly with my friends at VDH ( this Technics cartridge is the cartridge reference for DR. AJ Vdh him self. ) and we sended and when return to us both cartridges performed better than the original with a way better stylus shape even the other gentleman posted that his fixed Technics performs better than his Lyra Atlas !.  @anthonya I can help you about any time but I can see you already have a good gentlemans to fix cartridges and tonearms, good.

All my Empire cartridges as the great 4000D3 are original as are too the Astatic, Stanton/Pickering, AKG, Acutex but the flat nose model but the stylus is a NOS replacement and I can go on and on about.

So stop to spread your lies about me.

You are a really dishonest person because you post in Agon because you are a seller that avoid to pay the Agon fees for sale advertasing that other gentlemans make and you take advantage of the good faith of Agon.

Your posts in this forum always are to promote the cartridges/tonearm you have on sale that by " coincidence " are the best out there and that always outperforms any other vintage or today cartridge designs.
This is totally dishonest..

If you follow spreading poson against me I will take action for Agon can banned you and I have the proves for they can do it. I don't care about you but I care of what you post about me.

In the other side every single post where you follow posting that the cartridge you are selling outperforms everything I will post that is not true and I will post why is not true.

@lewm  is totally rigth but he is a polite gentleman.

Dear @anthonya : Due that you have a very good technician for tonearms you can make a truly high quality up-date/graded to your EPA 100 tonearm with a better internal wiring and you can use this one that's great:

from the same manufacturer it's a must that all your removable headshells has way better quality headshell wires because the cartridge signal must pass through those wires and you need that that sensible recording MUSIC signal suffers the least posible degradation:

Btw, talking of the AKG P25MD exist a model with the same cartridge motor that instead the analog 6 stylus comes with VDH and the model is name it VDH.

The best AKG ever and even better than any other MM/MI cartridges ( including Technics, Grace, or whatever. ) but the Astatic 2500 or ADC 26/27 ( that are at same level but with different presentation . ) is the AKG P100LE.

That AKG comes with a mechanism integrated at the cartridge body to make VTA/SRA changes. I was lucky enough and for the same seller in switzerland I bougth two samples and latter on one was sold.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
@rauliruegas I would look into getting a stylus akg.. it checked alot on my list. very deep stage very insightful great rhythm and swing. but I'm over budget for the month.. got to pull a deep breath. 

I need to rewire my Kenwood ill look into the 1877. what's a good copper recommendation? my system don't often go well with silver.alll solid state
Dear @anthonya : Let me tell you that my electronics system is all SS and those 1877 wires performs great and with out any drawback but if you prefer cooper then from 1877:

Btw, yes AKG are really good, better than we can expect.
AKG cartridges as explained by our respected member Nandric is another cartridge notorious for suspension problem. AKG took it back from the dealers/retailers and even destroyed the whole bunch of cartridges because of this issue (and their reputation) ! 

When someone recommend cartridges that are internationally renowned for serious technical issues (as suspension problems) I believe everything from such person must be ignored and can't be taken seriously if you don't want to loose money. None of us have personal relations with Van Den Hul and very few of us have unlimited amount of money to fix defective cartridges.

The problem with the most expensive Technics cartridges, even if they are sealed NOS, is rubber damper, I don't know any other cartridge (and I owned so many) with the same problem! And I learned this myself buying those Technics cartridges over the years. This is clearly the worst vintage cartridge ever, because of this issue with softened suspension. But it was so hardly promoted on audiogon so people think it's perfect cartridge, but it's not !!! If you read caferully between the lines in that old MM thread, those working samples were refurbished by VdH (the most expensive expensive service on the planet earth). On some other samples the whole cantilever/damper was transplanted from another cartridges like Nagaoka by Axel in Germany. 

I know who sold refurbished cartridges without even warning his customers about third party parts (fake cantilever) inside these cartridges.This is disgusting! I even bought such cartridges myself few times (I was a victim) ... Some other audiogon members recently told me about similar issues privately (when a seller did not tell anything about refurbishing and sold it as original, you'd better not know who was the seller).  

There is a huge difference between an ORIGINAL working cartridge and REFURBISHED cartridge. Especially when it comes to very special and very expensive vintage MM cartridges. 

Dear @anthonya : Good and if you have some trouble with the replacement you can recovery your money.

I got into high end in the mid 70s.  I can't imagine why anyone would have ever bought a Technics cartridge... or many of them.
I was introduced to denon, shure, Stanton and technics by my mentor. he at moment own like 20+turntables hi to low end. and been playing for 40 yrs.this guy also gave a huge collection of reel to reel. 

in his own words this is how phono should sound. all those carts are special. 

but also during that old days.. it's he say you say and no internet.. depends who you mingle with another best buddy only MC carts, . anything old he knows and used. all the high end famous  turntable he used before . owns  4 Lyra now. 

all knows each other and just enjoy each other ways of expressing music .. no right answer. friendship and fun is all matters just a different way of approach.