emt 950, technics sp10 - direct drive sound

I write this e-mail on the back of albert proters posts on his technics sp 10 mark 3.

What does an emt 950 sound like - I am fixing one up right now - how does it compare with the technics?

Stefano Pasini (bless him) can find no faults at all - there again he does not say much else other than about the history f the deck.

Also what do the other good DD's sound like?

It would be useful to get feedback of people that have owned new and old decks.

Also if anyone with emt's are interested I'd like to start a thread relating to those decks - the restoration etc - becasue whilst there are sources about the emt - there are no guides on how to restore them - trust me I have searched and everyone says go to Hans Fabritius or Studiotechnik - which defeats the purpose of self-restoration



I have actually heard quite a few EMT's - both vintage and new.

The best by far was a Van den hul modified EMT - transparent, punchy, fantastic on large scale orchestra. Very dynamic. Thats why I suggested Anamighty.

The TSD SPH is quite musical - personally as standard to me it sounds more nuanced than a Denon 103 ( and 103 modded )

However, apart from the VDH modded version these cartridges are a vintage sound - can be course - and not high resolution. The finer stylus exacerbate the shortcomings which is why I would consider the SPH. I would not spend the money on the JSD range for example - too course sounding - most of the folk I know who bought them sold them off shortly thereafter - poor value for money.

If you really want post 80's DJ revival you would be better off with a Decca.

Best combo I've heard for that music was a Garrard 401/Dynavector 505/Decca London - slam and speed.

There are a couple "new" TSD cartridges with more radical styli instead of the SFL.  You also have a higher option with the Novel.  I have an 80th Anniversary with a sapphire cantilever and a MR HP which I believe stands for micro-ridge high polish tip.

@dover I sat for a coffee with Van Den Hul himself. He did a few things to the cartridge and it was not simply a different stylus. He changed the rake angle from 15 to 25 degrees - then the headshell mount was changed to a solid piece to prevent a spring effect/resonance. Thanks for triggering that memory I had.

I’m no longer into the DJ revival so to speak - that said I started to buy vinyl in the 90’s - my music was funk/soul/rare groove - not BPM house. More a description of when I bought records. Sadly u can’t buy a Decca new - apparently Decca can re-tip and refurb but no new ones🥲

I am not minded to spent 2 1/2 times as much for a modified cartridge - sorry. I have spent money on exotics by Zyx and Transfiguration but even then i consider relative value. The very respected re-tipper in the UK explained an awful lot in terms of manufacturing and value and putting it bluntly many cartridges are a rip-off.


My Investigations over many years have led me into the thought process that not all, but many Cartridges have shared the same internal / external parts across Brands. It is not unusual to discover over more recent years where Third Party Retip/Rebuild Services are sharing their findings and affirming that many Brands are quite similar in choices made for the components to be used to assemble a Cart’.

The above is not limited to a Variety of Brands offering a Cart’ produced by a Third Party Manufacturer, that becomes badged with a Brand Name, it also extends to Models from a variety of Brands Models that are Marketed as the Upper end of their Catalogue.

As stated in other discussions on this same subject, there will if scrutinised in some cases be discovered, that other differences are included in a design, such a Body Material, Styli, Rake Angle and Coil Windings, etc.

Where the difficulty is found from my observations, is how Manufacturers using the ’reported on’ common shared parts, are seen to compete in a very similar area of the Market, with a very close matched pricing. It does look like a Cart’ offered into a certain segment of marketing, are carefully matched for a pricing across Brands, that falls into an area, that it is surmised to be Strategy belonging to Low Turnover - High Mark Up for the particular items.

None of the above have caused concerns to myself in recent years, as I don’t rely on ’off the shelf’ Cart’s to experience my Vinyl replays, being replayed to a level that is competitive with the upper ranges of Cart’s offered from the Competitive Brands.

I know for sure there will be a day in the not too distant, where my methods are harder to continue with and an ’off the shelf’ Cart’ is looking likely to be the only easy to obtain Viable option. Where maintaining a SQ to the standard being experienced within the System at present is kept.

If I am still in need of an Upper Range Cart’ when this time arrives, is an unknown. As a basic preparation and attempt to keep informed, I will keep one eye on the range of Models being rated and keep an irregular check on the reports from their users, across a range of forums.