Feedback from Stanton 881sMk II users

Also what stylus's are you using ? There seems to be a
different opinion on the current versus former supplied
I used to be a Stanton dealer, and I'm very partial to the _old_ Stanton company's products. They considered me to be an expert on their cartridges.

The 881 is a superb cartridge. There's been a lot of confusion about the wares of the "new" Stanton company, relocated to Florida. During the last ten years or so, I have not been able to keep the stylus revisions straight -- needles have been "now-you-see-it; now-you-don't." As with other cartridge makers, certain of the products and replacement styly have been downgraded from a parabolic to an elliptical. This is probably the source of your confusion. In most (?) remaining brands, the common stylus tip for serious listening has become the .3 x .7 mil elliptical. This is actually a very nice size to live with. I prefer a parabolic tip, but I think that these are harder for today's cartridge makers to buy.

The traditional company was very consistent and logical in their product designations, something that I appreciated.
The "S" designation means "Stereohedron:" a first-generation parabolic stylus. Combinations of "S" and "2" mean a second generation parabolic: they're also called "line contact," and various other buzzwords. They're both superb.

As far as I can tell, the current 881 is a parabolic. I'm glad it's being made. I regard it as a true "musician's cartridge."

Richard Steinfeld
Richard: you say you're glad the 881 is being made, but I can't seem to find it available anywhere. Where can I get one?

I'm hooked on Stanton...
The information has been so inconsistent that I can only suggest that you call Stanton directly and ask them which of their dealers you can buy it from.

While you're at it, make sure to talk with their sales manager and tell him firmly to make his web site reliable for non-disco customers. If enough people do this, it may produce some action. I don't think that these folks realize what a wonderful product line they inherited.

I've got an 881 Mk II cartridge that I've been using for a year or so now. It's a stellar piece of equipment. I use a D81S stylus for vinyl and a D827 for shellac. I spin a fair share of 78 rpm records for pleasure and for archival purposes. The 881 is great for both and it's really easy to switch the stylus without screwing up the cartridge alignment. I must admit that since I found out the Aries Scout will run at 78 rpm I'm leaning that way, but I'll keep my 881 Mk II even if I go the VPI route. The real deal is set up. A mediocre cartridge/TT that is well set up will beat the pants off a million dollars worth of equipment that's poorly set up. Good luck and happy listening. As with most things, get the basics right and the rest will fall into place.