Dear all, i have to start this thread because i’ve come across first MONO cartride in my system.
The cartridge is extremely rare Grace F14 (MONO) LC-OFC from the mid 80’s.
I’m a huge fan of the Grace stereo cartridges, in stereo world the F14 LC-OFC is superb, this MM generator is the best ever made along with LEVEL II LC-OFC. As you might know the Grace made so many different styli with different cantilevers and different diamonds for F14 and LEVEL II series in the 80’s.
BUT I know nothing about mono cartridges, because i’ve never used any of them.
And i don’t even have enough MONO records, but i got some for sure.
I don’t play 78rpm SP ... and most of my mono records are 45 rpm (7’inchers) from the 60’s, 70’s, maybe a little bit from the 50’s.
My F14 LC-OFC cartridge has ONLY 2 PINS (not 4 pins like stereo versions). The special lead wire designed for use with mono is included, no problem with that.
Looking at the MONO stylus on my F14 MONO cartridge i realized it is not an SP version described here
(definitely not a huge 3 mil. tip), but a nude stylus tip, small just like stereo tip on some other Grace styli that i have in collection. So it’s a good news, because i’m not gonna play 78 rpm anyway.
What i realized by trying this cartridge/stylus on my mono records is a lower compliance of the stylus compared to normal Grace (they are high compliance). The stylus replacement designed for F14 (not for older F9), the plastic shape of the F14 is always different compared to F9.
I’ve searched for MONO styli shapes online and i’ve seen many articles about oldschool conical styli of the different size for the mono records from the different eras. Also about the mono cut on stereo cutterhead.
I could find only one more Grace mono cartridge (LEVEL II) with 1 mil. conical tip described here
BUT this post on another forum is the most interesting:
"I play a number of vintage monos (primarily stuff from ’58 to the mid 60’s, admittedly no pre ’57 stuff) here with a modern microridge stylus and would never go back to using a conical on them (having done so in the past). They sound incredibly good with the microridge...
Based on my experience, I feel all the talk of conical styli being necessary to get the best out of mono records is urban legend at best, if not patently false."
If this is true i can use any stylus on my Grace MONO cartridge for my records pressed in the 60s/70s in mono ?
I don’t have a mono switch anywhere on my gear, but since the cartridge pins are designed for MONO only, i believe, i’m safe to cancel vertical noise caused by conventional stylus with vertical compliance ?
I can not detect a stylus shape yet, it can be Conical, Elliptical, Shibata (or maybe even Micro Ridge). I’ve heard they are all good for MONO made with stereo cutter head in the 60’, 70’s or even today.
Let me know what you think, it can be my first mono cartridge then.