Is a Ortofon Black a step down from a Pickering XSV 3000


I currently use a Pickering XSV3000 cartridge with original stylus.  Sounds pretty good.  I do not hear many modern cartridges that sound like this one.  Is the Ortofon Black a considerable step back from this cartridge?
tzh21y
Probably wrong forum to ask about vintage vs. new. 
@chakster, man I thought you would be all over this one.
Mounted my XSV/5000 on Denon DA-401 few month ago and still shocked how good this Pickering cartridge really is. Simply amazing (100k Ohm loading on my JLTi mk4 phono stage). 
tzh21y,  think there are modern moving magnet/moving Iron cartridges that are better. Not sure about the Ortofon M2 Black. The Clearaudio Charisma and Maestro V2 are probably better but very expensive. Soundsmith, Grado, Goldring and Audio Technica also make excellent cartridges and some of them are very competitively priced. The least expensive thing to do is get a replacement stylus for your Pickering. LP Gear has them. If you like the sound this may be the way to go. No guarantee but other people like the service. 
all LP Gear styli are fake, I like Pickering XSV/5000 better than my Grado Signature XTZ.

Honestly I have no idea why anyone should even think about moden MM, the sound of top Pickering is oustanding, silky smooth, this is one of the most involving sounding MMs.


The XSV/3000 is not the top of the line, but it’s about $300 cartridge and for $300 it’s impossible to find anything better (imo). For another $300-400 original NOS Stereohedron stylus is nice (not LP Gear’s fake). I mever tried D4000 stylus on XSV/3000 cartride, must be compatible, this is next stylus after D3000. I believe D5000 is Stereohedron mk2 profile (even better). In my system this cart is competing with $2000 LOMC cartridges and I love it. 

You guys in the States should be able to find a deadstock full of Pickering or Stanton cartridges and styli at some old shops. I managed to buy D3000 and D4000 NOS and I’m happy to buy more if possible.
so from reading the responses, I would say that the Ortofon Black is a downgrade for over 700 bucks. 
Maybe more like sideways tzh. 

@chakster , I would not call them fake, they are real just not made by Pickering. I would not bet on the performance or durability but they seem to review well and are $129 which is relatively inexpensive compared to buying a new cartridge. I do not see any NOS stock online for the XSV 5000. I owned several Pickerings and Stantons in the past and preferred them to Shures and Empires. But there are modern dual magnet and moving iron designs that are just as good if not better. Now that I think of it the Goldring 1042 sounds most like the Pickering XSV 5000 if my memory serves me correctly. It is a $600 with a Gyger S stylus, the same one used on the $16,000 Goldfinger.
the old stuff last longer too and better materials. black is really overpriced. nagaoka or goldring is better value. 

or... ol style. which I personally prefer.commonly 30- 35 db seperation on those old style cart is not a force to be reckon with. only challenge is the condition of stylus. it's a hit a miss and requires patience. I just buy one after another. I had ortofon before and not interested to own another one. but that's just me.

if I go expensive 1k above . I would simply pick soundsmith.. my kind of sound. but I had yet go there. there is still so much to hear.


Mijo, I agree with you that what LPGEar sells are not fakes, in the sense that they are real diamonds, and real styluses. However what no one has reproduced in the modern era is the stereoHedron shape which was exclusive to Pickering and Stanton cartridges of that day. I think the stereoHedron stylus was originally designed in order to accommodate 4channel audio LPs which had a brief lifetime in the marketplace. Frequency response out to 50,000 Hz. And no, Chakster, I do not think that there is a hidden cache of stereoHedron styluses lying around somewhere in the USA. I would not doubt however that some private collectors are hoarding them. I have one that I keep as a spare for my Stanton 981LZS. I’ve got Pickering XSV series too. By all accounts, the Black is a great cartridge, and readily available. Clearaudio moving magnet cartridges are rebranded cartridges made by someone else, is what I was always led to believe. Further, there is a price markup associated with having the clearaudio brand name on them.
Dear @tzh21y  : Certainly not a downgrade and other than Ortofon exist other today cartridges that outperforms what you have on hand today:  Nagaoka, Audio Note series IQ, Audio Technica, Goldring, Garrot, et, etc.

@anthonya : ""  the old stuff last longer too and better materials  ""

please tell me why last longer. Which cartridges last longer than today ones? and which vintage cartridges came with better materials than today designs?

Btw, @lewm   """  stereoHedron shape which was exclusive to Pickering and Stanton cartridges of that day. I think the stereoHedron stylus was originally designed in order to accommodate 4channel audio LPs which had a brief lifetime in the marketplace. Frequency response out to 50,000 Hz  ""

stereohedron is just a name as the analog6 in AKG, or microline, shibate, or other stylus shape designs or the one that comes in your Acutex or any vintage/today cartridge designs.

And or you are wrong or have a high misunderstood that was designed for CD4 
Look the Grace F9E came with no line contact stylus shape and worked truly fine with CD-4 as did it the Technics 205/EPC 100C that goes out to not 50khz but over 100khz and came with ellipthical stylus shapes as the Audio Technica models that worked fine with the CD-4.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.


Raul, I yield to your superior knowledge on this subject, but with all due respect, your post does not contradict mine, unless you are saying that the Stereohedron does not have an extended treble response.  I refer you to this article from the Sound Smith website: https://www.sound-smith.com/articles/stylus-shape-information
Here, Ledermann discusses the Shibata and Shibata-like stylus shapes, of which the stereohedron is one. Other companies had their own pet names for their similar "hyper-elliptical" stylus shapes which had a response out to 45kHz. The side benefit of that was their ability to play 4 channels LPs.  The fact that the Grace F9E (an elliptical) and the Technics cartridges you name may also be able to play "CD-4" does not negate my point about the Stereohedron.  Nor does it speak to the question of what LP Gear is selling as a replacement for the Stereohedron to use with vintage Pickering or Stanton cartridges that were originally sold with Stereohedron styli.  LP Gear say they are selling a Shibata-type replacement stylus, and it may perform very well on the Pickering and Stanton cartridges which originally were sold with the Stereohedron, but it is dimensionally slightly different from the Stereohedron, which may or may not alter the SQ. And that was my main point, in reference to Mijostyn's post.

that Audio Note IQ3 looks interesting.  Has anybody heard it?
Dear @lewm : Look the Stereohedron is not a " big deal " and the Shibata and Shibata like is and has wider contact with the grooves and you can confirm in the link I post here. You can see there that the stereohedron is similar to an elliptic, LAC ( Empire ), fine line or hiperelliptical and Shibata is way better in that regards. P.Lenderman has a misunderstood because the stereohedron is not a shibata like:

https://worldradiohistory.com/Archive-All-Audio/Archive-Audio/80s/Audio-1981-03.pdf

Read the page 23 and you will see the fig. 4 that speaks for it self.

If LPGear replacement stylus comes with Shibata then it’s not even a fake but a better stylus than the original one !.

If I remember was Audio Technica the first or one of the first to use true Shibata stylus shape.

The Ortofon 2M Black comes with Shibata stylus shape.

R.


@lewm  : "  And or you are wrong or have a high misunderstood that was designed for CD4 "

that's what I posted and where you are wrong.

I own the 981MK2 and Pickering too and in no one of the original manual information speaks nothing about CD-4 as in other vintage cartridges coming from AT or Empire and others as Grace, etc.

Btw, in the the 4000D3 Empire stated in specific its design for CD-4 using even a better stylus tip " four dimensional miniature tip of only 0.001 mil tracing radius against the 0.003 of Stanton one where the Empire tracks perfectly at as low as 0.25grs. VTF ! ! ! this is really unique not that normal Stanton stylus tip.

As I told you " stereohedron " is only a name and nothing special. Even Stanton load impedance specs is 47kohms against the 100kohms spec for Empire, Grace and others.

@tzh21y  I own this reson and it's really good performer too and yes better than your Pickering:

https://www.reson.de/screen/product/reca/language/en

R.
@rauliruegas the stylus  last longer. say shure dj. if you get older stuff. VS the latest ones.or jico. it's verified by the pro here as well. the sound is also different.

original vintage Stanton VS the new white one dj.. similar 
@tzh21y iq3 is same as 1042 but with audio note tweak. supposed to be better. but tip replacement can use 1042.. I haven't tried it. 

1042 if buy eBay 400 or less. gyger is mentioned to be a form of line contact by vdh. it look like a claw. so not exactly shibata. it's a pain to setup.. like all hi end stylus. 

although... spec doesn't look great.. but the stage width,  depth. detail. energy seperation, saturation, musicality, bass speed.. is all good.nothing to complain even at 600 usd. 

the legendary carts subjectively and objectively could be better and more fun to explore



Second generation of Parabolic stylus profile from Pickering (late 80’s) is great.
This is XSV/4000 with white D4000 stylus (it can be also black) shipped to another audiogon member from New York, USA.

In general, the second generation parabolics contact the groove with a sharper radius. Using the Stereohedrons as examples, the original Stereohedron’s tracing radius is .3 mils; the Stereohedron II’s tracing radius is .2 mils. The Stereohedron II’s bearing radius is gentler and taller, distributing the tracking force over a wider area, thus compensating groove wear for the narrower contact points. Great cartridge if you can buy it with genuine Stereohedron stylus!

Always buy original styli for your Pickering, stay away from the cheap third-party styli, genuine Pickering Stereohedron profile is rare and expensive, but well worth its price, the sound quality is fantastic.

Some manufacturers have used their own names for the advanced stylus profile shapes ("parabolics"). For example, Shure used the words "Hyper-Elliptical" (and more); Stanton/Pickering had "Stereohedron" and "Stereohedron II." (Trademarks). Some of these shapes were distinctly proprietary and patented (as were the Stantons). Van den Hul’s and Shibata’s, of course, were/are proprietary. There are more.

The Exclusive Stereohedron Tip and the new XSV samarium cobalt magnet accounts for an extremely high output with the smallest effective tip mass. The Stereohedron tip design is the result of long research in extended frequency response for tracing of high frequency modulations. It’s not necessary to buy a very expensive cartridge designed today if we have vintage MM like Pickering XSV-4000 available in excellent condition. The Stereohedron has a large bearing surface which is distributed over a large portion of the modulated groove, and at the stated optimum tracking force of 1.2 grams, the actual force per unit area is, of course, much less and should significantly contribute to the longevity of recordings.

KAB posted Stanton/Pickering cartridge-stylus compatibility chart HERE

The XSV/3000 by Pickering is equal to the Stanton 881s (in the down right corner in this catalog), it was expensive cartridge in the 70’s if you will read price tag.

No matter that people are telling about technical aspects, the original Stanton (881, 981 or their low impedance versions) or Pickering (3000, 4000, 5000 or their low impedance versions like 4500 & 7500) from the top echelon are absolutely amazing cartridges. The 881 and 3000 are the cheapest of them, still very nice, but not as good as the higher models.Using fake stylus with those great carts is a risk to ruin the original sound!


yup I can atest to that. getting the real deal is also more worthwhile.. better durability of the stylus. one could argue its cheaper 
I say again, the LP Gear replacement styli are not “fake”. They are simply a slightly different but related shape (Shibata), compared to the correct original StereoHedron type. LP Gear discloses this fact in their ad copy. There is no attempt to deceive. Perhaps Chakster does not understand all the negative connotations of the word “fake”. As to the claims for shorter life span or enhanced record wear, where are the data? Could be true; could be BS. Could be one man’s opinion. I have no connection with LP Gear. Don’t think I ever did business with them. But if I needed a new stylus assembly for my Pickering cartridges, I would rather have a known NOS stylus from LP gear than a pig in a poke “original” stylus assembly which might or might not be NOS from a stranger.
Dear @anthonya :  a DJ, really? you can't choose any worst reference than a DJ where its cartridges has nothing not even relationship with audiophuile cartridges. Verified by the pro?, what they know about LOMC cartridges vintage or today ones or electrect,MI,IM,MM true audiophile cartridges?. Just forgeret about. You are wrong because your reference is the worst one you could find out.

But, if you believe what they told you then that speaks by it self the knowledge levels you have, good.

""  is same as 1042 "" absolutely not, the Audio Note and Reson cartridges are made by Goldring but the cartridge motor is way different as is the cantilever/stylus and almost everything but the cartridge body.

I own the Reson and the 1042, way different. I don't recomend any cartridge that be not a " superior " design/performer.

R.




My 981 sample is the MK2 stylus tip and the radius is not only higher than the Empire but higher than true Shibata stylus that’s way superior stylus shape: GOT IT? I posted what proves those facts.

What you posted is a lie , normal in you.

@lewm is rigth: "  where are the data? "

R.
Dear @tzh21y  : This is the Ortofon Beethoven Aniversari 2M Black best MM cartridge designed by them, they made it not only a change on parts as the boron cantilever but in the cartridge motor too:

https://www.ortofon.com/2m-black-lvb-250-p-957-n-1579


R.
those conical are magic sounding. we also use them for casual listening m44, Stanton 500, denon. different energy. 

also I used some of the new hyper eleptical eleptical  didn't last as long as those old stuff. made in China even.. that's the worst 
they are radio stations peoples
ex  Atlanta recording
sound men for studio. 

that's not only cart they' used.. emt, 981lsz body which I got free from them.. they do it for a living.. 

huge load collection of reel to reel. 



Dear @lewm  : I experienced in more than one time to buy on LPGear and is trusty one with out doubt.

They works as OEM and its replacement stylus are good because are made it for one of the 5 only world manufacturers. So, cantilevers and stylus shape does not comes from Jico but for the other manufacturers.

They have original replacements too as new cartyridges and even NOS ones.

https://www.lpgear.com/product/ATN150SA.html

Do it you a favor and pull the triger on this MI not MM but hurry about:

https://www.lpgear.com/product/STANTON681EEEMK3.html

R.


LP GEAR styli are fake, they have no rights for use Stanton or Pickering trademark logo. Their styli are blank. Those are fake and has absolutely nothing to do with Stanton or Pickering company at their hey day under Walter O. Stanton leadership who sold his company in the 90’s and since that time Stanton or Pickering never made any Hi-Fi cartridge! Under the New ownerships (Stanton Group) manufacturing ONLY cheap DJ cartridges, turntables etc.

Here is a history lesson:

** Mr. Pickering was one of the founders of the Audio Engineering Society in 1948, was George Szell’s recording consultant, researched violin acoustics and constructed more than fifty vioins and violas and was active in the Violin Society of America. He also worked on ultrasound eye imaging with the technique’s inventor. After the war ended in 1945, Pickering met an engineer who said he could sell all of the pickups he could build. So with some friends he went into business in Oceanside, Long Island and sure enough as many as he could build were quickly sold at first only to radio stations. But by 1947 the demand from high-fidelity fanatics was strong enough for what’s now called a ‘cartridge’ and Pickering & Company was formed to meet the new hobby’s demands. By the mid 1950s, the company employed more than 150 people at its Plainview, Long Island headquarters.
Norman C. Pickering, an engineer, inventor and musician whose pursuit of audio clarity and beauty helped make phonograph records and musical instruments sound better , died in East Hampton, N.Y. He was 99.


** Walter O Stanton. A pioneer in the audio field, Stanton was responsible for many of the early patents in phono cartridge and styli design and electrostatic speakers, as well as other electro mechanical items. He was one of the early leaders in the audio industry and served as president of both the Institute of Hi Fidelity and the Audio Engineering Society (AES). One of the original owners of Pickering & Company, started in 1947, he later established Stanton Magnetics Inc in 1961. He was the chairman and president of both Pickering & Co and Stanton Magnetics Inc until 1998. Under his leadership, the various companies developed leading products in the audio, aerospace, military and communications fields with factories in Plainview, New York and West Palm Beach, Florida.

Walter O. Stanton, the inventor of an easily replaceable phonograph stylus that was crucial to creating a consumer market for audio equipment, died in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. He was 86.


Dear @anthonya : I understand your enthusiasm for the pro but unfortunatelly even your best recording studio friends are far away from true high-end audiophiles.

So, not a true reference for audiophiles, at least for me.

Conical, magical? certainly for you and maybe to some one else with low knowledge levels. Yes we can listen LPs through a Denon 103 or with a Fulton one.

Maybe what you need to research is the main importance of the cartridge motor that goes way before stylus shape because cantilever is even more important than stylus shape.

"""   better durability of the stylus. "" in the original. This is a misunderstood because all stylus are from diamond material and exist only 3 suppliers for all the cartridge industry. Different stylus shapes could last longer than other in between.

It’s enough for today, to each his own.

R.
I am a believer in the longevity of the stylus in the XSV3000.  I have never had a cartridge stylus last this long ever.  I am not sure if it is the lower tracking force or what it is.  But I am starting to think that it will not last forever with as durable as it is.  
Dear Chakster, I think you are getting a bit hysterical for nothing. What I am quibbling with is your use of the word “fake”. LP gear do not say that they are selling original Pickering or Stanton stylus assemblies. They admit they are selling substitutions for those items, because those items are long out of production. However, what they are selling does have some merit in that the stylus shape is Shibata. The correct StereoHedron falls into the category of “Shibata-like”, so at least close to ideal. If one cannot source an original replacement stylus assembly, the LP Gear product would seem to be a reasonable substitute that ought not to be much different in SQ from original. 

I lived through the history of Pickering and Stanton cartridges, and I even lived in New York City, and I have even been on Long Island many times. So I am well aware of the history. That has nothing to do with the present situation for owners of Pickering and Stanton cartridges.
by herb of stereophile.. I also feel. same way. 



AT-VM95C
I have a BFF relationship with the spherical-tipped Denon DL-103 moving coil, simply because it has never disappointed me while playing a record. The late Art Dudley campaigned for the spherical-tip cause, stating in Listening #186: "I continue to prefer the spherical experience—to me, it emphasizes musical content over air, allowing instruments and voices to sound more substantial, and music to sound, overall, less fussy than with other tip types." (The emphasis is his.)
I agree 100% with Art's observation: Spherical/conical-tipped cartridges emphasize "musical content" with force and vigor. And simplification. By eliminating some amounts of complex low-level spatial, atmospheric, and harmonic information, conical tips seem to expose the raw, beating core of humans playing music. That's why I love them.1220gramdr.ctip
Speaking of force and vigor, the AT-VM95C (conical)—which is even cheaper than the $49 elliptical version, at $34—sounded cool, fast, and powerful but also detailed and invigorating. It played complex recordings, like the Stravinsky Conducts Histoire Du Soldat Suite, with power-packed, pitch-perfect bass, a flawlessly toned and detailed midrange, and enough upper-octave energy to make trumpets, drums, and woodwinds sound lifelike and exciting. Drum impact was spectacular.
Music-pleasure–wise, Audio-Technica's VM95C was the most satisfying cartridge in this survey. It shifted my perspective and made me reconsider what I thought I knew about phonography.
Dear Chakster, I think you are getting a bit hysterical for nothing. What I am quibbling with is your use of the word “fake”. LP gear do not say that they are selling original Pickering or Stanton stylus assemblies.


I think I use this word correct. If you understand they are not selling GENUINE replacement other people have no clue what they are selling (and they sell many fake styli for many brands). I don’t care what type of stylus profile they are using (this is not the question here). Even if it’s aluminum cantilever it’s different from the original, not to mention SAMARIUM COBALT MAGNET used in the original Stanton/Pickering stylus.


If one cannot source an original replacement stylus assembly, the LP Gear product would seem to be a reasonable substitute that ought not to be much different in SQ from original.

If one can’t source the original it’s better to stay away from any vintage cartridges, because those fake styli is a huge compromise, it can be OK for some cheap cartridges, but for top of the line cartridges it’s not even close. Even JICO SAS is not better than some of the original styli which makes those vintage MM so special.



I lived through the history of Pickering and Stanton cartridges, and I even lived in New York City, and I have even been on Long Island many times. So I am well aware of the history. That has nothing to do with the present situation for owners of Pickering and Stanton cartridges.

Never been to United Stated, but in present situation (living in Russia) I have all the original styli, not only for Pickering and Stanton, but for many rare MM cartridges. If I am able to find them NOS living almost in the Arctic Circle then why do you always think that even living in the USA people can’t find them (it’s your local brand) and need those fake LP Gear styli ?

Stanton and Pickering are not so rare and not so expensive like some other Japanese cartridges from the same era for example.

In my opinion it’s important to support enthusiasm, but in your posts (almost in every post about vintage carts) I read so much pessimism, that’s not good @lewm

P.S. for MM cartridges retipping, refurbishing, fake styli ... are not good until we can find the original ! And we CAN, internet is great for searching.
Stanton and Pickering are safe bet.. 

35db channel separation. price. durability. hard to beat the value
personally the newer current stuff in the market.. not much I really cared for. ability to make frequency and music.. is entirely a different matter m
I balked at first to the Ortofon 2M Black. After purchasing one, and after the 'break in' period I find it mesmerizing. Purchased a second and a third to have on hand just in case. The Shibata stylus in this engine is (in my opinion) the finest MM cartridge out there. To better it, take a big step up to an MC. Disclaimer; Then again, I always found the Shure cartridges back in day preferable to the aforementioned Stanton/Pickerings. Just my two cents worth. AB
There are many superb cartridges with Shibata stylus, first is Victor X1II which is another amazing MM (but definitely more expensive than Stanton/Pickering). Looking for best NOS carts from the past (collecting them) is a part of the hobby, it’s fun, there at at least 10 best MM that can compete with everything (no matte new, old, mm, mi or mc). Top models from Stanton, Victor, Audio-Technica, Pickering, Grace, Pioneer... just to name some brands from the past, there are more.

Shibata was a stylus originally designed by one of JVC’s employee’s (Norio Shibata), to enable better tracing of the high frequencies which their CD-4 quadraphonic system records needed. JVC were the designer of CD-4, which was one of a number of competing quadraphonic (4 channel) systems back in the 70’s, and because it needed a frequency response to 50 kHz, they had to design a new stylus to enable that. Other versions similar to the Shibata stylus began to be made, such as Ogura and Van den Hul, but with slight differences in shape so as not to infringe the Shibata patent.






Dear @lewm : You are rigth and that stylus shape is not a big deal and is far away from the best today stylus shape even the stereohedron stylus shape was not made/designed by Stanton, its patent belongs to the inventor: Huges, Diamagnetics Inc. and was made it after the Shibata stylus shape and for Huges registered the patent, because it’s a copy of " like Shibata " he made something additional that does not gives any advantage. Shibata still is better ( larger radius ) than the stereohedron and obviously a superior stylus shape.

Shibata is so good that not only today Ortofon uses it but other cartridge manufacturers too.
If the stereohedron will be better then this will be what the cartridge manufacturers use instead Shibata.

So the LPGear Shibata replacement stylus is better than the original and as any vintage and some today cartridges uses samarium cobalt magnets that are rally common against neodynium or alnico or platinum.

Shibata has two version of the stylus where the difference belongs at the radius. The " normal " Shibata stylus has a 75 uM radius vs 70 uM on the stereohedron.

@arizonabob is rigth too about Shure hiperelliptical and MicroRidge. No one of the Stanton/Pickering can beats the Shure Ultra 500 , this one outperforms any Stanton.
I’m not saying that Stanton is not a good cartridge because it’s but it’s not as competitive as so many vintage and certainly today better cartridge designs.

Btw, the AT MicroLine stylus shape is exactly the Jico SAS nad made it by Namiki, both are advanced stylus kind of shape .

Problem with that person that lives in Rusia is that he is a seller and is full of Stanton cartridges/stylus and he wants to sold as fast he can no matters what and that’s why he has to post lies after lies. Pity.

R.

70uM for Stereohedron
70uM for the VDH according to Audio Technica
70uM for the Fritz Gyger 70 [FG70] according to Ortofon. FG90 also exists.
75uM for the Shibata
75uM for SAS and MicroLine.
100uM for Ortofon Replicant  ( is a Gyger modification. )
Dear @anthonya : I’m not against conical stylus shape as a fact I own the 103 and Fulton cartridges too but certainly that shape can’t pick up the recording information that comes in the LP grooves, only can to pick up a minor part of it.
Please read here:

http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/HFN/LP3/aroundthebend.html

Btw:

Conical stylus = less contact surface.

Less contact surface = greater pressure

greater pressure = greater wear/time

greater wear = shorter useful life.

The stylus shapes with big contact areas are the ones that will last the most. The Denon 103 lasts a lot not because of the tip shape but because it is polished to a mirror finish, unlike many styli.

Also "substantial piece of diamond in the groove" is a bit misleading. A conical stylus has only a very small contact areaa. Physical size of the gem makes no difference regarding wear.


R.
Dear friends: This is very interesting:

Effective mass -- the smaller, the better:

0.970mg Shure "bi-radial" (0.4x0.7mil, MM)
0.750mg Ortofon X1-MCP (p-mount, high output MC)
0.500mg Ortofon OM10 stylus (bushed elliptical, MI)
0.400mg Ortofon OM20 stylus (nude elliptical, MI)
0.400mg Ortofon X5-MC (HOMC, nude FG)
0.370mg Shure Elliptical (0.2x0.7mil, MM)
0.330mg Shure bi-radial on V15-III (MM) (berillium control rod)
0.300mg Ortofon OM30 stylus (nude Fine Line), OM40 (nude FG), MI
0.290mg Technics EPC-P202C (p-mount, MM)
0.290mg Shure HE on V15-IV (MM) ("telescopic shank")
0.270mg Denon DL-301 (MC)
0.250mg Denon DL-207 (MC)
0.240mg Van den Hul Colibri (MC)
0.230mg Technics EPC-P310MC (p-mount, MC)
0.220mg Ortofon Jubilee (MC)
0.180mg Denon DL-303 (MC)
0.170mg Shure Micro-Ridge (0.15x3.00mil, MM)
0.168mg Denon DL-305
0.109mg Technics EPC-P205CMK4 (p-mount, 0.2x0.7mil, MM)
0.098mg Technics EPC-100CMK3 (MM)
0.077mg Denon DL1000 (MC)
0.055mg Technics EPC-P100CMK4 (p-mount, MM)



R.

Btw, MicroRidge has 75um on radius. In other side I was not aware that Grado was the inventor or at least the patent of ellipthical stylus shape.
Thanx rauliruegas, I did not know about the LVB 250 2M Black. Looks like a real winner. 

I agree with both lewm and rauliruegas. It would appear that the only thing wrong with LP Gear's replacement styli is that they are not the originals and may even surpass the original using a better stylus and modern production methods. The Stereohedron stylus was nothing but a "hyperelliptical" stylus. It had a much smaller contact area than the modern Shibata not to mention the GygerS, Replicant 100 and Soundsmith's OCL. These are all superior to anything they made in the 70's, 80's and 90's.   

 Lewm, I do believe Clearaudio designs and manufactures it's own cartridges. You can see the reason their stuff is so expensive.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJRnwIaCC2U The Charisma certainly has a very similar design to some of AT's cartridges using dual magnets at 90 degree angles. You can also see the German mentality. Compare this with Soundsmith's factory tour. 

I do not have any romantic notions about yesterday's cartridges. Technology marches on. Styli, cantilevers, magnets have all improved as have manufacturing techniques. On observation alone I can tell that modern styli are cut more cleanly and lack the discoloration you would see in earlier cartridges. Both Soundsmith and Clearaudio cartridges have significantly better construction quality. Beautifully clean styli mounted perfectly on cantilevers that are dead on. Much more accurate than Shure, Empire, Pickering or Stanton could manage. 
Dear @mijostyn : I agree with what you posted and only some " doubt " in who really design/manufacture the Clearaudio MM cartridges.

I remember years ago that I made the Virtuoso Wood review and all " signs " told me that Audio Technica was who manufactured to Clearaudio specs.
That Virtuoso is a great performer and its stylus was the FG80 that AT cartridges never used, better stylus shape than the Shibata and  cartridges with  radius in the 80um to the 100um in the Ortofon Replicant are extremely sensitive to VTA/SRA set up and I had that experience with the Virtuoso.

I like Clearaudio cartridges MM and MC ones.

R.
It would appear that the only thing wrong with LP Gear’s replacement styli is that they are not the originals and may even surpass the original using a better stylus and modern production methods. The Stereohedron stylus was nothing but a "hyperelliptical" stylus.

Yes, all problems solved by LP GEAR, just buy their $79 fake Stanton CS-100 stylus instead of $450 original and be happy. You must be proud, because hundreds of Stanton owners worldwide are slower than you, maybe not so smart, they just don’t know there are $75 stylus made with modern technologies and much better than Walter O. Stanton top of the line design from the golden age of analog. It’s so silly that some people don’t know that everything NEW is always better, especially when it comes to vinyl in 2021. Stereohedron is nothing compared to LP GEAR, you’re so right. Thank you for clarification. Your opinion is very important.

As a big fan of ClearAudio and Goldring MM cartridges I hope you tried all Stanton and Pickering top models with original styli and compared them to Jico, LP Gear and others.

Now let me tell you this:

Do you know that original SC-100 W.O.S. cantilever is Red Sapphire coated, you will not find anything like that today, the $79 LP Gear is way different (look at the rating on their site). Sadly it’s not so popular as you expected, even if it’s new (pretending to be better as you think).

Genuine CS-100 stylus is Stereohedron mk II (second generation of Parabolic profiles). There are first and second generation of Stereohedron if you don’t know. They are different!

Do you know what is Samarium Cobalt magnet and why this type of magnet has been chosen.

You mentioned "Hyperelliptical", but is just name, it’s a word, you’d better provide some data. All those styli are parabolic type, so what? Nothing changed much since Micro Ridge and it’s an old profile even if you like different name for same profile!

Paratrace is the closest modern profile to Stereohedron. The reason why Stanton owners service their cartridge in UK (not at Soundsmith or whatever). I believe you know who manufacturer Stereohedron and where.

Stanton made so many different models of cartridges to release their best stuff like 981 and CS-100 series (and low impedance versions). These are the most expensive Stanton cartridges and styli, but there are tons of different Stanton styli for 10 times cheaper prices in their vintage catalog (you can check here).


P.S. I stopped to read post from some members who contradict to themselves, probably it’s because of the age, but I remember well their posts from 5-10 years ago on the same forum. If you want your cartridge to perform as expected you can only buy an original (MM or MC) and if you want to step into unknown area then you can make your Frankenstein and tell everybody it’s equal or even better than the original. Unfortunately, you can’t just clone the original.









There is no doubt that the stereohedron stylus is a special stylus and I have been listening for many years.  That is why I started this thread because I do not think you can do better unless you spend a considerable amount more money.  It lasts long time as well.
Dear @tzh21y : " ereohedron stylus is a special stylus "

well the AKG analog6 it’s too if we take your statement as true but unfortunatelly it’s not and that stylus has nothing of special: it’s a copy of the Shibata but a bad copy because the Shibata is a better design. Huges who patented it was not really an inventor about he just copy-cat and as I posted Huges did it a tiny modification to the Shibata design to be accepted his patent but that mod gaves nothing in change of advantage over the Shibata was only for to be patented.

The Paratrace is not really an invention but a mod over the VDH stylus.

Look, if you die for the cartridge you own stay with and makes no sense to go for something different. Btw, LPGear stylus comes from Nagaoka and Namiki.

R..


@chakster , hyperelliptical means that the short radius is shorter than a normal ellipse. In reality elliptical styli are not true ellipses. They are conical styli that have had two opposite sides ground down and the short axis polished on both sides. A hyperelliptical stylus just has more ground off creating a narrower contact point. Point being there is nothing special about the Stereohedron stylus. 

Now, I used very nonspecific terms like, "appear" and "may" Because I do not have these cartridges now and have never used an LP Gear product. I can not say what the real truth behind all this is. But, I have had several Pickering and Stanton products in the past and have always viewed my styli under magnification. I can say for an absolute fact that styli from Clearaudio, Soundsmith, Grado, Koetsu, Ortofon and Lyra are all much cleaner and better cut and mounted than the styli in those older cartridges. I remember returning two top of the line Pickerings because of cantilevers headed in the wrong direction. It would not be hard for a modern manufacturer to make better stylus replacements for these vintage cartridges. Using modern profiles is an added benefit.  

@rauliruegas , Musical Surroundings the Clearaudio importer in the US says all their cartridges are designed and built in house. The factory tour does show them building cartridges. So, unless somebody can give me solid information to the contrary I have to assume they do make and design their own cartridges.
Now, I used very nonspecific terms like, "appear" and "may" Because I do not have these cartridges now and have never used an LP Gear product. I can not say what the real truth behind all this is. But, I have had several Pickering and Stanton products in the past and have always viewed my styli under magnification. I can say for an absolute fact that styli from Clearaudio, Soundsmith, Grado, Koetsu, Ortofon and Lyra are all much cleaner and better cut and mounted than the styli in those older cartridges. I remember returning two top of the line Pickerings because of cantilevers headed in the wrong direction. It would not be hard for a modern manufacturer to make better stylus replacements for these vintage cartridges. Using modern profiles is an added benefit.  

They are not better cut than any of the old styli from the same manufacturers like Ogura or Namiki, all those most complicated profiules invented decades ago.

Your Clear Audio motor made by Audio-Technica in Japan (and that a cheap motor, but cartridge retail is very expensive). Unprotected cantilever is awful solution, it's easy to break accidentally. Those type of cartridge must be avoided for practical reason (any mistake with cost a lot! ). 

If it's "better" for you it's fine, but for me new $4000 MC cartridge is not better than NOS $700 Stanton MM. They are compared NOW in my listening room, not 100 years ago in your childhood.

Pickering XSV/5000 or Stanton CS-100 WOS are much better cartridges than Grado Signature model like XTZ. 

Boron Rod cantilevers and Advanced parabolic Styli on most of the modern cartridges looks identical to this combo from the mid 80's. No difference.   

I bought many Stanton and Pickering in the past 5 years, never seen any sample with bent cantilever, I also prefer to buy NOS. This is XSV/4000 cantilever

If I remember correct your Koetsu is the entry level Black model. 

At the moment in my system I have Miyabi MCA by Takeda-San, Fidelity Research FR-7fz by Ikeda-San, and Pickering XSV/5000 by Walter Stanton (replaced Joe Grado Signature XTZ). 

Pickering XSV/5000 is a killer MM cartridge for funny price compared to the rest of MC I'm using in my system now. It's very important to compare cartridges NOW, but you guys always referring to your faulty memories from the 70's, 80's. How can you even remember the sound of a cartridge you tried about 40 years ago ?? 

 


Dear Chakster, Evidently you really do not understand the connotations of the word "fake" as we use it here.  Or else it means something slightly different in Russian.  LP Gear sell a stylus assembly as a replacement for the original Stereohedron that fits the Pickering cartridges and includes an aluminum cantilever terminated with a press-fitted Shibata stylus.  Their ad copy very clearly describes what they are selling.  Yes, it is not an OEM stylus; they tell you that.  No, it is not fake in any way.  It is up to the buyer to decide if he or she wants to settle for what LP Gear offers or to search on-line for a true OEM replacement stylus for much more money.  Nothing wrong with either solution if your stylus is broken or worn out.  We are lucky to have LP Gear and companies like them in this crazy hobby.  I don't agree with Mijostyn that new is always better.  Sometimes, maybe. And I certainly don't hold with Clearaudio MM cartridges as sterling examples of MM cartridges that can compete with the best of the oldies. 
I can say that a good cartridge is a good cartridge i would suggest finding a good dealer that you can try different cartridges with and see what you do and dont like it will take some time and effort but the reward will be much greater than wondering.
NOW, but you guys always referring to your faulty memories from the 70's, 80's. How can you even remember the sound of a cartridge you tried about 40 years ago ??
Well, their memories are probably more reliable than taking advice from someone promoting vintage cartridges on audiogon who conicidentally happens to have a business buying clapped out vintage cartridges from Japan and reselling them on eBay etc.


ll I have to say is I have listened to a lot of cartridges in my day and the Pickering XSV 3000 is still on my table.  To me, that says a lot.  Its why I started this thread.  I know the Ortofon Black is a very well known MM cartridge and I have heard it a few times.  It does not have the same smooth sound of the Pickering.  In fact, the Pickering does remind me more of Koetsu cartridge sound than the Ortofon.  I remember the Ortofon Black being a very detailed MM cartridge.  Thats what I remember.  Other than MC cartridges, what cartridge can compare for the money?  Thats the question.  maybe the Hana?