Mono Cartridge


Still looking for a mono cartridge for my Technics 1200G.  My first choice would have been Miyajima but have been told, by some, that it would not be compatible with my arm.  I want to play older recordings so need a 1.0 mil stylus.  Does anyone have experience with either the Phasemation PP-MONO or the ZYX R 1000 Airy 3M?  They look interesting but couldn't find any reviews online.
andysf
For your arm you need Grace F14 MONO 
Just to be clear, are you saying 1.0 mil Spherical Stylus?

For flexibility, I might suggest you look for a mono cartridge BODY that accepts either spherical stylus and/or elliptical stylus (some are also offered with advanced stylus shapes). Then, someone like yourself, more informed than me and others, can change the stylus as appropriate depending on the groove type or range of years of groove type.
..............................

some unsolicited mono yap:

Learning here, and having added a dedicated Mono Cartridge, I simply chose an elliptical stylus from Grado to get started/hear/prove it made a difference.

Now I heartily endorse using a true mono cartridge rather than a stereo cartridge. My two older McIntosh preamps (C28, mx110z), and mant others have Mode Controls, MONO being one of the settings. For many years I thought that was ’good enough’.

I have many mono LP’s, mostly Jazz. Some mono lps have only subtle improvements, many with obvious improvement, and some with significant improvements.

Some are not involving, they come off like a history lesson, very unlikely to play again. When played with a mono cartridge become an involving musical experience, keepers, intend to enjoy again.

Mono includes the ERA when so many greats developed their skills, new styles emerged. Mono LP's were still made after the technology of stereo was developed in 1958.

https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/wp-content/uploads/chord_charts/JAZZ_STYLE_PERIODS.pdf

Sometimes A lump of sound changes to reveal the distinct sounds of individual instruments. Reducing inadvertent separation by not reacting to any vertical motion improves the sound.

Others might use better words, that’s my attempt to explain what I hear.


@noromance Thanks but I am looking for a 1.0 mil stylus.
@chakster  I am sure that is a great cart but they are pretty hard to find NOS.
@elliottnewcombjr  Open for suggestions but looking for something really good.
andysf
Does anyone have experience with either the Phasemation ...
I had a minor issue with a cart made by PhaseTech, which is what Phasemation previously called itself. Dealer couldn’t help. Distributor and manufacturer did not respond to polite email inquiries. Fool me once ...
I have an SL1200 GAE and it is my primary mono TT, which is the same as your G except for cosmetics.  Currently I have the following mono cartridges for it:  VAS Nova, really good, you can order it with a 1.0 mil stylus I believe.  Ortofon 2M SE, ordered directly from Europe.  This is a Shibata and I am not sure if they make it in 1.0 mil, bit it costs nothing to ask.  Ortofon is very responsive to email.  Audio Technica AT3 Mono, spherical, available in 0.7 or 1.0 mil and a very good cartridge price not withstanding.
Like you I have steered clear of Miyajima cartridges.  I don't like their very high VTF requirements.
You don’t need oldschool conical mono stylus if your mono records are not that old.

For mono from the 60’s, 70’s etc you’d be better with advanced profile on a mono cartridge. Same about modern mono records (cut with stereo cutter head).

Do not buy low compliance Mono MC for your Technics tonearm!

The Grace F14 LC-OFC has only 2 pins, it’s a true mono cartridge, but you can change the styli ! Perfect for Technics tonearm.

Mono MM is better than Mono MC, because you can simply change styli (only on MM).

A mono cartridge with advanced profile is great, read J.Carr’s comment about it.

Those oldschool styli are only for very old record (from the 50’s and related stuff).

If you considering modern MONO MC like ZYX then I think you have mono records from the 70’s and later.
If you want to cover all mono records then an MM with different mono profiles is the best.

Grace F14 LC-OFC (MONO) is very expensive cartridge. On my sample I have RS-14US profile.    





Chakster is absolutely right. New mono records are cut with modern groove geometry and because the groove walls never diverge from one another the groove dimensions never get as large. Point being is you want a modern stylus profile. If you have seriously old Mono records prior to 1960 or so it is another story but this depends on the company. Certainly you are not going to play 78's with a modern stylus. I have plenty of modern mono records. If you love jazz and classical you have no choice. For the ones I have I am not going to bother mounting and aligning another cartridge. If I had two arms now I would keep a MM in one and an MC in the other so it still comes down to mounting another cartridge. I have heard here in this thread that some keep a cheap table on the side to run their Mono records. Not a bad solution. Since I am allergic to direct drive tables maybe I can find an old LP 12 :)
I am a long time record collector with 1000s of "seriously old" recordings from the 50s and 60s.  I already have two .7 mil carts for later records.  Now I am looking for a really good mono cartridge with a 1.0 mil stylus that would be compatible with my Technics 1200 turntable. 

@billstevenson I will check out the VAS mono.  I already have a AT SP Mono. Great cart for the money but I think they only have them in .7 and 2.5 (for 78s).
@chakster  I really want something I can buy now.
the 1.0 mil mono cartridge you want is the Miyajima Infinity mono 1.0 mil version.

i own both the 1.0 mil, and 0.7 mil versions of the Infinity Mono; each mounted on their own arm. so i can try pressings on each one, side by side.

the 1.0 mil kicks ass on early wide groove mono pressings. superb. low noise. the 0.7 mil is awesome on my 45 rpm mono reissues which i love.

i love both of these cartridges.

http://www.miyajima-lab.com/e-mono.html

Absolute Sound has a 'rave' print review on the Infinity mono in the current issue by Jacob Heilbrunn.
As Mike just suggested, the OP asked specifically about mono cartridges with 1.0 mil styli.  I am guessing he likes to listen to late 1940s/early 1950s mono LPs with wide grooves.  For those discs, spherical is just fine.  Unless you can dig up a vintage Grace mono, Miyajima is one of the few modern companies that produces a product suitable to the wide groove mono pressings.
@mikelavigne Big fan of Miyajima but I am not sure it would be a good match with the arm on my Technics 1200G, even with the KAB fluid damper. (I asked about this awhile back and no one was using a Miyajima on my table.)  I am leaning towards the Phasemation right now.  Would love to hear the Infinity sometime!
@andysf 

you could be right about the arm match, but Miyajima mono use feedback is minimal, and this cartridge is worth some investigation. everyone i know who has heard the Infinity has fallen hard for it. and it won't break the bank......which is why i bought two. :-)

i would strongly suggest reaching out to Robin Wyatt, the USA Miyajima importer, for his thoughts on your arm match. he is a very knowledgeable and helpful guy. might even let you try one.

info@robyattaudio.com

@mikelavigne Robin did think it would be OK on the Technics but I really wanted to hear that someone else was using one successfully before I sprang for one myself.  I know Robin very generously offers them for trial but I wasn't comfortable doing that.  Would make me too nervous.  I do have a Miyajima Spirit for 78s and that works OK but am not sure it is optimal.  One day I want to get a Garrard 301 with a heavy arm so I can use a broader range of carts.  Technics uses a Phasemation when they demo the 1000R table so it must be pretty good...
ok then, you’ve already gone there.

best wishes, @andysf with the Phasematron.
For those of you with knowledge of Miyajima, why are they requiring such high VTF?  I would buy one otherwise.
@billstevenson

For those of you with knowledge of Miyajima, why are they requiring such high VTF? I would buy one otherwise.
i’m not a cartridge designer. so i’d be guessing about the VTF aspects of Miyajima’s. but 3.5 grams is not crazy heavy. many MM’s are that or heavier. i’ve owned a 1.0 mil Miyajima tracking at 3.5 grams for 9 years. zero apparent groove wear and some of my records have been played many hundreds of times.

my moving coil Clearaudio GFS tracks at 2.8 grams.

lot’s more groove damage occurs when a stylus is not solid in the groove (miss-tracking) with light tracking like a VDh Colibri at 1.35 grams VTF, than when it’s solid at 3.5 grams.

keep the alignment and anti-skate right and keep the records clean. that’s most important.
If anyone needs a TT with 2 or 3 arms, it's you!
Mike,
You make good points and I agree that mistracking is worse than heavy tracking, but I can't get comfortable with 3.5 grams either.  Is your experience at that tracking force with a spherical stylus?
Bill
Bill,

all the Miyajima's use a conical diamond stylus. so that experience is with the conical shape at those tracking forces.

Mike