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Sorry @rocky1313 , i mean if you want the best then look for Pickering XSV-3000 or higher models in the Pickering line. It’s not about how the looks like, but about the sound.
Your XV-15 is entry level Pickering, just the basics, nothing special. Any model from XSV-3000 and higher are much better (different generator, different cantilever, different stylus profile), the XSV-5000 and XSV-7500 are truly amazing cartridges.
Your statement is false and seems like you don’t know the Stanton/Pickering models very well. It might be fantastic cartridge for you, but it reality it’s not a fantastic cartridge at all. Just a mediocre entry level cartridge that you can buy for $50 today.
Stanton 881s mkII (Stereohedron nude stylus) has been used for mastering by people like Doug Sax, not the lower 681s EEE with bonded Elliptical stylus.
But even 881s mkII wasn’t the top model (today price is about $300-400), there was 980 ans 981 models above the 881s. These 3 models are great, but the 980 and 981 are High-End even today. The price for each of them is double compared to 881s. The main differense of those 3 models is Stereohedron Stylus tip.
The pickering equivalent to Stanton 881s, 980 and 981 are Pickering XSV-3000, XSV-5000, XSV-7500. Any of them are worth the investment today. The stylus on all of them is Nude Stereohedron.
More information about Pickering line:
And about XV-15 models:
About Stanton Pickering Cartridge-Stylus Compatibility:
@chakster, I do not know why I am wasting my time with you, (your rudeness does not really warrant a response), but I guess the internet is full of misinformation and we do not need more... Before any of the models you mention were around, the XV15 and Stanton 681 were an industry reference. Stanton 681eee MkII for instance had a stereohedron tip
The last iteration, the mkIII was elliptical. At that time, I believe that the 881 had replaced the 681 as the reference in the Stanton lineup.
The 681eee was hand-selected and carefully matched by Stanton. it was an upgrade from the otherwise similar 680 body. The XV15 was also similar (Pickering was a sister company) but had different styli. the XV15 625, 750, 1200 ( I believe there was also a 1800) were all top of the line at a given time. These are interchangeable between the 680s and the XV15, with the caveat that at some point Stanton and Pickering implemented a change in the angle of the bodies. This will result in the wrong VTA if one does not have the correct stylus. These are great sounding cartridges. Is there better? Yes, there always is...
The fact that these cartridges became linked to DJs for obvious marketing reasons late in the history of these glorious companies does not change the above statements.You are welcome to believe what you want to believe about the sound of these cartridges, I could care less. If you indeed think they are trash, please send me all your records that have been mastered with a 681... I will happily relieve you of that burden. The OP already has the cartridge. It is worth a try IMHO. He or she could easily make up his/her own mind. My answer to the original post is that it will take real money to better this cartridge if it has a top stylus (even the elliptical 625 is quite good).
Pickering XV15 originally is an entry level cartridge with entry level bonded stylus and huge heavy cantilever, yes you can upgrade the stylus, but not with the aftermarket bootleg from LP Gear. Elliptical stylus is not an upgrade, maybe over Spherical only.
I have posted a link about Stanton Pickering Cartridge-Stylus Compatibility, everyone can check which original stylus is compatible.
What have you posted here @stevecham any useful information exept that cheapest entry level cartridge in your opinion and for your ears is better than top of the line models from the same brand? Ok, it’s your opinion, but the manufacturer designed much better cartridges for much higher price, because they are better and because there was a demand for a better sounding cartridges back in the day.
The real upgrade is Stereohedron stylus.
There is a company in the UK manufactured styli for Stanton/Pickering, the company is Expert Stylus, they can retip any Stanton/Pickering cartridges with their new Paratrace stylus (very similar to Stereohedron).
Bonded Elliptical stylus can’t compete with Stereohedron or ANY LineContact type stylus. Spherical stylus is garbade.
When you got FACTS that you don’t like to face, you call other members snobs ?
Pickering XV and Stanton 680 series are Moving Iron cartridges. The ones you keep mentioning are MM. The styli are not interchangeable between the two. Really Chakster, it is OK to acknowledge that you have not heard these cartridges with their top styli, nobody will think less of you (maybe). Anyway, like I said, I am wasting my time. Hopefully the OP or anyone else will be adventurous enough to try this cartridge, they will be pleasantly surprised. Maybe you should give it a try too...
Dear @fsellet @stevecham @rocky1313 : Of course you are rigth, the XV 15 and the 681 were not entry level cartridges but ignorance is what makes some one to open his mouth with no single idea about.
Even the XV15 has two models with Stereohedron stylus tip and the 681 you named is really good been a moving iron design when the XV15 is a moving magnet but both are really good.
@orpheus10 " It must be the economy; not long ago cartridges of that nature would not even be discussed in this forum. "
not exactly, in reality because our ignorance levels about ( mine included. ). Years go discovered for me the MM/MI lterntive and started tht today so long MM thred in this forum.
Exist truly humble MM/MI/IM vintage cartridges that puts on shame many today designs including some LOMC designs. I know you are not interested in analog/LP but anyway read the ADC 26/27 tread/review:
Btw, I enjoy both mediums: digital and analog.
Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
V15 was the entry level cartridge for Pickering, not the XV15. None of the styli I mentioned was a bonded elliptical. I suggest Google: it is a useful source of information for people who do not know the facts.
Your source for information is full of errors and i have no idea why do you trust it.
Stanton "EEE" styli are Elliptical as i said, all entry level cartridges have Bonded (not Nude) styli, there are better styli available from Stanton/Pickering as an upgdade, but those carts are MI and not all styli are compatible.
Stereohedron styly market with "S" in the model number, not with "E". I would recommend you to look at the diamond under macro lens.
Go to this page and download original manual for Pickering XV15 and Brochure for XV-15 and try to find ANY Stereohedron stylus in the list of different styli for this model of Pickering XV15. You will find Conical and Elliptical ONLY. Cheap styli are all BONDED.
I have posted a link for ALL Stanton Pickering Cartridge-Stylus Compatibility in my FIRST post here, so what are you trying to say to me? Here is a link again: https://www.kabusa.com/STANTONX.HTM
I’ve heard this cartridge 15-20 years ago along with many other entry level Stanton cartridges (MM or MI). The only difference between me and you is that i have upgraded to the top Stanton / Pickering over the years.
Dear @fsellet : As you said don’t waste your time. Ignorance levels always speaks for any one of us:
and every day is a learning one if we are willing to learn.
Even the XV15 has two models with Stereohedron stylus tip
The STEREOHEDRON stylus is always marked "S" - this is what i said. While the other poster pointed me to the "EEE" styli and claimed they are Stereohedron, but "E" is for Elliptical only. If the OP has XV-15 with rare Stereohedron tip (which i doubt) then it's better for him that any Spherical or Elliptical.
Now you both are better to talk to each other, because your opinions are contradict to each other regarding XV-15 being MM or MI , pretty funny, one of you pretedning to be an expert.
@rauliruegas ... and the 681 you named is really good been a moving iron design when the XV15 is a moving magnet but both are really good.
@fsellet ... Pickering XV and Stanton 680 series are Moving Iron cartridges. The ones you keep mentioning are MM.
Maybe eventually you will buy a XV 750 or 1200 and listen to it. Then you will know...
Stanton was my first cartridge i’ve bought myself many decades ago, so i’m very well experienced with products of this brand. In 2019 i’m not gonna buy any cartridge that was the highest stanrard in the 60’s or ently level models from the 70’s when many superior cartridges from the 80’s available from the same brand.
Why do you think i need any of the inferior models now if i have signature Stanton SC-100 WOS with Sapphire coated cantilever and Stereohedron II nude diamond ? This is my favorite Stanton cartridge by far. I also had Stanton 980 low impedance version. These are the best cartridges made by Stanton if you don’t know. Those cartridges never had anything, but nude Stereohedron or Stereohedron II diamonds.
As for the Pickering i like low impedance XLZ/4500S right now.
And from a bunch of cheaper models i enjoyed Stanton 881 mkIIs and Pickering XSV-3000 and they are best buy in my opinion of the budget is tight.
Not sure where you came from on this forum, but in the other threads you will find many pictures of my personal cartridges with some nice images of the diamonds on my macro lens.
Personally, i have MI cartridges (Grado Signature XTZ and ADC TRX-2), but i prefer my MM over MI, because i like the sound, not a type of cartridge.
My philosophy is "If it's not better than digital, why bother". That's not snobbery but just my fact of life; who needs the problems of records when the convenience of CD's is at their fingertips; especially when it sounds better.
My analog, that I went through great trouble and expense, sounds better than my digital; it compels me to listen, I finally discovered what the fuss was about.
Since Pickering, Stanton, and Shure, plus Empire, were fantastic cartridges before CD, I'm quite familiar with all of them, but they don't exceed good digital, and that's my point; the analog must exceed the digital, otherwise, why bother?