My son has gotten
into my old records, and we have resurrected my mother-in-law's Technics SL-220
which (after cleanup with contact cleaner, new belt, and insertion of RCA jacks
in place of captive phono cords) is mechanically functioning well (ie, holds
The question is:
replace the whole cartridge, or keep the current/original cartridge and just
replace the stylus?
cartridge is a Shure M91ED. We have
tried two stylii so far, the original Shure "Hi-Track" (I'm pretty
sure the stylus has never been changed and I don't know how many hours it has
on it) and a cheap-o Pfanstiehl generic relacement. We like the original stylus better. We have aligned the cartridge with the
original Technics "tool" and have moved tracking force gradually up
to 2.25 grams (it sounds better heavier, hopefully we're not damaging the
records). Neither stylus sounds terrific
in my book. Bass is indistinct, and
overall the sound lacks detail - it's ho-hum.
The funny thing is
that I pulled out my old but almost unused Denon DP-26F and it sounds fantastic
by comparison. Tight, solid bass,
terrific definition in the highs. This
was a cheap turntable in the day. The
cartridge (per LPGear it's a Denon MG-2721 MM cartridge) can't be replaced or
aligned, and it accepts only one stylus (DSN-81). Tracking force (which we measured at 3.25
grams!) can't be changed and neither can anti-skate.
My preference is
generally for "accuracy" over "warmth". I'm hoping for
under $300 for a new cartridge/stylus, and under $200 for just the stylus.
Associated gear is
nicely-matched solid-state from 15 years ago: Classe CP25 pre-amp with good
add-in phono stage, Classe CA-200 power amp, Celestion S300 speakers.
So: replace the
cartridge, or buy a new stylus? Or just
keep using the DP-26F?
And given my
preferences among the few things I've tried above, any directions on WHICH
cartridge or stylus?
Thank you for any
p.s. I am posting a
similar message at another site, apologies if you viewed it there also.