Woot! Decca cartridge bargain

Picked up a Decca Grey Export with a Garrott sticker on it and a metal clamp mounting bracket. It was sold untested for $270. As luck would have it, the thing works perfectly and sounds pretty darn good on a Jelco 750L with brass counterweight tracking at 1.75g on a Garrard 401.

Compared to my Paratrace Super Gold, the Grey is slightly darker with less detail but most notable is the reduced dynamic range. The Gold soaring while the Grey is more restrained. Nevertheless, the Grey is very musical with clean bass and clear metallic cymbal brushwork. Glad I snapped it up.

Anyone know what the Garrott improvements were on a Grey?


Hi noromance, ''Paratrace'' is, if I am right, the stylus shape made

by '' Expert stylus UK'' ? I thought that ''Expert stylus'' is ''only''

cartridge repair service. But it looks as if ''Paratrace Gold'' is

also made by Expert stylus. Can you explain what the case is?

Hi Nandric. Yeah... My naming nomenclature was confusing. it’s a Decca Super Gold with a Paratrace stylus fitted by John Wright. I believe the Paratrace is fitted to the London Reference. It’s a major improvement to the original VdH that was on it.
Paratrace is the closest profile to Stereohedron patented by Stanton and manufactured by Extert Stylus in the UK back in the day (correct me if i'm wrong). Every Stanton owner should know that Expert Stylus is the company specializing in refurbishing Stanton/Pickering cartridges today. Never tried Paratrace myself, but i can trust Nandric. What i know for sure is that Stereohedron is superb, but not available any longer!    
So I lowered the back of the 12" arm about 6mm in 1mm steps and the sound snapped into focus improving the aforementioned dynamics by an order of magnitude. This thing is growing on me.
The Garrott brothers' improvements to the old Deccas are legendary. I tried a couple of times to talk Ken Kessler (Hi-Fi News & Record Review, author of books on QUAD and McIntosh), a big fan, to sell me one of his. To no avail!
Garrott Brothers own P77 MM cartridge is also superb
What i know for sure is that Stereohedron is superb
Hear Hear! I have one (Stanton D881S). I came by it while helping a friend. He wanted me to service his Thorens 124, so I did. It had the Stanton. He said it was crap and throw it out; I’d never heard of it (this was many many years ago) but was curious: every unknown cartridge deserves a chance. The stylus was encrusted with black hard crud, I wasn’t even sure there was a stone under it. No solvent, no brush or machine made a dent in that crust. I had to use a scalpel blade — with extreme care — and finally carved it all away. The stone was there, bright and gleaming. Under a 60X scope, it looked good too: sharp tip, clean lines, like new (though I know more X is needed to really see wear). After all that work, I hoped it was at least decent, and with some trepidation I played a record...




@bimasta haha, nice, you can't go wrong with Doug Sax's disc mastering monitoring cartridge.