Thorens 125!

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by Max Metral, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. James Boyk

    James Boyk Guest

    Techmeister wrote: ...You will not find ANY MAstering Engineer that has
    used these for decades.

    I've known cutting engineers use them as a reference for tracking
    ability; meaning, not that they have the best ability, but that their
    ability is what one can expect to find in the hands of consumers. If the
    test pressing can't be tracked by a 681EEE, they recut. (One has to have
    *some* reference. We can't assume everyone has a V15-V/MR. But if they
    did, wouldn't it be nice: you could up the cutting level by several dB!
    The cutting engineer's estimate of the tracking ability of the
    customer's cartridge defines, as I understand it, the upper end of the
    dynamic level.

    By the way, at least *some* records can't be tracked because they're
    mis-cut. I remember a detailed paper put out by Ortofon showing grooves
    that went backwards in a famous audiophile Lp. Yes, I know this is
    "impossible"; but it happened.


    > Listen to a Grado or an AKG or similar cartridge, you will NEVER use a Stanton again.


    Any Stanton? No one mentions the 881S, which is a superb cartridge. I've
    heard one playing back a "blown" lacquer in a direct-disk session
    moments after I heard the live feed. We were goggle-eyed at how close
    the reproduction was to the mike feed!

    James Boyk
  2. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    James Boyk <boyk@caltech.edu> wrote:
    >By the way, at least *some* records can't be tracked because they're
    >mis-cut. I remember a detailed paper put out by Ortofon showing grooves
    >that went backwards in a famous audiophile Lp. Yes, I know this is
    >"impossible"; but it happened.


    It's possible and it's caused by the stylus moving in some plane other
    than the one along the radius of the disc.

    This can be because the azimuth of the cutting head isn't correct, or
    if the cutting head has some parasitic forward-back movement due to
    being badly worn out.

    >Any Stanton? No one mentions the 881S, which is a superb cartridge. I've
    >heard one playing back a "blown" lacquer in a direct-disk session
    >moments after I heard the live feed. We were goggle-eyed at how close
    >the reproduction was to the mike feed!


    You know, I have never used the 881. But for that price, you can get
    an entry-level moving coil.
    --scott


    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  3. James Boyk

    James Boyk Guest

    Scott Dorsey wrote:...I have never used the 881. But for that price,
    you can get an entry-level moving coil.

    Well, in theory there can't be any inherent superiority of moving-coils;
    for that would violate Special Relativity. Presumably the idea about
    their being better was due to two things: lower effective tip mass and
    greater integrity of the geometrical relationship between coil and
    magnet, due to the stylus assembly being integral to the cartridge. But
    modern moving-magnet types can have very low tip masses--whether as low
    as the lowest moving coils, I don't know--and at least some m-c units
    have replaceable styli.

    But, I confess, I've never been a big customer of the moving-coil hype.
    Historically, so few of them have been tonally neutral; whereas when you
    have a really fine m-m unit and have terminated it carefully, you can
    get extreme neutrality.

    I'm sure that m-c's exist that are superlative; and it wouldn't surprise
    me if the world's best cartridge were a moving-coil----but I haven't
    heard it. Of course, as "everybody" "knows," the Lp was such a faulty
    medium that one should pay no attention to it. The mere fact that it's
    the finest medium yet devised for capturing and archiving musical sound
    MUST not sway our judgment!

    James Boyk
  4. On 31 Jul 2003 20:42:44 -0400, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

    > But for that price, you can get an entry-level moving coil.


    Which is my entre to recommend the Denon DL-160, less than
    $200 new, very affordable to "retip" (actually exchange),
    output comparable to Shures and Stantons, low stray fields,
    beautiful tip shape and alignment, step-tapered cantilever.

    Tracking is excellent at 1.6 grams and exceptional at 1.75,
    still below the Young's modulus. Perceived surface noise
    is lower than any Shure or Stanton.

    And like any good dynamic cartridge, distortion is low.
    Try it; you'll like it.


    Chris Hornbeck,
    guyville{at}aristotle{dot}net
    question Authority
  5. James Boyk

    James Boyk Guest

    NNTP-Posting-Host: vpn-252-212.caltech.edu
    Mime-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    X-Trace: naig.caltech.edu 1059707825 17450 131.215.252.212 (1 Aug 2003 03:17:05 GMT)
    X-Complaints-To: abuse@caltech.edu
    NNTP-Posting-Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2003 03:17:05 +0000 (UTC)
    User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.0.2) Gecko/20030208 Netscape/7.02
    X-Accept-Language: en-us, en
    Xref: news.newshosting.com rec.audio.pro:331203

    Chris Hornbeck wrote:
    > the Denon DL-160.... Perceived surface noise is lower than any Shure or Stanton.


    This has to do w/ stylus profile, or what? (I hope it's not from rolloff
    of frequency response!)

    James Boyk
  6. Techmeister <dbNOSPAMtech@broadviewnet.net> wrote:

    > Trust me


    Why?

    --
    hank alrich * secret mountain
    audio recording * music production * sound reinforcement
    "If laughter is the best medicine let's take a double dose"
  7. On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 20:16:38 -0700, James Boyk <boyk@caltech.edu>
    wrote:

    >> the Denon DL-160.... Perceived surface noise is lower than any Shure or Stanton.

    >
    >This has to do w/ stylus profile, or what? (I hope it's not from rolloff
    >of frequency response!)


    The DL-160 has an elliptical crosssection and the contact surface
    looks to be only slightly elongated vertically; the usual suspects.

    Tracking downforces over 1.5 grams seem to help, but I'd guess
    that any obvious mental models ("pushing dust aside") would be
    too far off base.

    One working theory is that the lower the effective tip mass, the
    higher the frequency of the tip mass/ vinyl compliance resonance.
    A good nude-mounted diamond and low-mass cantilever, even with
    the effective vinyl compliance associated with an elliptical
    stylus, can have a resonant frequency above 20KHz. Cantilever
    resonances can occur as low as the audible range, but not in
    any cartridges we're discussing. So frequency response is pretty
    flat. Can't hurt.

    Line contact styli push the e.t.m./v.c. resonant frequency up as
    much as an octave, which should be even better. What gives?
    Linearity, maybe. Lower distortion may allow the listener to
    mentally separate noise and signal.

    An interesting topic, but I hesitate to extrapolate too far from
    personal experience. Probably best just to try one; they're
    common and cheap enough.

    Chris Hornbeck,
    guyville{at}aristotle{dot}net
    question Authority
  8. Fill X

    Fill X Guest

    >But, I confess, I've never been a big customer of the moving-coil hype.
    >Historically, so few of them have been tonally neutral; whereas when you
    >have a really fine m-m unit and have terminated it carefully, you can
    >get extreme neutrality.


    well, once you get into the high end MC's you can get a lot of detail, maybe
    it's hyped maybe it's not. Something like a Koetsu tends a certain kind of
    romantic sound on purpose. I find it appealing but I don;t know if I'd call it
    neutral. My Lyra Helikon SL, on the other hand, is pretty strong in my system
    in all respects. It doesnt track as well as a new v15 but it has a lot more
    detail without sounding overly puffed up in any one frequency range. Turntables
    are all about syncronicity between table, arm cartridge and phono stage so I
    think a lot of our experiences don't translate.


    P h i l i p

    ______________________________

    "I'm too fucking busy and vice-versa"

    - Dorothy Parker
  9. Skunkie

    Skunkie Guest

    "Max Metral" <max@nospam.net> wrote in message news:<vifk0uo8ch26cf@corp.supernews.com>...
    > So I think I bought this Thorens 125:
    >
    > http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3036522698&category=3283
    >
    > After the 33/45 switching problems of my 160 and the lack of built in strobe
    > I thought it would be good to get a 125 instead for my transcription work.
    > Anybody have any recommendations for what I should change on this 125?
    > Looks like it could use a new cartridge. Previously folks have recommended
    > the Grado DJ-100 and the Audio-Technica AT-440. Same recommendations for
    > this arm (which I don't yet know what it is)?
    >
    > Thanks all, and especially Scott D who always responds. :)
    > --Max


    The stock arm on the 125 is best suited to high compliance carts, so
    the Grados are not the best choice. I'd be inclined to try some of the
    'best buy' MM carts in your Thorens. A Nagoka MP-55, Rega Elys or if
    you can find one, a Shure Ultra 400. The Grados need a ton of tonearm
    so work right, so unless you have a super table with a Fidelity
    Research arm on it and like cheap carts, there are better things than
    the Grado out there.

    And I agree with the other posters - what is up with the Blue Point?
    It used to be a good cheap cart. Now over $200? That puts it in range
    of a Signet OC9.

    -Skunkie
  10. James Boyk

    James Boyk Guest

    Sorry; I can't understand what you're saying. What reason are you
    putting forward for the lower subjective surface noise? Or are you
    simply presenting it as an observation? The tip-mass resonance of the
    Stanton 881S, if I remember correctly, is above 20kHz, by the way.

    Remember Special Relativity, folks: if there's a difference between m-c
    and m-m -- and there may be -- it's *not* inherent!

    James Boyk
  11. On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 22:16:24 -0700, James Boyk <boyk@caltech.edu>
    wrote:

    >Sorry; I can't understand what you're saying. What reason are you
    >putting forward for the lower subjective surface noise? Or are you
    >simply presenting it as an observation?


    Yes. I'd have to know a lot more about the subject than I do
    to make any causal connection. That way lies madness.

    >Remember Special Relativity, folks: if there's a difference between m-c
    >and m-m -- and there may be -- it's *not* inherent!


    Sure it is. So-called "moving magnet" generators aren't. They're
    variable reluctance, which is only very approximately linear.
    Wonder why you never see any other transducers made that way,
    that's why.

    They're also a large inductive source impedance; not a fatal
    flaw, but not ideal. Flat frequency response must be approximated
    by balancing the rolloff from the inductive source with the
    low-Q resonance of the source L and load C and R.

    In contrast, dynamic ("moving coil") generators have a low flat-ish
    source impedance that doesn't interact with loading or add another
    resonance.

    BTW, this second difference can be removed by loading the higher
    Z cartridge with a suitably low resistive load. Usually a value
    on the coupla-K ohm range will provide the RIAA 75uS pole. Removes
    a *lot* of the generic differences, but not all.

    Chris Hornbeck,
    guyville{at}aristotle{dot}net
    question Authority
  12. James Boyk

    James Boyk Guest

    James Boyk wrote: Sorry; I can't understand what you're saying. What
    reason are you
    putting forward for the lower subjective surface noise? Or are you
    simply presenting it as an observation?

    Chris Hornbeck wrote: Yes. I'd have to know a lot more about the subject
    than I do
    to make any causal connection. That way lies madness.

    Gosh, you seemed to put it forth as an absolute truth; now it's
    down-rated to... what? An observation about one particular m-c cartridge?


    >>Remember Special Relativity, folks: if there's a difference

    between m-c and m-m -- and there may be -- it's *not* inherent!

    > Sure it is.


    An inherent difference between "coil stationary and magnet moving" and
    "magnet stationary and coil moving" would violate Special Relativity.

    Are you really asserting that all m-m units are variable reluctance?

    James Boyk
  13. Arny Krueger

    Arny Krueger Guest

    "Chris Hornbeck" <guyville@removethisaristotle.net> wrote in message
    news:6vujiv004g61kl0t776v83oc42ic3plbhf@4ax.com
    > On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 22:16:24 -0700, James Boyk <boyk@caltech.edu>
    > wrote:


    >> Sorry; I can't understand what you're saying. What reason are you
    >> putting forward for the lower subjective surface noise? Or are you
    >> simply presenting it as an observation?

    >
    > Yes. I'd have to know a lot more about the subject than I do
    > to make any causal connection.


    Lower LP surface noise absent some kind of high frequency dip or rolloff
    generally comes from smooth, balanced response (ideally both, since smooth
    but tipped-up is a possiblity and not good) and a stylus that stays out of
    the dirty and damaged parts of the groove, and/or does a better job of
    averaging the groove wall vertically, and/or does a better job of
    effectively smoothing out the groove wall.

    The benefits of smoothing and averaging the walls of the groove were
    demonstrated by the ELP laser pickup. It did neither, and is often
    recommended without digital noise reduction following it.
  14. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Chris Hornbeck <guyville@removethisaristotle.net> wrote:
    >
    >One working theory is that the lower the effective tip mass, the
    >higher the frequency of the tip mass/ vinyl compliance resonance.
    >A good nude-mounted diamond and low-mass cantilever, even with
    >the effective vinyl compliance associated with an elliptical
    >stylus, can have a resonant frequency above 20KHz. Cantilever
    >resonances can occur as low as the audible range, but not in
    >any cartridges we're discussing. So frequency response is pretty
    >flat. Can't hurt.
    >
    >Line contact styli push the e.t.m./v.c. resonant frequency up as
    >much as an octave, which should be even better. What gives?
    >Linearity, maybe. Lower distortion may allow the listener to
    >mentally separate noise and signal.


    Line contact styli are a huge win for me for transcription work, because
    they track worn records much better than styli with more contact area.
    So measured distortion on a square wave test may be higher, but the actual
    distortion on a typical pressing is lower because of the reduced tracking
    error.

    >An interesting topic, but I hesitate to extrapolate too far from
    >personal experience. Probably best just to try one; they're
    >common and cheap enough.


    I have not tried any of the current Denons at all. I probably should.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  15. On 31 Jul 2003 21:49:06 -0700, c_taur@hotmail.com (Skunkie) wrote:


    >The stock arm on the 125 is best suited to high compliance carts, so
    >the Grados are not the best choice. I'd be inclined to try some of the
    >'best buy' MM carts in your Thorens. A Nagoka MP-55, Rega Elys or if
    >you can find one, a Shure Ultra 400. The Grados need a ton of tonearm
    >so work right, so unless you have a super table with a Fidelity
    >Research arm on it and like cheap carts, there are better things than
    >the Grado out there.


    Except that there is no 'stock' Thorens arm on this one. It's a
    relatively massy Sony.

    Kal
  16. On Fri, 01 Aug 2003 05:50:21 -0700, James Boyk
    <boyk@performancerecordings.com> wrote:

    >Gosh, you seemed to put it forth as an absolute truth; now it's
    >down-rated to... what? An observation about one particular m-c cartridge?


    More like some possible explanations. Relationships that I
    know to be true, but not that I know to explain things, fersure.
    I'm sorry I don't write better; it's HARD to write clearly
    and I greatly admire folks who can.

    >An inherent difference between "coil stationary and magnet moving" and
    >"magnet stationary and coil moving" would violate Special Relativity.


    I'm guessing you really mean Maxwell here, but I get your point.
    I just don't agree that it's applicable. Do you remember the
    Lirpa cartridge that was a little car riding around on a fixed
    record? Works the same, but not the best engineering choice.

    >Are you really asserting that all m-m units are variable reluctance?


    Yes. And will be until magnets can be made lighter than coils.



    Chris Hornbeck,
    guyville{at}aristotle{dot}net
    question Authority
  17. On Fri, 1 Aug 2003 09:28:22 -0400, "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com>
    wrote:

    >The benefits of smoothing and averaging the walls of the groove were
    >demonstrated by the ELP laser pickup. It did neither, and is often
    >recommended without digital noise reduction following it.


    I've also heard that the most difficult part of bringing one
    to market was the noise reduction *built into* the player.
    Cleanliness at this level is really, really close to
    Godliness.

    For discussion: the walls of the groove may not actually
    contain the right information. Cutting and conventional
    playing both involve large plastic deformations, implying
    that information is stored in a more distributed way
    deeper into the media.

    Sounds fuzzy, I know, but it ties into ideas of long-term
    memory in the media, easily observable, and the bumblebee
    impossibility of the whole enterprise.



    Chris Hornbeck,
    guyville{at}aristotle{dot}net
    question Authority
  18. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Chris Hornbeck <guyville@removethisaristotle.net> wrote:
    >On Fri, 1 Aug 2003 09:28:22 -0400, "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>The benefits of smoothing and averaging the walls of the groove were
    >>demonstrated by the ELP laser pickup. It did neither, and is often
    >>recommended without digital noise reduction following it.

    >
    >I've also heard that the most difficult part of bringing one
    >to market was the noise reduction *built into* the player.
    >Cleanliness at this level is really, really close to
    >Godliness.
    >
    >For discussion: the walls of the groove may not actually
    >contain the right information. Cutting and conventional
    >playing both involve large plastic deformations, implying
    >that information is stored in a more distributed way
    >deeper into the media.


    That's both the good thing and the bad thing about the Finial. With the
    laser, even if the groove is totally hacked to hell, if you can find even
    a small section that is intact you can get a good clean playback out of
    it. On the other hand, it does not track the groove in the same way that
    a stylus does, so in some ways the distortion due to tracking errors is
    higher and difficult to model.

    >Sounds fuzzy, I know, but it ties into ideas of long-term
    >memory in the media, easily observable, and the bumblebee
    >impossibility of the whole enterprise.


    It's basically a matter of whether you want an object to measure the whole
    groove or a part of the groove, or just a few parts of the groove. The
    Finial is a nice machine to have in the arsenal, just as it's nice to have
    both elliptical and fineline cartridges.
    --scott

    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  19. Arny Krueger

    Arny Krueger Guest

    "Chris Hornbeck" <guyville@removethisaristotle.net> wrote in message
    news:do8livsoukjbnmmgeepg8hhfn11ptvc8ai@4ax.com
    > On Fri, 1 Aug 2003 09:28:22 -0400, "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> The benefits of smoothing and averaging the walls of the groove were
    >> demonstrated by the ELP laser pickup. It did neither, and is often
    >> recommended without digital noise reduction following it.

    >
    > I've also heard that the most difficult part of bringing one
    > to market was the noise reduction *built into* the player.


    I don't believe there was any NR built into the player. At one point they
    sold it packaged with well-known NR software, which one has slipped my mind.

    http://www.elpj.com currently seems to say nothing. Perhaps including the
    software was too much of a frank admission. At other times it was sold with
    a well-known record cleaning machine.

    > Cleanliness at this level is really, really close to
    > Godliness.


    I don't think man can get LPs that clean!

    ;-)

    > For discussion: the walls of the groove may not actually
    > contain the right information. Cutting and conventional
    > playing both involve large plastic deformations, implying
    > that information is stored in a more distributed way
    > deeper into the media.


    I think that this is accepted as fact.

    > Sounds fuzzy, I know, but it ties into ideas of long-term
    > memory in the media, easily observable, and the bumblebee
    > impossibility of the whole enterprise.


    Vinyl is a legacy format, pure and simple. We have something much better now
    for the purpose. There is still unique music that is trapped in vinyl,
    available no other way until transcribed.
  20. Techmeister

    Techmeister Guest

    what lathe and cutter?

    You never told me you were a vinyl junky ?

    A 681, shades of 1975, dude!

    In article <bgc8qu$vg$1@panix2.panix.com>, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

    > Techmeister <dbNOSPAMtech@broadviewnet.net> wrote:
    > > Trust me, I have only been doing this since 1969. You will not find ANY
    > > MAstering
    > >Engineer that has used these for decades.

    >
    > Actually, I have one rigged on the arm on my lathe, because I consider it
    > a good way to judge trackability. If it'll play on a 681, it'll play on
    > typical consumer gear.
    >
    > I know other folks who use M44s for the same thing, and one guy who had
    > some horrible ceramic jukebox thing.
    >
    > >Listen to a Grado or an AKG or similar cartridge, you will NEVER use a
    > >Stanton again.

    >
    > Unfortunately there are very limited 78 styli for these. When you want
    > a 3.8 mil, or a ball stylus, or you need to play a stamper, the 681EEE
    > is sometimes the only thing you can get a stylus for.
    > --scott


    --
    David 'db' Butler, Consultant
    Acoustics by db
    "...all the rest are just brokers"
    now on the web at http://www.db-engineering.com
    Boston, Mass
    Phone 617 969-0585 Fax 617 964-1590

Share This Page