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Worst tracking cartridge on the market.

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Anonymous
October 7, 2004 12:12:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I am looking for the worst tracking cartridge on the market. I need to
QC records at our pressing plant. My main cartridge is a Stanton
681EEE. This does moderately well at high (12" single) levels and
moderately well at LP type levels. It's a good middle of the road
cartridge.

I have a Shure V15typeV which doesn't track high levels well but does
very well at LP levels.

I have a Shure M44 which tracks everything well.

I need a cartridge which doesn't track a 2mil LP groove very well. I
have run up against problems where customers have claimed problems
that I am unable to duplicate despite trying wildly different tracking
forces.





Paul Gold
www.vinylmastering.net
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 12:51:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> I need a cartridge which doesn't track a 2mil LP groove very well.
> I have run up against problems where customers have claimed
> problems that I am unable to duplicate despite trying wildly different
> tracking forces.

I hate to say this, as I like the sound of Deccas very much, but have you
considered a Decca?

When I was selling them back in the late-'70s/early-'80s, they had all sorts of
tracking problems, simply because their design resulted in relatively low
compliance and limited cantilever excursion. They would rip right through a boy
choir on the first play, permanently damaging the LP.

The newer ones are better, of course, but I doubt they're equal to a Shure
SuperTrack.

PS: Your customers' problems might very well be the result of defective pickups,
incorrect setup, dirty styli, etc, etc, etc. My experience has been that when
you actually see what the customer is doing with the claimed-defective product,
the defect often turns out to be customer-induced.
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 4:15:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Paul Gold" <plush@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:84046e9f.0410070712.1e2d063b@posting.google.com

> I am looking for the worst tracking cartridge on the market. I need to
> QC records at our pressing plant. My main cartridge is a Stanton
> 681EEE. This does moderately well at high (12" single) levels and
> moderately well at LP type levels. It's a good middle of the road
> cartridge.

> I have a Shure V15typeV which doesn't track high levels well but does
> very well at LP levels.

Must be damaged or in the world's worst arm.

> I have a Shure M44 which tracks everything well.

Mine seems to be pretty mediocre.

> I need a cartridge which doesn't track a 2mil LP groove very well. I
> have run up against problems where customers have claimed problems
> that I am unable to duplicate despite trying wildly different tracking
> forces.

One approach would be to try some true bottom-feeder specials - you know the
ceramic element phono cartridges in really inexpensive phonographs.

The three Pfanstiehl ceramic cartridges listed here might be a good starting
point in your quest for exceptional LP tracking mediocrity:
http://www.kabusa.com/frameset.htm?phoncart.htm

Among popular Hifi cartridge brands, my recollection is that Audio Empire
and Pickering were among the worst brands in the days of vinyl.

http://www.adelcom.net/EmpireCart1.htm
Related resources
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 9:09:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Paul Gold" <plush@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:84046e9f.0410070712.1e2d063b@posting.google.com...
> I am looking for the worst tracking cartridge on the market. I need to
> QC records at our pressing plant. My main cartridge is a Stanton
> 681EEE. This does moderately well at high (12" single) levels and
> moderately well at LP type levels. It's a good middle of the road
> cartridge.
>
> I have a Shure V15typeV which doesn't track high levels well but does
> very well at LP levels.
>
> I have a Shure M44 which tracks everything well.
>
> I need a cartridge which doesn't track a 2mil LP groove very well. I
> have run up against problems where customers have claimed problems
> that I am unable to duplicate despite trying wildly different tracking
> forces.

Try a 1970s-vintage Pickering, preferably mounted on a highly resonant tone
arm. It also helps if the stylus is worn.

Thrift stores are your friend.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 12:06:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm really on a quest to learn more about
the always moving vinyl target. I'm not having a problem with one
particular customer. I know that most of the time it's the customers
fault but they rarely think they are stupid. Most of the time I can
fix a "problem" when it occurs. It seems like the most common one is
crest factor on kick drums. Surprisingly I haven't had many problems
with vertical excursions.

I am also compiling a list of cartridges and their weakneses. Some are
quite strange.




Paul Gold
www.vinylmastering.net
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 3:27:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 7 Oct 2004 08:12:05 -0700, plush@worldnet.att.net (Paul Gold)
wrote:

>I am looking for the worst tracking cartridge on the market. I need to
>QC records at our pressing plant. My main cartridge is a Stanton
>681EEE. This does moderately well at high (12" single) levels and
>moderately well at LP type levels. It's a good middle of the road
>cartridge.
>
>I have a Shure V15typeV which doesn't track high levels well but does
>very well at LP levels.
-- Then the V15 V must be mounted into a wrong arm. I have a mint
stylus (tracks exceptionally at 1 g) and also, I managed to repair the
former broken one. This one I use on really worn records of all types,
at 2 g; it rings everywhere, having a brighter sound now, but it
still tracks flawlessly.
>I have a Shure M44 which tracks everything well.

I have it only because it has some 10 mV output, right for the DJs but
the stylus is a standard. If you play this one at higher forces, it's
forced to track but how.

>I need a cartridge which doesn't track a 2mil LP groove very well. I
>have run up against problems where customers have claimed problems
>that I am unable to duplicate despite trying wildly different tracking
>forces.

-- A short and hard cantilever type cartridge mounted onto a light and
resonant arm is a bingo.

If you happen to find some of Shure's test records, the "Obstacle"
test records, having very oddly cut grooves, it will help you to
compare tracking abilities. -- I'm trying to pick one but I hope I'll
pick some somewhere.

What your customers do with records <given the recent vogue to do all
except eating them>?

Edi Zubovic, Crikvenica, Croatia

PS. Scott, I tried to contact you by e-mail twice.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 4:33:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Paul Gold wrote:

>
> I need a cartridge which doesn't track a 2mil LP groove very well. I
> have run up against problems where customers have claimed problems
> that I am unable to duplicate despite trying wildly different tracking
> forces.

As I remember, the worst tracking cartridge I used was one of the BSR
ceramic cartridges, something like an SC5M in one of their cheap single
play turntables that they made in the late 70's.

Cheers.

James.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 4:33:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

James Perrett <James.R.Perrett@soc.soton.ac.uk> wrote:
>Paul Gold wrote:
>
>> I need a cartridge which doesn't track a 2mil LP groove very well. I
>> have run up against problems where customers have claimed problems
>> that I am unable to duplicate despite trying wildly different tracking
>> forces.
>
>As I remember, the worst tracking cartridge I used was one of the BSR
>ceramic cartridges, something like an SC5M in one of their cheap single
>play turntables that they made in the late 70's.

I bet the arm helped, though.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 5:30:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Paul Gold"

>I am looking for the worst tracking cartridge on the market.

** Get either the Decca London ( very expensive) or a piezo ceramic
cartridge ( dirt cheap ) - both are guaranteed groove straighteners.


> I need to
> QC records at our pressing plant. My main cartridge is a Stanton
> 681EEE. This does moderately well at high (12" single) levels and
> moderately well at LP type levels. It's a good middle of the road
> cartridge.
>
> I have a Shure V15typeV which doesn't track high levels well but does
> very well at LP levels.


** Normally the best tracking cartridge in the world.


> I have a Shure M44 which tracks everything well.

** Huh ?


> I need a cartridge which doesn't track a 2mil LP groove very well. I
> have run up against problems where customers have claimed problems
> that I am unable to duplicate despite trying wildly different tracking
> forces.


** Sounds like you are supplying the disco market. Some DJs would try to
use a bent nail to play records with and then complain it was the records
fault.

Many DJs still use turntables with piezo ceramic cartridges - these will
just NOT track loud bass, they distort or jump out right of the groove.




............. Phil
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 7:36:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Edi Zubovic <edi.zubovic.@ri.htnet.hr> wrote in message news:<7hmcm0deeub5ba9n4c4pi7iouru03n0clu@4ax.com>...
> -- Then the V15 V must be mounted into a wrong arm.

It's on an SME 3009 on a Thorens TD-125. Seems like a classic combo. I
have the Shure test records, the CBS records, the Hi-Fi News record,
The NAB record...

The Stanton 681EEE is on an SME3012 on the lathe.

The Shure M44 is on a Technics 1200

I cut both high level DJ records and LP's of mostly the rock variety.
I never let the groove go shallower than 1.8 mil or so.

I realize this is probably an excersise in frustration but the more I
know the better off I am. In the end you are engineering for the
customer. Part of being good is avoiding problems and correcting them
quickly when they do arise. I have a number of groove shapes that make
me nervous when I see them. I want to add to the list.

Paul Gold
www.vinylmastering.net
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 10:41:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Paul Gold" <plush@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:84046e9f.0410070712.1e2d063b@posting.google.com...
> I have a Shure V15typeV which doesn't track high levels well but does
> very well at LP levels.
>
> I have a Shure M44 which tracks everything well.

If your V15V doesn't track better than your M44 at all levels, I suggest
something is seriously wrong. Better find out what!

TonyP.
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 2:54:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 7 Oct 2004 08:12:05 -0700, plush@worldnet.att.net (Paul Gold)
wrote:

>I am looking for the worst tracking cartridge on the market. I need to
>QC records at our pressing plant. My main cartridge is a Stanton
>681EEE. This does moderately well at high (12" single) levels and
>moderately well at LP type levels. It's a good middle of the road
>cartridge.
>
>I have a Shure V15typeV which doesn't track high levels well but does
>very well at LP levels.
>
>I have a Shure M44 which tracks everything well.
>
>I need a cartridge which doesn't track a 2mil LP groove very well. I
>have run up against problems where customers have claimed problems
>that I am unable to duplicate despite trying wildly different tracking
>forces.

This sounds like a very interesting issue for this newsgroup. The
variety of responses so far make me ask: how is mistracking to be
determined?

Would *any* cartridge at some arbitrary downforce be especially
valid? Or would a particular downforce for some common cartridge
(in a suitable arm) be a more useful indicator?

Good fortune, and keep that vinyl cookin,

Chris Hornbeck
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 4:30:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 8 Oct 2004 15:36:45 -0700, plush@worldnet.att.net (Paul Gold)
wrote:

>Edi Zubovic <edi.zubovic.@ri.htnet.hr> wrote in message news:<7hmcm0deeub5ba9n4c4pi7iouru03n0clu@4ax.com>...
>> -- Then the V15 V must be mounted into a wrong arm.
>
>It's on an SME 3009 on a Thorens TD-125. Seems like a classic combo. I
> have the Shure test records, the CBS records, the Hi-Fi News record,
>The NAB record...
>
>The Stanton 681EEE is on an SME3012 on the lathe.
>
>The Shure M44 is on a Technics 1200
>
>I cut both high level DJ records and LP's of mostly the rock variety.
>I never let the groove go shallower than 1.8 mil or so.
>
>I realize this is probably an excersise in frustration but the more I
>know the better off I am. In the end you are engineering for the
>customer. Part of being good is avoiding problems and correcting them
>quickly when they do arise. I have a number of groove shapes that make
>me nervous when I see them. I want to add to the list.
>
>Paul Gold
>www.vinylmastering.net

-----Well actually I've been at your webpage now, hats off; and now I
think I see what you'd like to find out more clearly -- when a
customer has a question, you have the answer even in the oddest cases.

For that purposes, I don't know for real which cartridge tracks the
worst but yes, I would try to find an el cheapo BSR cartridge
(crystal) having one of the worst sounding sapphire stylus and system
I know of and I'd try to find some better sounding ceramic cartridges
like Dual 650 or similar, as they are operating differently in
comparison with normal moving magnet, moving iron or moving coil
cartridges. The ceramic one I think would tell you more of velocities
than a cartridge of other type.

But I've got curious about your customers' claims if you mind to
mention some of them. This would be more precise for determining the
answer.

PS I see that you are in New York now. In one of of the above threads,
a low frequency vibration and noise have been discussed -- just
curious, what is the LF noise level in your area given that many
underground and other trains and traffic I see in every movie 'bout
the N.Y. City?

Edi Zubovic, Crikvenica, Croatia
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 11:47:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Chris Hornbeck" <chrishornbeckremovethis@att.net> wrote in message
news:k66em09m8gfaqtal0qrkbsppa10dmbcdjn@4ax.com
> On 7 Oct 2004 08:12:05 -0700, plush@worldnet.att.net (Paul Gold)


> This sounds like a very interesting issue for this newsgroup. The
> variety of responses so far make me ask: how is mistracking to be
> determined?

My understanding is that there are at least three fairly distinct kinds of
mistracking:

(1) Amplitude-induced, noticeable at low frequencies

(2) Acceleration-induced, mostly noticeable at mid and high frequencies

(3) Needle geometry-induced, primarily a high frequency problem

The other answer is that the AES published a ton of articles about playing
vinyl during the 60s and 70s. If I had the time, I'd re-read all the papers
in the archives...
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 11:47:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> (3) Needle geometry-induced, primarily a high frequency problem.

Steel or thorn? <grin>
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 1:11:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Arny Krueger <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:
>
>The other answer is that the AES published a ton of articles about playing
>vinyl during the 60s and 70s. If I had the time, I'd re-read all the papers
>in the archives...

The good ones are all collected into a two-volume compendium that is something
like fifty dollars, and a steal at the price.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 6:27:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <10ml14q3vk146bd@corp.supernews.com> williams@nwlink.com writes:

> > (3) Needle geometry-induced, primarily a high frequency problem.
>
> Steel or thorn? <grin>

Yeah, I suppose I could do a little work on the governor on my spring
wound Victrola and get it to run at 33-1/3 or 45 RPM.

This discussion reminds me of a thread a few years back about tracking
and mistracking. Apparently some DJ records are cut with the intent
that the stylus will jump out of the groove, and they test those using
very good-tracking systems to be sure that they'll mistrack on
anything. I don't see the point, probalby so they can say "If your
system can track THIS record, it's a really good system."


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 6:28:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> This discussion reminds me of a thread a few years back about
> tracking and mistracking. Apparently some DJ records are cut
> with the intent that the stylus will jump out of the groove, and they
> test those using very good-tracking systems to be sure that they'll
> mistrack on anything. I don't see the point, probalby so they can
> say "If your system can track THIS record, it's a really good system."

The most-important mistracking occurs at mid and high frequencies, when the
stylus/cantilever inertia is too great to follow the groove at the set tracking
force (F = ma). The stylus bounces out, then slams back into the groove. Not
only does it sound bad, but it damages the groove, sometimes in a single play.
October 12, 2004 1:52:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 22:54:57 GMT, Chris Hornbeck
<chrishornbeckremovethis@att.net> wrote:

>On 7 Oct 2004 08:12:05 -0700, plush@worldnet.att.net (Paul Gold)
>wrote:
>
>>I am looking for the worst tracking cartridge on the market. I need to
>>QC records at our pressing plant. My main cartridge is a Stanton
>>681EEE. This does moderately well at high (12" single) levels and
>>moderately well at LP type levels. It's a good middle of the road
>>cartridge.
>>

Why does anyone use them in the age of CDs?

>>I have a Shure V15typeV which doesn't track high levels well but does
>>very well at LP levels.
>>
>>I have a Shure M44 which tracks everything well.
>>
>>I need a cartridge which doesn't track a 2mil LP groove very well. I
>>have run up against problems where customers have claimed problems
>>that I am unable to duplicate despite trying wildly different tracking
>>forces.
>
>This sounds like a very interesting issue for this newsgroup. The
>variety of responses so far make me ask: how is mistracking to be
>determined?
>
>Would *any* cartridge at some arbitrary downforce be especially
>valid? Or would a particular downforce for some common cartridge
>(in a suitable arm) be a more useful indicator?
>
>Good fortune, and keep that vinyl cookin,
>
>Chris Hornbeck
Anonymous
October 12, 2004 5:41:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1097527943.ovI4nyApA0AKJZs//lsLKA@teranews>,
info@mistral.net wrote:

> Why does anyone use them in the age of CDs?

Well, back then, they didn't know how to make CDs, so they only made
vinyl. If you want to listen to that stuff, there is no choice but to
listen to vinyl.

These days, turntablists prefer vinyl. Some music fans prefer to listen
to vinyl. I don't really see any harm in it, although it's not my
preference.


Regards,

Monte McGuire
monte.mcguire@verizon.net
Anonymous
October 12, 2004 12:00:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <monte.mcguire-BEE7DE.21410811102004@news.verizon.net> monte.mcguire@verizon.net writes:

> > Why does anyone use them in the age of CDs?
>
> Well, back then, they didn't know how to make CDs, so they only made
> vinyl. If you want to listen to that stuff, there is no choice but to
> listen to vinyl.

I was going to say that, but this doesn't explain the need for the
worst tracking cartridge. That's the part I've never figured out. It
isn't a particularly good quality control tool. If someone has a
record player that can't track your disk, sell 'em a CD.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 12, 2004 7:09:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Edi Zubovic

> when a
> customer has a question, you have the answer even in the oddest cases.

Right. And odd cases aren't that odd with people inexperience in vinyl
production.



> PS I see that you are in New York now. In one of of the above threads,
> a low frequency vibration and noise have been discussed -- just
> curious, what is the LF noise level in your area given that many
> underground and other trains and traffic I see in every movie 'bout
> the N.Y. City?


You don't know the half of it. The plant is next to a highway. The
whole building shakes. I'll spare you all the facts and figures but we
ended up putting the lathe on springs with 4" static deflection. We
also braced the floor underneath with a decoupled steel plate on a
pole. The object was to get the rumble below the specified noise floor
of the system which is -65dBM. That was acheived and tested by playing
back unmodulated grooves. I understand that this is not the most
accurate way to measure. An accelerometer on the turntable would be
more accurate. The cuts are coming out well and judging from the other
instalations I've see here I think I'm good.

Paul Gold
www.vinylmastering.net
!