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  #1  
Old 10-25-2017, 01:15 AM
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Recommendation for a cheap cart that's good on 50's/60's equip

I've recently replaced caps on a couple of players that need cartridges and was wondering what would be the cheapest modern carts I can use in them with decent results.

One unit is a monophonic Library of Congress Talking book player (3 tube) and the other is a stereophonic Webcor changer (2 outputs + 1 12AX7/AU7 driver).

Both used an identical looking cartridge that turns over in it's mount. The Talking book player had 2 LP needles (speeds were 33.3,16,8.3 RPMs) and the Webcor had LP and 78 needles (normal 4 speed).

I'd guess both track with more force than the average HiFi units of the 70's and later.
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Old 10-25-2017, 05:11 PM
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I have a bunch of Varco CN-65, crystal mono carts. GE used them in portables among others that did not have the extra stage of amplification. they output 2.8 volts and track at 8g, pretty primitive.

Be concerned about playing a stereo record with a mono cart - Im sure these are the typical old type.

If you are in the ceramic output range of .3 volts , Electrovoice EV26 is my favorite stereo cart for all-around use flip over for 78's - in a 1947 Magnavox Berkeley (with a later Collaro Custom changer) the outputs are just tied together. I also have a 1960 Mag that uses one with its stereo amp, matched to its 12AX7 preamp stage.
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Old 10-25-2017, 05:20 PM
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Sonotone made some excellent sounding ceramic carts that tracked around 3 grams. 9T and 3T if my memory serves me right.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:04 PM
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Some extensive googling has shown me that both units identical looking unlabeled carts are in fact Astatic "Power Point" (hey microsoft someone was using that phrase) cartridges.

The Webcor 1054 apparently needs a 0.15V stereo cartridge (based on the .15VAC label on the internal schematic at the pickup input).

I'm not sure about the cart in the Warwick built Talking Book "reproducer" (giggidy) model AE 4, but it seems to need about the same input based on some comparisons.

I tried plugging an 80's component TT into the amps of both players...The Webcor barely had any output, and the TaklingBook was better but not nearly as loud as it should be.

What sucks is that I have an RCA 118 200-9 stereo cart (it looks like the one below) that has the output to drive both amps quite well, but the blasted thing is too wide to fit either tone arm...I was able to hook clip leads between it and the amps and set the bare cart on a record on either player to check output (which was LOUD and clear).



Most of the carts posted about so far are out of production and expensive. There is no way I'm spending even close to $60 a pop for cartridges for a couple of $10 phonos.

There ought to be some cheap current production cart that can tolerate tracking on the heavy side, put out ~150mV, and not cost more than twice what the phono it's going into did.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:35 PM
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I've used these in a couple players

https://www.thevoiceofmusic.com/cata...hi&Categories=

Just get the metal cantaliever version, and you're good to go.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:39 PM
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I've used these in a couple players

https://www.thevoiceofmusic.com/cata...hi&Categories=

Just get the metal cantaliever version, and you're good to go.
Now that looks like a solution! Thank you.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:55 PM
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Now that looks like a solution! Thank you.
You can get them even cheaper without the bracket, and they actually sound pretty good. I have one in a seeburg jukebox with a big 6L6 amp and it really pumps out the sound. Agree with your hesitancy to pay big bucks for old stuff which may not even work.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
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Now that looks like a solution! Thank you.
Tom, I got mine off of ebay > https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odk...ridge&_sacat=0

.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:54 AM
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I think the eBay ones have a sapphire stylus, versus diamond at VM, and are made in China versus japan, plus lack the 1/2" Mounfinf bracket, but if that stuff doesn't matter hey it is nearly free! How do they sound? I've wanted to try the eBay ones for quick fix up projects.
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:52 PM
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The 1/2" bracket is a must....At least till I have one, then I might be able to fabricate copies and buy the cheap ones to mount in them.

It looks like diamond or sapphire needles are available. I've heard that saphire is supposed to be better at not skipping on worn records (the primary app for older players in my collection that track heavy) so low skip vs longer life seems like a reasonable trade off to me.
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Old 10-26-2017, 01:20 PM
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Sapphire will have a short lifespan though.
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:08 PM
WISCOJIM WISCOJIM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhifi View Post
I think the eBay ones have a sapphire stylus, versus diamond at VM, and are made in China versus japan, plus lack the 1/2" Mounfinf bracket, but if that stuff doesn't matter hey it is nearly free! How do they sound? I've wanted to try the eBay ones for quick fix up projects.
I haven't used any yet. I bought them to try in my RCA 45rpm players and the Ristaucrats.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mPOWaTEq-E

.
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronic M View Post
The 1/2" bracket is a must....At least till I have one, then I might be able to fabricate copies and buy the cheap ones to mount in them.

It looks like diamond or sapphire needles are available. I've heard that saphire is supposed to be better at not skipping on worn records (the primary app for older players in my collection that track heavy) so low skip vs longer life seems like a reasonable trade off to me.
Saphire is junk, if isn't soft enough to be kinder to records, just enough to wear down fast and start damaging them. And the price difference is insignificant in the scheme of things.

The one you want to avoid is the cheap veraion with a plastic cantaliever, it doesn't sound good like the metal one does. I use my heavy tracking players with worn old records too, with good results.

Also notice there's two half inch mounts on the VM site, for shallow or deep headshells.

You can also glue the naked cartridge in place of an old flat metal crystal cartridge, this worked well in my slot load RCA 45 player.

One of these days I want to try this cartridge in a proper hi-fi turntable, just for fun, to see how good it can sound under the best possible conditions

Last edited by maxhifi; 10-26-2017 at 02:12 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-26-2017, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WISCOJIM View Post
I haven't used any yet. I bought them to try in my RCA 45rpm players and the Ristaucrats.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mPOWaTEq-E

.
That will work great once I get to work on my 45RPM changers (though at least one is missing it's cartridge). Most of the 45RPM units have rubber idler wheels that are totally shot (unlike the units I've been working on) which dampens motivation to get to them.

Still the carts and arms on what I'm working on are different, so I'm going to get at least one with the bracket.
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2017, 12:13 AM
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This may be a bit pricy but at least the stylii are cheap, but my favorite cart for mono is the GE VRII triple play. It has a turnover stylus for microgroove/78 much like the ceramic carts. I use mine on a Rek O Kut with a Japanese Gray 108 clone. This cart tracks at 4-6 grams for microgroove, 5+ for 78. output is somewhere around 10mv. Don't use it on stereo records as it has no vertical compliance.

You also might be able to grab a Pickering NP/AC/Stanton 400 for cheap. it specs similar to the GE but is stereo, and won't ruin stereo records.
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