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New needle and/or cartridge for Technics SL-BD22D
jamie_P84
post Jan 25 2011, 21:10
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We have a Technics SL-BD22D turntable, originally manufactured in 1998 and still with its original Technics P34 needle and cartridge (T4P standard).
I'd like to replace the needle and/or cartridge. The deck is factory adjusted for tracking force and anti-skating of 1.25

Which new needle and/or cartridge would be most suitable?

Thanks
jamie.

This post has been edited by jamie_P84: Jan 25 2011, 21:11
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ramicio
post Jan 25 2011, 21:22
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I bought an AT-92ECD cartridge from RadioShack. It was $30 and I was happy with it. I only replaced the factory one because the elastic parts in the stylus died, literally, it fell apart. Definitely get the tracking force at least checked with a different cartridge. The AT-92ECD was barely better than the factory cartridge, and any betterness could be attributed to the age of the old one and it almost falling apart, plus just a different sound being a different product. One thing I noticed with this turntable is with newer records you will get horrible distortion whenever a microphone-kissing artist makes a hard sound like S, F, or T. I have no idea if this is all due to the turntable, the cartridge, or the records themselves, as I don't have a different set up to compare with, but I'm sure if it was generally records then people really would have given up on them more so than they already have.
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DVDdoug
post Jan 25 2011, 22:37
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QUOTE
The deck is factory adjusted for tracking force and anti-skating of 1.25
That's surprising, and it presents a problem... Any difference in cartridge weight will result in a an equal difference in tracking force! sad.gif

I suppose you can get a scale/balance and weigh the existing cartridge. You could add weight to the new cartridge, but I wouldn't advise trying to remove weight. biggrin.gif

...I remember that even the old-cheap BSR & Gerrard record players had tracking-force adjustment-screws that adjusted tension on a spring.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Jan 25 2011, 22:38
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ramicio
post Jan 25 2011, 23:01
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There is a weight on the back of the tonearm that is for tracking force adjustment. This is the only thing that can be adjusted. It's just factory set for the factory cartridge to 1.25 grams. I have an SL-BD20D and it has the exact same tonearm. The weight on the back has a philps-head screw to adjust the weight balance.

This post has been edited by ramicio: Jan 25 2011, 23:03
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jamie_P84
post Jan 26 2011, 00:19
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QUOTE (ramicio @ Jan 25 2011, 20:22) *
One thing I noticed with this turntable is with newer records you will get horrible distortion whenever a microphone-kissing artist makes a hard sound like S, F, or T.


In my own collection, all the records made from 1979 onwards are digitally-sourced (apparently due to the introduction of digital cutting delays in the mastering chain). I only bother with vinyl if it was produced prior to this date.

QUOTE (ramicio @ Jan 25 2011, 22:01) *
There is a weight on the back of the tonearm that is for tracking force adjustment. This is the only thing that can be adjusted. It's just factory set for the factory cartridge to 1.25 grams. I have an SL-BD20D and it has the exact same tonearm. The weight on the back has a philps-head screw to adjust the weight balance.


Thanks - but what's the procedure for adjusting the tracking force?
Usually the anti-skating has to be adjusted separately to match it as shown in, for example, these instructions I scanned from a 1970s Sony deck ( link ).
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ramicio
post Jan 26 2011, 01:40
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The distortion I was talking about isn't because of being mastered in the digital domain, it's because no one can master an album nicely anymore, for digital, much less a medium that has physical limits to consider. And musical "artists" are mostly idiots anymore who can't even sing, so they get close to the mic so they don't have to sing loud.

The only thing to adjust on a p-mount is tracking force. There is nothing else needs to be adjusted because the geometry is set up already. One would just need a scale.
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Apesbrain
post Jan 26 2011, 01:56
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Why not just get a replacement stylus assembly:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Stylus-Technics-P34-SL...=item5197322b6b

No worries then about tracking force, anti-skate, etc.

Alternatively, a full selection of P-mount cartridges over here:

http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-Store/P-Mount-Cartridges

Including a series of Audio-Technica units that look to be "plug & play" replacements for your P34 (which was probably sourced from A-T in the first place).

This post has been edited by Apesbrain: Jan 26 2011, 02:54
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jamie_P84
post Jan 26 2011, 02:27
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QUOTE (ramicio @ Jan 26 2011, 00:40) *
The only thing to adjust on a p-mount is tracking force. There is nothing else needs to be adjusted because the geometry is set up already. One would just need a scale.

My deck has the Philips screw you mentioned at the back of the counterweight, but there's no weight indicator ring, which makes any accurate re-adjustment impossible
Where there's a tracking force adjustment there's always an anti-skating one too, because a natural inside skating force exists during playback which is directly related to the tracking weight of the cartridge.
The label on my turntable (stating the factory presets) makes direct reference to both adjustments.

Although I don't have the official T4P specs, posters in other forums claim that the following are standardised for all T4P cartridges:
- tracking force and anti-skating: 1.25g +- 0.25g
- cartridge + stylus weight: 6.00g

If this is so, no re-adjustment should be required after replacement.
Can anyone confirm this?
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jamie_P84
post Jan 26 2011, 02:38
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QUOTE (Apesbrain @ Jan 26 2011, 00:56) *
Why not just get a replacement stylus assembly:
...
Alternatively, a full selection of P-mount cartridges over here:
...

I'd like to get a better-than-original cartridge this time, hence my asking for advice here on which one is best.

The original cartridge still works fwiw (although it's worn).
I did try an unbranded replacement from Maplins once, but this sounded *much* worse.
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Cavaille
post Jan 26 2011, 03:39
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QUOTE (jamie_P84 @ Jan 26 2011, 02:27) *
QUOTE (ramicio @ Jan 26 2011, 00:40) *
The only thing to adjust on a p-mount is tracking force. There is nothing else needs to be adjusted because the geometry is set up already. One would just need a scale.

My deck has the Philips screw you mentioned at the back of the counterweight, but there's no weight indicator ring, which makes any accurate re-adjustment impossible
Where there's a tracking force adjustment there's always an anti-skating one too, because a natural inside skating force exists during playback which is directly related to the tracking weight of the cartridge.
The label on my turntable (stating the factory presets) makes direct reference to both adjustments.

Although I don't have the official T4P specs, posters in other forums claim that the following are standardised for all T4P cartridges:
- tracking force and anti-skating: 1.25g +- 0.25g
- cartridge + stylus weight: 6.00g

If this is so, no re-adjustment should be required after replacement.
Can anyone confirm this?
I can confirm this. Iīve read it numerous times in audio magazines. Although I donīt have proof, the system supposedly was designed to get rid of all the problems apparent in normal vinyl installation. With TP4 it was possible to change the stylus or the system without the need of re-configuring skating, tracking force, weight etc. - you just remove the old system and pop on the new one. With that youīre finished. The reason is that every TP4-compatible system has to follow the specifications given by Technics when they developed it. They even proposed it for an industry wide standard in 1980 but it wasnīt adopted in the end. I guess all the audiophiles wanted to continue to tweak their turntables wink.gif. Iīve read that the system technically isnīt that bad and that it actually was quite clever for consumers. Almost any TP4-compatible cartridge is designed (ideally) to be at its best quality right out of the box. For a replacement, I would look for the usual companies like Ortofon. I donīt know if there are better ones but given the price-range of your turntable I feel it would be futile to spend more than 200 bucks on a new system. And Ortofon always was the safe route if one wanted decent quality.

This post has been edited by Cavaille: Jan 26 2011, 03:43


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cubdukat
post Mar 21 2012, 17:18
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I used to own that particular turntable, and I had quite a bit of luck with the Grado Prestige Black. However, you should probably be aware that it's not exactly cheap ($65 was what I paid for one recently), and your volume might be a little lower than with other cartridges. But I would swear by this cartridge any day.

It's also on the heavy side. I believe Grado recommends 1.5g tracking force strictly, with no variation.

And again, perhaps this is a little too much for your needs, but you might still want to consider it.
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