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Suggestions - stylus for old XV-15 cartridge, different levels & OEM vs generic quality
Jenni28
post Jan 29 2011, 19:36
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Bought a Pickering XV-15 new in '72. No idea what stylus it had - "disappeared" from cart. Will be using it on Technics SL-B1 or Dual 1218.
Probably won't spend $150 on stylus. Mostly for recording/ digitizing, not LP listening. Still, want to capture good quality w/o breaking the bank. Never listened to a D625 or any line contact types - would like some input / suggestions. Most likely, if went w/ a line contact, it'd have to be generic.

Suggestions on who carries good selection (good quality) generic Pickering Styli for older carts? Looked at bunch online - very few carry XV-15 styli. LP Gear is one: here

Pickeringuk site does list D757S for $119 here. But another page, same site says it's $195 here

Technical guy at Blues Broz, said "wouldn't go higher than D625 E w/ XV-15 (.3 x .7 elliptical) if just going to digitize. Frequency of digital playback is capped at 20 KHz." "If going to listen to LPs, more advanced styles cost could be justified." They had OEM styli for XV-15.
Don't know if true or agree w/ that. Wouldn't the extra sound quality he (& others) mention from advanced types styli - between freq's of 20 - 20K, still be evident on recordings? He had more expensive styli to sell, so wasn't a matter of trying to sell what he had.

Majority of LPs I'll record are used - some lightly. Lots of talk on diff shape & contact pattern / area of more advanced styli - they may contact previously untouched / undamaged grooves of records played w/ conical or even elliptical. Guess depends on real LP condition.

Some owners of JICO styli are quite satisfied. Any owners of these / other generics out there, or compared them to OEM version?

A very interesting comparison of diff shapes & theoretical groove wall contact is here
An interesting PDF download of JICO's SAS brochure & diagrams comparing contact pattern/ area to other common styli is http://www.vinylengine.com/lib.....ylus.shtml (membership req'd).

Any input appreciated.
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AndyH-ha
post Jan 29 2011, 20:28
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I use a Shure V15VxMR. They claimed various benefits, including reduced distortion, reduced wear, and extended frequency response, for their MicroRidge stylus (labeled VN5xMR) , but it is no longer manufactured. However, the much less expensive stylus of their M97xE (labeled N97xE) fits the cartridge.

About a year ago, when my tonearm got a bump that skipped the stylus across the empty platter, and ruined it, I installed my back-up stylus. Then I ordered a M97xE stylus for backup. I was thus able to compare the two, which I did only casually by recording a few things, listening to them, and looking at various aspects of the recordings with CoolEdit. The only certain difference I found is a slightly higher signal level with the M97 stylus.

I donít know if I will feel as satisfied when ever, if ever, I need to use the M97 stylus, but reason tells me I am unlikely to actually miss anything from the recordings I make. I suppose the biggest question I have is on tracking of more difficult passages, as not only is the stylus tip different but the cantilever, and possibly parts of the mounting, are made of different materials.

A warning to other V15V owners: Before ordering I inquired to Shure about the rumor I had run across that the M97 stylus could be used in my cartridge. Their response was that Shure had never tried it, so could not vouch for it suitability, but that the physical dimensions of the mechanism were the same -- only for the V15VxMR. Unfortunately I donít have that e-mail any longer, so canít reproduce the exact response, but apparently there was more than one variant of the V15V (with different suffix). According to Shure, the M97xE stylus fits the one I have, but no other.
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