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Stanton ST-150, Cartridge/Stylus and Pre-amp recommendations?, Value-for-money, and objective performance in-mind!
post May 9 2010, 23:44
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Hey everyone,

Following your advice in my previous thread on a record player, I finally purchased a Stanton ST.150 (the one with the kinked arm). It was in my price range, and seems to have solid reviews.

With this in mind, I'd appreciate some advice on the following:

I need to get a new cartridge/stylus and a pre-amp. I figure I have 100 for all 3 of these, and I don't mind buying second hand where appropriate - so probably not the cartridge?

Would anyone care to lend some advice on which cartridge is a good, affordable choice for this record player? As for the pre-amp, I'm aware that the price (but not necessarily the EQ accuracy) of these devices rises exponentially, so does anyone know of an economical, high quality (perhaps pro-audio?) pre-amp to use with this record player? Same goes for the cartridge - I don't want to spend heaps on snake-oil, but I'd like to get an objectively proficient model.

Any advice is appreciated. smile.gif


Edit: I should probably add that this record player will be used solely for listening, not DJ'ing/scratching/etc. Furthermore, I'm looking for uncoloured playback, so I'm not too keen on any device which introduces its own EQ/tonal characteristics, as I suspect many of these audiohile solutions do... wink.gif


This post has been edited by JacksonGrey: May 9 2010, 23:47
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post May 10 2010, 19:59
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I figure I have 100 for all 3 of these...
I'd only consider it two purchases, since the cartridge comes with a stylus. wink.gif

I haven't been in the market for this stuff in quite a few years, so don't have any specific recommendations...

If you put half of your budget into the cartridge and half into the preamp, I think you can get a very good cartridge, but you might feel the need to upgrade the preamp at some point.

You might be able to find an older used receiver with a built-in phono preamp. But, if you don't need the whole receiver the bulk might be an issue (Somebody gave me their old receiver when they upgraded to "home theater".)

For the preamp, to me the biggest factor is noise. I could always hear some hum or hiss from my phono preamp (with the volume up). I don't worry too much about super-accurate RIAA equalization. I don't think it's too difficult to get +/- 1dB (or so) accuracy. The RIAA curves were originally designed with simple RC (analog) filters in mind. And, assuming your records are from the "vinyl age", they were produced with analog RIAA filters, and IMO a lot of older records need some additional EQ anyway (a little high-end boost).

For the cartridge, you'll probably be OK as long as you avoid "DJ" cartridges. But, I would expect the cartridge to make a bigger difference in sound quality (frequency response, etc.) than your choice of preamp. Shure's top-of-the-line M97 cartridge can be found online here in the US for about $60 USD (plus tax & shipping). If you can find a similar deal in the UK, my feeling is that "you can't go wrong with Shure's best". Or for the about same price, you can get a bottom-of-the-line Grado cartridge. The lower & mid-priced Grados were always known as good values.

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Posts in this topic
- JacksonGrey   Stanton ST-150, Cartridge/Stylus and Pre-amp recommendations?   May 9 2010, 23:44
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE I figure I have 100 for all 3 of these... I...   May 10 2010, 19:59
- - JacksonGrey   Thanks for your reply, DVDDoug. I checked the pric...   May 10 2010, 21:48
|- - cliveb   QUOTE (JacksonGrey @ May 10 2010, 21:48) ...   May 11 2010, 08:43
- - JacksonGrey   Can I also add the Cambridge Azur 540P to that lis...   May 10 2010, 23:05
- - JacksonGrey   As far as I'm aware, this turntable doesn...   May 11 2010, 11:45
|- - cliveb   QUOTE (JacksonGrey @ May 11 2010, 11:45) ...   May 11 2010, 14:29
- - RonaldDumsfeld   From the review published in Remix Feb 2004 by Jas...   May 11 2010, 14:42
- - JacksonGrey   Thanks for this info Cliveb/Ronald; the turntable ...   May 11 2010, 14:46
- - JacksonGrey   Ok guys, I've done a lot more reading/googling...   May 12 2010, 19:31
|- - cliveb   QUOTE (JacksonGrey @ May 12 2010, 19:31) ...   May 12 2010, 19:58
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (JacksonGrey @ May 12 2010, 14:31) ...   May 19 2010, 01:15
- - mixminus1   At the risk of getting a little OT here (although ...   May 12 2010, 20:27
|- - cliveb   QUOTE (mixminus1 @ May 12 2010, 20:27) At...   May 13 2010, 08:50
- - JacksonGrey   Thanks Cliveb, I think I'll go with the Shure.   May 12 2010, 22:00
- - mixminus1   Excellent summary, thanks!   May 13 2010, 14:20
- - chadergeist   I bought a GRADO BLUE cartridge with stylus. It so...   Sep 14 2012, 03:27
- - slks   I bought an M97XE a few years ago. I don't hav...   Sep 14 2012, 19:24

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