Interchangable Stylii / Vinyl Digitizing Setup

highschemehighscheme 780 Posts
edited June 2010 in Strut Central
Can you interchange different Ortofon stylii into a Ortofon cartridge? I am pretty sure this is possible, but is the stylus the only part that contributes to the sound, or will putting certain stylus on a cheaper cartridge limit the sound output etc?


I finally got my Duet and dedicated preamp. I am waiting on a couple OCD audiophile accessories like a record clamp, thick rubber turntable mat, stylus cleaner etc.


Once everything is setup I want to do a cartridge sound file showdown. Ideally, I want to do Shure M44G vs. White Label vs. Night Club Mk II vs. Ortofon Arkiv vs. Stanton Audiophile non DJ type shit.


Anyway, it's too much dough to drop on all those carts for the time being, but I have a white label, and a nightclub mk2. I want to see how an ortofon arkiv sounds since they claim it is made for digitizing vinyl.

  Comments


  • jaysusjaysus 787 Posts
    Yes you can change stylii between any ortofon cartridges. I think that the only thing that is affected is the output volume if I am thinking correctly?

  • highschemehighscheme 780 Posts
    I was doing a little more reading about the Ortofon Arkiv cartridge, and found out it is really just a rebranded DJ-E cartridge. So it looks like I am just going to be doing a White Label vs Night Club MkII test.

    I'll make a thread with the WAV files once I get everything setup.

  • HorseleechHorseleech 3,830 Posts
    highscheme said:
    I was doing a little more reading about the Ortofon Arkiv cartridge, and found out it is really just a rebranded DJ-E cartridge. So it looks like I am just going to be doing a White Label vs Night Club MkII test.

    I'll make a thread with the WAV files once I get everything setup.

    I did a fairly extensive A/B at home on two 1200s running through the same sysytem with these cartridges about 8 months ago.

    Can't find the thread, though.

  • highschemehighscheme 780 Posts
    what was your overall opinion?

  • the_dLthe_dL 1,531 Posts
    Back in the turntablist days, i used to teach quite a lot, and when ever i was asked what the best option for buying needles was, I always recommended the Ortofon for this exact reason, as far as i was told, the actual cartridge itself is exactly the same across the entire range (with the obvious exception of the concorde), so I told my students to buy the cheap black ones and when the stylus went go to the better stylus.

  • HorseleechHorseleech 3,830 Posts
    highscheme said:
    what was your overall opinion?

    The Ortofons are better if you DJ dance music/12", the White Label is better for everything else.

    Ortofon: Higher output, more emphasis on bass drum frequencies. A little more dynamic. Also more vinyl noise and a tad harsher.

    White Label: Smoother sound throughout frequency range, tracked 45s and rough pressings better, less vinyl
    noise, more listenable (less ear fatigue) for extended home use. Better with acoustic music, Jazz etc also.

  • highschemehighscheme 780 Posts
    Cool. I'm pretty interested to hear rips from both first hand.

    While your findings make sense from what I've heard about both, I wonder how non-DJ carts ($100-200 stanton or similar) compare to the White Labels as far as non-club stuff.

    I'll make some rips and make a blind test thread. Hopefully, everything will be ready next week.

  • highschemehighscheme 780 Posts
    Getting close to having the vinyl digitizing setup complete.

    Duet, Preamp, Mogami XLR Cables, Record Clamp, 1/4" Rubber Technics Mat, Stylus Cleaning Fluid/Brush



    I am using all of this together with a stock Technics 1200M3D.


    I just need to get 2 fresh record brushes and make some record cleaning fluid. Also I need some new inner/outer sleeves to store the freshly cleaned records in, and some resealable poly-sleeves to store the original covers/innersleeves in

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,030 Posts
    Nice! Same set-up I have except my record clamp is on backorder and I got a VPI 16.5 for cleaning (recommended albeit $$$)

  • highschemehighscheme 780 Posts
    mannybolone said:
    Nice! Same set-up I have except my record clamp is on backorder and I got a VPI 16.5 for cleaning (recommended albeit $$$)

    Yeah, the preamp choice came out of that thread that you started back on the old strut. I ended up getting a display model from guitarcenter on ebay for $100. I got the duet new on ebay for $450.

    The next thing I am going to do is replace the duet's breakout cable with that 3rd party breakout box. But goddamn it's $100...

    I would love to have a VPI vacuum record cleaner, but thats definitely something to save for the future. Going to have to stick with hand cleaning as well as I can for the time being.

    I might do the kabusa tonearm mod & the fluid damper at some point too.

    Thanks to you and everyone else for the recommendations, opinions, in that old thread.

  • Horseleech said:
    highscheme said:
    what was your overall opinion?

    The Ortofons are better if you DJ dance music/12", the White Label is better for everything else.

    Ortofon: Higher output, more emphasis on bass drum frequencies. A little more dynamic. Also more vinyl noise and a tad harsher.

    White Label: Smoother sound throughout frequency range, tracked 45s and rough pressings better, less vinyl
    noise, more listenable (less ear fatigue) for extended home use. Better with acoustic music, Jazz etc also.

    For what it's worth, the styli on my store's set-up needed replacing - one was sounding pretty worn and I broke the other in a stupid mishap. I decided to take the plunge on the white labels... I needed a quick, local fix so I couldn't wait around for something via mail order or a craiglist steal. B&H had them for $75/ea and Guitar Center matched the price. I'm pretty happy with the decision, the Ortofons sounded good but I'm already noticing a huge difference in the dynamics pretty much along the lines of what you're saying above. (although the Ortofons always tracked really well for me, even better than white labels I'd used on other folks' turntables)

  • goatboygoatboy 371 Posts
    Jonny_Paycheck said:
    Horseleech said:
    highscheme said:
    what was your overall opinion?

    The Ortofons are better if you DJ dance music/12", the White Label is better for everything else.

    Ortofon: Higher output, more emphasis on bass drum frequencies. A little more dynamic. Also more vinyl noise and a tad harsher.

    White Label: Smoother sound throughout frequency range, tracked 45s and rough pressings better, less vinyl
    noise, more listenable (less ear fatigue) for extended home use. Better with acoustic music, Jazz etc also.

    For what it's worth, the styli on my store's set-up needed replacing - one was sounding pretty worn and I broke the other in a stupid mishap. I decided to take the plunge on the white labels... I needed a quick, local fix so I couldn't wait around for something via mail order or a craiglist steal. B&H had them for $75/ea and Guitar Center matched the price. I'm pretty happy with the decision, the Ortofons sounded good but I'm already noticing a huge difference in the dynamics pretty much along the lines of what you're saying above. (although the Ortofons always tracked really well for me, even better than white labels I'd used on other folks' turntables)
    Just to chime in a bit I recently switched to white labels based on the recommendation of a lot of people. I really like them and their increased dynamic range, but I do notice more vinyl noise than my previous Stanton 520Ks, especially in the treble roll off area. At first I was thinking of replacing them, but it occurred to me that if you are hearing more overall music, you will probably be hearing more noise within that music as well.

    I am curious though, does this sound right to people here?
    Should I be expecting to hear more noise from dirty and or worn records than I did from what I considered to be worse quality carts/styli?
    Or should I be worried that perhaps I got a bad set?
    I checked them out with a magnifying glass and the stylus looked fine.
    And with some better condition LPs (my copy of Games Stargazer for instance) they sound outstanding, so I don't think it's a bad electrical connection as that would affect everything I would think.

  • discos_almadiscos_alma discos_alma 2,164 Posts
    goatboy said:

    Just to chime in a bit I recently switched to white labels based on the recommendation of a lot of people. I really like them and their increased dynamic range, but I do notice more vinyl noise than my previous Stanton 520Ks, especially in the treble roll off area. At first I was thinking of replacing them, but it occurred to me that if you are hearing more overall music, you will probably be hearing more noise within that music as well.

    I am curious though, does this sound right to people here?
    Should I be expecting to hear more noise from dirty and or worn records than I did from what I considered to be worse quality carts/styli?
    Or should I be worried that perhaps I got a bad set?
    I checked them out with a magnifying glass and the stylus looked fine.
    And with some better condition LPs (my copy of Games Stargazer for instance) they sound outstanding, so I don't think it's a bad electrical connection as that would affect everything I would think.

    No, you are correct. This is why audiophile people are such tightwads about getting NM copies of things.

    Your old 520K's "muddied" the vinyl noise into the musical output.

  • Yeah - without seeing or hearing the records in question, the better the needle the more you're going to hear - good or bad.

    One thing I noticed immediately was that the record I played yesterday - with an Ortofon - had slightly more surface noise. This is a good thing, in that the needle is producing a more accurate picture, which is essential for what I do here.

    For what it's worth, I've often used less "accurate" needles for home listening - if I have a beater copy of something, I just want to enjoy it, and not obsess about the condition.

  • goatboygoatboy 371 Posts
    Well...thanks guys.
    At least I know I'm not crazy or don't have to worry about returning the carts.
    Maybe this will be the impetus I need to finally splurge on a VPI.
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