On 11/14/2012 3:33 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
> I do agree with Fremer about the Stanton 681EEE cartridge that Magee
> uses for playback on the lathe. EMI can't spring for something better?
> That's a POS. At least get something accurate like a Denon DL-110,
> which retails for almost the same as what the Stanton used to (it's
> not made anymore -- good riddance!). If they want something
> "industrial strength" or "broadcast grade" to go on the SME tonearm,
> get a Denon DL-103 or the reissue Ortofon broadcast cartridge.
I have to disagree on this point about the Stanton 681EEE, particularly
with the "S" stylus.
The real issue with the 681EEE is the high-compliance that requires an
extremely low-mass tonearm to function as intended. About the only
tonearm that works properly with it is the old SME series III
plastic-fantastic with the TiN tonearm tube. The original SME design
isn't going to work well with the EEE because it is a much higher mass
design. Load the EEE in a 1970s/1980s era direct drive turntable, and
you'll get extremely poor results because those tonearms are anything
*but* low-mass designs.
With the EEE in the series III SME, you get nothing short of a miracle.
The combination tracks nearly anything you can throw at it, and it
sounds rather nice to my ears. I've been using this very setup in a
restored c.1961 Empire DB-208 since the early 1980s. I've upset a lot
of audiophile-types that spent far more money on their turntables with
my relatively-inexpensive setup. The phono preamp I use is the old
Lampton design made from a pair of Signetics NE5534AN chips, fed by a
heavily-filtered +/-15V supply. The results are impressive, especially
with the old Mo-Fi UHQR discs.
Are there better cartridges than the old 681? Probably. Set any of
them up with the proper tonearm mass and capacitive/resistive loading,
and you're way ahead of the game. Very few consumers back in the 70s
bothered to do this. Even today, I'm surprised at how few of the
remaining hi-fi bugs out there know anything about proper turntable setup.
(yeah, I'm still around)