Replace Phono cartridge or needle? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-29-2013, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey All, I have a JVC AL-A158 that I need to replace either the cartridge or needle for. 

 

The Service Manual can be found here for those who are interested.

 

The Cartridge is a T4P type cartridge.  According to the manual, the “Applicable cartridge weight” is 5.9g.

 

I can find the needle here.

 

Now, it seems the easiest thing to do is simply change the cartridge.  However, when I look for compatible T4P cartridges, I find several ‘close’ but not quite right here or here.

 

For example:

Audio-Technica AT-3482P

 

Audio-Technica 1001 phono cartridge has a tracking weight of 1 to 1.5g, which is different than actual weight, correct?!?.

 

LP Gear T4P SERIES I, 6g.

 

So, is it better to replace the needle, keeping the same Cartridge weight, or to change the cartridge and not know the exact cartridge weight?

 

 

~~~

 

 

Also, I want to clean my record collection, before I use the new needle.  I was thinking that SpinClean was the best way to go, since I have about 50 to 75 LPs, 10” and 7” to clean.  But I was recommended to get this instead.  That seems like it will work to maintain my records, after they have been cleaned, but I don’t like the idea of having to clean each record that way.

 

Does anyone else have recommendations fro cleaning multiple records while keeping the cleaning process efficient and productive?

 

Thanx for any and all help.

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post #2 of 6 Old 05-29-2013, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post


Also, I want to clean my record collection, before I use the new needle.  I was thinking that SpinClean was the best way to go, since I have about 50 to 75 LPs, 10” and 7” to clean.  But I was recommended to get this instead.  That seems like it will work to maintain my records, after they have been cleaned, but I don’t like the idea of having to clean each record that way.

Does anyone else have recommendations fro cleaning multiple records while keeping the cleaning process efficient and productive?

Thanx for any and all help.

Sorry, can't address your cartridge question, but I can address your record cleaning questions.

For cleaning multiple records, especially ones that may actually have dirt or dust build up from years of use or storage, the Spin Clean works well and is probably the most appropriate solution. It works well, but frankly it is overpriced for several pieces of plastic. I have one and use it, but feel duped by the price for what you get.

I also have the AT cleaning brush and fluid kit you linked to. It, too, is overpriced, but it is a good brush for maintenance cleaning, as you suggest. I wouldn't try to use it for deep cleaning of old records. Once they are clean, you can use this to keep them clean. Many TT users clean them with such a brush before each spin.

On a related note, once that cleaning fluid for the AT cleaning brush is used up, I don't recommend buying replacement for it (this does NOT apply to the fluid used in the Spin Clean). You can make it for pennies with four simple, easily available ingredients and simply reuse the plastic squirt bottle. About 98% of the volume is distilled water you can buy at any drug store. In that small bottle that comes with it, add to the distilled water (try not to use tap water, as it may contain too many minerals and could leave residue) no more than a drop or so of each of the following:

1) 1 drop white vinegar;
2) 1 drop or 2 rubbing alcohol; and
3) 1 drop soft, non-abrasive liquid dishwashing detergent (like Dawn, for instance).

That's the "secret" formula that costs mere pennies to refill. Keep the little plastic squirt bottle and refill as needed.

I would also recommend an anti-static brush to use before each spin of a record. A light touch is all that is needed.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-29-2013, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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SpinClean... but frankly it is overpriced for several pieces of plastic. I have one and use it, but feel duped by the price for what you get.
AudioTech Record Cleaner...I wouldn't try to use it for deep cleaning of old records. Once they are clean, you can use this to keep them clean.
Brush...I would also recommend an anti-static brush to use before each spin of a record. A light touch is all that is needed.

Thanx for the reply. 

 

I agree it is too expensive for what it is, but if I were to get it as a gift for fahjer's day, then it wouldn't be soo bad...at least that's how I want to justify it.

 

I think that I will also pick up the AT Record Cleaner for maintenance, after a thorough cleaning.

 

I didn't think about a anti-static brush, but will now look further into it.  Great Idea, Thanx!

 

 

For everyone else, feel free to chime in, regarding the needle vs cartridge inquiry.

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-30-2013, 12:07 PM
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So, is it better to replace the needle, keeping the same Cartridge weight, or to change the cartridge and not know the exact cartridge weight?
I wouldn't worry about the cartridge weight. Because your arm is fixed, a slightly lighter cartridge will have a slightly lower tracking force, which, if the maker is doing his job, should be what that particular cartridge requires. Any p-mount will work with your table. I'd upgrade the cart, given that you don't really know what's on your table (and it probably wasn't a great cart to begin with).

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post #5 of 6 Old 05-30-2013, 10:41 PM
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The tracking weight is not the same as the actual cartridge weight. Once the tonearm is balanced, then you set the tracking weight to what the cart/needle manufacturer suggests, in your instance somewhere between 1 to 1.5 grms. For a little more variety in picking different carts, you can buy a 1/2 inch adaptor for the p mount (I bought one for about $7.00 + same amount for shipping). But make sure that would be compatible with your setup.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-31-2013, 02:22 PM
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Tracking weight depends on the arm compliance as well as the cartridge.

Very few cartridge/arm combinations will actually track well at much less than 2 grams, even though the cartridge itself can track at less (in theory).

Tracking too light is often the cause of mistracking and poor sound quality and can damage records.

I would be VERY careful about setting ANY cartridge to track at less than 2 grams. Virtually any cartridge can track at 3 grams and there will be no problems, but tracking too light frequently causes trouble.

Some heavy cartridges are too heavy for the range of adjustment on some arms, so watch out for those that weigh much more than 7 grams.

Also, you are limited by the fact that you have a P-MOUNT cartridge, and are limited to P-MOUNT cartridges unless you modify the arm mounting.

Look at Needle Doctor for a comprehensive listing of P-MOUNT cartridges and all of their specs.
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