Anyone Using Vintage Phono Cartridges?

Discussion in 'All Things Analog' started by TubeHiFiNut, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Just wondering if anyone here at The Haven uses vintage phono cartridges?

    Things like old Shures, Empires, ADCs, Elacs, others?

    I have a Shure V15 (the original, Type I) that sounds very nice. It won't displace the DL103 but it doesn't sound bad at all.

    Anyone else? :)
  2. David

    David Moderator

    I have a V15iii. It's on my mums AR table not doing anything much lately.
  3. Juncers

    Juncers Senior Member

    V15 iii,IV& V
    MA 282e
    Stanton 681 EEE

    All my turntables are equally old.


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  4. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

    No, not quite, but... I have a very vintage Shure (I think it is an M3D) on loan from one of the local gurus. These are held in seriously high repute in some circles. There's some arcana related to the "best" stylus (vintage Shure stock) to use with them, and I don't pretend to understand the nuance. I do know that the owner of this cartridge is someone with impeccable taste in hifi (and experience that's both deep and wide in the hobby) -- so, we'll see.
  5. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    The M3D has certainly gained the reputation - with the price tag to match - as a serious contender against current competition.

    I'm interested to read your listening impressions.
  6. inthewoods

    inthewoods AARP Member

    91e on one AR, Grado M1+/8mz on another.

  7. Redboy

    Redboy Knobophobe

    I've kinda got a thing for old Deccas.


    And I have an M3D here, too.

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  8. Prime Minister

    Prime Minister Site Owner Staff Member

    How vintage is vintage?
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  9. inthewoods

    inthewoods AARP Member

    Depends on your age & that's a hell of a headshell up there.
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  10. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    I'm was thinking >40 years old.

    Shure V15 III and older.
    Empire 1000 ZE/X and older.
    Older Stantons and Pickerings.

    Shure M3D is right in the wheelhouse. :)
  11. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Redboy - How do you like the M3D?
  12. Redboy

    Redboy Knobophobe

    It's a fine cartridge with very nice tone, but it's not the ultimate in resolution or dynamics. I like it, but I like my 103 better. My Shure doesn't get a lot of play time.
  13. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

    FWIW, I still have my purchased-new Grado F1+ and FTE+1 (and I think they're both good sounding cartridges at their late 1970s price points -- the FTE+1 was $13 ca. 1979).
  14. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    There sure going for more than that these days..... ;)
  15. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    I have an M7. Have to determine if it has the N21D stylus.

    What tracking force works best with your M3D?

    And where did you get that headshell? :)

    I've also got an ELAC STS240 (a variable reluctance cartridge according to the product sheet) that I have to try one of these days.
  16. Prime Minister

    Prime Minister Site Owner Staff Member

    Considering how cartridges have rubber parts that like to get old and hard, and awfully tiny wires, and considering how many wonderful new cartridge are available, I guess I am missing the appeal.
  17. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Seems like there are some vintage cartridges in use here at The Haven.

    Are there some gems in these vintage cartridges? Don't know until I listen.

    Sometimes vintage high-end gear can appeal to me where newer gear misses the mark.
  18. billfort

    billfort Administrator Staff Member

    'Vintage' is a little hard to define IMO but I think my DL103 might qualify as vintage. No, it certainly does not push my 'high-end' Zyx Airy-3 to the shelf - the Zyx is better in every way to me - but the Denon isn't going anywhere; a good old friend I like to have around.
  19. Grainger49

    Grainger49 Active Member

    On my Dual 1219 is an SAE (Coral of Japan) HOMC with the line contact stylus. I also have an Empire 999TE/X in the spare shell. Waiting is an Empire 2000ZEX. Throw in a DL103C that has a broken cantilever.
  20. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

    Like the Grados (IMO, at any rate), I think that the DL-103 has to be considered, at least, meta-vintage ;-)
    They (Denon, or their subcontractors, as the case may be) have been making them (DL-103s, that is) -- more or less unchanged, AFAIK -- since the early 1960s, so if nothing else, they can be considered living fossils, or at least living anachronisms (in a good way); colecanths of hifi. (again, in a good way).

    I bought one of the "Comet Supply" DL-103s when the price was $118. I really (really) don't think, in the modern era, there is anything that will touch a DL-103 for the ability to transduce flesh-and-blood music into one's home at anything like that price.

    [​IMG]spinnin1f by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
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