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Which needle/stylus to buy?
Old 7th June 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
rhythmcomposer's Avatar
 

Which needle/stylus to buy?

I have a Technics SL-1210 Mk II which I've just taken out of storage but see that its needle/stylus is broken. As far as I remember it's a Shure SC-35C.

Should I just get a replacement needle (if possible -I read somewhere that Shure recently stopped all production of needles/cartridges) or a different cartridge/needle entirely? Back in the day I remember always wanting an Ortofon Concord Pro (I think it was called), but see that there are lots of different models to choose from.

I do some scratching (home use) and want something that gives a decent sound (I'm into 80's funk/Hip Hop/Electro) and doesn't wear the vinyl too much.
Old 9th June 2019
  #2
DAH
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Shure m44-7
Old 9th June 2019
  #3
Deleted e999d8e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmcomposer View Post
I have a Technics SL-1210 Mk II which I've just taken out of storage but see that its needle/stylus is broken. As far as I remember it's a Shure SC-35C.

Should I just get a replacement needle (if possible -I read somewhere that Shure recently stopped all production of needles/cartridges) or a different cartridge/needle entirely? Back in the day I remember always wanting an Ortofon Concord Pro (I think it was called), but see that there are lots of different models to choose from.

I do some scratching (home use) and want something that gives a decent sound (I'm into 80's funk/Hip Hop/Electro) and doesn't wear the vinyl too much.
I'd look for something made by either Ortofon or Audio-Technica. Some people just love messing around with aftermarket styli, but I think it's a huge PITA. You'll have fewer headaches using stuff that's both name-brand and current-run.
Old 9th June 2019
  #4
Gear Head
 

Ortofon QBert Om
Old 11th June 2019
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
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Thanks for all your suggestions.
Several different brands and models have been mentioned -what are their differences? What should I look for in a cartridge and/or needle?

Is it correct that needles made for especially scratching wear down vinyl more than non-scratching needles (when just playing records)?
Old 11th June 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmcomposer View Post
Thanks for all your suggestions.
Several different brands and models have been mentioned -what are their differences? What should I look for in a cartridge and/or needle?

Is it correct that needles made for especially scratching wear down vinyl more than non-scratching needles (when just playing records)?
That's correct. I bought Ortofon cartridges simply because I'm too lazy to do a correct setup for systems like the ones from Shure. The Ortofon's are just setup and forget. The only thing you have to care about is the weight.

You should tell us what you want to spend! Systems can be very expensive.
The concorde Club has the best sound quality of the Ortofon DJ systems and doesn't damage the vinyl, but is not for scratching.

The MKII DJ and MKII Scratch are for scratching.
Most Hifi needles are elliptical while the scratching needles are mostly spherical.

I'm very satisfied with the Club, but I don't scratch at all. It is 140,-. Some hifi systems are way more expensive.
Old 11th June 2019
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
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Good point about choosing Ortofon cartridges which can be used right away! I do actually have a Shure SC-35C already mounted (though I'm not sure if I did it 100% correctly back in the day) so I could just get a new needle for it, but then I read that Shure needles are no longer sold.... so I might as well start from scratch (no pun intended) again.

Back in the late 80's/90's I did a lot of scratching (for fun/at home only) but always regretted not getting the stylish Ortofon cartridge.
I remember it having a bright orange tip and being silver or white, and from what I've found online it could be a "Concorde Pro" though the tip doesn't seem to be orange. Also, it doesn't have "Concorde" printed on the side which if I recall correctly it had. Perhaps it's an older model.


From what I've found so far the Pro and Pro S appear to be something from around that era and I believe they're very similar (I prefer the silver colour, as a contrast to the black turntable). I've found a Concorde Pro S for sale locally though it's more expensive than the Concorde Mix Mark II which looks to be the current model, replacing both the Concorde Pro and Concorde Pro S.

Are these worth looking into?
I read a user-review somewhere that the current models have nowhere near the quality of the older models. Is there any truth to this?
Also I don't like the look of the Mix II and much prefer the silver coloured Concorde Pro, but ultimately it comes down to audio quality/use of course, and if there's no better choice for the cost/my use I can live with the black colour and silly green melted record


How much I'm looking to spend? Not an excessive amount as this is only for home/hobby use, but it looks like I can get something decent for around EUR 100/US$ 110 (or slightly less). Correct me if I'm wrong.
Old 11th June 2019
  #8
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I bought my 1200 in 2002 with the Concorde Pro S. I've used it a long time. It was a rather budget system. I've replaced it last year with the Club. Can't say anything bad about the Pro S, but the Club sounds better and needs less weight. Altough the Pro really has nice bass, even subbass and highs. The mids are a bit problematic. I've never heard that the Concorde systems were better back then. There was an improved version in black around 2012. The only difference I know off is that the SME-contacts were improved. If you like the Pro and it has to be grey, you could buy one used and some new replacement needles that are still available. Most needles are compatible with the cartridges, so you could even buy one system and an elliptical needle for listening and a spherical for scratching.
The real hifi-enthusiasists have always dissed the Ortofon systems. Maybe other systems are better, but the worst you can do to your vinyl is a system with a wrong setup. You can damage entire records only playing them once with a mis-calibrated needle. Can't happen with the Ortofons.
Old 13th June 2019
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAH View Post
Shure m44-7
Dah is absolutely right

shure m447 all the way, I use to have 1210's and vestex 06 and m447, and I got my latest setup 2 and a half years ago which is rp8000 and rmx 22i with Ortofon and just could not figure out why the sound was so thin when sampling and just not as pleasing when scratching as before, but anyways it took me almost two years but I decided to try the m447's again after reading up something somewhere and BAAMMM! straight fullness and beauty. I cant believe what an idiot I was for thinking that the Ortofon would be as good as the m447, it was the Ortofon Concorde and was like $100, I know they make more expensive ones but the m447 was $70 so I figured it would prob match up, and the Ortofon was easy like you said, nothing to connect, I was terribly wrong. The shure m447 is leaps and bounds better as far as sound quality
Old 13th June 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
Just to remind some people here

Ortofon = brand name
Concorde = Ortofons line of cartridges that doesn't need a headshell.

peace
Old 13th June 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
rhythmcomposer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP View Post
I bought my 1200 in 2002 with the Concorde Pro S. I've used it a long time. It was a rather budget system. I've replaced it last year with the Club. Can't say anything bad about the Pro S, but the Club sounds better and needs less weight.
The Club Mk II can't be used for scratching though, right?
I think I read that somewhere, that it's fine for back-cueing (and the occasional scratch) but really not for scratching.


Quote:
If you like the Pro and it has to be grey, you could buy one used and some new replacement needles that are still available.
Maybe I should just forget about the colours/appearance and got for whatever gives the best audio/works best for my use. I've read what you next said about different model Ortofon needles being compatible with most cartridges, but they don't recommend it. Probably because it won't give the optimal results and/or possibly result in more record wear with the wrong weight settings. "Mix and match" is probably best left to the more experienced.


Quote:
The real hifi-enthusiasists have always dissed the Ortofon systems. Maybe other systems are better, but the worst you can do to your vinyl is a system with a wrong setup. You can damage entire records only playing them once with a mis-calibrated needle. Can't happen with the Ortofons.
Yes, I see what you mean.
I'm really no audiophile, and the only cart/needle I've ever used with my SL-1210 Mk II is the Shure SC-35C so unless the audio is critically poor I probably can't tell the difference unless A/B compared. Of course, when scratching the needle should also stay in place for the most part. How are the Ortofon models in that regard?

I like the fact that the Ortofon carts just plug in and don't need calibrating, but which one should I go for?
Ruling out the Club it seems my choices are between the Mix Mark II and DJ Mark II. The Mix is tempting because of the lower price, but I read a bad comment review somewhere. Then again you always get those, so....
Old 13th June 2019
  #12
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The MKII DJ and MKII Scratch are for scratching. You need a spherical needle for scratching. I agree with the guys who wrote here that the Shure M-44-7 is a very good system, esp. for the price, but Shure has stopped the production of all systems 1 or 2 years ago! And to those dissing Ortofon, I can only recommend them to hear the Club.
Old 14th June 2019
  #13
Here for the gear
 

I think every cartridge needs calibrating, the tonearm tracking weight adjustment at least, they have different weights
I use cheap chinese precision digital scale for jewelry, but I see there are cheap stylus scale gauges at amazon too
Old 19th June 2019
  #14
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atma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmcomposer View Post
I have a Technics SL-1210 Mk II which I've just taken out of storage but see that its needle/stylus is broken. As far as I remember it's a Shure SC-35C.

Should I just get a replacement needle (if possible -I read somewhere that Shure recently stopped all production of needles/cartridges) or a different cartridge/needle entirely? Back in the day I remember always wanting an Ortofon Concord Pro (I think it was called), but see that there are lots of different models to choose from.

I do some scratching (home use) and want something that gives a decent sound (I'm into 80's funk/Hip Hop/Electro) and doesn't wear the vinyl too much.
my personal favorite is the Shure m97xe. I'm pretty sure they discontinued it, so prices might be a bit inflated at this point.
Old 19th June 2019
  #15
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And yes, ABSOLUTELY—pay no attention to colors/appearance. all that matters is the sound quality and compatibility for your particular application.
Old 27th June 2019
  #16
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deuc647's Avatar
I actually bought a reloop rp 7000 when it came with the gold ortofon included and a gold headsheel with it too, so i bought a shure m44-7 so i have both ans never used either yet. Turntable has been plugged in yet either
Old 1st July 2019
  #17
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I am a big fan of the M44-7 myself. Even though I don't scratch much, I do scratch. I also think they hold up better with dusty records and can handle records that have warped better than other cartridges as it doesn't suffer from too much weight when you need it to work (within reason). Even though they are going to be hard to find, they are not at this moment in time. Though it's not necessarily rare to be able to just replace the needle, it's nice you don't need to buy a new cartridge when the needle has issues. Obviously we aren't talking about cheaper cartridges but I have bought some in a pinch, only to have replace the whole cartridge because the needle broke. I personally bought a few cartridges and then more replacement needles that should hold me out for awhile.
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