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  1. Hello Folks: Just Did Comparison Audio Recordings of 3 TTs and 3 Cartridges I hope this is posted to the correct part of the Forum. Today, I just wanted to make certain that the cartridge physically worked. It does. Although more break in time and tweaking are likely needed. I ran 3 tests today. Most all of my records were bought used, and most are in reasonable though not pristine shape. Each test therefore used a somewhat clean record (but with a couple big fingerprint smudges which are common in my mostly used record collection). I chose somewhat wisely as no loud pops are noted, the record was not warped and had no significant scratches. Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA. Chosen in part because I thought others might have this for comparison purposes, no bad scratches, and no bad warps. It would be great to get test audio files from others for comparison. Testing gear: Pro-Ject - Debut Carbon Esprit SB (DC), Ortofon 2M Blue needle. The TT was bought with a damaged body (nothing that affects the sound) and I swapped out a broken red stylus for a new Blue. No mounting changes were made to the cartridge. Middle string weight position. Technics SL 1210 MK5, bought used and the mounting gimbal might not be in great shape. Stanton Groovemaster cartridge that is blue in color, used, but no idea of prior history of either the TT nor DJ cartridge. Heavy DJ use suspected. Not recently rebalanced. Technics SL 1210 M5G, bought used. New cheap head shell ($15.00 or so) and new AT 33 EV MC cartridge. I bought the 33 on a great sale. So for the price, I decided to give it a try. The screw lengths in the 33 package were a cluster – only 1 screw was of perfect length. I had to “adjust” a longer screw on the other side, so perhaps that subtle difference in weight might cause an issue, though no tilt was obvious. On my stereo, the LT channel was clearly emphasized (or RT side was too quiet). 1.8gr tacking force, the minimum for the cartridge was used. This was not tested with a gauge, only via spinning the counterweight knob. VTA was set to zero position which gave close to parallel positioning. The needle tip looked to be in good position using the SL 1200 overhang gauge. I have never had much luck with the protractors, so I only guestimated this. Phono or TT preamp: Pro Ject Tube Box DS. Bought with the P J TT. Ugly box, but preamp looked pristine. Settings: MM cartridges: pins cross at 40dB and 100pF on both LT and RT sides (as per directions for Ortofon 2M Red). AT 33 EV treated as a Low Output MC (LOMC) due to 0.3 mV output. It is listed at 100 ohms, but the Tube Box manual notes that no pins should cross per capacitance, so I pulled the pins at 40 dB, pulled out the 100pF pin, and placed the only crossing pin at F/V for LT and RT sides and dial was at 10 (as noted for the Ortofon Rondo Red). NO other settings were tested today. Receiver: Onkyo TX SR 805. From around 2007, also bought used. Great shape. My preferred all in 1 unit due to highly rated amp. Tape IN used for preamp input, not the phono input. VCR OUT (Tape out did not work) for recording to desktop computer LINE IN (blue color on the back of the desktop). Cables: nothing fancy. All electronics plugged into same surge protector 8 outlet extension device. Ground wire from TT to Preamp. Another ground wire from Preamp to Onkyo phono grounding pin. There were some audio hum issues before recordings were done, but none were noted during recordings. All TTs were pretty close to level via green level bubble. Audacity was the free software used for the W10 PC. The Groovemaster SL1210 was by far the loudest. So Audacity levels were reduced to about 33%. I thought the sound was ok / good. The Ortofon Blue Pro Ject combo was the next loudest and native Audacity recording level of about 50% was used. I thought this sounded best via Klipsch LaScalas in simple stereo mode. I have a Fender Pro 18” subwoofer too. I have a tiny studio apt where these were tested today. The AT 33 EV was tested after only 2 minutes of prior use by me. It was quiet and I set the Audacity levels to 80% or so. The only reason for the test today was to ensure that the AT 33 EV worked as this was my last day to return the cartridge if it was a dud. So I accept that break in time is needed and likely some more “fiddling” as well. I was not impressed at 2 minutes of use….LOL. On my stereo, I had to readjust the volume for each TT to get a similar loudness. Please bear in mind I have never done this before so I do not know how to edit the sound files at all. There is about 10-20 seconds of dead time from when I start the recording on the computer until I run to the TT and do the needle drop. Only recorded about 60-90 seconds of the Born in the USA tract. Should be enough for listening and comparison purposes. I also do not know how to equalize the recording volumes. They all sounded crappy via my tiny computer monitor speakers. Please let me know your thoughts or how to edit. Seems like the max size for attachments here is 2MB and my recordings are 15-17 MB each. If appropriate, where else to post the comparison that allows uploads of the audio recordings? From NOLA with love
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