CD-4 Cartridge Stylus Recommendations

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Doug G.

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A couple of years ago, I asked Audio-Technica (Q&A part of their web site) if the AT440MLb would work for CD-4, at first, an A-T employee said he thought it would work, then a month or 2 later, I got an email from A-T saying they would not make any guarantees that it would work for CD-4.


Kirk Bayne

Boss: "You told that guy WHAT?"

Tech: "I'll email him and disavow what I said."

:D

Doug
 

Doug G.

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I like my AT15S, not exact stats, but a AT15Sa ? Has good specs with the Shibata. Just finding one in great shape is the trick. I believe I paid about $125-150 IIRC.


The AT15 series, with the correct stylus, should work perfectly for CD-4 as they were the high end of Audio Technica's "Universal" cartridges, specifically designed for CD-4. Heck, even the lowest price "Universal" AT cartridge works well. I have an AT912Sa which is just a later version of the AT12S (it's white instead of black :D) and it's fine. The highs are probably not quite as good as with the more expensive models. That was usually the deal as one went up the price range with any brand of CD-4 cartridges or even two channel cartridges, for that matter.

Doug
 

kfbkfb

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Pspatial Audio uses the cross feed method to improve the channel separation above 15kHz for a specific cart (made by an associated company) and has long range plans to offer this for other specific carts.


Kirk Bayne
 
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gvl_guy

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The Technics SH-400 has Carrier Crosstalk Cancellation controls and I was in a discussion, once, about using production records to set them since the original test/setup disc supplied only with the SH-400 or a few other CD-4 equipped Technics products are all but impossible to find.

I have done it this way and the meter does react when playing a production CD-4 LP so I set the controls for a minimum reading on the meter for each channel. However, I kind of doubt whether this is really kosher and setting the CCC controls anywhere in their rotation really doesn't make much difference in performance (it always works well) anyway. I know what the circuit must be doing during the CCC test and a production LP would always have carriers present on both channels.

It sure would be great to be able to get one of the original test/setup discs, just for completeness.

Doug
I just purchased an SH-400. It's still in transit. I have CD-4 experience, but I've never seen a CCC control. I have several CD-4 test records, but it's just carrier, separation. Is there another type of test record that needs to be used for this demodulator? (I've also never had one with a meter, so this is going to be totally new for me.)
 

kfbkfb

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The SH-400 uses the QSI-5022 CD-4 IC and doesn't need a carrier level control (but has one for some reason).

IMHO, the CCC is a weird idea because, by ~1975, CD-4 cart channel separation above 15kHz was very good and really didn't need any improvement (see separate thread).

A special test record is needed to adjust the CCC.


Kirk Bayne
 

Doug G.

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Lou Dorren was involved in the design of the SH-400 in collaboration with Technics engineers and he stated that the use of the QSI-5022 chips, which he designed, obviated the necessity of having a carrier level adjustment but the Technics engineers insisted and Dorren was overruled.

I have found that, even though the carrier controls do adjust the apparent carrier level, you can set the controls almost anywhere and the demodulator will still work.

As i said in my post above, the CCC controls make very little difference, if any, in the performance of the demdulator. Were these another unnecessary feature demanded by the engineers? I don't know. I'm pretty sure the way the CCC circuit works is having the carrier in one channel only from the test disc and the signal level would be measured for the opposite channel. Really not any different from regular lower frequency crosstalk tests.

The meter is actually is a great feature in that you don't have to listen to adjust the controls. Just watch the meter, which is probably more accurate than listening, anyway.

And also anyway, it's fun to mess around with all those controls.

Doug
 
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J. PUPSTER

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I just purchased an SH-400. It's still in transit. I have CD-4 experience, but I've never seen a CCC control. I have several CD-4 test records, but it's just carrier, separation. Is there another type of test record that needs to be used for this demodulator? (I've also never had one with a meter, so this is going to be totally new for me.)
We’re definitely going to need ongoing details on this new lovely (but in another thread would be best.)

A special test record is needed to adjust the CCC.
Kirk Bayne
Kirk, is there a discogs link to that record or is it a rare one, or one that was a gear packaged test LP? The test record for separation adjustment in my Marantz CD-400B is a little 45rpm job.
 

sjcorne

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I just purchased an SH-400. It's still in transit. I have CD-4 experience, but I've never seen a CCC control. I have several CD-4 test records, but it's just carrier, separation. Is there another type of test record that needs to be used for this demodulator? (I've also never had one with a meter, so this is going to be totally new for me.)
Assuming you got the one that went for $152 yesterday? If so, that was a steal. I think mine was closer to $300 with the shipping. I love it, the best feature is the "hi-blend" switch that cuts a lot of the background noise without rolling off too much high-end (though many CD-4 discs don't have much to begin with). The meter is useful for tuning the seperation pots, and it's interesting to watch the carrier reading during playback - I've noticed that the level drops significantly in the gap between tracks on a lot of the Japanese LPs, whereas it stays high on the US discs. In any case, I hope it all works out.
Kirk, is there a discogs link to that record or is it a rare one, or one that was a gear packaged test LP? The test record for separation adjustment in my Marantz CD-400B is a little 45rpm job.
 

gvl_guy

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Assuming you got the one that went for $152 yesterday? If so, that was a steal. I think mine was closer to $300 with the shipping. I love it, the best feature is the "hi-blend" switch that cuts a lot of the background noise without rolling off too much high-end (though many CD-4 discs don't have much to begin with). The meter is useful for tuning the seperation pots, and it's interesting to watch the carrier reading during playback - I've noticed that the level drops significantly in the gap between tracks on a lot of the Japanese LPs, whereas it stays high on the US discs. In any case, I hope it all works out.

No, actually. Don't hate me, but I got it for $80 including shipping. A few months ago I posted about an estate sale that was happening in Woodstock, GA, just outside Atlanta. A gentleman passed away who was a quad hoarder. Thousands of pieces of equipment were available for sale. (I ended up with two receivers and a CD-4 Grado cartridge -- all semi working.) Well, they found several pallets more of quad stuff in a storage unit. I contacted the son-in-law who had organized everything and asked if he had any more demodulators. All the JVCs they had at the sale had been spoken for. He found this one. I really hope it works! I'm looking forward to playing around with it. It's actually going to be a backup to my Sansui QRX-9001.

I have 3 different test records, one is part of a 33 1/3 rpm various artists thing. None have that Carrier Crosstalk Cancellor Adjustment. I have to say that this LP's tones sound totally different than those crappy little 45 rpm ones.

 

kfbkfb

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For LF/LB and RF/RB separation, I connected LF(RF) to L and LB(RB) to R on my stereo amplifier and used stereo headphones to adjust the F/B separation for each side.

I set the carrier level a the midpoint and the CCC to minimum for both L and R (I don't have a CD-4 cart).


Kirk Bayne
 

ummagumma

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Sounds like a fun project, good luck! Looking forward to reading about it.

I'm all setup for CD-4 except for the demodulator. Empire 4000 Diii cart & stylus, Empire 698 TT.

Rick Wakeman's "journey to the centre of the earth" is standing by for whenever I get a demodulator!
 

kfbkfb

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I noticed several CD-4 demods on ebay a moment ago...


There's also the software option (need an amplifier, computer, CD/DVD writer [and maybe an Apple virtual machine/emulator]) and a DTS encoder to make a DTS 4.0 CD-R or DVD-R of the decoded CD-4 music file to play on most CD/DVD/Blu-ray players.


Kirk Bayne
 

ummagumma

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Thanks!

I didn't get the Empire gear specifically for quad: it's a fantastic TT & the cart/stylus are amazing for stereo. But it was always in the back of my mind that quad was a possibility.

The Surroundmaster covers everything I need, other than CD-4 for this one album. But hey, it's Rick Wakeman! It's worth it.
 

jefe1

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I was the guy that won that SH 400 for $152, Kind of a fluke I put in a bid and expected it to go north of $300. So I am surprised I won it.........although winning when you are paying for something sounds a little weird.

Anyways what cable connects do you recommend I get for it to preserve the capacitance?

If you search on QQ there are a lot of old posts concerning working combinations of turntables and cartridges for CD4.
It would be a good project to gather them up and put in a new thread for research.

I found a few old posts of mine concerning my Dual 1225 and Grado cartridge. I know there is someone here who worked with a Dual dealer and says the Dual 1225 was not ready for CD4 however it worked for me and has the CD4 adjustment scale for antiskating on it. I dont think Dual would purposely misrepresent the capabilities of one of their turntables. Im sure there are other turntables and combinations that sounded better.
 

kfbkfb

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These links might be helpful:

1974 cart guide (carts labeled 4-chan. are suitable for CD-4):

1975 cart guide (carts labeled Q in Stylus Type column are suitable for CD-4):

1976 cart guide (carts labeled Q in Stylus Type column are suitable for CD-4):


Maybe make a list of CD-4 carts from these equip listings and try to find one (or more) CD-4 carts online etc. (+ check if a new stylus is still available).


Kirk Bayne
 

edisonbaggins

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These links might be helpful:

1974 cart guide (carts labeled 4-chan. are suitable for CD-4):

1975 cart guide (carts labeled Q in Stylus Type column are suitable for CD-4):

1976 cart guide (carts labeled Q in Stylus Type column are suitable for CD-4):


Maybe make a list of CD-4 carts from these equip listings and try to find one (or more) CD-4 carts online etc. (+ check if a new stylus is still available).


Kirk Bayne
Updated the OP with info from these 3 pages. Thanks, my man.
 
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