CD-4 Cartridge Stylus Recommendations

QuadraphonicQuad

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surroundophile

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Music Direct carries a new Audio Technica cartridge "

AUDIO TECHNICA - AT-ART9XA Dual MC Phono Cartridge"​

that has a Shibata stylus and has Frequency Response: 20-50,000 Hz. That should be good for CD-4.
But the price.........
 

MidiMagic

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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.

I just realized that there may be two "versions" of the Dual 1225. It was the cheapest in the Dual line at the time. Maybe when they upgraded the 1229 to the 1229Q, they also threw low-cap cables into all of the Dual boxes. The cable was not integral to the record changer, but plugged into it. But the one I had (for test bench purposes) was the first one the store had shipped to them. So it would have had the old cables.
 

jefe1

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Hi Midi

I defer to your superior knowledge.
I got the Dual with a Kenwood 5400 receiver great unit I still have in a box somewhere but who knows if it still works. The kenwood took a plug in module for quad. I knew nothing about quad then and was told at the HiFi store to ignore it..... I also did not have money for extra speakers etc.
Yes the cables on the Dual 1225 have RCA jacks and you could replace them which I did later. But I assume you still need special wiring in the tone arm

As for the SH 400 demodulator what brand cables would you recommend to use with it? Are all cable connects now low-cap?
Previously I was hooked up to a Sansui QRX 90001 and used the built in CD4 demodulator so I did not have an external unit to connect.
 

gvl_guy

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Music Direct carries a new Audio Technica cartridge "

AUDIO TECHNICA - AT-ART9XA Dual MC Phono Cartridge"​

that has a Shibata stylus and has Frequency Response: 20-50,000 Hz. That should be good for CD-4.
But the price.........
This one is a moving coil cartridge. Don't they have a lower output than typical moving magnet? Not sure how that would match up to a CD-4 demodulator input.

...and that price. 😳
 

Doug G.

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This one is a moving coil cartridge. Don't they have a lower output than typical moving magnet? Not sure how that would match up to a CD-4 demodulator input.

...and that price. 😳

What you do is have a pre-pre-amp as in regular two channel stereo. You just have to make sure the pre-pre-amp has response high enough to pass the ultra sonic frequencies. Quad Linda does this. I have forgotten which cartridge she uses.

Yeah, the price. Good luck, you rich guys!

Doug
 
Last edited:

kfbkfb

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MidiMagic

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Hi Midi

I defer to your superior knowledge.
I got the Dual with a Kenwood 5400 receiver great unit I still have in a box somewhere but who knows if it still works. The kenwood took a plug in module for quad. I knew nothing about quad then and was told at the HiFi store to ignore it..... I also did not have money for extra speakers etc.
Yes the cables on the Dual 1225 have RCA jacks and you could replace them which I did later. But I assume you still need special wiring in the tone arm

As for the SH 400 demodulator what brand cables would you recommend to use with it? Are all cable connects now low-cap?
Previously I was hooked up to a Sansui QRX 90001 and used the built in CD4 demodulator so I did not have an external unit to connect.
Usually the tonearm wiring was braided and shielded by the metal tube of the arm. This needed no upgrade.
 

jefe1

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Hi Midi. Thanks for the information. I did not know that about tonearm wiring.

Im wondering if you can advise about cable links to the demodulator. Are all current cables low cap now or only certain brands?

Somewhere I found a website that has diagrams and information on all the stylus types including conical elliptical Shibata line contact etc. If I can find the link again I will post it here.
 

jefe1

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Here is the website with diagrams photos etc on different stylus types and how they make contact with the groove walls

 

edisonbaggins

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Can't edit the OP anymore. So, just noting here that the ADC ZLM is "not very tested".
On my system, it works fine on some CD-4 LPs. On one it's given a "scratchy" playback.
Also note that it simply came with the TT I recently bought (Marantz 6150). No need to assume I sought it out especially because of @chucky3042 reviews! ;)
Buyer beware! :SB
 

edisonbaggins

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Ok, per the data collected for this thread, here are the carts(?) that have actual, favorable, QQ testimonies:

AT VM540ML
AT VM740ML
AT 440MLb
AT 912Sa
AT 12S
AT 15S
AT 15Sa
JVC 4MD-20X
Nagaoka JT-322
Empire 4000 Diii

1) Of these, does anyone feel strongly that any would work particularly well with a Marantz 6150 TT? Or NOT work?

2) Does anyone wish to add any tested, good carts?

3 a) If one of these carts is acquired, does it come with a suitable stylus? Or is the right stylus an extra consideration?

3 b) If a specific stylus is needed, please provide that recommendation.
 

Doug G.

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The Panasonic EPC- 450C II and EPC-451C semi-conductor (strain gauge) cartridges work great. They need a demodulator that can supply the voltage to them to work.

These cartridges were supplied with Panasonic demodulators (SE-405, others?).

Doug
 
Last edited:

Quad D

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Ok, per the data collected for this thread, here are the carts(?) that have actual, favorable, QQ testimonies:

AT VM540ML
AT VM740ML
AT 440MLb
AT 912Sa
AT 12S
AT 15S
AT 15Sa
JVC 4MD-20X
Nagaoka JT-322
Empire 4000 Diii

1) Of these, does anyone feel strongly that any would work particularly well with a Marantz 6150 TT? Or NOT work?

2) Does anyone wish to add any tested, good carts?

3 a) If one of these carts is acquired, does it come with a suitable stylus? Or is the right stylus an extra consideration?

3 b) If a specific stylus is needed, please provide that recommendation.
Only two cartridges on the list are available as new, so that is the most logical choice. You can add AT VM95SH to the list, also current, and cheapest. I can confirm it works well.
If we go with vintage cartridges, many can be added to the list, but unless you have a soft spot for one of them or require their specific sound, chasing styluses becomes an issue.
Of current ones Ortofon Blue and Grado Opus3 also work, but not universal enough to be recommended because both have elliptical stylus.
Shure V15 VxMR works well, and V15 III also surprisingly works, but with some reservations.
 

edisonbaggins

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If we go with vintage cartridges, many can be added to the list, but unless you have a soft spot for one of them...
Oh, dang! It's not about my soft spot for any brand! After the shaming I got here yesterday, I'm only interested in carts/styli that have searchable, findable, favorable review posts from other QQers. I've learned my lesson!!!

And your recommendations are noted. Thank you!
 
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Ok, folks! Lots of CD-4 advice has been exchanged over the last few weeks. It's all much appreciated!
I think it would be helpful (to me) to break down the advice by specific items.

So... carts and styluses!

Here are the compiled recommendations, thus far (updated 8/8/2022):

ADC
ZLM
SX LM MK II

Audio Technica
AT440MLA
AT440MLB
AT12SA
AT14SA
AT15SA
AT15SS
AT20SS
AT20SLA
AT912Sa
ATVM740ML

Band & Olufsen
MMC6000
MMC5000

Empire
4000D I/II/III
440D

Grace (Sumiko)
F8/F
F8/E
F-9F
F-9U

JVC
X 1
4MD-20x
CD4-1000

Micro/Acoustics
QDC-1G

Nakamichi
MC-1000

Ortofon
SL20Q
MC-20
MC-20 Mk II

Panasonic
EPC-451
EPC-450C II

Pickering
XUV-4500Q
UV15-2400Q
UV15-2000Q

Pioneer
PC-Q1

Satin
M-117X

Shure
M 24H

Sonic Research
Blue Label
Silver Label P

Stanton
780-4DQ
780-Q

Strain gauge
???

Technics
EPC-45OC-II

Win Laboratories
SDT-10

Criteria I care about:

1) Easy compatibility, e.g. some carts/stylii need a special preamp. Let's avoid those, unless they're clearly ultra superior. Bear in mind that a TT and/or demod might need to be acquired, so a cart/stylus that plays well with lots of gear will leave the most options later.
2) Currently manufactured, i.e. let's avoid discontinued models that might, or might not, be available.
3) Value, e.g. let's avoid $5k carts. Several hundred dollars is doable.
4) Good sound! Let's avoid products that really just don't do it for ya! I'm no audiophile. If it's decent, I should be happy.

Thanks for the help! I'd like to make a cart/stylus purchase soon and get this show on the road, as they say!

:SB:LB:SG
Good start on the list ! Start a CD-4 info repository…

I purchased a Audio Technica Pro14s which I understand is a Shibata stylus and I have been told is a relative of the 14Sa… as it so happened I found a seller on eBay who was a sales engineer working on implementations of demodulators with the QSI5022 chips (Aka: Technics SH-400 & SWTPC, Heathkit) sold me some QuadraDisc albums only played on Cartridges with Shibata’s for demo purposes. Got the cartridge. I’m in same boat, trying to dial in all of this stuff…
 
Joined
May 24, 2014
Messages
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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.
 
Joined
May 24, 2014
Messages
24
Good start on the list ! Start a CD-4 info repository…

I purchased a Audio Technica Pro14s which I understand is a Shibata stylus and I have been told is a relative of the 14Sa… as it so happened I found a seller on eBay who was a sales engineer working on implementations of demodulators with the QSI5022 chips (Aka: Technics SH-400 & SWTPC, Heathkit) sold me some QuadraDisc albums only played on Cartridges with Shibata’s for demo purposes. Got the cartridge. I’m in same boat, trying to dial in all of this stuff…
Technics EPC-460c and EPC-465c
Both used CD-4 Stylus: Technics EPS-46STQD

Strain Gauge (aka: Panasonic/Technics "SemiConductor")
 

Quad D

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One cable I know has low capacitance (30 pF/meter) is Audioquest BigSur and I can recommend it for CD-4, I even use it as extension of my Sansui turntable cable to reach the receiver, with no CD-4 performance penalty.
 

par4ken

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One cable I know has low capacitance (30 pF/meter) is Audioquest BigSur and I can recommend it for CD-4, I even use it as extension of my Sansui turntable cable to reach the receiver, with no CD-4 performance penalty.
Looks like one of those "Audiophile" cables that many here like to criticize as a waste of money. If the capacitance is as low as you say those cables might be well worth the price! They are directional as well which can't hurt.
 
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