CD-4 - The thin line between success and failure, but still in the fight!

QuadraphonicQuad

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Doug G.

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
2,596
Location
Austin, Minnesota

Anyone tried this replacement stylus on the Pickering XUV-4500Q (description doesn't mention CD-4)?


Kirk Bayne

I haven't but I would communicate with them first with the understanding I could return it if it didn't work for CD-4 and that would include return shipping.

A few years ago, I tried an aftermarket stylus which claimed to work for CD-4 in an Empire 4000 D/III. The seller agreed I could return it at absolutely no cost to me if it didn't work and - I did.

Doug
 

MidiMagic

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
1,537
I'm concerned about TT adjus0tability too. That is partly why I've been asking for TT recommendations.

I have several CD-4 test/set-up discs. Pretty sure at least one of them has the 30kHz tone. They don't necessarily announce that on the jacket though.

Please elaborate whether you're inquiring about my carts or my styluses. They are not the same thing, right? I have a Pickering XV-15/625E on one TT and a Shure of some kind on the other. It takes an N-91E stylus.

I used to work for a Shure dealer.

The N-91E is the stylus for the M-91E cartridge.
It is a ,7 X .2 mil biradial (a form of elliptical) cartridge. It is not for CD-4.
The tracking force range is 0.5 to 1.5 grams-equivalent.
 

vinylguy4

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Messages
715
Location
San Diego area
Here is what I am now using that is working very well.
Audio Technica VM740ML cartridge with the microline stylus. I have a stylus from AT150Sa (shibata) but it does not work well. VM740ML is the current model from AT.
I think the VM740ML is the equal or better than my AT20sla, and you can buy one today with replacement stylus.
Turntable is Pioneer PLX-1000n. This a current model from Pioneer. Turntable cable is Blue Jeans LC-1 - 2 feet long, 12.2 pF/ft. This is a current model, inexpensive.
Demodulator is JVC 4DD-5. Took a couple tries at getting a working demodulator, this one came from a QQ member via eBay.
After years of sub optimal CD-4 performance, this is what is finally working well for me.
 
Last edited:

Gimme 4

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
727
Location
DFW

Anyone tried this replacement stylus on the Pickering XUV-4500Q (description doesn't mention CD-4)?


Kirk Bayne
Does LP Gear state somewhere their "Vivid Line" stylus is the equivalent of the original Quadrahedral stylus? Out of curiosity I looked, and I couldn't find any reference to that on their web site. Before I shelled out over a hundred bucks for one I would want to know that.
 

Sonik Wiz

👂 500 MPH EARS 👂
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 30, 2005
Messages
3,593
Location
Kansas City
Recently I've been studying the Marantz CD-400B service manual. There are a couple of pages I'd like to share that might be of interest. Certainly I learned a few brand new things about CD-4 reading this. I might even suggest @edisonbaggins gives this the once over as it's mainly about CD-4 cartridges. Sorry dear friends you will have to rotate right....

When the service manual starts off with " It is not easy to pick up the 30kHz signals from the record surface with a mechanical vibrating system" you know there's a big gap between what the salesman told you in 1976 vs the reality.

One of the things I learned brand new is that even the polarization of the magnets in MM cartridge is important. Who has ever thought about that? And that might explain why different carts even with a Shibata/Microline/etc stylus may or may not work.

Down in point 5, it explains why some stereo records still make the CD-4 indicator light up. Mystery solved!

In point 6 it points out that separation & balance is extremely sensitive in decoding. If the sum and difference signal mismatched by only 1dB decoded separation will be less than 20dB.

And phono carts often have terrible phase/freq results. If there is aphase difference of 10 deg between input chs from the cart at any one frequency decoded seperation will degrade by 5>6dB. Is it linear? Does 10deg phase shift mean a reduction 12dB? I don't know... that's why it's a question. I haven't looked in a long time but Ortofon used to plot those specs & compare them to other phono carts. Ortofon, pretty good. Everyone else, pretty bad. The stylus/ cartridge combo is just begging for phase shift from the spectrum.

It's amazing that CD-4 even works at all!
 

Attachments

  • 400B_2.pdf
    790.1 KB · Views: 0
  • 400B_1.pdf
    665.4 KB · Views: 0

Gimme 4

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
727
Location
DFW
I haven't looked in a long time but Ortofon used to plot those specs & compare them to other phono carts. Ortofon, pretty good. Everyone else, pretty bad. The stylus/ cartridge combo is just begging for phase shift from the spectrum.

It's amazing that CD-4 even works at all!
What would you expect Ortofon to say? ☺

I was searching around and found a few of my old posts on "audioreview" from 2009 and some conversation I had about cartridges with member "emaidel" who is/was a member here too, but he hasn't posted since 2015. He worked for Pickering. Of course he said the XUV/4500Q was the best CD-4 cartridge of all! He said the 4500Q was the first Pickering with a super thin cantilever and samarium cobalt magnet and the only CD-4 cartridge that could track at 1 gram. That technology carried over to the Pickering XSV/3000 and the calibrated Stanton 881S which I use almost exclusively. He also said the predecessor to the 4500Q, the XUV/2400Q , "was pretty horrible. Even Walter Stanton himself, in a rare statement of this type, stated the design was 'a bad one.' "

I wonder... what ever happened to Ed Maidel? Got a feeling he may not be with us anymore.
 

Doug G.

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
2,596
Location
Austin, Minnesota
I did see him on some other forums after he frequented this one but that was a few years ago.

Anyway, if you look at my list of cartridges I have in the other CD-4 thread here, in my July 12 post, you will see several different brands and they all work for CD-4 as far as recovering and transferring the carriers to the demodulator. Some sound better than others, of course (the XUV-4500Q compared to the Stanton 780,which is the same as the Pickering 2400Q, for example), but they all basically work fine.

Of course, every manufacturer claimed/s theirs was/is the best.

Doug
 

MidiMagic

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
1,537
What would you expect Ortofon to say? ☺

I was searching around and found a few of my old posts on "audioreview" from 2009 and some conversation I had about cartridges with member "emaidel" who is/was a member here too, but he hasn't posted since 2015. He worked for Pickering. Of course he said the XUV/4500Q was the best CD-4 cartridge of all! He said the 4500Q was the first Pickering with a super thin cantilever and samarium cobalt magnet and the only CD-4 cartridge that could track at 1 gram. That technology carried over to the Pickering XSV/3000 and the calibrated Stanton 881S which I use almost exclusively. He also said the predecessor to the 4500Q, the XUV/2400Q , "was pretty horrible. Even Walter Stanton himself, in a rare statement of this type, stated the design was 'a bad one.' "

I wonder... what ever happened to Ed Maidel? Got a feeling he may not be with us anymore.

There is a reason why there were so few CD-4 cartridges that tracked at 1 gram-equivalent.

The line-contact nature of the Shibata and other CD-4 styli means that the actual pressure-per-unit-area tracking at a stylus force of 2 grams-equivalent is the same as the pressure-per-unit-area of an elliptical stylus at a stylus force of 1 gram-equivalent.

This is also why the antiskate force on a Shibata stylus was higher..
 
Last edited:

Gimme 4

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
727
Location
DFW
There is a reason why there were so few CD-4 cartridges that tracked at 1 gram-equivalent.

The line-contact nature of the Shibata and other CD-4 styli means that the actual pressure-per-unit-area tracking at a stylus force of 2 grams-equivalent is the same as the pressure-per-unit-area of an elliptical stylus at a stylus force of 1 gram-equivalent.

This is also why the antiskate force on a Shibata stylus was higher..
1 gram force spread over the longer contact area would certainly minimize record and stylus wear too.
 

Doug G.

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
2,596
Location
Austin, Minnesota
There is a reason why there were so few CD-4 cartridges that tracked at 1 gram-equivalent.

The line-contact nature of the Shibata and other CD-4 styli means that the actual pressure-per-unit-area tracking at a stylus force of 2 grams-equivalent is the same as the pressure-per-unit-area of an elliptical stylus at a stylus force of 1 gram-equivalent.

This is also why the antiskate force on a Shibata stylus was higher..

Right. More friction.

Doug
 

Gimme 4

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
727
Location
DFW
This is also why the antiskate force on a Shibata stylus was higher..
And differences in friction is why using a record with a slick non-grooved surface doesn't work very good for setting anti-skating force. It will get you in the ballpark but isn't accurate. Will definitely demonstrate what skating force is. Like "Second Winter" by Johnny Winter. Was released as a 3 sided album with a slick 4th side.
 

Quad Linda

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
9,525
Location
DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
My head is spinning!

A little knowledge is dangerous, so am I.

Have used a variety of cartridges for CD-4. PSX-6 SONY DD S-arm. Most experience w/AT & Ortofon. Have experimented with many cartridges w/o buying them. Perks of working for a dealer.

Prior to going AT CD-4/4 DD5, I had Shure M91ED. Used Pioneer PLA-35 w/Shure and AT14sa/4 DD5. Elliptical for CD-4? 👎 I use Shibata for CD-4, Fineline for 2ch & Stanton conical for 78's.

Used phono cart, no. What has the stylus been through? Shibata has squared back end. That breaks or wears unevenly, you could trash 🗑 those CD-4's.

Is it a nude stylus? Bonded can break away, depending on the bonding method. A 50 year old (ab)used cartridge isn't anything I'd use to play my cherished vinyl.

Fineline, etc stylii are rounded and will work for CD-4, kind-of. I prefer these designs for 2ch/matrix playback.

Tracking force: more LP'S are damaged by too little than from too much. Forget about taping 🪙 to add force! 😆 Slightly warped records are especially affected by low tracking force.

Mismatched arm/cart, inadequate setup disc, incompatible MC preamp/transformer, improper cartridge alignment and a million other issues can affect CD-4.

Ortofon MC can and will work... AT, Precept are simpler, lower cost MM solutions. MCA-76 works. T-20 sounds smoother w/cleaner highs on 2ch & matrix. Mixed results at best for CD-4 on T-20. 90% of my total vinyl listening has been Ortofon MC for 45 years.

No surprise, EVERYTHING needs to be right in setting up CD-4, including what cartridge works best with each pre-preamp/transformer, tonearm, etc. Don't forget about capacitance of cables.

Like an expensive sports car, it's finicky. Still, it's worth it. When you get it right, it stays right, at least until you 🎻 fiddle with it. Sandpaper, occasionally but rare.

If I ever grow up, I might get that VPI Scout I've been drooling over!
 
Last edited:

Gimme 4

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
727
Location
DFW
With all this CD-4 discussion I was inspired to get out a few and check the old Pickering XUV/4500Q with my Pioneer QD-240 demodulator. I am happy to report that all is well, and still plays great! Even though my Pioneer TT isn't optimized for CD-4, has about 160 pF capacitance per side as I measured. Passes plenty of carrier.

The Passport "Hand Made" import was my demo standard back in they day. Has none of the restrained compressed sound I thought many CD-4 records had. Very dynamic sound.


doors-passportqdiscs.jpg
 

Quad D

Active Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2022
Messages
61
Location
NYC
Another day, another cartridge tested for CD-4 playback. This time an unlikely candidate (bonded elliptical) but very good suspension design and high level of tracking ability (plays +18 dB track on HIFI News & Record review test record with NO distortion), Grado Opus3. Since I really like the sound of this cartridge, I wanted to see will it play CD-4 tracks at least acceptably, but it actually plays very well, even the worn out records. And, the absolute phase on this cartridge is correct when connected according to instructions, unlike some older Grado quad capable cartridges from the 70's I tried. On well preserved records, it sounds quite nice.
 

Quad D

Active Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2022
Messages
61
Location
NYC
Today I tested Shure V15 VxMR for CD-4 playback, and it passed the test very well, with original MR stylus. Very secure and clean tracking, does the job. Very good on worn records. Tested on Sansui SR636 turntable and QRX-6001 receiver.
 

Gimme 4

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
727
Location
DFW
Today I tested Shure V15 VxMR for CD-4 playback, and it passed the test very well, with original MR stylus. Very secure and clean tracking, does the job. Very good on worn records. Tested on Sansui SR636 turntable and QRX-6001 receiver.
I can confirm that. I have one of those cartridges too and it works fine with my Pioneer QD-240 demodulator playing CD-4.
 
Top