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The Incredible EPC-450C-II

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Doug G.

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
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Jul 8, 2007
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1,639
Location
Rochester, Minnesota
I just bought a NOS Panasonic EPC-450C-II and it truly IS incredible. I can play even my worst CD-4 record without any carrier mistracking or distortion. My worst record being a copy of Hugo Montenegro's "Love Theme from The Godfather", RCA's first Quadradisc. It's the worst, CD-4-wise, anyway. My copy of "Journey to the Center of the Earth" is the worst, over all with many scratches, rendering it unplayable. Oddly enough, the Montenegro record has very few ticks and pops.

Before this, I had various levels of success with different cartridges, the best cartridge, so far, being my XUV-4500Q but it still has problems in the inner grooves. Others mistracked even farther out on the record.

This record is not in the best condition. First of all, it has the tell-tale signs of being cleaned with a carbon fiber brush with fine scratches all through both sides in the typical swirl pattern. Although these scratches may be expected to be close to the surface and not affecting tracking/tracing, if the brush bristles are small enough to enter the grooves, they will damage them, particularly the very fine ultra sonic engravings.

It has the earliest RCA label (light orange with the rings around the outer edge) and probably was not pressed with "super vinyl". I don't know if there were enough of these pressed to have extended into the newer labels.

So anyway. I encourage anybody interested to get one of these if one becomes available even if you have to pay a dear price for one.

I also have another EPC-450C-II I got years ago but the stylus is worn and I have an EPC-451C with like new stylus but it doesn't seem to be quite as adept as the 450C-II. The resolver is a bit bigger in diameter and fits into the elements a bit tighter and thus, stiffens the compliance.

Doug
 

Doug G.

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
1,639
Location
Rochester, Minnesota
As far as the EPC-451C is concerned, I had the diamond not set at quite the right place for minimum tracking error. It was back too far about 2 -3 millimeters. I corrected that and it now is the equal of the EPC-450C-II.

In second place, with the above disc, is the XUV-4500Q. There isn't really any "sandpaper" quad with it but there is some spitting on some hard transients.

In third place is the AT440MLa. No sandpaper with it either but the spitting is a little more severe than the Pickering.

I may try my other cartridges again with this disc just to see if they still perform as I remember.

Of course, with discs in good condition, all of my cartridges perform pretty much flawlessly.

Doug
 

IG88

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
10
Haven't played that Hugo Montenegro record for years . Got a few CD-4 cartridges to throw at it .
 

IG88

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
10
IMG20200920100653.jpg

Playing it with a Empire 5000lac
Does a respectable job
No drop outs
On a JVC dd-5
 

Doug G.

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
1,639
Location
Rochester, Minnesota
OK, cool. I know the 5000 LAC stylus is similar to a 440D stylus and I believe the inductance is about the same as the 4000D quad cartridge spec, around 210 - 260mH, so should perform similarly.

I'll have to get out my 4000 D/I and 440D and try them again on this record.

Doug
 
Last edited:

IG88

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
10
JVC just died power supply?
Was picking up radio in the rear channels before it went.
Got the back up Claricon going
Sounds 100% better
 
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