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What cartridge works for you in CD-4 Mode...

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fredblue

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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Thanks @bigbillquad for starting this thread, and I believe it's also good to note (from you experienced folks here) what carts "don't" work well. I'll be diving into this special realm of Quad wonderland soon and trying out an AT-VM740ML (ML= MicroLine.) My only concern with being a QUAD LP newbie is not having the experience to KNOW what it should sound like when it's working right!
Experience is GOLDEN.
i'm really interested to see how you get along with the VM740ML for CD-4! comparing the specs, the 740 looks to be a potentially souped-up 440ML with better stated frequency response.. although pretty much everything else about them looks to be the same, so maybe not.. the recc'd tracking force of the 740's 2g vs the 440's 1.4g is a curious thing, i've read conflicting reports over the years, too much tracking force wears discs, too little knackers them.. hmm! 🤔 fun times ahead for the Pupster! 🥳
 

J. PUPSTER

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i'm really interested to see how you get along with the VM740ML for CD-4! comparing the specs, the 740 looks to be a potentially souped-up 440ML with better stated frequency response.. although pretty much everything else about them looks to be the same, so maybe not.. the recc'd tracking force of the 740's 2g vs the 440's 1.4g is a curious thing, i've read conflicting reports over the years, too much tracking force wears discs, too little knackers them.. hmm! 🤔 fun times ahead for the Pupster! 🥳
Hopefully I'll only need "one" pass through for recording 😜 😬
 

fredblue

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Hopefully I'll only need "one" pass through for recording 😜 😬
haha.. 😉 i sincerely hope you nail it first time every time!
🤩👍
yours truly,
FBx
(the person who recorded in 3 copies of BT Express' "Energy To Burn" SQ LP 15 times to get a 'good enough' sounding decode and its still crap! if the first sign of madness is doing the same thing again and again hoping for a different outcome.. 😝 🤣)
 

J. PUPSTER

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haha.. 😉 i sincerely hope you nail it first time every time!
🤩👍
yours truly,
FBx
(the person who recorded in 3 copies of BT Express' "Energy To Burn" SQ LP 15 times to get a 'good enough' sounding decode and its still crap! if the first sign of madness is doing the same thing again and again hoping for a different outcome.. 😝 🤣)
Ohhh - so -you that guy! :ROFLMAO:
 

QuadFix8

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
11
Location
Vancouver bc
I used my vintage high end / quad capable AKG MM cardridge with vintage low hours shibata stylus. But stylus suspention went kaputt. I ordered an Eliptic diamand aftermarket Tonar stylus recently for using it now as my best vintage high end MM stereo cardridge, course NOS or aftermarket shibata is not available anymore!
But soon I'll go for new Ortophon Blue or even better black with shibata! You wont be disapointed! Or Nagaoka 300 or 500 with shibata! Or the new MM Audiotechnica high output cardridge with comes stock shibata. It all works great! But pricey,..just like in the old days.
High output and only MM, atleast 20 - 24000 HZ and shibata!
If you got good old condition vintage NOS or used 'quad' capable cardridges and stylus fine. I'm jelous (I'm crazy about any vintage ALL origional gear and accesories you see) ! Thus again, good, I'm happy for you; but I stopped buying them myself for obvious reasons.
Besides even any brandnew midrange 20-23000 MM with shibata performs better on CD-4 or SQ vinyl then any cardridge from 'the back in the days',..no matter what price range it was then. Besides most cardridge makers lied about the hight of there frequencies / cardridge performance and or, didnt use shibata cut stylus heads on there ' dedicated ' quad cardridges styli (despite most of the times advertized as sudge!).
Note: Without shibata you wear out your 'Quad' grooves way faster then with by the way. Shibata was made / developed for 'Quad' and 'fits' in the CD-4 and SQ grooves like a glove!
 
Last edited:

jaybird100

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Apr 27, 2006
Messages
1,004
Location
Pembroke Pines, FL
I used my vintage high end / quad capable AKG MM cardridge with vintage low hours shibata stylus. But stylus suspention went kaputt. I ordered an Eliptic diamand aftermarket Tonar stylus recently for using it now as my best vintage high end MM stereo cardridge, course NOS or aftermarket shibata is not available anymore!
But soon I'll go for new Ortophon Blue or even better black with shibata! You wont be disapointed! Or Nagaoka 300 or 500 with shibata! Or the new MM Audiotechnica high output cardridge with comes stock shibata. It all works great! But pricey,..just like in the old days.
High output and only MM, atleast 20 - 24000 HZ and shibata!
If you got good old condition vintage NOS or used 'quad' capable cardridges and stylus fine. I'm jelous (I'm crazy about any vintage ALL origional gear and accesories you see) ! Thus again, good, I'm happy for you; but I stopped buying them myself for obvious reasons.
Besides even any brandnew midrange 20-23000 MM with shibata performs better on CD-4 or SQ vinyl then any cardridge from 'the back in the days',..no matter what price range it was then. Besides most cardridge makers lied about the hight of there frequencies / cardridge performance and or, didnt use shibata cut stylus heads on there ' dedicated ' quad cardridges styli (despite most of the times advertized as sudge!).
Note: Without shibata you wear out your 'Quad' grooves way faster then with by the way. Shibata was made / developed for 'Quad' and 'fits' in the CD-4 and SQ grooves like a glove!
I used my vintage high end / quad capable AKG MM cardridge with vintage low hours shibata stylus. But stylus suspention went kaputt. I ordered an Eliptic diamand aftermarket Tonar stylus recently for using it now as my best vintage high end MM stereo cardridge, course NOS or aftermarket shibata is not available anymore!
But soon I'll go for new Ortophon Blue or even better black with shibata! You wont be disapointed! Or Nagaoka 300 or 500 with shibata! Or the new MM Audiotechnica high output cardridge with comes stock shibata. It all works great! But pricey,..just like in the old days.
High output and only MM, atleast 20 - 24000 HZ and shibata!
If you got good old condition vintage NOS or used 'quad' capable cardridges and stylus fine. I'm jelous (I'm crazy about any vintage ALL origional gear and accesories you see) ! Thus again, good, I'm happy for you; but I stopped buying them myself for obvious reasons.
Besides even any brandnew midrange 20-23000 MM with shibata performs better on CD-4 or SQ vinyl then any cardridge from 'the back in the days',..no matter what price range it was then. Besides most cardridge makers lied about the hight of there frequencies / cardridge performance and or, didnt use shibata cut stylus heads on there ' dedicated ' quad cardridges styli (despite most of the times advertized as sudge!).
Note: Without shibata you wear out your 'Quad' grooves way faster then with by the way. Shibata was made / developed for 'Quad' and 'fits' in the CD-4 and SQ grooves like a glove!
The SQ groove is no different than the stereo groove. There's no high frequency carrier, so any standard stereo stylus does the job.
 

Quadzilla

Exiled QQ Veteran
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Messages
2,134
Location
London, Ontario, Canada
I am a Nagaoka fanboy, but neither the MP-300 or MP-500 has a Shibata stylus. I have an MP-30 that I love, but it is not a suitable quadradisc pickup. The "Superfine line contact" design of the MP-500 is NOT the same as a Shibata. It is similar, but not an equivalent.

Also, frequency response must reach comfortably beyond 35kHz … AND the cartridge MUST have adequate channel separation in that ultrasonic range. Unless you can verify that, you can't be sure if it is suitable. Just because the CD-4 'radar' light comes on, it doesn't mean that the signal is being processed properly.

I use an Audio Technica AT20SLa on a heavily-modified Rega P3 with low-capacitance Incognito tonearm wiring, and an AT14S on a Dual 704 modified with hard-wired low-capacitance Belden cable (14pF/foot). A shibata stylus with low-capacitance wiring is a must, and Audio Technica worked with JVC to develop the CD-4 format.
 
Last edited:

gvl_guy

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
21
Location
Greenville, SC
I use the Shure M24H, Shure's only CD-4 cartridge. The best I've found.
I have that same cartridge. I'm told that the stylus has about 60% of life left in it. Any suggestions for a replacement stylus? I've seen some knock offs on line for $80. Have you tried any? One place claims to have the original Shure replacement. I think they want $140 for it. (At that price, it might be better to go for a total new cartridge, but not sure which handle CD-4 anymore.)
 

jaybird100

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Apr 27, 2006
Messages
1,004
Location
Pembroke Pines, FL
I have that same cartridge. I'm told that the stylus has about 60% of life left in it. Any suggestions for a replacement stylus? I've seen some knock offs on line for $80. Have you tried any? One place claims to have the original Shure replacement. I think they want $140 for it. (At that price, it might be better to go for a total new cartridge, but not sure which handle CD-4 anymore.)
I got a French-made aftermarket stylus, a Shibata, for about $50 from a friend who was going to use it in an M95 body. It didn't fit. It had never been used. It was unused, and it sounds terrific.
 

DarrellJ

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Messages
13
Location
Virginia
I was the original mastering engineer at JVC Cutting Center and mastered most of the non-RCA CD-4 Releases in America. If you can find one the original 4MD20X that was JVC's mainstream cartridge released when CD-4 first came out is a fine-sounding cartridge for everyday use. You can occasionally find a few on eBay.
 

vinylguy4

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Messages
636
Location
San Diego area
I've seen your initials in the run out area of many of my records, thanks. Did you test or try out different cartridges back in the day?
Anything that you can recommend for a modern cartridge?
 
Last edited:

russdall

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
3
Location
Here
Being an original owner of an Empire 4000 D II in the mid-70's, I am and always have been an Empire Fan.
I now collect and enjoy about 15 different Empire carts in my arsenal. A couple have been re-tipped with Shibatas and still sound and track great.
 

azdandan

New member
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Phoenix
I’m sitting on a Marantz CD-400B demodulator and a modest collection of CD-4/Quadradisc LPs.
Ones I’m eager to hear in their full discrete 4 channel glory: The Doors, America, Seals & Crofts, Mystic Moods, Sinatra and Carly Simon. I read through this and another thread on the topic and am still at a loss as to what cartridge I should get for CD-4 playback. It seems most of the cartridges mentioned are no longer available. Is anyone here getting good results with a cartridge that can still be purchased new?
 

Quadwreck

Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Messages
1,099
Location
Portland, Oregon
A couple of years ago I started a thread about various CD4 cartridges and demodulators that I experimented with, I think it was titled "Experiments with CD4" or something like that.
 
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