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Thread: Cartridgeman Musicmaker Cartridge resistive loading

  1. #1

    Default Cartridgeman Musicmaker Cartridge resistive loading

    I recently read an article on parallel resistive loading of Moving Iron cartridges particularly Grado. http://daveyw.edsstuff.org/vinyl/loading/

    I use a Cartridgeman Musicmaster Cartridge. Though I was very happy with the cartridge into the Croft standard 47k ohm Moving iron/magnet loading I decided to give it a try.

    I bought an RCA 2 female 1 male plug my son has a collection of 1/4w resistors I made & tried 6 pairs of resistor normal RCA plugs soldering the resistors from poss-neg in the RCA. It required no mods to my Croft phono stage

    I settled on an 11k ohm per channel resistor which when added to the 47k ohm per channel = 9k ohm loading.(when resistors are in parallel the resistance is always lower than the lowest value resistor)

    I was stunned by the result I am not going to attempt to describe the difference other than better in every way.

    I sent an email to len Gregory aka The Cartridgeman to ask if he thought me a Heretic for moving from his published spec.

    Len's reply

    Hello John;

    No, I have never been dogmatic about input requirements, I have always stated that it is a question of taste think about it: every system has such varying intolerances of capacitance and resistance what with the wiring and impedance differentials that when I state that the basic requirement is for a 47 kHz input this is meant as a starting point a reference if you will, I have been using something less than this for a couple of decades, but you try explaining this to the guy who buys a phono-stage or pre-amplifier with a fixed value input who has no idea of matters electrical/technical and they freak out.

    I think most people I have known for some time usually get round to experimenting with this parameter until they find what they are most comfortable with. I am, so pleased that you are discovering even greater musical treasures than before.

    Enjoy the music

    Leonard.


    Try it its cheap and instantly reversible. It also works with Moving Coils if your dip switches don't cut it.
    You can even alter capacitance this way, moving irons are not overtly affected by capacitance. unfortunately higher values for Shure cartridges for instance require mods to the phonostage.

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    Fascinating stuff Leonard.
    I've been thinking about this stuff for a while now. Having experimented with different SUT's for MC carts. A soft and plummy Koetsu on standard loading gained adequate brightness with a 30 kOhm
    Fidelity Research SUT.
    For a while I felt helpless buying all these old carts off ebay with some being too bright or too dark etc.
    I wanted to apply this to MM carts. I also love the Decca but it's too bright in my system.
    Had a chat with Rothwell guy and he offered some advice about using Capacitors but didn't spell it out clearly enough to a not very electronic savvy like me.

    Do you have a rule of thumb?

    Reducing resistance with parallel resistors = Brighter or darker?

    Best,
    Warren
    The only way round is through the bend...

  3. #3

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    Audiovista

    My name is John, Leonard is Len Gregory AKA The Cartridgeman.

    The item below was lifted from DR J on Steve Hoffman Music Forums...

    For each turntable lead (channel), I just used one female to 2 male connector I had, and then that connected to a 2 female to 1 male connector I had. Measuring the capacitance of these two joined together it's almost exactly 80 pF, and when I saw that I knew I was golden. Here's why:

    I have a Shure V15V-MR (the precursor to the VxMR, and it has a flatter frequency response on top). It likes 250 pF total capacitance loading, ideally.

    My Technics SL-1200mk2 table stock leads and tonearm wiring add, according to Kevin at KAB who has measured them, about 120 pF.

    So adding 120 pF for the turntable leads/wiring to the 80 pF from the connector extension gives 200 pF.

    Then as the final touch, I just set my adjustable phono stage to the 50 pF loading option, giving an almost dead on 250 pF total loading for the combo.

    And boy does it make a difference to hit this right on the money! Before thinking to do this, and instead just using the Technics leads plugged straight into my phono stage, the best I could do was to get either slightly too low on the loading (120 pF plus the 100 pF phono stage setting = 220), or slightly too high (120 pF plus the 150 pF phono stage setting = 270 - there's no option between 100 and 150 on my phono stage). Both of these settings, while still quite respectable, did not sound exactly right to a critical ear...the too-low loading sounded a bit scooped out in the upper mids, while the one with the slightly too high loading pushed the upper mids up while the extreme highs got rolled off a bit. The flaws on both settings were annoying on prolonged critical listening (at least to some people - told you I was anal in the first post!).

    By contrast, the current 250 pF loading sounds just right! I've been listening now for several hours to a variety of albums, some that I use as "torture tests" for systems precisely because they have sonic flaws that are in effect accentuated (or at least more annoying than usual) when something is not right in the chain, and they all sound very listenable, and the well-mastered stuff like Music Matters 45 rpm jazz titles sound sublime. Nothing sounds "wrong."

    Obviously have to live with it a bit longer but so far I think I've got this licked! And, I have to say the V15V-MR just keeps going up and up in my estimation - if you load this thing correctly it is DEAD ON neutral and natural sounding. Just effortless.

    BTW you may wonder why I use 2 Y connectors on each channel and 50 pF on the phono stage, rather than 100 on the phono stage and just 1 Y connector. No big mystery, it's just that this approach gives me the closest to 250 pF. I tried 100 pF on the phono stage and just a single Y connector and while it is extremely close I thought the combo of 2 Ys and 50 pF sounded even better. No extra problems (noise etc) introduced with the 2 connectors so that's what I'm going with.
    Last edited by Big John; 14th February 2015 at 22:30.

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    Awesome work John,
    Cant beat honest pragmatic investigation.
    I don't need to tell you how insulting it is to be told to stop analysing the system, enjoy the music and get your chequebook out by a trusty dealer.
    I like to learn what is wrong with a curry in order to make it better next time. Otherwise you end up on takeaway Rogan Josh for ever...

    I could do with a Capacitance-ometer... ?
    The only way round is through the bend...

  5. #5

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    Found some 4.7k x 2 + 47k = 2.2k I think I am there.
    I do not buy from dealers normally from trusted members on forums, sometimes as with the "Musicmaster" I buy direct from the manufacturer ie "The Cartridgeman" Len Gregory who I know & trust implicitly.
    As for Indian food my youngest aunt was born there; so though I have not been to India, I grew up eating food from all over the sub continent, I don't often eat in anglicized restaurants with only Bangladeshi chefs; however in west London I have several neighbors/friends who send me food parcels occasionally, so a bit like my sound system I try not to do ersatz.

    There are some good reviews of Digital Multi-Meters's with capacitance,inductance etc. on You Tube.

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    Food Parcels??? Nice
    Got some Indian jeans. Ma's a Suth Efrican hybrid similar to "cape coloured". 2 of her sisters look indian, 1 a hint of Indonesian, a late brother who looked like Saddam Hussain.
    My Grandmama looks Italian with a bit of Ewok and was taught food by Durban Indians. Family curries tend to be whole chicken with spuds and peas, mild with little oil or the occasional Biriani.

    Curious about the Cartridgeman carts. Only heard the Grado DJ which seemed a bit too smooth for me in comparison to an Ortofon.
    What does he do to upgrade them? Is it that potting with wax etc?

    Read that thread about Cartridge Potting and could help think of Morcambe Bay...
    The only way round is through the bend...

  7. #7

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    The only thing used from the Grado is the case that Len G bought the rights to from J Grado. The Coils, cantilevers ( particularly the Sapphire cantilever on my Musicmaster) suspension & stylus's are all Cartridgeman products, none of this stable of cartridges are smooth, accurate yes without being harsh & without moving coil artificial shimmer, however brushed cymbals sound right strings sound has just enough bite, I regularly act as a fire steward at the regular classical concerts often with internationally recognized artists (I was 10 feet from Tamsin Little as she played last week) are held at my local church which is large with superb acoustics.

    Whilst I would not pretend that a recording is anything other than at best a reasonable facsimile of a live performance, it is my belief that Len's stable of cartridges dig more out of a grove than can be believed particularly in a Hadcock 242 unipivot.

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    Sounds like a great cart. I take it the Musicmaster is an off the website version?
    I find the flimsy budget Grado body off putting. Obviously does the job but it could be a lot tastier on a pricey item.

    Heard one of the Soundsmith moving irons on an EAR Masterdisk and thought it sounded fab.
    The only way round is through the bend...

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