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Shibata vs Microline Styli

Discussion in 'audio' started by foxwelljsly, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. myles

    myles Intentionally left blank

  2. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    I don't think I've ever used a Shibata stylus. My latest fav is a Micro-ridge from Hana. Unfussy and tracks beautifully.
  3. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    I've fitted the Shibata Cart again and I think I have detected the difference.

    Shibata styli fit more snugly, and are in contact with more of, the record groove. This means that they are in contact with virgin groove that other styli have been unable to contact and wear, but also in better contact with the upper reaches of the groove where surface damage is most audible, so you hear both virgin groove and scratches reproduced in a glory that eludes other Styli profiles.

    The music on old records sounds great, but, conversely, the surface damage is reproduced more loudly.

    That's what I think I'm hearing, anyway.

    I think the Shibata is probably marginally better than FL/ML styli on records that are in very good condition, but at the cost of far more noise on records that are less than perfect, for which, perversely, they will also be slightly superior at reproducing the programme material.
  4. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Interesting theory, however, looking at the Namiki Jewel Co. drawings/specs for MicroRidge vs. Shibata tip profiles, particularly the groove contact areas, there doesn't appear to be any indicator of possible contact with the upper most reaches of the groove with Shibata. Note that the vertical contact dimensions L1 centre on Section A-A1 in the images below (i.e. the points at which contact is made at 90º to the groove wall).

    MicroRidge [image credit: Adamant Namiki Jewel Co.]:

    Shibata III [image credit: Adamant Namiki Jewel Co.]:
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
    foxwelljsly likes this.
  5. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    That's useful, is the microridge the same as the Microlinear profile AT use?

    It's just a theory and, like many bandied around here, almost certainly wrong. With Ortofon and AT both offering Shibata Styli, I am surprised at the complete lack of any information from either manufacturer that might allow customers to make an informed purchase. But that's also an unsurprising but irritating tendency from manufacturers serving this hobby.
  6. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    The current audio-technica VM series Microlinear tip is specified as being 0.12 x 2.2mil. Converting to micron [µ], this is 3 x 56µ. Compare Namiki r/R of 2-3/70-80µ.
  7. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    One of the main reasons to use a line contact stylus is for the line to be as thin as possible without cutting the vinyl.
    Why? - well it gets closer to the width of the cutter head profile and therefore gives the least high frequency distortion, especially toward the end of the disc.
    Shibata is a fat line contact, ML is a thin line contact.
    The width of the Shibata is usually the same as found on elliptical (6-8um), and while it does gives extended contact with the groove wall thanks to the length of the profile cut, it offers little HF benefit over a good elliptical.
    ML can trace strong HF signals more faithfully and does so for consistently longer life as the minor radius of the profile, the important bit for HF performance, doesn't change as the tip *wears and is usually around 3um.

    It's a slam-dunk win for ML/MR.

    *Until it wears out completely and the ridge on the diamond wears away.
  8. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    In line (ouch!) with Robert's post above, here are Namiki's FR plots of their MicroRidge vs. line contact tips (presumably adjusted to account for electrical loading response deviations).

    Rosewind and Amber Audio like this.
  9. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    You can tell when someone knows what they're talking about. Thanks @Robert and @Craig B
    Robert and Amber Audio like this.
  10. Simon s

    Simon s pfm Member

    Yes !
  11. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    After all that, I'm now using this refined technology to blast my ears with the tinny garage racket of The Stones 'Got Live if you want it'.
    Craig B likes this.
  12. jamie123

    jamie123 pfm Member

    how come no one has mentioned setting azimuth yet? just as important imo as sra/vta with these tips.
  13. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    A funny word, azimuth.


    I dunno, azi?

    Well, maybe 'e az, let's ask 'im.
    Rosewind and foxwelljsly like this.
  14. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    What about it? It's a routine part of installing a cartridge on a unipivot arm to make sure the headshell is level.

    Should we be running these carts wonky? Are the manufacturers of expensive MC carts issuing hardware that isn't correctly aligned for use in a fixed gimbal arm? I'm not hearing it, but if they are, I want my money back.
  15. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    Always makes me think of a 70's Fusion outfit. Or did I imagine it?
  16. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    T'was real. British jazz trio on ECM.

    Their first album, self-titled 'Azimuth' (from 1977) is the last LP in my A section.
    Rosewind, Simon s and foxwelljsly like this.
  17. jamie123

    jamie123 pfm Member

    in your opening post, you say,Is there an art to getting Shibata Styli to sound right?
    i was answering your question by saying to get the best from these tips you have to pay close attention not only to sra/vta but also azimuth.
    Wilson and myles like this.
  18. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    I think we worry about stylus shape too much. One can get excellent results with a variety of stylus shapes from spherical - Denon DL103 to elliptical - Technics EPC series, shibata - Ortofon Jubilee to microridge - Shure MM/Jico and everything in between.

    The only stylus I didn't like is the LPGear's "vivid line" for their AT body series.

    I don't find shibata tip to be unduly fussy at all. Pay attention to the MC loading and VTF, make sure your cart is set at the right angle in the headshell, level your tone arm and you are good to go.

    Pretty much anything else is just nervosa.
    DAVEDWACK likes this.
  19. Bairnstorm

    Bairnstorm pfm Member

    I have shibata on an Ortofon Jubilee and microline on a Benz Micro Ref S.

    It took me 3 years to set up the shibata successfully and about 10 minutes for the microline. That may be because I had learnt so much from finally getting the shibata right.

    The shibata sounds more detailed but when I put the ml back on there is more detail just not so etched. Put the weight up from 1.75 to 1.8 and the ml sounds a touch dull. Down to 1.7 and doesn't track so well. The Ortofon is consistent at 2.3. This is double edged as some recordings sound better on one than the other.

    Properly set up they are both quiet in the groove but the ml is by far the quietest cartridge I have ever heard.

    There is very little between them and both very enjoyable. One is not better than the other.

    Badly set up and they are meh!

    I used an arc protractor downloaded off the internet I think made by Hoffman. I remeasured the spindle to pivot and instead of being 316.6 it was more 315. It doesn't look that bad on the other measurements but the sound difference is chalk and cheese. One is stable soundstage and the other pulls in different directions and is noisier.
  20. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    This is EXACT opposite of my experience with the Jubilee. Simple 1 point protractor setup in Rega P10, 2.3 grams and level arm. The only thing I do special is to use the micro digital weight scale to set the VTF, not the tone arm dial. I spent a small amount of time - a couple of LPs worth - to set the MC loading.

    That's it.

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