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Shibata vs Microline Styli

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

  1. krenzler

    krenzler pfm Member

    1000 hours (ML) vs. 800 (SH) as a rough estimate.
  2. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I don't think you can go by these estimates. My personal experience is that ML is easier to set up and ages more gracefully. My that's my imagination but that's how I feel about them.

    Sonically, they are sufficiently close that it's hardly worth talking about it. Other changes to the turntable dwarf the differences between ML and Shibata. Heck, a change in tracking weight aught to do it!
  3. krenzler

    krenzler pfm Member

    Yeah, the good thing about ML/MR/SAS is that it wears very evenly keeping the shape until the very end where then you have to be careful and replace it before it gets to the bottom of the record groove. Problem is that it happens so gradually that it's hard to notice (like a frog on a frying pan).

    This is a very good article on examining stylus wear.
    misterdog likes this.
  4. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    I don't know, as I did say 'LITTLE or no benefit'. I'm purely basing my assumptions on cost of boron (solid, usually) and whereas a detachable stylus assembly would have less rigidity that a fixed canti. on a m/coil, its special properties wouldn't be fully applied.

    Just a thought, really, as why do the vast majority of m/magnets have ally (and hollow, too) cantilevers; obv. cost reasons, but maybe others.
  5. PerF

    PerF Scandinavian Member

    Has anyone tried the rigB body on a AT VM 5xx/7xx ?
  6. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    Just listening to 'Empyrean Isles' through this AT33SA and hearing a smoothness that complements the typical AT dynamism, and I wonder to what extent the Shibata tip brings this refinement? Is there a yin/yang going on with a Shibata tipped Audio Technica cartridge? What I can say is that I'm listening to 'Canteloupe Island' now and this cartridge is doing a great job of getting both the bright attacking quality of Freddie Hubbard's cornet and the intimate breathy halo. That's something I really look for in a cartridge; it's not easy to get. I could never quite get the AT50ANV to achieve that, although my friend who uses one on a Moerch DP6 through an Audio Research PH8 really gets it superbly.
    Mr Pig likes this.
  7. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    No, but I have back to backed the VM body with a Linn K9 alloy body. The VM body sounds better. It has a fuller, more natural sound without really losing anything.
    PerF likes this.
  8. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    20dB @1kHz according to A-T.

    Interestingly, for decades, A-T listed the channel separation of many of their budget MMs as 'More than 20'. In recent years they began simply listing them as 20dB.

    As channel separation is ultimately limited by electrical crosstalk, A-T could have easily fitted a permalloy shield between the coils (like that of the VM series) and got nearer to 30dB. Then again, they likely didn't want to encroach upon the specs of their own dearer models, preferring instead to build down to a price; something that began in the later 1970s with their growing OEM market.

    Looking back, it appears all the more ironic that they've recently taken to fitting posh nude tips to their budget generator. Said irony being related to them having majored on novel generator designs that excel in such areas as channel separation and crosstalk since the 1960s.*

    * In the early 1970s the lowest spec A-T cartridge offered channel separation of 28dB @1kHz and channel balance of +-1dB. This was but one model, the rest were all 30dB and +-0.5dB. By the late 1970s, their budget standard was down to 20dB @1kHz on separation and up to +-2dB on balance.
    twotone likes this.
  9. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    In the P-Mount world, standard AT body - 3000 series - has always had superb separation:

    This is what LPGEAR's nice Shibata and ML versions are based on.

    Other than Grado Gold, these are the best modern P-Mount carts.
    chartz likes this.
  10. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Isn't this making assumptions about the subjective importance of channel separation verses the unknown cost of improving it?
  11. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Your question reminds me of the phrase 'fidelity to what?'.

    If one looks at the specifications of the popular record cutter heads produced since the end of the 1950s, one is likely as not to conclude that 30dB is necessary for full stereo fidelity. On the other hand, subjectively, should one find some of the artificial stereo mixes to be so disjointed as to be distracting, having 10dB less separation may allow one to enjoy more of one's record collection.

    Gone are the days of popular amps such as the Dynaco PAS-3 (and others) where one could choose how much separation one preferred on a record by record basis. If one cares to fiddle, having variable stereo blend and a cartridge with 30dB separation just might be ideal.

    WRT, 'the unknown cost of improving' such, my point was that A-T had already done so and then began to build down to a lower spec, primarily for the OEM market. With cheap giveaway OEMs, this shouldn't matter, however, if they are going to put nude Microline/Shibata tips on, then why leave in the electrical limitations? Certainly, a bit of permalloy the size of a fingernail clipping isn't going to break the manufacturing budget. I suspect that the reality is that this is because the AT9x generator hasn't been changed, but for the coil inductance going from 400 to 550mH, which likely leaves even less room for a sliver of permalloy shield between without shorting the channels and leaving 0dB of separation (although channel balance would then be a prefect ±0dB)!

    Bettisdad, Simon s and Mr Pig like this.
  12. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    Exactly what I’ve got on my SL-7 (or the original Technics 202).
    I have both the Ml and the SH (740ML and 150SA) and I prefer the ML. It is brighter and clears all end of side tracks better than the SH.
    Simon s and Mr Pig like this.
  13. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    As the OP, I'd like to report that having now refitted and realigned the Quintet Black S and used it for a lot more sides, It now sounds as fantastic as any £670 cart should. It transpires that ML and line contact styli have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to playing vinyl that is less than perfect. My slightly warped VG first UK press of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is currently sounding far better with the Ortofon than with the AT or the CD played through a Cyrus DAC X+. There is definitely still a tad more side end distortion with the Shibata, though.

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