Our favorite needle retipping service

Grado-f1a-600x755I have always been convinced that the strongest reason to use only Moving Magnet cartridges was the possibility to replace the stylus. It is really a convenient thing, especially if you decide to upgrade your cartridge when the needle stone has worn out; many producers allow to install a higher spec stylus as replacement, so you can improve your cartridge’s performance with time. But sometimes even MMs can benefit from a retipping instead of buying a replacement. Why? Well, maybe the available replacements are not as good as the original stylus used to be. Sometimes the replacements are no longer available. Therefore, as Moving Coil cartridge users know well, you can turn to a capable stylus retipping and repair service to keep you cartridge alive, virtually forever.

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Solved: not Shure anymore? New shades of Grado? No – I’m back to Gold!

grado-gold-black2a-300x300Now I know what happened. Now that I am finally able to listen to a functioning Grado cart, I have understood. As soon as I started to be serious with vinyl records playback, I happened to buy a Grado cartridge. Then, many things happened and I had the chance to try out different cartridges, with different approaches to hifi music reproduction. I published some posts during this period attesting to my indecision about what I really liked to listen to. Now I have the clue to it: since a few days ago I just can’t stop spinning vinyl records. It was not happening since some time ago. And the reason why is clear to me now…

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A Lighter Shade of Grado

gradogold-300x225The highly appreciated and sometimes controversial Grado Prestige series phono cartridges are known for their color names: they are labeled Black, Red, Green, Blue, Gold, etc., according to a selection process based on measured parameters and listening tests. I have always loved Grado products, the way they sound, the way they are made. I am impressed by how at Grado Labs they keep producing headphones and cartridges by hand in today’s world. But now I am undecided on what cartridge to choose for my turntable. Whenever I am undecided on what to do with some of my Hifi equipment, I find it useful to write down my ideas. Hopefully, this could be also useful to other Hifi enthusiast like me, still playing vinyl records today.

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Inertial frames of reference

inertialI have very fond memories about my high school maths and physics teacher. He is the one responsible for my love for science and the first who tried to teach me how to use my own brain and think freely.

He stressed the subject of inertial frame of reference, a kind of “independent observation point”, quite a lot. Think of when your sitting in a train and the train next to you moves: you have the impression that the train you’re on is moving. From the inertial frame of reference of the guy on the platform, it is clear which train is moving. My high school teacher loved to bring up Galileo’s struggle to convince his contemporaries that the Earth was revolving around the Sun, not the opposite, as most believed at those times.
My physics teacher argued that they were actually both right, both points of view had their own reasons based on physics if you observed them from the correct inertial frame of reference.

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Even less Shure now…

audio-technica-at95heA few months ago, I wrote a post about how I was no longer sure I still liked the Grado cartridges’ sound: I had found a Shure cartridge for free and with a cheap stylus mounted on, it sounded pretty good to me. Better than my old Grado 8MX? Well, a newly acquired friend sold me an Audiotechnica AT95e cartridge for an incredible price – I was blown away (yet there’s more to be said).

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I’m not “Shure” anymore…

shure me97he top(situation updated more recently)

I’ve always been fond of Grado cartridges, because I simply like their sound and also the fact they’re hand made in Brooklyn in a way that seems quite anachronistic today. I will probably keep loving and admiring the Grado way of doing business, but after I stumbled upon a humble Shure cartridge someone was about to throw away, I am not “shure” I will be listening to my records only through Grados anymore…

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