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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For the Love of Gold

I have been thinking a lot about this. When I got myself back into analog audio, I recovered a Thorens TD-165 abandoned in a friend’s closet and equipped it with a Goldring Elan. When I first upgraded the cartridge I was advised to look in Grado’s catalogue.

I choose the top of the Prestige series, which in 2005 was the Gold. I developed a love for the brand, for how the Grado family works and feels about the business. I tried even something different but, for the love of Gold, I’m not “shure” I can go away from them…

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Back to the Future

I’ve been always advising to get rid of the rubber mat on old Thorens turntables.

Lately, I’ve been reconsidering some of my well established views. The otherwise excellent Funk Firm Achromat I’ve been using for years looks a rather warped today. So I tried a felt mat I had spared and…. differences? Well…. really tough to tell.

It is debated whether the stock Thorens rubber mats of the 70s are still usable or not. Basically, the function of a turntable mat is to avoid placing our precious records directly on a rough metal plate. Modern turntables that use acrylic plates do not need a mat. The use of rubber in the past was due to its isolating properties and of course to their soft protection for the records.

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I’m no longer in the Mood…

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The Irony in the Moving Iron

gold0-8mz-v-450x350In 2005 I bought a wonderful Grado Prestige Gold moving iron cartridge, which I used for years on my turntable of the time, a Thorens TD165. I didn’t care much about alignment (maybe I used the TNT protractor at one point), I just screwed the cart on the headshell with no worries whatsoever about positioning the stylus tip, let alone VTA. I couldn’t wait to listen to the new cartridge that was replacing a Goldring Elan. I even scratched the gold-colored cartridge’s case with the knife I was using to tighten the screws, because I had just moved in with my girlfriend (now my wife) in our first house and I didn’t have any tools there yet. I could not imagine that that cartridge hid a secret gift…

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