I assume I need a new Stylus

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Tommy_N, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. Tommy_N

    Tommy_N Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello all,

    I'm tyring to get back into vinyl. I have a "Quality" Aiwa -- well that's an oxymoron . I had disconnected it a couple of years ago because I wasn't getting any sound from it. To be more specific it worked but there was no sound going to my reciever.

    I was all set to bring it in to be fixed -- I'd rather spend the $70 to have it fixed as opposed to a ton of money on a new player.

    I hooked it up to my reciever and surprisingly it worked, however it sounded horrible. I think the stylus was covered in dust. I tried to blow the stylus clean but it didn't help.

    Should I just get a new stylus? I can get an identical one for $30. Is it possible to get a better one or will my Aiwa only work with an exact replacement?

    Thanks

    Tom

    PS

    Does anyone have any suggestions/advice for cleaning my stylus and records?
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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  3. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    NEEDLEDOCTOR.COM is an excellent source for turntable needs. You need to determine if you have a p-mount cartridge or not. Try and remove the cartridge and see how it is connected to the arm. Give the model number to the needledoctor and they can give you some alternatives. I'd just get a decent Grado as a replacement.

    If you can spend more money, you would be better off getting something like this...

    http://www.needledoctor.com/showitem...0&itemnum=1719
     
  4. Tommy_N

    Tommy_N Stunt Coordinator

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    Much appreciated. And yes I meant redundant...see what happens when I post past my bed time :wink: I actually I think I meant to say Quality Aiwa.

    Thanks for the info. I would probably rather replace the whole cartridge. Although to get the best sound and reliability I should probably replace the whole thing.


    Damn budget constraints. [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the info.
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I would not suggest blowing on the stylus. Back in the heyday of vinyl, Discwasher sold an excellent stylus brush. Get one with really fine hairs and brush the stylus from back to front and in a straight line. And be very careful.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Sounds really horrible, eh?

    Are you sure that turntable doesn't have a built-in preamp that is overloading your receiver's built-in phono preamp? Many of those minisystem turntables have one since most mini-systems are not equipped with their own.

    LJ
     
  7. Tommy_N

    Tommy_N Stunt Coordinator

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    Originally posted by LJ
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Tommy: As far as getting a new cartridge, that depends on what kind mounting system your table has: is it a standard type (two screws on top holding the cart) or a "P-mount" (cart plugs into headshell and held there with a small set screw). Carts make the most difference in a table's sound--spend the most you can. With analog audio, usually the more you spend, the better the sound.

    Personally, I like Shure carts. They have always had a good reputation and have been around forever (in fact, I just ordered one!): Shure home audio phono cartridges. Audio-Technica & Ortofon are good ones too. Make sure you stay away from the "DJ" carts--these sound fine but aren't made for fine detail.

    LJ
     
  9. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Tommy,

    You are plugging the TT into the "phono" input on the 3802, right? If not, this is an issue. If so, cool...

    Try to find a local TT guru...usually at an audioshop. See if they have a microscope to check the stylus for damage. If you can't find someone, you can buy a cheap lens (50-200x) for $10-15. Check the stylus yourself for damage. If it is dirty, you can clean them. If the shape is good, as Jack mentioned, you can get a stylus brush...or different types of "wet" stylus cleaners on needledoctor. If the stylus is an old one and the above steps seem like overkill...look at carts from Grado, Shure, Denon, Rega, Ortofon, etc. There are some sweet deals for around $50-$100. Again, needledoctor is a great source, as is audioadvisor.

    Good Luck, don't give up...vinyl is the way, my friend.

    Peace,

    Jeremy
     
  10. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    Tommy,
    You might want to do a check on Ebay or check a local thrift store for a used turntable. Aiwa used to make pretty good cassette decks, but not much else. You may be able to find a complete Technics turntable on Ebay for a very low price--probably about the same as buying a new cartridge for an old low-grade turntable. It may not be worth the effort to salvage the turntable you have now, especially if it failed in the past.

    I went through something similar with a Pioneer turntable last year and decided to go the semi-expensive route and get a new Music Hall turntable. But, I do listen to vinyl quite a lot.
     
  11. Tommy_N

    Tommy_N Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the responses.

    Out of curiosity how are used TT. I think with all the moving parts they would be a bad idea. But if I could get a really good sounding one cheaply it might be worth it.

    Thanks again

    Tom

    and yes I'm using the phono inputs
     
  12. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    I'd stear clear of a used turntable, people don't sell turntable unless there's a problem with them (OK, generalized statement but I've never met anyone who sold a used table that was in good shape!) A good, basic new turntable can be had for under $200, buying used doesn't make sense unless you're looking at some really high end equipment or DJ tables, and even then you're going to spend over $100 on a new needle/cartridge for it. Check out the websites of the major electronics stores and they should all have turntables that are going to be comparative to your Aiwa, if not better.
     
  13. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Sorry Ronn, I disagree.

    There are some phenomenal deals on new decks available. There are also some lemons as Ronn mentions.

    Check out audiogon to get started. There are also dealers on the site that have excellent deals on new decks from MusicHall and Rega...A pretty knowledgable bunch hang out and sell/trade gear on audiogon. Obviously, to buy a used TT, you'll want to work with someone who knows what they're doing and will take care in packaging and shipping the table.

    The MusicHall tables are complete with cartridge and arm and they will give you an excellent taste of what GOOD analog sounds like.

    Rega is another excellent, non-fussy choice for a table. They do not come with carts and will be a bit more money than the MH decks.

    If you have an interest in analog, I say go for it...by a new deck with your budget, whatever it is. The Denons have a decent P/stage, so start out with a decent table and cart and start spinning the wax. I was in your position a year ago and now I'm completely hooked on vinyl[​IMG]

    Peace,

    Jeremy
     
  14. Tommy_N

    Tommy_N Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the responses.

    I have 2 Questions.

    1. Any suggestions for a good TT, w/everything for about $200 give or take $50. I know it is a relatively small budget but I'd rather save for new speakers/amp. Part 2 of the question, how much do you need to spend to get good sound, not great sound, not audiophile sound but good/decent sound.

    2. How are DJ TT? I've always wanted to get 2 TT & a mixer and hook them up to my computer. I looked into it briefly once before. I assume I'll need to drop $1k to get anywhere. Does anyone have any links or info on this? I would love to try to make my own mixes. I know the quality is not as good, but how bad/different is it? If I was scratching how often would I need to replace the stylus, I assume it takes a beating.

    Thanks for the info

    Tom
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Tommy,

    I would not hesitate to recommend a Technics Turntable if your budget is about $200. They have a couple of models that are belt drive and basically the exact same as their turntables from about 20 years ago. They're actually pretty nice and come with a decent cartridge. I would buy one of these over the clones turntables I see sold under many cheaper brand names around. I think you'll be very happy with a low end Technics Turntable.

    However, I suspect that your Aiwa has a built-in preamp. Make sure you hook it into an input OTHER than the "PHONO" input. Try "CD" or "Aux" or "Tape" and see how it sounds.
     
  16. Tommy_N

    Tommy_N Stunt Coordinator

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    My Aiwa has a switch for its pre-amp. I know I had it hooked-up correctly.

    Has anyone done an A/B with the Technics vs. Music Hall MM-F2

    What about DJ equipment? I should probably just start a new thread.

    Thanks

    Tom
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    DJ equipment is usually poo-pooed by starry eyed audiophiles, but some of them love the big Technics direct drive turntable. I think that low priced DJ stuff like Gemini is crap, and you'd be much better off with a hi-fi Technics. The big Technics 1200 Direct Drive table is formidable, but for the price you could get a brand new Rega 2. (that's the table I've got my eye on)
     

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