Sunday, May 5, 2013

The "ShallowMemory special" phono cartridge

This ones for hipsters, mixers and for those of us who still run records be they olde records or new limited edition copies.
One thing that can put people off getting into playing records via a decent stereo is the business involved in fitting a cartridge -the thing that gets the sound from them there grooves - to a record deck.
It's one reason why decks pre-fitted are popular although many hifi type decks today from people like Rega and Pro-ject of the Czech Republic lack such creature comforts as easy to change speed controls or removable headshells.
If you own a deck or are planning to get one that has a removable headshell such as the Technics 1200 series (or look a likes) or older Japanese decks that do such as Pioneers, there is simple option.
The "ShallowMemory special" is a cheap way of achieving something Kab in the States offers - a plug and play preset hifi cartridge - for such decks as most types are designed for dj work and don't give good enough sound.
The start point is getting the Ortofon Pro S cartridge designed for use in discos that plugs straight in where the headshell goes.
You can pick these up either new from DJ suppliers or used often with a damaged stylus which doesn't matter as we won't be using the original.
The cartridge itself is a Ortofon Super design but preassembled to go to the SME type headshell plug which you then just push on and tighten up the collared nut to the playing arm.Because of its design all that messing about with geometry getting the thing mounted right isn't needed.
What we do is remove the original dj stylus from the front (the bit with the red dot) by pulling it toward you.
Having ordered a type 10 or 20 stylus you take that out of the packaging and push it on so it fits tightly. You now have in effect a Ortofon Super 10/20 cartridge that just plugs straight in.
All you do is set the playing weight and anti-skating settings to 1.5 grams and you're good to go.
Stockist of type 10 stylus in the UK include Manta Audio and "The Stylus Lady" on ebay.


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