Cartridge advice

burnssimon

Active Member
I've put my nagaoka mp-110 cart back on my turntable and it's super sensitive. Picks up tons of noise (tiny crackles) compared to the A&R C77.

I'm playing around with tracking and alignment but it doesn't seem to make any noticeable difference.

The cart has around 30 hours use.

Am I just being impatient and need more time to run it in?

(RB200 arm and era gold phono stage).
 

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
When I had one on my RP1 I found it pretty detailed, but not particularly sensitive to "tiny crackles".

Have you used the appropriate alignment protractor? I used the free downloadable ones from Vinyl Engine.

I also found it tracked better at the upper-end - 2g.
 

mseve1

Active Member
The difference in surface noise you're hearing could be due to the difference in stylus profiles of the two cartridges. The elliptical stylus in the MP-110 will tend to be much more revealing of noise due to dust/dirt/static/wear in your records than the conical stylus in the C77.
Shouldn't be an issue on new/clean vinyl though.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
I don't have that problem with mine. Set at 1.78g with a proper scale. Runs pretty quiet, in respect of surface noise/crackle.
30 hours is plenty of run in for the cart.
 

burnssimon

Active Member
Thanks for the replies and advice.

So, have had another bash, using the Rega card, digital scales and a protractor. The best I can get is setting it to 1.67.

Pretty much all crackling gone from new vinyl. Older stuff, which played great using the A&R and even the standard Rega cart which came with my RP1, is better, but the crackles are loud enough to annoy.

Is this just a trade off I need to make? The MP-110 is undoubtedly better sounding, but not sure if I want to listen to anything "older" if the crackles persist at this level. I also think (but could be because of how much I've fiddled!) there's less bass now.

Is there another cart out there I should be considering, possibly a higher quality conical one?
 

DT79

Distinguished Member
How clean are your records, have you ever properly cleaned them?
 

burnssimon

Active Member
Don't know about properly. Have spray, cloth, carbon fibre and velvet brush.

Please don't tell me I need to get a record cleaning machine, not sure I can sneak much else in to the house before the missus clocks!
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
I’d say at least 50 hours to fully run in but the problem is mucky vinyl mostly. Probably don’t need a machine just a load of mf towels and an appropriate spray and method.
 

mseve1

Active Member
So, have had another bash, using the Rega card, digital scales and a protractor. The best I can get is setting it to 1.67.
Did you arrive at the optimum 1.67g tracking force by listening? If not, you may find that increasing it to ~1.8g may be beneficial in terms of both suppressing surface noise as well as improving overall SQ slightly.
 

burnssimon

Active Member
Did you arrive at the optimum 1.67g tracking force by listening? If not, you may find that increasing it to ~1.8g may be beneficial in terms of both suppressing surface noise as well as improving overall SQ slightly.
Yes, listening. Although I've "fiddled" so much I'm not sure I can trust my own ears! I also adjusted the cartridge as when I put the bubble spirit on it it was slightly off.

It sounds pretty good now on "new" vinyl, I need to experiment a bit more with some of my older stuff. I've also got a mate who has a high gain MC cartridge I can try. He reckons it would work well on the current set up and give me a sense of perspective.

Thanks again everyone.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
It's definitely not the cartridge imho. I have a very wide range of ages in my record collection and have never found a difference in how it plays them
 

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
So, have had another bash, using the Rega card, digital scales and a protractor.
Is this the card that came with the TT?

It will check the alignment within the headshell, but because it's only one position, you really need one that checks the arc - the Vinyl Engine ones have 2 positions marked.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
I was lucky and got a really good one the other day. It came with my new tt (Rega) and is engraved on lp thickness plastic so the stylus can move along the arc without jumping to check the overhang. Then there are two grids with a cross cut for the stylus in the centre and the grid to easily align the body. Cost about £20 from The Vinyl Source but very easy to use.
 

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