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Topic: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300? (Read 893 times) previous topic - next topic
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Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

I've been using an Ortofon OM10 for a few years, but I want to get something new. I may be beyond this stylus' finite number of good plays. If anyone could recommend a new stylus for this turntable that is decent quality and under $100, I'd really appreciate it. Or perhaps just a link to information on how to choose a good stylus so I can do some research?

If my price point is possible or not will probably depend on what my use is. I listen to jazz, pop vocals, and some pop/rock (i.e. very little). No professional or DJ use at all, just home use and my records are not all in amazing shape but it is a very good collection particularly in the pop vocals section. I just want to know for transferring AND listening that I am getting the most faithful playback out of these great records I have in something that isn't ruining the vinyl.

Thank you so much everyone!

Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #1
I don't have a recommendation for you, but a little help with your terminology -

The phono cartridge holds the stylus (the "needle") which is actually a stylus assembly.  

You can replace the stylus without replacing the cartridge, but in general you have to use the same exact one or at least one from the same manufacturer that works with your cartridge.

...Personally I wouldn't go "too crazy".   You can spend thousands of dollars and the record itself is still the limiting factor and you'll never get "digital quality" .    $100 seems reasonable to me.   Shure's best cartridge is around $100 and I don't think it's worth spending much more than that.   But, that's just my opinion and my budget.   (Shure is getting out of the cartridge business.)

There are differences in frequency response and tracking ability but I don't know if you can find independent measurements and you can't compare specs published by different manufacturers...   They likely use different test records and different test methods.    If you want to get something "better", it's probably best to stick with Ortofon.   Then you can reliably compare the specs.

Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #2
I don't have a recommendation for you, but a little help with your terminology -
Thank you. :) I do know the terminology but I don't get to talk about turntable gear as often as I'd like. I'm out of practice ;)
You can replace the stylus without replacing the cartridge, but in general you have to use the same exact one or at least one from the same manufacturer that works with your cartridge.
As far as I remember I can plug an OM20 or OM30 into this cartridge. It's just the stylus that needs replacing typically though, right? It's the Super OM10 I have.
...Personally I wouldn't go "too crazy".   You can spend thousands of dollars and the record itself is still the limiting factor and you'll never get "digital quality" .
Totally agree. I don't know anything about Shure models, but if it means buying a new cartridge AND a new stylus and possibly a new headstock, then I'd rather stick with Ortofon. Plus, I also use a 78 stylus frequently to capture 78s. I as just wondering if there were brands other than Ortofon that I should look at.

Also, what's a good shop in North America to buy these from? I'm in Canada. I don't recall where I bought these ones.

Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #3
Try Needle Doctor.    They seem to have every turntable, cartridge. and stylus.     ...I can't believe they have all of it in stock.

Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #4
In case you don't mind ordering from overseas... A while ago i was looking for an affordable stylus for the OM Series, as the prices for original ortofon styli have soared in recent years. I stumbled over JICO in Japan. The build high quality aftermarket styli and seem to be quite respected / have good quality control unlike what you tend to hear about other manufacturers
I tried the stylus 30 replacement:
https://www.jico-stylus.com/product_info.php?cPath=12&products_id=726&osCsid=ucqctqa9ptaeu02k45trpqnmu3

It's definitely a huge step up from a stylus 10 or 5e. Probably not quite up to the standards of a "real" stylus 30, but you have to consider that an original one would cost you around 270€/300$. Even if you add shipping and customs fees to the JICO one, it's a very good stylus for the price.

One thing to note is that it needs a somewhat higher tracking force compared to the original stylus 30. Somewhere in the 1.5 - 2.0 g range. Mine plays really well at 1.8 g. I was skeptical at first because it doesn't seem to fit on the cartridge perfectly (there remains a small slit between cartridge and stylus assembly), but i can't argue with the sound. It plays great.

Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #5
In case you don't mind ordering from overseas...
Thanks. Overseas doesn't bother me at all, but not much other than price about how youdescribed the stylus sounds appealing. There are a lot of places where a cheaper and comparable alternative are fine by me, but tech gear and electronic parts are not one of them. I've got plenty of years of experience that proves that if it's no hassle use you want, you sometimes just have to go to the people who do it best and find an affordable option there. The OM10 is fine enough for me, I don't want the 30 just because it's better when the 10 does the job fine but it's MADE by Ortofon.
But thanks for telling me about that, I'd not have known about it otherwise.

Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #6
In case you don't mind ordering from overseas...
Thanks. Overseas doesn't bother me at all, but not much other than price about how youdescribed the stylus sounds appealing. There are a lot of places where a cheaper and comparable alternative are fine by me, but tech gear and electronic parts are not one of them. I've got plenty of years of experience that proves that if it's no hassle use you want, you sometimes just have to go to the people who do it best and find an affordable option there. The OM10 is fine enough for me, I don't want the 30 just because it's better when the 10 does the job fine but it's MADE by Ortofon.
But thanks for telling me about that, I'd not have known about it otherwise.

You got a point there. Although when reading around a little on other HiFi forums, i get the impression that the stylus 10's reputation isn't what it once was. In particular the quality control seems to be lacking (from what i've read) in recent years and it's said to be kind of a gamble ordering one. You might get one that plays well. Or you might not. Maybe consider an (original) stylus 20 then? (That one would be more than $100 though).

*edit*
Or maybe just upgrade the whole cartridge to something more recent like the 2M red? It's well in your price range and i haven't heard anyone complain about those so far. Ortofon carts don't cost much more then the stylus alone, anyway.


Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #8
Or maybe just upgrade the whole cartridge to something more recent like the 2M red?
What's this 2M like in comparison to my 10?

Haven't tried that one out yet. I'm using an OM cart. But the specs are quite similar to the OM 10. Somewhat lower compliance, which might fit your tonearm better or worse or just-as-well. Just google for cartridge compliance, it's easy to calculate if your tonearm will play well with it.

Sound-wise, i wouldn't expect it to sound much different from a OM 10. Despite the different looks, stylus shape and generator are virtually identical. Consider it something of a successor of the OM series, with the 2m Red, Blue & Bronze more or less equvalent to the OM 10/20/30. However one would hope that, for the increased price, ortofon would hold the styli to a higher manufacturing standard.

On other forums you'll find people complaining about it's rather bright sound, that it kinda "sounds like a CD" (which is actually a good thing in my book), just as people did complain about the OMs in the past. For digitizing, you'd rather want to have a bit more high end than a lack of it. You can still use EQ afterwards if it sounds too harsh for your personal taste.

Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #9
This is the Super OM10 I have by the way. Just wanted to be precise.

Well, yeah a quick search shows pages and pages of reviews and comparisons all coming pretty much to the same conclusion that there isn't much separating the Super OM10 from the 2M Red. So, this, I think, is like one of those things I research where I feel like I'm only going to get a good idea of what the difference is by getting super technical. I may have to teach myself more about stylus specs. While I know manufacturers aren't above conniving a little to influence turnover, clearly Ortofon makes them both for a reason. And it's probably not looks, they're not Apple. Can you help on that front, the technical comparison of specs?


Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #11
I purchased an Ortofon 2M Red because it was one of the few moving magnet phono cartridges for which I could find proper frequency response data:
Well, that's what I mean, I need to read up on exactly what specs they differ in and then understand any of the ones I don't know about.

Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #12
Well, that's what I mean, I need to read up on exactly what specs they differ in and then understand any of the ones I don't know about.

Although Rod Elliott's article (link here) is specifically about cartridge loading, it's a good starting point for understanding something about what makes them tick. And you may come away frustrated by dearth of useful information provided by your typical manufacturer of cartridges, turntables and preamps!

And when it comes to stylus shapes, I've found no real data at all: My understanding is that line-contact type styli are supposed to reduce distortion, but I've never seen any test results to confirm or refute this.  (Yes I know that the original Shibata stylus was designed specifically with the aim of retrieving high frequency multiplex signal from CD4 quadraphonic LPs) Bonded vs nude-mounted styli? Not a clue as to what benefits the latter are supposed to provide, but they certainly do cost more.

Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #13
What is the deal with Tonar and Pfanstiehl. They keep coming up in my searches and people have recommended them a couple of times. Anyone know?

Re: Stylus For Pioneer PL-300?

Reply #14
I stumbled over JICO in Japan. The build high quality aftermarket styli and seem to be quite respected / have good quality control unlike what you tend to hear about other manufacturers
I tried the stylus 30 replacement
I just ordered the same thing. It's a Tonar made by Jico. And it's the 30 which is apparently the same as their 20. I've been reading a lot this week on this and settled on it after a lot of research.

 

 
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