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Thread: ADC XLM Mk III Improved..... Worth Keeping?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2017

    Location: Cheshire UK

    Posts: 189
    I'm Martin.

    Default ADC XLM Mk III Improved..... Worth Keeping?

    Hi

    A mint looking ADC XLM III Improved came with a Dual turntable for 20

    I have been reading about Peter Pritchard and the Induced Magnetism principle. I have all the advertising literature and spec sheets on it. I can buy an original XLM II improved stylus for 60. It has a serial number hand etched on the top and it all looks the business really.

    Im not sure I like the shoe stylus fit but maybe a tiny square of double sided tape will make that more solid

    I have only been able to test the stylus that came with it on an old record as it looks worn and almost certainly will be well worn out.

    It seems to be a nice nuanced sound with plenty of detail....doesnt seem too kind on surface noise but it will be worn so thats not a worry. Seems to add something over say an AT95.....more atmosphere and a certain involvement in the music

    It tracks at 0.75g + and is high compliance. Would it be ok on a Rega Arm or best suited to Dual /ADC ULM arms?

    Basically have times moved on or is it worth treasuring this cartridge? Is it a keeper?

    Best wishes
    Martin

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 16,103
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    Since a generic replacement stylus for the XLM III is relatively inexpensive (http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merc...vc?Screen=SRCH ), I would be inclined to keep it, though your Rega arm may not be the best arm in which to mount it.

    Taking figures from vinylengine.com the calculated low frequency resonance will occur at ~ 8.75Hz.

    I cannot comment on the "Dual / ADC ULM" arms.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 28,583
    I'm Geoff.

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    Use a microscope to check the diamond tip of the stylus. If it is not worn, you have a very fine cartridge. I'm a big fan of ADC's. In my opinion they are amongst the best non MC cartridges ever made, their transparency, depth of soundstage and detail exceed that of many MC's. If you find surface noise being emphasised, experiment with the VTA. You may find raising the back of arm a bit helps.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 16,103
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Use a microscope to check the diamond tip of the stylus. If it is not worn, you have a very fine cartridge. I'm a big fan of ADC's. In my opinion they are amongst the best non MC cartridges ever made, their transparency, depth of soundstage and detail exceed that of many MC's. If you find surface noise being emphasised, experiment with the VTA. You may find raising the back of arm a bit helps.
    Agree - which is why I have four of them. Not only are they a fine sounding breed, generic replacement stylii for them are inexpensive.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2017

    Location: Cheshire UK

    Posts: 189
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Yes Thanks. I can still source the original stock which would seem much better than the generic replacements. Im not sourcing nude tips from Japan or anything hard to find

    I havent given it a full test yet but it seems something fairly special and I see it had fans

    I have a jewellers loupe and the tip looks very dirty. I wouldnt really know about wear but I have seen profile pictures. I suppose 60 for a NOS stylus seems reasonable

    I think for say 75 all in with a NOS XLM II tip it will be a VFM listen.

    Cheers I have it on a spare Dual Headshell which are my dabble decks for trying things out. Its probably not ideal to put on an RP3 but I will keep it

    All the best
    Martin

  6. #6
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: Somerset, UK

    Posts: 706
    I'm King.

    Default

    The ADC XLM Mk III Improved was the second cartridge that I bought in the seventies. At that time I was using a JVC QL70 turntable and SME series 3 tonearm. It was an excellent tracker and one of the best sounding moving magnet cartridges at that period.
    King

  7. #7
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 28,583
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Minstrel SE View Post
    Yes Thanks. I can still source the original stock which would seem much better than the generic replacements. Im not sourcing nude tips from Japan or anything hard to find

    I havent given it a full test yet but it seems something fairly special and I see it had fans

    I have a jewellers loupe and the tip looks very dirty. I wouldnt really know about wear but I have seen profile pictures. I suppose 60 for a NOS stylus seems reasonable

    I think for say 75 all in with a NOS XLM II tip it will be a VFM listen.

    Cheers I have it on a spare Dual Headshell which are my dabble decks for trying things out. Its probably not ideal to put on an RP3 but I will keep it

    All the best
    Martin
    The XLM II is nice, but not as good as the XLM III, so try to obtain the correct stylus.

    It's worth cleaning the original stylus properly with decent cleaning fluid (isopropyl alchohol with distilled water). I don't use this on MC's, but have used it on ADC's since the seventies with no problems. I use a small soft art brush with the bristles cut down to about 5mm.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 16,103
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    I use an electronic stylus cleaner with a carbon fibre bristle pad:



    Depending on how the stylus is bonded to the cantilever, I will sometimes apply one drop of neat isopropyl alcohol to the pad.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  9. #9
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: East Midlands

    Posts: 246
    I'm Hugh.

    Default

    I'd say that an SME Series 2 would be the ideal arm for it. I ran an ADC ZLM in one back in the day and it sounded superb.

    The SME series 3, or the ADC arm is another option. Either way, it needs a pretty low mass arm if you really want to get the best out of it. The ADC XLM and ZLM were designed in a different era with a set of priorities that some find it difficult to get their heads round nowadays.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,106
    I'm James.

    Default

    The ADC - XLM- 111 Improved is a great cartridge although I think the XLM ii improved is better. Definitely worth keeping and getting a replacement stylus for although the replacements are not as good as the original which you may still be able to find on ebay? I had the ADC XLM ii improved with original stylus and it was superb but I was a bit nervous of the suspension falling apart which is the problem with there old cartridges so I moved it on.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

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