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Thread: what makes a good headshell?

  1. #31
    Join Date: Jan 2009

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    Quote Originally Posted by anubisgrau View Post
    headshells are redundant, use SPU or FR pickups
    Or use an EMT or any other 'integrated headshell ' cartridge design.
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    The pros and cons of removable headshells and fixed examples and one piece arms were researched. I remember the mags delving into this many years ago. No doubt the data is out there if anybody is interested enough (I'm not).

    The usual SME/Universal headshell is retained by what is basically a spigot and socket arrangement. This is a reasonable compromise, but that does not alter the fact that this is exactly what it is. A compromise! There are better ways of doing things.
    The spigoted helical draw-socket arrangement use on the great majority of detachable headshell pick up arms was developed by Ortofon, but is erroneously referred to as the SME design, is due to the adoption of the arrangement by SME (ARA designed the arm for his own use with Ortofon cartridges, which at that time were only available fitted into either the type A or type G headshells), and owing to the subsequent popularity of the arms this misconception continued.

    What better ways are there? Is the Lenco headshell coupling any better, or do you think those arms employing a detachable arm wand, where the coupling is located near the bearings are significantly better?
    Last edited by Barry; 09-05-2018 at 18:44. Reason: Spelling
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  3. #33
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    But if the term Ortofon type headshell is used, most people would no doubt draw a blank. Say SME type and most will know what is meant. It's simply Hi-Fi speak common usage these days.

    The ideal would be an integrated arm and cartridge (it has been done), but that would mean returning the whole thing to the manufacturer or agent for refurbishmment.

  4. #34
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    I think the correct nomenclature is the EIA headshell coupling.

    So an integrated arm and cartridge? I think one would have to go back to the early '50s to see that; with the Farranti ribbon pick up, or maybe the Leak moving coil design.

    Certainly the early manufacturers of pick up cartridges (Shure, Miniconic, B&O, EMI and Decca) made their own arms, presumably to optimise the whole assembly, with the consequence that the cartridges could only be used with the respective arms.

    I'm not sure when the universal 1/2" spacing of the cartridge fixing points was introduced or by whom, but I suspect it was either Shure or Elac.
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  5. #35
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    seriously guys, what kind of talk is this? a good shell for 1 pickup may be crap for another. some pickups like heavy ones, hard coupling, rigidity, other completely opposite things. not everyone use heavy MC pickups that call for big mass, hard coupling. if this would be a main criteria, a stuff like vintage SME/shure shells would never happen.
    Gordan.
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  6. #36
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    I'm inclined to agree, and use a range of pickup arms covering an arm effective mass of 3g to 18g. The lower mass arms are fixed headshell designs, whereas the heavier arms have detachable headshells.
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  7. #37
    Join Date: Feb 2013

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    Roksan Nima seems to be very well regarded and I believe that uses an acrylic headshell.

    Is headshell material, on its own, the final arbiter of quality? after all cartridge bodies are made from quite a few different materials.
    LP12, Ittok, DV10X5, NVA Phono 2 (twin supply), NVAP50/A4O'S, LS5, Rega Ela mk1's.
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