How to fix sibilance

Cuyler

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Hello everyone,

I have some records that have some harsh sibilance (crackly "s" sounds) and can't tell if it's my record or my record player. I have a Grado Black stylus and have calibrated my cartridge using a protractor and a digital weight (exactly 1.5 g tracking force).

I am considering getting an Ortofon 2M Black. Will this solve the sibilance problem?

Thank you,
Cuyler
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Great cartridge, but will play back every imperfection in the vinyl if it has one. Try cleaning your vinyl with an good cleaning machine and solution. Manual or automatic. They can be pricey, but worth the investment. Use an antistatic cloth or brush to dry it. The black is an awesome cartridge, but the bronze is a more rounded one. A step below. You can get both. Buy one cartridge, and then just the stylus of the other. They are interchangeable with the cartridge. I use the bronze on older vinyl, and black for new or quad vinyl. Hope that helps. Rudy prefers a different brand. Rega maybe? It’s on another thread. It’s better suited to his ears, and or style of music. I think Harry uses something different for his turntable, and happy with that. It’s like buying the right tv. So many choices. Anyway I’m happy with mine. Good luck.
 

Cuyler

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
@GDB2LV, do you know if I am able to buy a black stylus and use that with the blue or red cartridge? Or are only black and bronze interchangeable?
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Black and bronze. Red and blue. They have different engines that are only compatible with each other. The bronze/black has a higher speed engine that the red/blue can’t handle properly. So starter with mid price, and high end with higher end. The blue is a very nice cartridge for the money if you don’t want to spend 6-9 hundred for the black and or bronze. The Fluance comes with a blue or red installed depending on the model you buy. They are all Moving Magnet or MM Style cartridges.
 
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Cuyler

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Black and bronze. Red and blue. They have different engines that are only compatible with each other. The bronze/black has a higher speed engine that the red/blue can’t handle properly. So starter with mid price, and high end with higher end. The blue is a very nice cartridge for the money if you don’t want to spend 6-9 hundred for the black and or bronze. The Fluance comes with a blue or red installed depending on the model you buy. They are all Moving Magnet or MM Style cartridges.
Thank you! Shucks, it's good to know at least that I can't just buy the black and put it in the blue cartridge. I will likely shell out the money for the black, especially because I'm becoming increasingly paranoid about permanently ruining my records with a bad stylus.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
I bought the PNP version of the bronze, then added the black stylus later. The PNP just screws on, head and cartridge combined. Already calibrated. Just use the pressure scale to set the weight about 1.5G, and adjust the anti skate button to match. Ready to play.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I owned the 2M Black for about three months, and hated it. It tracked as bad as some of the dirt cheap cartridges I used to own decades ago (like the free Shure cartridges that shipped with turntables). I think part of it was because the build quality was terrible--under a microscope, you could see the cantilever was rotated such that the stylus would not track perpendicular to the groove, and the square diamond was cemented into the cantilever crooked. The aluminum cantilevers were not all that lightweight either. I fought it for months, even emailed someone in the press who dealt a lot with turntables (even he was puzzled by it--he'd reviewed it and didn't have those issues) and finally gave up. I heard another 2M Black at AXPONA on a Technics Grand Class SL-1200GAE and it tracked even worse. The Bronze I guess is the sweet spot in the lineup--I know a few who own it and like it, but I'm not a fan of the sound of that line anyways.

From what I understand, though, the bronze and black styli will fit the red/blue body, but the less expensive body will not make the most of the better stylus. Kind of mismatched, in other words, which is why it's not recommended. It's kind of like putting racing slicks on a factory stock Toyota Corolla. 😁

I could recommend anything from Nagaoka--you get the Japanese precision, and it's a moving iron cartridge like the Grado so it will have a nice full-bodied sound, but doesn't suffer some of Grado's other quirks (like the "Grado dance" of the stylus in the grooves, when navigating warps). The top model MP-500 has a Superfine Line Contact stylus and is probably on par with the 2M Black price-wise--it's a really good tracker as well, with a much finer cantilever than the 2M series. I see LP Gear has one, but I paid way less for mine through a deal on US Audio Mart. This is one you might have to shop around for.

I like the sound of the MP-500 quite a bit--actually a bit more than the moving coil cartridges I was using previously. A friend of mine bought their MP-110 (the lowest model, I think?) and for the cost, really enjoyed it--he wanted it for temporary use after sending out one of his other cartridges to be retipped.

Audio Technica's latest cartridges are also very good trackers, and are not as bright as some of their previous models (like the 440MLA, which I found a bit edgy but still a good tracker). The VM760SLC has their Special Line Contact stylus tip, which is along the same idea as the Micro Ridge, Microline, etc. Another good option if you want great tracking. You'll find a better deal on this one.
 
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