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replacing a audio Technica Stylus
Replace an Audio Technica Stylus

How to Replace an Audio Technica Stylus

First thing, you need to know before you go ahead and change your Audio Technica Stylus is to figure out which type you have. If you’re the meticulous type, you probably already know as you read all the info and everything little thing on your turntable and stylus.

Spherical vs Elliptical Stylus

For those of us who aren’t that attentive to details, let’s start with a little guide on the styli shapes and cartridges that you may find out there.

The Elliptical Stylus

This stylus has two radii and the front one is a bid wider than the side radius. This helps the stylus ride in the center of your groove, whereas the small side radius may track higher frequencies more accurate.

The Elliptical Stylus

The elliptical stylus had a longer vertical contact area and the front to back contact area is a tad narrower, within the record groove. The elliptical tip tracks the groove modulations with higher accuracy, giving a better frequency response, a better phase response, with lower distortion, which is common for the inner grooves of the record.

Audio Technica gives 3 sizes of elliptical styli: 0.2×0.7mil, 0.3×0.7mil and 0.4×0.7 mil. The first number indicates the size of the side radius. Free tip? The smaller the side radius, the bigger the chances for a better sound. At the same time, the smaller the overall effective tip radius, the less you need force for the stylus for tracking.

The conical stylus

This is by far the simplest, cheapest and most common type of stylus. It features a spherical tip with a 0.6mil radius, touching the center of the record groove walls.

The conical stylus

You should go for this stylus when using older, record players with a tonearm, imposing bigger tracking forces. You may also use it for tonearm that doesn’t have a cartridge tilt adjustments.

The radius for conical styli on 78rpm is 2.5mil, which is four times larger than the LP record conical styli.

 

The MicroLine stylus

This stylus is similar to a cutting stylus used to give the original master disc from which the records are typically made. It may track parts of your grove that other styli can’t reach. The tracking of the high-frequency passages is very accurate.

The one-of-a-kind multilevel “ridge” shape of this type of stylus tip wears evenly so the stylus is longer lasting, but so is your record. You may want to use this stylus on a higher-end cartridge.

The Line Contact stylus

This stylus is also presenting a great tip design for precise tracking of high-frequency passage, with minor abrasion.

The Line Contact stylus

The contact area is vertical and a bit longer than in an elliptical stylus. The line contact stylus ensures low distortion and doesn’t wear out your record either.

As it presents larger tracing footprint, the line contact stylus may cause some noise on your worn out records. It’s a good choice for the high-end cartridges as well.

Square or round shank?

This is something you want to check also. The stylus shank is the piece that links the tip to the cantilever.

It’s a bit trickier to align a round shank when it’s affixed to the cantilever. You need good alignment to place the stylus tip exactly in the record groove.

A square shank is not as cheap as the round one, but when you mount it in laser-cut square hole in the cantilever, it’s locked in perfect alignment with your record grooves.

Nude or bonded stylus?

A nude stylus is shaped from whole diamonds and is a bit more expensive as the diamond tips are bonded to metal shanks. It has a lower mass, which explains the higher accuracy. It’s grain-oriented and the face touching the record surface is long lasting.

In the case of a bonded (jointed) stylus, the diamond tip is glued on a metal shank that is also glued into the hole of the cantilever. It’s cheaper and has a higher mass so it may not give the same results as a nude stylus.

How to replace an ATN95E Stylus

You need to replace your worn stylus, as you want to maintain your turntable operating for a long time.

AT-ATN95El

As there are so many types of Audio Technica styli on the market, we decided to give you a hint on an ATN95E stylus, just so that you make an idea on how it’s done.

  1. You start by removing the head shell from your turntable. Lock ring one full turn clockwise and rotate the head shell. You may observe how the head shell is released. Continue by pulling the head shell straight off.
  2. Turn over the head shell and try to see the flanges that stand out from the other side of your stylus’s body.
  3. Press smoothly, just enough to grab the flanges, and pull the take out the cartridge. You may have to carefully rock the stylus side to side when pulling.

Once again, don’t touch the needle!

  1. Attach the new stylus and go through all the above instructions in reverse.
Sound out of Your Turntable
Sound effects

How to Get the Best Possible Sound out of Your Turntable

The more you get into using the turntable, the more you realize that you may always do a bit more to get a better sound.

As turntables work by measuring vibrations, the vinyl groove makes the stylus move/vibrate. This is turned into a small electrical signal that is amplified and turned into sound by speakers.

You know your turntable is working well when it reads only the vibrations in the grooved, and doesn’t muddy them through the vibration coming from another place.

You did get a good turntable if it’s able to handle the external vibration, unless you placed it in the wrong place.

Why do you get a bad sound anyway?

You never want to put your turntable in the wrong place or somewhere or there’s something else vibrating as the same time as you turntable. Stay away from a small table or a shelf. A large piece of furniture is going to vibrate as well when the speaker is playing. You can easily check it for yourself by touching the speaker. You simply feel the vibration.

Long story short, you want something that is light and stiff at the same time, like a wall bracket or a lightweight coffee table.

You can’t get a good sound if the turntable isn’t leveled either. You may easily and carefully adjust the feet so that the turntable it’s leveled in both side-to-side and fore/aft. planes.

In the case your turntable doesn’t come with adjustable feet, you may use some pieces of card or anything like it to place under the feet.

Location, location!

In order to improve the sound of your turntable, it’s better to always keep it away from the speakers. Never place the turntable and the speakers on the same piece of furniture. Next time you’re checking the sound on your record player that features built-in speakers, don’t. It’s quite surprising you’re getting any sound at all.

A bad location is always the easiest way to check if you’re not satisfied with the sound of your turntable so always take the extra time to find the best place for your deck.

How to get a better sound anyway

There aren’t many things to do when you want to improve the sound and the list of tips isn’t very long either.

  1. Setting-up the turntable

You have to make sure that the stylus is at the right angle in the arm, as you look at it from the front.

Many good turntables out there come with the cartridge already fitted and typically, the angle is right from the beginning. It doesn’t hurt to check though as it’s not only the bad sound that you’re gonna get. It may damage your vinyl in time as well.

Don’t forget to see if the tracking force is right. There are marks on the counterweight and the lump at the other end of the other end balances it. You need to turn the weight to zero. The arm is supposed to sit level, whereas the stylus doesn’t hit the platter. If it’s up in the air/on the platter, it’s best to set the weight until it sits parallel to the turntable.

When the arm is “floating”, getting the tracking weight for the cartridge, you still need to check it as too much force may ruing your cartridge. Not enough force is going to give miss tracking, ruining your vinyl.

  1. Get the alignment right

You need an alignment protractor that typically comes with your turntable. If not, it’s not that expensive, as you should get it.

There are various types and it’s best to angle the cartridge so that the stylus gets in line with the groove, for the most part of the vinyl.

Most arms present a pivoting nature, so it’s practically impossible for the stylus to have the right angle all the way throughout the side. The solution is in the protractor.

Don’t get it over your head though as every tweak changes the sound and you only have to go through the basics for a good sound in 90% of the times. Don’t overdo it.

  1. A good angle

Make sure to set the vertical tracking angle (VTA). We talk about the angle of the stylus in the groove, as you see it from the side. You may adjust it by loosening a bolt in the arm base, playing with the height. You get a good sound if the arm tube is parallel with the vinyl surface. You may tweak it by tilting up/down only by a few degrees.

It’s not quite common to find arms with adjustable VTA since many consider rigidity to be more important, since the VTA only really counts when it comes to tonal balance.

The only vibrations you want in a record player are at the stylus/groove interface and more rigidity elsewhere is far more important.

  1. The anti-skate system

You need the anti-skate system (bias) because the groove travels faster at the outside of the vinyl than inside. This causes a force that drags the stylus toward the middle of the disc and you need compensation for that.

An anti-skate system may include a thread with a small weight on, whereas some have a sliding marker.

You simply place it below the tracking force, so if your cartridge speed is 1.75g, you may want to set the anti-skate to 1.5. You should be well set with just the thread and the weight system.

  1. The easy-peasy solution

Here’s a little secret: you may have instant results with no effort whatsoever, by simply removing the dust cover when you play the vinyl.

You do want to keep the cover on for protection the turntable from the kids, though. Keep in mind that the cover also picks up very well vibrations when your music is playing, transmitting them into your turntable.

DJing with Vinyl and laptop
DJing with Vinyl

How to DJ with Vinyl and Laptop

We don’t know when or who got for the first time the idea that DJing implies some important and sophisticated technical skills, but the technology today helps any DJ to do better every time.

Some genres need specific outputs and  you can’t argue the brightness of digital sound in some cases. On the other hand, vinyl acetates are the better choice for grime and dubstep, as wax and bass combine so neat together. This takes us straight to common problems nowadays: you can’t force a DJ to use certain tools, as different sounds need different tools.

Getting to DJing with Vinyl and laptop is great and so easier to do in some locations and people out there should be preoccupied more about the sound, and not the machine nor the skills of getting that sound. We’re just saying…

How to get there, anyway?

Stepping into the new era of DJing isn’t that difficult and could start with replacing your current mixer with a DJ controller that you may plug your kit back into. This is how you get a set-up that lets you DJ just like before.

You also need a digital vinyl system (DVS) or a CD equivalent that help you control your MP3s with special DJ systems. When you use both a “control vinyl” and a control box, you may switch easily to vinyl. This is quite a popular method and you get to use the existing equipment in a club, with no need for a control surface and a setting in a narrow DJ box.

You insert a control CD into each player (a modern HID CD player saves you from this effort also).  The portability of the system is incredible and many of those who DJ at home, also do it in the clubs, giving you another reason for trying this type of DJing.

It’s also important to get an all-in-one DJ system that is very comfortable to work with. An all-in-one unit like this plays CDs, control DJ software (don’t forget about the laptop) and play tunes from your iPod thanks to a built-in slot. You may find a unit that has two switchable CD/phono inputs also.

Some may find this type of unit looking a lot like a traditional DJ kit, but when you want to get digital, you kind of need to get it. Especially if you have an impressive CD collection that you want to mix with CDs digital. You may still play the records if you don’t give up on the existing decks. Pay attention to the iPod deck, though.

When you want to go digital, it’s also essential to add a single-deck DJ software controller to your already existing set-up. The software may look as a DJ CD player, but it doesn’t come with a built-in CD player though. You get more control over your DJ software as if you’d have a third (or fourth) deck. As your laptop is running the DJ software and it’s plugged into it, you may actually plug your laptop’s sound output into a spare channel on your DJ mixer and go ahead with mixing there.

You can control both decks of your DJ software with the one unit in case you have a DJ sound card with two stereo outputs. Most of them out there have A/B switch and you may get a 2/4 deck control by adding two of them.

In some cases, you want to maintain the entire previous kit and get one freer channel on your mixer. You may easily add the functionality of DJ Software, getting the results you wanted.

You get amazing flexibility and an amazing control over your four decks, which is quite awesome!

We do know that there are various methods to add digital DJing to your setup, and you could, for instance, add an Ableton control surface to play over samples and trigger some loops.

One could also replace the mixer with a Midi mixer that comes with a soundcard and add only control decks.

You may also plug your laptop into spare channel/channels and use the keyboard for DJing.

If you don’t care much about the “deck” feel, don’t hesitate to try adding a knobs-and-buttons Midi controller.

The impressive power, the portability, the “cool” aspect, the ability to play anywhere with a PA system (as you took your very own gear with you) are the main advantages when DJing with a laptop. After all, DJing is the most important part for you.

Sound effects

Top 10 Greatest Sound Effects in Movies

A list of really famous sounds. They may be even better known than the movies that they appeared in. Monsters, screams, light sabers and transporters, the list keeps going on. The full list of sounds featured in this video:

#10. Grudge Gurgling “The Grudge” (2004)
#9. TRex Roar “Jurassic Park” (1993)
#8. Transporter “Star Trek” franchise (1979)
#7. Lightcycles “Tron” franchise (1982, 2010)
#6. DeLorean Time Machine “Back to the Future” franchise (198590)
#5. Proton Packs “Ghostbusters” franchise (198489)
#4. Darth Vader Breathing “Star Wars” (19771983)
#3. ?