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Classic MM Cartridge

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Mikeh View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 Nov 2021 at 3:54pm
I really enjoy the Nagaoka MP200 that I run on my Technics deck, very smooth and musical to my ears. With new stylus time approaching, I thought about possible 'improvements' and considered the obvious upgrade to a Nag MP500. Research and talking to some dealers got me to the point of placing an order for an Audio Note IQ2 at a similar price to the Nag.
However, before pressing the button, I came across the Technics EPC-205C. Made in  the late 70's this was pretty much state of art at the time with an ultra low effective mass stylus assembly and massive frequency range which is still said to rival and better many good MC's. A 205C MK3 came up on fleebay recently complete with a near new replacement for the original stylus. I liked the unit design, intended for the Technics so decided to take the plunge. On receipt I was a bit dissapointed that the replacement stylus is actually from the earlier MK2 model so doesn't have the ultra light boron tube elliptical stylus but is still in good nick and Jico SAS alternatives are readily available.
Initial impressions are impressive. It generates a bit more obvious record noise than the Nag but the sound is very satisfying. Jon  Bonhams cymbals on LedZep II really sing and the bass track drives through. I couldn't say how it compares to  MC cartridges but even with the incorrect stylus I'd put it alongside or better the Nag MP200.  I'll hold full judgement until I fit a replacement Jico stylus, which I hope will be soon.  Certainly a lot going for an old classic.



Edited by Mikeh - 29 Nov 2021 at 4:15pm
Mike

Technics sl1210gr with Nagaoka mp 200
Accession MM , Majestic + Proprius
Cambridge Audio CXC CD player
Lindemann Limetree Bridge streamer
Monitor Audio Gold 50 paired with REL t5x
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CageyH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote CageyH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2021 at 12:55pm
I currently have one fitted with the SAS/B stylus. I like it very much.
I also have a spare Sapphire stylus version for it as well.

Don’t waste your time chasing the holy grail of a NOS mk3 stylus . The rubber making the TTDD (Technics Temperature Defence Damper) will have perished by now, so the suspension will be collapsed.

Apparently, the Mk4 was even better, but good luck finding one.

I also have an AT20SLa with a couple of ATN20SS as spares. Another very good cartridge.
Kevin
European loan coordinator, based near Toulouse, France.
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Mikeh View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Mikeh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2021 at 4:16pm
Received my replacement Jico SAS/S stylus from Japan earlier today. Excellent service and delivery. Fitted to the EPC-205Cmk3 cartridge body and running in now on the turntable. Immediate impressions are the increased detail and positioning over the Nag, can't wait for it to be properly bedded in. IMO it must be one of the nicest looking cartridges, before talking about the sound quality.
Now decided that the NOS 205ED2 stylus deserves retipping and fitted to it's own EPC body. The original titanium arm might not give the same impressive specs as the later model with boron tube but the suspension is more likely to be usable.  Will have to be patient and look out for an EPC-205C mk 3 or 4(?) without a stylus......could be a long wait.






Mike

Technics sl1210gr with Nagaoka mp 200
Accession MM , Majestic + Proprius
Cambridge Audio CXC CD player
Lindemann Limetree Bridge streamer
Monitor Audio Gold 50 paired with REL t5x
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CageyH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CageyH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2021 at 10:32am
I think you will find the cost of a retip prohibitive. If you want something close to the Mk3, the SAS/B is about as good as it gets.
Kevin
European loan coordinator, based near Toulouse, France.
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