Ortofon Concordes

Dj Thy

Quartzlocked Weirdo
Ok, this is for the guys who aren't afraid of tweaking their equipment.
I had to make a comparison between different phono cartridges. If you want THE cartridge, the Ortofon Concordes are the absolute #1.
But (there is always a but), I noticed some problems with some replacement styli (and some new ones too, but very very few). It seems some series of the styli are rather loose. This doesn't affect normal playing and rather heavy scratching (strangely), but when you cue the record and hold it still with your fingers (or move it back and forward quite slowly), the stylus makes huge skips. Initially the stylus stays in the groove (ortofons are the best for that), but because it's loose the cart sways back and forth and because of the inertia the cart pushes the stylus out of the groove. I was ordered by the guys who wanted me to do the comparison to find a solution (yeah I found the problem, I had to solve it, pfff). Well, lucky for you I did, but it's rather tricky to do. If you take off the stylus and hold it in front of you, you'll see a little hole where the stylus cantilever (the actual stylus part in fact). The trick is to fill the hole on both sides of the stylus (on both sides, because the stylus has to stay exactly in the middle when you look from above, otherwise you'll know the real meaning of sliding). But the real tricky part is that the stuff (I suggest glue) you put in the hole must fit in completely, because if the stuff you put in the cavity comes lower than the base of the cartridge (the plastic, not the stylus), the needle won't the grooves at all.
So you will have to use very few amounts of "stuffing".
Once this is done (and you're sure the stylus is exactly in the middle and that it doesn't come lower than the plastic base of the stylus cart), you can put the cart back on and see the difference.
TIP : if you have a turntable with height adjustment (like the SL1200), max it out. Reverse the weight and set a weight of approx. 4.5 g. After that the needle will be almost unskippable!!!

Hope this helped the few ones out who encountered this prob.

Dj Thy

[This message has been edited by Dj Thy (edited 19 March 2000).]

Dj Thy

Quartzlocked Weirdo
No problem. If you have any technical problem or do you want to ask questions about mixing, I'll be glad to reply asap!!!

Dj Thy

Dj Thy

Quartzlocked Weirdo
Well, I think Ortofon are the best all-round needles that exist today.
But yup, THE scratch needle is not the Stanton 500 AL like most people think but the M44-Gx/7x (7 had more skip resistance and G better sound accuracy). This was a hell of a needle. Unskippable and extremely high voltage output (9 mV, most needles today have about 5-6 mV), and better, inexpensive. It had a very distinctive, raw sound and all this together made it to be THE scratch needle to have if you wanted to be taken serious (uhm anyone heard of the Invisibl' Skratch Piklz or Dj Q-bert? ;) )
But the needle was discontinued. Shame on Shure. I was not the only one to think that so Shure got millions of complains from the scratch community. So two years ago (if a recall), Shure decided to continue the hype by launching two needles with the same specs as the M44-Gx, but with the newer technologies that came out that time (new alloys, etc) : the M44-7 and M44-G. Well, all I can say is that Shure sure knows it's stuff. The both needles (but the M44-7 a little bit better for scratching) are slightly inferior to the originals, but still the best scratch needles around. If you are a scratcher, the M44-7 is the one to go for. And last year, Shure took another step for the club (normal mixing), the M35-S. It's the improved version of the SC35-c. It's main feature is it's superb sound. Only Ortofon sounds better to my ears. That's why top clubs now go for Ortofon or Shure instead of Stanton (at least here in my country).

So here's my little chart :

Budget minded/beginning dj :
1)Shure SC35-c
2)Stanton 500 AL mkII

Advanced Dj :
1)Ortofon Concorde DJ (the blue one)

Scratching Dj :
1)Shure M44 series
2)Ortofon Concorde Scratch (the new pink one)
3)Stanton 505/605 SK

Club Dj :
1)Ortofon Concorde Nightclub (the black one)
2)Shure M35-S

All in that order.

Dj Thy


New member
What are your opinions of the Shure needles, especially the M44-7's? Me and my crew use those for scratching, and so far have had excellent success with them.