Cartridge mounting woes

I purchased a new Hana ML cartridge, and intend to mount it on a "vintage" Empire 698 turntable. The 698 head shell is configured so that the cartridge used thereon must be bottom mounted. Before I ordered the cartridge, I checked with Musical Surroundings, and they indicated that while the Hana screw holes are through-threaded, the ML could be bottom mounted.

I picked up an assortment of M2.5 screws to mount the cartridge, and it turns out the screw heads are too wide to fit into the cartridge screw slots. My research indicates that this will continue to be a problem with other M2.5 screws out there on the market.

Have any of you folks encountered an issue like this? If so, how did you solve it? I've been thinking that maybe headless M2.5 screws (grub screws) would do the job. I'd surely appreciate any ideas that don't involve buying a new tonearm or turntable! Thanks in advance.



The problem you face is that no modern cartridge is mounted that way any more. What you have to do if you want to use this turntable with modern cartridges is have the head shell drilled and surfaced for mounting from above. It is basic work for any machinist. I could do it in my woodworking shop. 

"Grub screws", if that’s what you want to call them, might be made to work. I am thinking of threaded rods, essentially, with no head. You may be able to mate the cartridge to that headshell by using nuts from above, on the surface of the headshell, once you've screwed the rods into the threaded holes on the Hana. Problem is that when you tighten the nut, the threaded rod is going to have a tendency to spin in concert with the nut, so the headshell and cartridge never get tightly bonded. I recommend McMaster-Carr as a source of any exotic hardware, like M2.5 grub screws and M2.5 nuts. They’re amazingly fast responders and very reasonable in their cost structure.

@mijostyn Thanks for the excellent suggestion. The 698 headshell is made of plastic and is very brittle (bought it in 1977!); I’d be really concerned about fabricating it as you describe. Also, the 698 in original condition is probably worth a fair sum if I were to sell it to a collector.

@lewm The 698 headshell has two captive nuts that receive the connecting screws. Your point is well taken, the nuts could twist during cartridge installation and break the headshell. Thanks for your observations and recommendation.

Given the potential value of the turntable to a collector in stock condition, maybe the best option is to carefully install a new tone arm and put the original aside.

+1 Mcmaster Carr

Get Stainless Steel "set screws" (grub screwa)

May want to consider Stainless steel washers too

@lexphin McMaster-Carr looks impressive.Set screws appear to be what I need. Thanks.