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.


Could you mount the new screw in a Dremel and turn the the head down against a file or grind wheel and turn down the shaft so no threads engage the Hana threads?

Unless you can get to the grub screws from below the cartridge they will not work.

There is one other solution. Roberts makes a product called "MAX GRIP carpet" Home Depot sells it. It is an extremely strong double sided tape. With the stylus guard in place place the cartridge on a piece of the tape then trim the tape to the cartridge with a carpet knife or sharp scissors. You will have to figure out the proper location and angle of the cartridge in the head shell before sticking the cartridge down permanently. DO NOT remove the backing tape until you are ready to attach the cartridge permanently. To get the cartridge off you will have to slip the edge of a sharp knife under the cartridge and gently pris it up. Do not try to pull it off with your fingers. 

Mounting another tonearm is worse than drilling out the head shell. Remember, anyone who wants to use this turntable with a modern cartridge will have the same problem. Drilling out the plastic is not a problem for someone who knows what they are doing. You have to use brad point drills at slow speeds so you do not melt the plastic. This should only be done in a drill press. 

Another solution would be to modify the end of the arm installing an SME socket so you can use any universal head shell. That is a bit more complicated, but it can be done. Anything can be done if you throw enough money at it. 

And the last and easiest solution is, a Grado Gold or Silver cartridge will fit right on, screws from below. 

1. this has a solution, whatever they did


2. do people put 'better' tonearms on these? that would make it easy to get a standard removable headshell, have several cartridges, MC, MM, Mono ....

I did not originally understand that the headshell has captured nuts. Now that I know that, I’d agree with Dover.  I was once confronted with a similar dilemma.

Thanks for all of the responses. I appreciate your willingness to share your creativity and expertise.

I think the approach with set screws is worth a try, and I'm planning to start there; small investment, very little downside. From there, perhaps to try a cartridge that will mount more easily, per @mijostyn .

@elliottbnewcombjr Thanks for sharing the USAM post; the modification is a possibility (probably beyond my capability). The turntable ad your linked raises the awareness that perhaps a 698 turntable is worth less than I thought. Again, thanks to all.