New Cartridge Causing Intermittent Popping

Vinyl Experts, I need help in diagnosing a problem. 

Before this last weekend, I had three (3) cartridges in my stable:  Kiseki Purpleheart, Dynavector 20x2; Benz Micro LPS.  None of these carts made any significant popping noise. I gave an AudioTechnica ART9 to a good friend last year. That had no such popping noise issue either.

This weekend I installed a brand new Goldring Ethos MC cartridge.  It sounds glorious out of the box and is opening up a bit. Very seductive sounding pickup. 

But the Ethos is exhibiting intermittent yet consistent popping when playing all sorts of clean, excellent shape vinyl.  The popping is as loud as the source material and disruptive.  It comes with no notice, stops and starts up with a single pop every so and so. [I haven't timed it].  I can, however, sometimes get through a side with one or no pops. For the most part it is still there. 

I setup the cartridge with my Feickert protractor.  Pretty easy setup compared to my other carts. 

Some aftermarket Jelco headshell leads were a touch a loose where they affix to the arm.  I tried crimping them down but to less than perfect status.  I've ordered new ones to see if that is the problem. 

I've never had any noise issues with my Manley Chinook phono preamp. The lion's share of my collection sounds just great with it until this issue arose. Most of my records that are in excellent shape do not exhibit snap, crackles, or pops unless you crank the volume during a very quiet passage--and even then they are not easily audible. 

Goldring says the following: 

Load resistance
100 Ω
Load capacitance
100 - 1000 pF

Playing weight

1.5 - 2.0 g (1.75 g)

This cartridge sounds wonderful--especially for the price tag.  I really want to fix this  small but annoying issue. 



Source - Technics SL1200 GAE

Phono Preamp- Manley Chinook

Integrated Amp - Marantz PM KI Ruby

Thank you folks!  Solving this is a priority for me. Your help is greatly appreciated. 


Good luck with that. I still think the problem is with that fine line stylus going deeper into the record grooves. You will find out with the exchange. Let us know!

@yogiboy, if that is the case, why would a manufacturer make a cartridge that injects loud popping every minute or so during playback?  It's useless functioning like this. What other fine line stylus cartridges do you have experience with? Did they make routine loud popping sounds?  These popping sounds do not resemble surface noise in any way.  

I sent an AT-ART9XI to VAS to have its cantilever aligned.  When I got the cart back the cantilever was straight but the cart would pop - LOUDLY - about once per side.  It was startlingly loud.  I initially thought the pops were caused by static but tried everything I could think of to reduce it yet still experienced pops.  I eventually sent the cartridge back to Steve at VAS.  He opened it up, cleaned it out, and it hasn't popped since.

Thanks @kfscoll , this makes me feel a bit better as I would hate the issue to be in my system.  I really appreciate it. 

Strange stuff all. 

j have had a variety of tables over the years, and never had this issue. 
mine had a Signet TK10ML with a true microphone stylus. 
currently Audio Technics ART9xi (special line contact)

I keep vinyl clean, and clean all new/used ore-flight. 

I don’t think this is a stylus design issue, but as you will find out, it may be a defective cart. 
Will watch for your follow up.