It must be the economy; not long ago cartridges of that nature would not even be discussed in this forum.
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Pickering XV15 originally is an entry level cartridge with entry level bonded stylus and huge heavy cantilever, yes you can upgrade the stylus, but not with the aftermarket bootleg from LP Gear. Elliptical stylus is not an upgrade, maybe over Spherical only.
I have posted a link about Stanton Pickering Cartridge-Stylus Compatibility, everyone can check which original stylus is compatible.
What have you posted here @stevecham any useful information exept that cheapest entry level cartridge in your opinion and for your ears is better than top of the line models from the same brand? Ok, it’s your opinion, but the manufacturer designed much better cartridges for much higher price, because they are better and because there was a demand for a better sounding cartridges back in the day.
The real upgrade is Stereohedron stylus.
There is a company in the UK manufactured styli for Stanton/Pickering, the company is Expert Stylus, they can retip any Stanton/Pickering cartridges with their new Paratrace stylus (very similar to Stereohedron).
Bonded Elliptical stylus can’t compete with Stereohedron or ANY LineContact type stylus. Spherical stylus is garbade.
When you got FACTS that you don’t like to face, you call other members snobs ?
Before any of the models you mention were around, the XV15 and Stanton 681 were an industry reference.
You can remember what was a reference in 1960’s, but we’re in 2019 and the reference today is what i am talking about. Pickering 7500 is the reference even today, not 50 years ago. Or shall we compare an entry level stereo cartridge to gramophones era styli ? I don’t think so.
Stanton 681eee MkII for instance had a stereohedron tip
"E" is for Eliptical, "S" is for Stereohedron.
I believe that the 881 had replaced the 681 as the reference in the Stanton lineup. The 681eee was hand-selected and carefully matched by Stanton. it was an upgrade from the otherwise similar 680 body. The XV15 was also similar (Pickering was a sister company) but had different styli. the XV15 625, 750, 1200 ( I believe there was also a 1800) were all top of the line at a given time.
Not sure why you’re talking about Stanton when the OP is asking about his Pickering ? Pickering reference styli is D3000 and models with higher numbers styli with nude Stereohedron tip (such as D5000, D7500). Do you want the whole history? Ok:
Norman C. Pickering, an engineer, inventor and musician whose pursuit of audio clarity and beauty helped make phonograph records and musical instruments sound better. In 1945, Mr. Pickering, who enjoyed listening to records and was frustrated by the sound quality of recordings, developed an improved pickup — that is, the mechanism that includes the phonograph needle, or stylus, and translates the information in the groove of a record into an electrical signal that can be reproduced as sound. Originally His phono pickups were designed for use in broadcast and recording studios. 1947 the demand from high-fidelity fanatics was strong enough for what’s now called a ‘cartridge’ and Pickering & Company was formed to meet the new hobby’s demands. In 1948, Mr. Pickering was among the founders of the Audio Engineering Society, now an international organization that disseminates news and information about improvements in audio technology. By the mid 50’s, the Pickering company employed more than 150 people at its Plainview, Long Island headquarters.
Pickering’s factory manager was none other than Walter Stanton, who later went out on his own. By 1960, Mr.Stanton bought out Mr.Pickering. He later established Stanton Magnetics Inc in 1961. He was the chairman and president of both Pickering & Co and Stanton Magnetics Inc until 1998. Walter O. Stanton, the inventor of an easily replaceable phonograph stylus that was crucial to creating a consumer market for audio equipment. Stanton and Pickering carts are the same with interchangeable styli despite the very different looking plastic bits and brushes - the trick is figuring out the interchanging model numbers. Pickering XSV-3000 is equal to Stanton 881s, both comes with Nude Stereohedron diamonds on alluminum cantilevers. This is the most advanced stylus shape which is achieved by grinding four flat surface on the diamond at precise angles to each other and their intersection creates areas used to contact the groove. The advantage of the Stereohedron stylus is that because of it’s long and narrow contact surfaces it tracks high frequency modulation minimizing groove wear.
The OP already has the cartridge. It is worth a try IMHO. He or she could easily make up his/her own mind. My answer to the original post is that it will take real money to better this cartridge if it has a top stylus (even the elliptical 625 is quite good).
I could care lass if that was not on Audiogon where we have a higher standards of sound (cartridges, turntables) and i can’t admire an entry level cartridges as you do. I just trying to tell the truth, no matte how do you like it. Pickering XV-15 is an entry level cartridge in Pickering line, this is FACT, you may like the entry level cartridge with bonded elliptical styli, i have no problem with that (personally i prefer Nude Stereohedron).
Mr.Normal Pickering in his last interview said that Walter Stanton stole his company, in that audio interview Mr.Pickering called him a "b*stard" (i’ve heard it myself). Exclussive Interview was published by M.Fremer on Analog Planet before Mr.Pickering died of cancer. Sad story. He was not happy at all about that deal, he lost his company, but you calling Stanton a "Sister Company".
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