Top cartridge for vintage 45s "7inch vinyl

this is my first post on audiogon forum, but i do read this forum pretty much, hello :)

well, the question is what is the best cartridge for vintage 45s (circa 60s-70s) , those records (singles) are often recorded pretty bad (at leas some of them comes from independent labels, privat presses with no budget for a proper studio recording session), but many of them sound fantastic (really good). Talking about Jazz, Soul, Funk and Latin music.

Being a collector myself i have many of them (along with LPs).

Once i came across Technics EPC-102SP cartridge, seller told me it was designed to play 45s on radio broadcast studios etc. I couldn't find any info about this cartridge. but i saw one on japanese site (but it was in 78rpm set up) -

Someone told me this cart can play both (45s/78s), but i've never seen it on 45s.


Personally i use two Technics 205cmk3 (with both Jico SAS and original Technics stylus) and i like the sound of this MM cart. on my modified SL1210 (with Kab fluid tonearm damper, Cardas tonearm wires, Zu Mission Phono cables, Isonoe Footers).

Compared to 205cmk3 the EPC-102SP cartridge looks shorter (they are both dead mounted on headshell). Why the "SP" cartridge is shorter ??

Apart from this Technics cartridge can anyone recommend me something that can beat my Technics 205cmk3 with vintage 45s ??

I was thinking to try Denon DL107A or some other Broadcast carts. Am i going to the right direction ? )) I believe broadcast carts must be designed to play 45s (singles) as a main format. Anyone ??

I use Grado PH-1 phono preamp, WLM Minueta Tube Class A (in triod mode) , Stereovox Colibri interconnects, OCOS speaker cables (2 in paralles run), full range Zu Druid MK4 (upgraded with latest Definition MK4 nano Drivers)
Post removed 
Wow, a Russian troll (who’s post was removed today) tried to comment in my first thread on audiogon from 2012. So this zombie thread is up again, sorry.

So I will answer myself 11 years later:

Technics EPC-102SP was designed for use on tonearms made for popular in Japan SPU "A" (and related) as an alternative, so the overhang is much shorter (on conventional tonearms it must be used only with adapter). Never tried this 102SP, but at the moment I have 205-P mk4 NOS (all other Technics from my collection are all gone). System also dramatically changed, this is my system in 2021.

thanks @noromance

1. There are few things I wish to add to my system:

-AuroraSound VIDA phono stage.
-Pass Aleph P preamp with remote control.
-First Watt SIT-2 power amp

2. A second system can be assembled with these small Tannoy:
-Awaiting for Red Wine Audio Signature 30.2 and Zu Audio Mission speaker cables.
-More acoustic panels must be glued on the wall soon.

3. A third system can be made with my old Zu Audio Druid speakers, I have enough turntables for all systems.

P.S. It was a very interesting journey that took 11 years since this thread was originally created.  

Before Yamamoto and First Watt I’ve been using WLM Integrated (made by Trafomatic Audio for WLM).

The Yamamoto A-08s is great and those National Union vintage 45 tubes are fantastic. Got a pair or new Emission Lab 45s here too.
I've always been tempted to go flea-powered but the ESLs need P-P. The one thing that brings out all the magic in my system—and it’s very highly tuned such that every component works in harmony—is my modified Croft tube phono amp. The Deccas just sing with bulk foil resistors and tubes. I’d be hard-pressed to go solid state!
Well, First Watt is not a typical solid state, especially SIT:

"The SIT-2 is the first of a new generation of power amplifiers using Static Induction Transistors (SIT) in single-stage, single-ended Class A circuits delivering superlative sound without feedback or degeneration. This is made possible by the unique characteristic of First Watt’s custom SIT devices, which combines a square-law input character with a low impedance output to form the only solid state gain device which behaves like a Triode tube. This character has long been sought as a potential replacement for tubes, but the realized devices have several advantages. The Pass SIT device has higher gain and lower distortion and also conveniently operates at the voltages and currents required by loudspeakers. This means that an output transformer, with all its bandwidth and distortion limitations is eliminated."

I have the Red Wine Audio 30.2 in my second system as well -  did you manage to get one chakster ?

my Beogram 8002  ( have both the MMC1 cart  and Soundsmith SMMC2)  is connected to a very nice Graham Slee Accession MM Phono amp that I bought 5 years ago, and some nice interconnects into the RWA 30.2

now have a very pleasant and simple vinyl playback system that even my children can use and very happy that it did not cost me the earth :-)