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 Post subject: Astatic 89T (RCA 45 Player) revisited
PostPosted: May Tue 25, 2010 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 14, 2009 7:16 pm
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OK, after going through almost every previous post about the ubiquitous and popular RCA 45rpm record players I have a few questions... I'll start with the cartridge.

Original crystal carts:
The common wisdom seems to be that, even though the originals sounded great on early 45's of the day, they are too expensive to have rebuilt considering the fragile nature of rochelle salts and the somewhat heavy tracking and stiff compliance of the needles.
I have a handful of these, both used and unused. I keep them in a box, where they probably will stay.

Magnetic carts:
I fully understand the fidelity differences between ceramic and magnetic cartridges. Since I have plenty of conventional turntables with magnetic carts, and since I won't be playing any 'stereo' or modern 45 singles on my RCA 45-EY-2, I won't be considering that approach.

MODERN Ceramic carts:
Now we get to my real question - - Since the concensus seems to be in favor of the 89T - - let me understand something...correct me if I'm wrong !

The best ones for my 45-EY-2 (this has the 3 tube amplifier) would be the original Power Point 89T ? What do they look like - how would I recognize one?

The next 89T was the Astatic 89T, which I gather was nearly as good as the Power Point original ? Are they the green ones in the picture below? What is their availablity ?

Finally, the ones I've seen on ebay and other places are often listed as Astatic, but are seem to be knock-offs called 911-d1, etc.

I have read here, about tan colored 89T's, but have not seen them.

So, finally.... which is best ?
I have already decided not to go with the low-rider drop-in cart that has been discussed so much here... I'd prefer the higher voltage (1v) output even at the expense of the easy ride. I want that pronounced bass that everyone seems to attribute to the higher voltage.

The red '89T' in the pic below is found on eBay ..... what's the story on it ? Evidently it's the only one commonly available now, but I don't want to invest in it, if it's just a cheap knock-off.

Thanks again for suffering thru this essay.

Louie7

Image

This appears to be a real Astatic.... but I've yet to see an image of a Power Point...


Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 25, 2010 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sun 07, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 4731
I've never had any experience with the newer red ones; but, I've heard that they sound like crap.

The double tipped gold ones were around in the '80's and continued to be made until recently. I've seen a few gold ones that were stamped "Astatic". Quality seems to be a toss up. I've had some that sounded fine while others didn't sound as good and would sometimes wreck the record grooves as it tracked.

I think the black Astatic originals were the best; but, quality can again be a toss up.

I think Astatic got out of the needle business sometime in the '80's; so, all of the 89T's made since then have been Astatic knock-offs.

About two years ago, I ordered some $5 "no name" 89T's that were housed in a shiny black shell and were very cheap looking. These did sound like crap and I won't make that mistake again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 25, 2010 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 14, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 45
ok, now... here's one I just ran across....

http://www.turntableneedles.com/Cartridge-911_p_1653.html#

AVCR brand.... never heard of it. Have a look. Available in several options with different tips, but also using the word 'Powerpoint' !


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 25, 2010 7:51 pm 
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Location: Shrewsbury Mass 01545
This is a good link I have the same style cartarge use this u will find it most helpful
from will s

http://www.mbelectronics.com/view.aspx?id=284


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 25, 2010 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 14, 2009 7:16 pm
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OK, thanks, that looks better... but they don't specify what tip it has. I'm guessing it's Sapphire, not Diamond.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 25, 2010 9:19 pm 
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Posts: 4254
Location: Shrewsbury Mass 01545
I think it is a Sapphire i have a phonograph actually 2 one is a newcomb and the other is a small black school type portable

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 25, 2010 9:35 pm 
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Well, it's good to know that there is the traditional LP/78 flip style available; but, $24.95? I used to get them for $5.95!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 25, 2010 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 14, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 45
Wondering ~ ~ have any of you ever mounted one of these 89T's in a RP190 tone-arm without the mounting bracket ?

I mean, unless you already have one, those brackets add another 10 bucks to the equation ...

Well, if you have, what was your method ?
Certainly I can arrange something...I don't even like the way that bracket looks after the little flipper is snipped off.

Louie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 25, 2010 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sun 07, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 4731
I've never mounted one without the bracket and wouldn't recommend it, unless someone can come up with a solderless way to do it. I've mounted a couple (with the bracket) to the existing cartridge mounting holes; but, it's a little tricky because the mounting holes are a little wider than the standard 1/2" mount.

You might try Ed Crockett @ www.vintagelectronics.com. I think his price might be a little cheaper than the ones on that website that was mentioned and I'm sure his cartridges are Astatic originals.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 25, 2010 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 14, 2009 7:16 pm
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Thanks for the tip in Ed Crocket.... I don't know if I've done business with him... but I'll try.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 26, 2010 1:44 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 3:37 am
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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
The gold ones have a diamond LP needle. The black ones are sapphire tips.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 26, 2010 6:25 am 
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Joined: Dec Mon 14, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 45
Thanks Moses - that's helpful info....

(not that the other info isn't... ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 26, 2010 6:52 am 
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Location: Pro Tech, Philadelphia Pa.
moses_007 wrote:
The gold ones have a diamond LP needle. The black ones are sapphire tips.


Larry, did you know back in the early '60s they had a"ruby" tip replacement?

My father put one in our old RCA record player and indeed I remember seeing a reddish color stylus when held up to the light.

Never saw another one since.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 26, 2010 6:57 am 
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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
RepairTech wrote:
moses_007 wrote:
The gold ones have a diamond LP needle. The black ones are sapphire tips.


Larry, did you know back in the early '60s they had a"ruby" tip replacement?

My father put one in our old RCA record player and indeed I remember seeing a reddish color stylus when held up to the light.

Never saw another one since.


As Johnny Carson would say, "I did not know that." :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 26, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 14, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 45
ok... so far... here's what I've seen and been told about these cartidges.

Gold - diamond tip
Black - sapphire tip
Red - bad quality .7 mil aka 911-D7
Blue - unknown quality
Tan - unknown quality
Green - unknow quality 911-S3 (for 78 only)

Some came with 78 tips on the opposite side, and are scarce now.

33/45 tips are 1 mil .... 78 tips are 3 mil

voltage is nominally 1v

aka: 911-D7, 911-DS77, 911-S3

I notice, for instance that the red one has a .7 mil tip while others claim to have a 1 mil tip. Am I reading this things wrong, is the information inaccurate or do these carts actually vary in tip size (Not including the 3 mil 78 version in this question).

If any of this is incorrect, please chime in.


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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 89T (RCA 45 Player) revisited
PostPosted: May Wed 26, 2010 10:42 pm 
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Location: Berkley, Michigan
Louie7 wrote:
...The next 89T was the Astatic 89T, which I gather was nearly as good as the Power Point original ?

The original was the Astatic 89T Sound-Flow. Electro-Voice makes the Power Point cartridges.

The original Astatic 89T has a 1-mil tip radius for microgroove records and a 3-mil tip for 78's. The cartridge is supposed to be stereo compatible. That means that it is compliant enough to be able to track a stereo recording without damaging the record. Later versions came with a 0.7-mil stereo tip on both sides and later still came the single tip versions.

These are designed to be disposable cartridges. Wear out one of the tips and replace the whole cartridge even though the ceramic element may still be good. Even the Astatic brand can be a real crap shoot. Older ones can be trash depending on how they have been stored.

Some of these new old stock cartridges are nearly a half century old. It shouldn’t be too surprising that they might be in less than perfect condition. I see them listed from $5 to $70 and wonder what the heck these sellers are thinking. They have no idea of the real condition of the cartridge or the value of the record player that it’s used in.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the newer Pfanstiehl 911-D7 cartridges may have much higher output than an original 89T, causing them to overload and distort on two stage amplifiers similar to the ones used in the RCA 45-EY-2 and EY-3. They may work just fine on the single tube kiddy players. Not to sound like a snob but I just don’t do one tube players so I’m not going to be the one to prove that theory.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Thu 27, 2010 3:47 am 
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Joined: Dec Mon 14, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 45
Well, that IS some great and comprehensive factuality...thanks!

So......... it sounds like they have played around with the voltage output too.....

Any idea what voltage the newer ones might clock in at ?

As I say, the phonograph I have is the 45-EY-2 (three tube with one 4" speaker).

thanks! Louie


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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 89T (RCA 45 Player) revisited
PostPosted: May Fri 28, 2010 2:10 am 
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Joined: Jan Sat 17, 2009 7:31 am
Posts: 356
Location: USA
Doug VanCleave wrote:
These are designed to be disposable cartridges. Wear out one of the tips and replace the whole cartridge even though the ceramic element may still be good. Even the Astatic brand can be a real crap shoot. Older ones can be trash depending on how they have been stored.

Some of these new old stock cartridges are nearly a half century old. It shouldn’t be too surprising that they might be in less than perfect condition. I see them listed from $5 to $70 and wonder what the heck these sellers are thinking. They have no idea of the real condition of the cartridge or the value of the record player that it’s used in.

Doug, you have a great way of summarizing the most important points in a thread :)

I was thinking the exact same things. The flexible parts do get old & become less compliant; storage conditions over the lifetime of the stylus (temp, humidity) become a HUGE, if not THE BIGGEST, factor, in whether it will skip uncontrollably on some records due to hardened parts.

How "new" are the "new" old stock ones being sold now?... (rhetorical question)

Guess the best folks can do is to try & sort out the "typical trends" by casing color, as in this thread... there it is...

- Bob


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Fri 28, 2010 6:28 am 
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Location: Pro Tech, Philadelphia Pa.
While I'm not totally against people interested in using those old "sound-flo/power-point" cartridges, they DO have their merits.... but.....

Which would YOU rather let loose on the grooves of your prized and favorite old records?

Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Fri 28, 2010 7:13 am 
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Joined: Dec Mon 14, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 45
THanks everyone...I'm learning a lot here...yet, paradoxically, the more I learn the more quizical I get... here's why.....

(please keep in mind that I have gone through all 45 pages of the 'Phonograph' index and read every topic and message related to RCA 45 Record Players).......

It has been said that there is a compromise between the stiffer, 1volt, mono cartridges and the more compliant, .5~.7 volt stereo cartridges.....such that, it's a trade off for either great sound but harder on the record, OR reduced damage to the records and more compatability with newer stereo 45's at the expense of some bass and /or volume.

It has also been put forward that the players with the single stage amps need the 1volt carts to get any bass. But I've also read that even the two stage amps, such as my 45-EY-2 (with the RS-138F chassis) will work with a .7 cart such as the low-rider, but that bass will suffer and a 1volt cart is needed to achieve the bass.

Yet, I have also read that .5~.7volt carts produce wimpy bass ONLY in 2 stage amps, such as the 45-EY-2, where the electronics have not been replaced and that .5~.7Volt carts will indeed produce sufficient bass and volume PROVIDED that the caps and resistors have been renued.

If this last supposition is correct, then the whole equation changes after I rewire my amp......and I should expect to get satisfactory performance from a cartridge such as the Chuo Denchi CZ-800 (aka: Low-rider, as adapted for use with the RCA players).

Up till this point I have favored the idea of better sound because I grew up with one of these players and 99% of the roughly 5000 45's that I have are pre-stereo mono discs from the 50's and 60's, and I was was therefore willing to forgo gentler tracking for the best sound.

Because I grew up with these units, I know that they are capable of very listenable reproduction, so naturally, if I could be certain that the low-rider cartridge would sort of 'perk-up', so to speak, with a totally rebuilt chassis, then YES, I'd much rather go that way to benefit from the softer ride and the stereo compatability.

Comments ?


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