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 Post subject: Pfanstiehl 911-D7 (Astatic 89T replacement)......JUNK!
PostPosted: Sep Thu 23, 2021 6:03 am 
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Joined: Dec Sun 07, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 4832
Location: Meridian, MS 39307
I got one of these Pfanstiehl 911-D7 cartridges in a pile of parts that I was given and it's the modern single-sided LP-only replacement for the old Astatic 81T/89T cartridges that are commonly found in school record players.

There are two reasons why it's junk:

1. Poor compliance that results in excessive skipping and excessive record wear.

2. This cartridge only reproduces one channel of a stereo record, where the old Astatic 89T's combine L and R for mono.

The green 911-S3 is fine for 78 use; but, the only place this red 911-D7 would be useful would be in talking book players and kiddie record players, where the only records being played are spoken word mono talking book and kiddie records.

If you plan on playing music records and stereo records, get a NOS Astatic original.

The VM site used to list the 911-D7; but, noted that it was for mono records. Now, it's not even listed as an option (probably because it was so problematic that they stopped offering it).

From what I can tell, there are still loads of school record players out there that use this cartridge and you'd think someone would "get it right" and make a dual tipped LP/78 cartridge that's made to the old Astatic standards.


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 Post subject: Re: Pfanstiehl 911-D7 (Astatic 89T replacement)......JUNK!
PostPosted: Sep Thu 23, 2021 7:17 am 
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Joined: Aug Tue 24, 2021 9:18 pm
Posts: 306
IMO, 89Ts are pretty much junk even when they are at their best. Aside from being easy to replace and rugged, there wasn't much good to say about them.

On my school phonos, I've replaced them with more record-friendly cartridges that have less expensive to replace styli. And I agree that heavy tracking machines that only play 78s, kiddie record players, or talking book players are about the only good uses for them.


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 Post subject: Re: Pfanstiehl 911-D7 (Astatic 89T replacement)......JUNK!
PostPosted: Sep Thu 23, 2021 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Mar Tue 30, 2010 2:24 am
Posts: 9164
Location: Lehighton, PA.
radiotvnut wrote:
2. This cartridge only reproduces one channel of a stereo record, where the old Astatic 89T's combine L and R for mono.

Interesting. When I posted the same thing a few years ago people on the forum told me I was wrong, it couldn't possibly be. Well, I guess maybe it is.

Larry

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 Post subject: Re: Pfanstiehl 911-D7 (Astatic 89T replacement)......JUNK!
PostPosted: Sep Thu 23, 2021 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 73
Location: Caseyville Illnois United States
Hello radiotvphononut
I have a lot of cartridges and stylus like for you to have.
if you could contact me at my email below or by phone
we can talk.
George kirk
618 213 6117
televisiontech79@gmail.com


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 Post subject: Re: Pfanstiehl 911-D7 (Astatic 89T replacement)......JUNK!
PostPosted: Sep Fri 24, 2021 7:29 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 24, 2018 11:27 pm
Posts: 79
Location: NJ 08520
The OP is right...Find vintage Astatic replacements. Originals were black, then golden brown. Only the stereo 13TX is green.

Any other color represents a more modern item. Unfortunately, the aftermarket for replacement styli thru the years comes with some unscrupulous "remanufacturers" which is a nice way to describe a bootleg, substandard, poor repro. Shame on these people who make things look ok, but do not test their offerings !

I am actually surprised that Voice of Music cannot score some quality replacements. Surely, there are enough collectors who have some spares to trade-in ? Gary might like to have these high demand replacements.

Playing only one side of a groove is a major defect. This is not the norm. Be aware that the good ones were indeed good. Thru the years, I did notice the original 81T sounded as good, if not better than the later 89T. But, flashing forward to today, 2021, there are way too many questionable folks.

Make sure you buy from a reputable dealer, offering return privileges and having known satisfied customers. Ebay might not be your best source. As a buyer, even if the received item is defective, you must pay the return shipping.

Dealing directly with a mail-order firm like The Voice of Music, has the benefit of knowing the vendor will make it right. If you had to return something, Gary will still make you happy.

Finally, yes, these Astatic 81 and 89 carts may be best suited for 78 record players.


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 Post subject: Re: Pfanstiehl 911-D7 (Astatic 89T replacement)......JUNK!
PostPosted: Sep Fri 24, 2021 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sun 07, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 4832
Location: Meridian, MS 39307
The biggest problem with installing a regular stereo cartridge in a school record player is the output. A typical modern stereo ceramic cartridge has an output of .5V, while the 89T has an output of 1.3V. The record player will produce sound with a .5V cartridge; but, the tonal quality will be weak and the the record player won't get as loud.

The VM site still has some NOS Astatic 89T cartridges; but, when they're gone....they are gone. A few years ago, Gary told me that the 89T family of cartridges have almost been bought out of existence. Occasionally, one will turn up on Ebay for a good price; but, most of the ones there are expensive. Heck, I remember buying the gold ones for $5 and some change (in the '90's and very early 2000's). I remember when I bought the last couple that the parts house had and he told me to enjoy them because there would be no more of them. He said the school system had discontinued the use of record players; so, there went his biggest customer for them, and he said that PRB had discontinued them. Ever since then, mail order has been my only place to get them and the prices have steadily been going up and up.

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 Post subject: Re: Pfanstiehl 911-D7 (Astatic 89T replacement)......JUNK!
PostPosted: Sep Fri 24, 2021 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Aug Tue 24, 2021 9:18 pm
Posts: 306
radiotvnut wrote:
The biggest problem with installing a regular stereo cartridge in a school record player is the output. A typical modern stereo ceramic cartridge has an output of .5V, while the 89T has an output of 1.3V. The record player will produce sound with a .5V cartridge; but, the tonal quality will be weak and the the record player won't get as loud.

I used a P228 in my Hamilton 835, and at supposedly .8v, there was actually little noticeable difference. It will still get louder that one can stand to listen to, and I think it actually sounds better with cleaner sounding treble.

I used a NOS (because the newly made one was dead out of the box :evil: ) high output Tetrad in my Califone 1430KM. It lost a little volume when wide open, but it still has good tonal quality.

The small trade off was well worth it because new styli are only ~$8 a piece shipped, and both machines are much gentler on records now with the cartridges being more compliant and the tracking force set at 5 grams.


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 Post subject: Re: Pfanstiehl 911-D7 (Astatic 89T replacement)......JUNK!
PostPosted: Sep Sat 25, 2021 12:06 am 
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Joined: May Thu 24, 2018 11:27 pm
Posts: 79
Location: NJ 08520
There are still so many cool vintage Choi es, if u can find the good ones. I have done well with BSR, Ronnette, Philips, early stereo RCA, some Varco, Astatic G, 151 and the newer 151-1 or 151-2. But, these all need 6 grams of pressure, or more.

If u r fixing early record players or phono-radio units, many of the AC-DC sets were made for 115VAC from the wall. With 122-125 common where I live, if I needed some gain, I would add a socket and wiring for a 12AV6 or 12AX7, etc. to the heater string. That way, when restoring, with lots more gain, we can try even more types of carts.


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 Post subject: Re: Pfanstiehl 911-D7 (Astatic 89T replacement)......JUNK!
PostPosted: Sep Sat 25, 2021 4:18 am 
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Joined: Aug Tue 24, 2010 8:56 pm
Posts: 6202
Location: Northeast Florida
I feel your pain. I installed one on a fresh restoration (having never used one before), and noticed the lack of stereo. I never even suspected the cartridge at first, thought I had gotten the tonearm wiring wrong. It wasn't until I installed a P228 (with working stereo) that I realized something was amiss with the D7. Total garbage

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