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   Home » Analog Playback» Thank you, Sir! May I have another (MC-3000 II)? (12 posts, 1 page)
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02-14-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1
Post ID: 19002
Reply to: 19002
Thank you, Sir! May I have another (MC-3000 II)?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Since I discovered repeatable VTA/SRA, my Ortofon MC-3000 II cartridge (with matching T-3000 SUT) has been about as ignore-able as a hard-tracing cartridge in a hi-res system can be.  Too bad it took me so long to figure out the repeatable VTA/SRA!  It seems like I just got the thing dialed in, and now the left channel is 3 dB down.  Has it really been 8 years since I bought it?!?  What's an OCD basket case (like moi) supposed to do in a case like this?  I had it in mind to check out cartridges while I was Big Amp shopping; of course, that didn't work at all.  So here I am in the position of finally having to find and integrate another cartridge/SUT.

Only, in this case, it's Dumb Luck to the rescue!  It turns out, for only 30% more than I paid for my original, new MC-3000 II, I can have Ortofon DK totally re-build my old (long-discontinued) cartridge, replacing everything except the body, running as-new tests on it, plus re-instating the original warranty.  It's a rather convoluted process, starting from the 'States; I have go through Ortofon USA.  Perhaps they keep normally-returned VAT charges, I don't know; but it appears that the cost to me will be no more than what Europeans pay.

I think I also know where to find a NOS MC-3000 II, for a couple hundred more.  But it would have old rubber, etc., while a refurbished one would have all-new guts, fresh from the factory that still makes many of its own parts, including the rubber bits.

The Ortofon USA rep warns that turnaround will take 6 - 8 weeks (starting from/returning to West Coast, USA).

What the Hell; I'm doing it.  I think I will fit another slip of lead on my WT Ref arm "headshell", before I (re)mount the refurbished cartridge, maybe nudge the tracking up a little...

Maybe the wait will motivate me to buy some CDs...


Paul S
02-16-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 19007
Reply to: 19002
Actually, it was 10 1/2 Years!
fiogf49gjkf0d
I just turned up the original paperwork while looking for the original packaging, in which I planned to return the cartridge to DK.  The original packing slip was dated 27 July, 2002;  rather more than the 8 years I "remembered".  Which makes me wonder (again): what is the useful life of a phono cartridge, expressed as a "range"?  Do I also "remember" something recent from Ortofon saying the life of a styus is - I dunno - something like 1,000 hours of play time!  Of course, there are "other factors" involved in cartridge degradation, as well.

Probably, most of us simply continue to employ a cartridge until we "upgrade", or until it becomes unbearable.

Paul S
06-01-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 3
Post ID: 19416
Reply to: 19007
Back, and Better Than Ever (I hope...)
fiogf49gjkf0d
It wound up taking 9 weeks to get my re-built cartridge back from/through the Ortofon DK/USA  consortium, and then I let the re-built cartridge just sit there in is box for another 2 weeks.  When I finally went to re-mount it, I managed to snap a very fine wire at a cartridge clip, which subsequently entailed getting out the 808 (de-soldering gun), and the iron, and the holding jig, etc, ad nauseum.  But I took a deep breath and fixed the wire/clip; then I carefully re-mounted the cartridge and re-set all its alignment parameters, including VTF, all the while assuming that the height of the "new" cartridge would wind up pretty close to what it was before.  Of course, it will take a while for the cartridge to break in, before I can be sure about the exact effective height of the re-built cartridge, itself.  But now that I have my relative VTA/SRA system all worked out, once I fine tune the arm height by ear on a record of known thickness, all settings fall into place, based on the unchanging relationship between record thickness and arm height, acccording to the charts and "dials" I made up years ago (see the thread, "At Last, Repeatable VTA!".

As for the sound of the re-built cartridge, it is a good deal quieter in the groove than the old one was by the time I pulled it.  In fact, it is remarkably quiet.  It also has better "interstitual" silence, and better/clearer articulation, from top to bottom.  And none of this surprises me, since I probably had over 1,000 hours on the old cartridge before I figured out the Repeatable VTA system!  If nothing else, I will at least "get my money's worth" now that I know how to use the damned cartridge correctly from the get-go.

There has been too much going on in my house lately for me to get involved with my music, and the electricity has been uniformly lousy for over a year now.  Still, there are signs that I did the right thing, and I very much look forward to having access to my LPs again!  It's not that I hate digital; but it is the case that I choose digital only for convenience or to access programs that are unique to CDs in my library.
 
At this point I would "recommend" the Ortofon factory cartridge re-build to those trying to save money (vs. a new Ortofon cartridge) or to those who wish to restore a "classic" Ortofon cartridge that is no longer offered for sale new.

So far, so good...



Paul S
06-02-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,287
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 19418
Reply to: 19416
Cost?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Might I ask you what was the price of building this cartridge compare to but the new one NOS?


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-02-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 5
Post ID: 19420
Reply to: 19418
Hard-to-Find Sliding Scale
fiogf49gjkf0d
Persistent due diligence will eventually turn up the obscure part of the Ortofon DK website that lists prices and procedures for rebuilding services for some Ortofon cartridges (including the Jubilee, I think), and the DK site makes it look for all the world like anyone could set the whole thing in motion with computer and a credit card.  However, I held my horses and contacted Ortofon DK first, to make sure all the information was up to date, and "just in case", and I'm glad I did because they insisted I go through Ortofon USA, in upstate New York.  Oddly, I could not find the rebuilding information listed on the Ortofon USA site; but when I contacted them about it they definitely knew what I was talking about, and their total cost to me was actually somewhat less than the listed Ortofon DK asking price (in Euros), which I ass-u-me included VAT, or Denmark's version of this.  Anyway, my total cost was 1,089 USD, compared to an asking price of 1,200 USD for the NOS unit from "other sources".  By comparison, I originally spent quite a while shopping for the MC3000II, and I had a hard time finding this cartridge/SUT pair at any price.  Eventually, I paid 800 USD for my original cartridge (and 600 USD for the T3000), back in 2002, when the asking price for the pair from the usual sources was well into the mid-threes. 

No surprise, although rebuilding prices are lower than original cartridge prices, they ascend as one moves up the line.


Best regards,
Paul S
06-09-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 6
Post ID: 19472
Reply to: 19420
Home Sweet Home
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Today the girls took off early on a shopping bender, so I quickly fired up the rig and settled back with Cosi Fan Tutte.  I enjoyed the music and the performances, but I could not help getting up every so often to tune the cartridge, trying to close in on basic settings, to get to the point where only per-record, relative VTA remains again.  I think I am very close now, but we'll see/hear as the new motor continues to break in.  Right now, it sounds like the "new cartridge" wants less damping than where I left off with the old motor/stylus, and also less anti-skating tension, and for now the arm is slightly lower than before on any given LP, as well.  Anyway, the sound was good enough that I put on Bruckner 7 (Solti/VPO) as soon as CFT was done.  This was not bad, but also not everything I hoped for, the electricity being not quite good enough for me.  As things are for me now, everything has to be about perfect to really communicate Bruckner.  I suppose it's a good thing that sound is better than before at less-than-optimal settings.



Paul S
06-10-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,287
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 19473
Reply to: 19472
..and your expectations were…?
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 Paul S wrote:
Anyway, the sound was good enough that I put on Bruckner 7 (Solti/VPO) as soon as CFT was done.  This was not bad, but also not everything I hoped for….
I wonder what do you hope to hear in the Bruckner 7? I mean do you have any specific sonic/audio/musical objectives that you feel need to be delivering by your playback? Bruckner 7 is VERY hard to find properly recorded on LP.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-10-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 8
Post ID: 19474
Reply to: 19473
All Peak Experiences
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Romy, I am hardly familiar with Bruckner.  The local SO never plays it and, honestly, they are not really equipped to do it; and this was mostly the case when I lived in LA, also. And because my hi-fi systems could never do it, I do not even have a good sampling of Bruckner recordings. Also, like you say, this music is not easy to record well, either.  So, my choosing Bruckner 7 yesterday was partly a test, and partly just casting a line w-a-y out there, and I was really only hoping to hear it as well rendered as the best I've heard from my system so far, which includes a sense of listening in on the session(s).  Had it been more than that I would have been ecstatic.  In other words, at this point I am not even sure - in terms of Bruckner - what's on the LP I played!

I have mostly decided that the hi-fi cannot deliver more than the original performance(s), in terms of music and musical expression, but I am usually OK with this if the sound delivers enough of the gestalt of the music, and I hope my imagination will supply the rest of a rich musical experience.  Since my own thoughts and feelings about Bruckner are not well formed, you can factor this in with my remarks about the sound I got.  You might say it wound up being more about sound than Bruckner, when I hoped it would be vice-versa.

The LP set in question here is London (stereo, ffrr), CSA 2216, and it does have "that curve".

Now I hope you will recommend a Bruckner 7 (LP set)!

Best regards,
Paul S
05-13-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 9
Post ID: 20823
Reply to: 19474
Nice! (and a link)
fiogf49gjkf0d
A couple of great electricity days/listening sessions have established that the broken-in refurbished cartridge is better now than it was when I first formulated a relative VTA solution, using the old/original cartridge. Naturally, I always use the RVTA system now, to set VTA quickly and precisely for any and all LPs. Anyway, I finally immersed in my first "real" Bruckner. Looking back to the previous post, there was a LOT more on that LP than I suspected at the time of that post! Glorious! FYI, my present iteration of this cartridge rides enough higher than the old one to warrant pre-consideration on my RVTA "gauge".

I mainly made this post because today Ortofon sent me some advertising that included a link to their DK refurbishing service website, and it includes a list of "eligible" cartridges, so here it is:

http://www.ortofon-shop.com/index.php?page=shop.browse&category_id=50&vmcchk=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=230

Remember, apropos, that I was compelled by Ortofon DK to go through Ortofon USA, and any country outside DK might have similar "restrictions".


Paul S
05-13-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,287
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 20824
Reply to: 20823
There is no good LP of Bruckner 7 that I know.
fiogf49gjkf0d
I do not know any “interesting” LP of Bruckner 7. In my view Solti was not a good conductor of Bruckner. He did Bruckner artificially impressive and imposingly puffy, in my view they are big now ways to play Bruckner. For sure Bruckner would be “effectively” orchestrated by Solti and I might see some attraction in it but ultimately when I want not “orchestral music” but Bruckner sound I do not go for Solti. I still do not deny that this recording with Vienna was OK. The last time I was listening Solti with Vienna doing B7 was 2 years back. We were staying in St. John’s Westin Resort and one nigh we find ourselves at wonderfully open pool and we had Amy’s Phone (with 64G of music) and Bose SoundDeck. We were laying somewhere between poll and ocean fully relaxed and I was puffing some very tasty cigar sending the smoke to the stars. I said “Kitty, now I want B7”. So, we near max out the SoundDeck and blasted Solti’s adagio throughout the whole resort. Boy, I am sure it was a lot of people out there who felt that we were assholes…. I need to tell you: the Caribbean night sky, a good cigar, Bruckner and a hand of a friend whose hand pulsates counting the Bruckner beat makes all experience very special….



"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-13-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 11
Post ID: 20826
Reply to: 20824
Personal Best
fiogf49gjkf0d
I take your word that better is available, but it has been very gratifying and very "instructive" to hear a coherent and musically satisfying "Bruckner" of any kind via my hi-fi. (London stereo ffrr, CSA 2216). It was not bad but also not all good until electricity and everything else was "right" with the hi-fi. Before that, the sound was just not good enough to "bring it across". Once I could really hear what was going on with the 4th movement, it all came together. Now I "know what's going on", so I can "hear it better".

Best regards,
Paul S
12-25-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 12
Post ID: 22355
Reply to: 20826
Joy from Big Works, also Caveats
fiogf49gjkf0d
For a while now I have been regularly listening to "Big Works", something I did not even try a few years ago. Yesterday it was my most recent "pet" piece, another iteration of Ein deutsches Requiem. Something I have not really dwelt on to date is how nice it is to be able to listen to Big Works despite sub-optimal electricity, a situation I have only enjoyed since I have re-integrated this re-built cartridge into my system. Regarding sub-optimal sound while using this cartridge, it's always hard to separate out any problems with the sound, but keeping this on the subject of this thread, I think this cartridge would be easier to "develop" with a heavier (than my Well Tempered Reference) tone arm, but IMO it would be an exercise in futility to use this cartridge in any arm that does not allow easily adjustable and repeatable settings, including - especially - VTA. With my WTR arm it has also been necessary for me to re-set damping and anti-skate for this re-built cartridge, so - even though I do not have to do this for each record - readers should take this into account before purchasing the Ortofon MC 3000 II. Also, readers should remember that I went "whole hog" for this cartridge, buying its factory-matched SUT at the same time, and I have never even heard this cartridge with any other SUT. If only because it's output and output impedance are both so low, you can be sure the SUT is a big factor here. No doubt other combos could be developed, however, I can only "recommend" this one.


Paul S
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