Discontinued Pickups - Bang & Olufsen to Euphonics

Bang & Olufsen
Had a range of cartridges that fitted the non-standard mount that was found on the company's turntables, while the lower priced models were MM's virtually the rest of the range was MI's although there may have been a MC in there somewhere, including the MMC-1. One of the models that are most unusual is the MMC 4000 from the 70's, it can be used with matrix 4 channel records and has a nude elliptical stylus. There were also older versions of the MMC20 such as the MMC20CL that are no longer in production, but it's unclear what difference there is between them.

Benz Micro AG
Was one of the the biggest producer of stylii in the 70's and early 80's (turning out 9 million a year), they automated the manufacture of the elliptical stylus and were thus able to offer them at prices that were usually associated with cheap spherical stylii, they also developed new methods of gluing the stylus to the cantilever. Introduced their first pickup the MC-3 moving coil model in 1985. The high end Reference was introduced in 1990 and featured a bottomless wooden body fabricated out of Bruyeré wood sourced from the Black Forest, it's a dense, fine grained wood often used in violin necks and suchlike and this wood has been used in all wood bodied cartridges from the company since, another peculiar arrangement of the Reference's body that is still present in other bodied pickups from the company is it's peculiar shape that stems from the fact that no 2 surfaces of the body run in parallel. The range was augmented by the company's statement product the Ruby in the early 90's it featured coil windings out of gold wire and a much more complicated coil arrangement than that of the Reference. A little later with cheaper wood bodied carts such as the LO.4 (you can read an old review of it by Audiophilia here), MO.9 and the H2O. A nude coil pickup called the Glider was introduced by the company in 1994 to much acclaim, was one of the best reviewed cart of it's day, it was available in 2 versions a high output variant that put out about 2mV and a low output version that put out something like 1mV. Note that the some models from the company are actually Moving Iron rather than MC but as everyone kept calling them MC's anyway the company started doing so as well (the properties of those 2 are similar in some respects), also note that unlike the current Series 2 that feature mass produced coil assemblies (and hence better) the carts listed here were all hand made in Switzerland.

Had a Moving Coil cartridge to go with their top of the line turntables in the early 80's, including the MC1-E, the company also had a mid end MM pickups available at the same time including the Mag 2-E, like with the MC1 the E stands for elliptical stylus, the cheapest turntable models from the company however featured Shure pickups.

The company changed its line up of cartridges in or around 2006, Cardas had been selling the Heart Ruby and the Heart Reference for a few years but these are basically custom variants of the Benz Micro Ruby 2 and the Benz Ruby Hand share the exact same specifications as their Benz counterparts and are made out the same Briar enclosures. The Heart Myrtle was a later introduction (believed to have started in production around 2000) it features a body made out of American Myrtlewood but the complex grain structure of that wood is supposed to help with the resonance characteristics of the pickup, it was replaced with the Cardas Myrtle Heart that apart from the reverse name appears to be identical except for a change from Benz second generation coil to a third generation one.

Japanese carts from the early 80's.

The original Aurum Alpha and in fact all earlier pickups from the company looks quite different from the current MkII models in that they are housed in a more or less standard metal coloured casing while the newer members of the family are all housed in a very unusual body made out of Fernambuck wood. But there has also been one "MkII" version replaced and that is the Signature, the original release of it looks identical to the current version but the new version has gold coils.

No real info on the maker or the models but one NOS retailer has been advertising the AT-X5E MM cart here, the unit features a elliptical stylus and a respectable audio specification, made by AT ?.

Had a range of pickups for 78 record players including models such as the HGP-39-1, I am unsure if they used the standard slide in mount or needed to mate with arms from the company. NB the company later changed their name to ACOS (see above).

Decca See --> Decca pickups

There were some variants of the 103 on the market in the 80's and 90's such as the DL-103C, DL-103D, DL-103M on which I have no real information, and the DL-103S (or 103 Super) that had an improved specification versus the standard 103 but for some reason made no impact in the marketplace. The DL-301 was Denons lowest price low output MC in the 80's and had an hyper-elliptical stylus and was an audiophile bargain in it's day while the DL-303 was a mid end MC near the top of the product range and available at a similar time frame, it was unusually light weight for this type of cart and the weight reductions were archived by using a cobalt magnet and a composite cantilever, it was replaced by the DL-304 which was also something of a bargain in it's time at only around 2x the price of an Denon DL-160 and was itself dropped from the catalogue in 2004 although when this was written some dealers still had it in stock. The DL-300 appears to be the predecessor to the 301 but it's difficult to get hard data, the DL-305 was one of the company's high end models around 1980 and had a Cobalt based magnet rather than the Samarium based one that most other 3xx models feature, thin wall amorphous boron cantilever and an output of 0,2mV but otherwise similar. Please note that the 110, 160 and the 3xx series of pickups really need to have a loading of 100 ohms or more to sound right, if your amp does not supports it, use resistors..

The specifications for the DL-103S are : Frequency response: 20Hz to 60KHz. Output @ 5cm/s: 0,3mV. Tracking force: 1,8 grams. Channel separation: 25dB @ 1KHz or better. Channel balance: less than +-1dB @ 1KHz. Compliance: 25 x 10-6 cm/dyne. Output Impedance: 40 ohms. Cartridge weight: 7,8 grams.

For your reference the specifications for a standard DL-103 are : Frequency response: 20Hz to 45KHz. Output @ 5cm/s: 0,3mV. Channel separation: 28dB @ 1KHz or better. Channel balance: less than +-1dB @ 1KHz. Compliance: 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne. Load: >100 ohms. Output Impedance: 40 ohms. Tracking force : 2,2 to 2,8 grams. Recommended tracking force : 2,5 grams. Stylus 0,2mm spherical variant Cartridge weight: 8,5 grams.

The DL-300 technical specification are : Mount : Standard. Output @ 5cm/s : 0,3mV @ 1KHz. Tracking force : 1,5 to 2,1 grams. Recommended tracking force : 1,8 grams. Trackability :VTA : 22°. Stylus tip : Biradial Elliptical 0,002 x 0,007. Equivalent stylus tip mass :Cantilever : Tapered Aluminium. Weight : 4,2 grams.

The DL-301 technical specification are : Mount : Standard. Frequency response : 20Hz~60KHz. Output @ 5cm/s : 0,3mV @ 1KHz. Channel separation : 28dB @ 1KHz or better. Channel balance : Less than +-1dB @ 1KHz. Output impedance : 40 ohm. Recommended load : 100 ohm or more. Compliance : 13 x 10-6 cm/dyne @ 100Hz (Dynamic) or 35 x 10-6 cm/dyne (Static). Tracking force : 1,2 to 1,6 grams. Recommended tracking force : 1,4 grams. Stylus tip : Nude Hyperelliptical 0,14 x 0,07mm. Cantilever : Tapered Aluminium. Weight : 9,47grams.

The specifications for a DL-303 are : Frequency response: 20Hz to 70KHz. Output @ 5cm/s: 0,2mV. Tracking force: 1,2 grams. Channel separation: 28dB @ 1KHz or better. Channel balance: less than +-1dB @ 1KHz. Compliance: 13 x 10-6 cm/dyne. Output Impedance: 40 ohms. Cantilever : Tapered Aluminium. Cartridge weight: 5,8 grams

The DL-304 technical specification are : Mount : Standard. Frequency response : 20Hz~75KHz. Output @ 5cm/s : 0,18mV @ 1KHz. Channel separation : 28dB @ 1KHz or better. Channel balance : Less than +-1dB @ 1KHz. Output impedance : 40 Ohm. Recommended load : 100 Ohm or more. Compliance : 14x10-6 cm/dyne @ 100Hz (Dynamic). Tracking force : 1,0 to 1,4 grams. Recommended tracking force : 1,2 grams. Stylus tip : Nude Hyper Elliptical 0,07 x 0,1mm. Weight : 7 grams.

Digital Research
A label that appears to have been held out by Audio Technica, these pickups sometimes come up for sale as NOS but I have no further info on the rest of the range. The DR350 was an "universal mount" cartridge like most AT carts (technically a P-mount cart but came with an adapter that allowed it to be used as a standard mount cart), it's technical specification are : Frequency response: 15Hz~27KHz. Output @ 5cm/s: 5mV. Reccommended Tracking force: 1 to 1,5 grams. Channel separation: 29dB @ 1KHz, 18 @ 10KHz. Reccommended Load: 47K ohm.

The DR750 technical specifications are : Frequency response: 10Hz~28KHz. Output @ 5cm/s: 5mV. Reccommended Tracking force: 1 to 1,5 grams. Channel separation: 29dB @ 1KHz, 20db @ 10KHz. Stylus Tip: Nude BiRadial 0,0003 x 0,0007. Reccommended Load: 47K ohms. It's also an "universal mount".

Lots of cartridges were should under this name especially in the 60's and 70's but it's doubtful that any of these were actually made by them, these were usually budget carts both crystal types with flip-ower stylus such as the TKS 670/8 and MM designs, much of the MM designs were manufactured by Ortofon including the TKS 49 S (S=sperical stylus all the other models featured an elliptical one), TKS 50 E, TKS 52 E and TKS 55 E, also the ULM 55 E ULM 65 E and the ULM 66 E, Ortofon makes stylii for all those pickups that they manufactured for Dual, you local Ortofon dealer should be able to order one for you if they do not have one in stock, see their replacement stylus page for the catalogue numbers etc., in those countries were the local distributor only handles a limited subset of their products (such as the UK) you might have to find a friendly dealer in mainland Europe to service you.

The first pickup from Dynavector was the high output 10X cartridge that has been produced with only minor modifications since 1978 or so, it created something of a sensation when it first came out since despite it being a high output cart that can be used with almost any phono input, it had specifications more similar to a low output one (high output cartridges have heavier coils and thus both worse audio and mechanical specs than low output ones). Those almost magical properties of the cart were due to the work of founder of the company, one Prof. Nobu Tominari but he had investigated the design of MC carts for years and to facilitate the manufacture of better high output carts designed a machine that allowed for tighter coil windings along with the use of thinner wire. The company introduced it's first high output carts the Karat Diamond and the Karat Ruby in 1979, those 2 were designed around the idea that vibrations from the stylus were not efficintly dispersed inside the cartridge body (you can red more about this here). The Karat 17D has along with the more expensive Karat 23R (Ruby) been the mainstay of the low output line from Dynavector through the years, the 23R was notable for it's use of a cantilever made out of a solid block of ruby and featured a hyper elliptical stylus, had an output voltage of 0,2mV and a recommended tracking weight of around 1,5gr (+-0,3rg). There was a variant of the cart called Karat 23 RS but I have no info on the differences. Hi-Fi Plus has a review of the recently deleted mid price DV-13D cart here, another recently deleted cart is the high end XX-1 that was their top of the line model until late 2001. Amongst the more recent low output carts are the XX-1 that was introduced in 1999 and replaced by the similar XX-2 in 2001, it featured the company's patented "Magnetic Flux Damping" technology.

Well this is the inventor of the Moving Magnet pickup as we know it today, they made phonographic pickups right from the 50's and did not stop production until 1997, while their product range was mostly mid range MM units they did also make some higher end models that are somewhat sought after by collectors and a number of run of the mill budget and OEM units. Stylii for all of their older pickups is easy to get hold of however, the DOS company is the official stylus manufacturer for ELAC cartridges and they will sell via mail order to anywhere in the world, the DOS company also sell the original ELAC assecories such as protractors etc. Amongst the models from the company were the 796H24Sp and the 896H (80's), both feature a VDH-I type line contact stylus and are high quality MM designs (still highly sought after by many MM fanatics) the 796S was a cheaper variant of the above, the more expensive 896 has I gather a lower output than the 796 but not unusually low, Elac MM designs often had an unusually high output (8mV or so). The EMM-130 and the EMM-170 were I believe amongst the last of the mid/high range of pickups that the company sold, the 170 is quite good if the specifications are to be believed. The details for the ESG 79x variants such as the ESG 793 (Replacement stylus #D-793-E SV) and the ESG 794 from the 70's/early 80's. The KST series are an older line of crystal pickups (the K in the name stands for Kristall) and where usually supplied in a headshell intended to mate with an ELAC tonarm/turntable combination, such as is the case with the KST-112 which feature a flip-over style 78/33 type stylus but where also available unmounted as with the KST-110D that had a microgroove stylus only, the STS line is a line of MM pickups of a similar vintage as the KST line (eg 60's early 70's) and was considered high end a the time, the only model I have seen in the flesh is the STS-444 that came with an elliptical stylus (D 444 E) and there was a more expensive model called STS-444-12 but no idea about the differences.

The 796S technical specification are : Generator Type : Moving Magnet. Mount : Standard. Tracking force : 1,75 to 2 grams. Recommended effective tonearm mass : 6 to 20 grams. Cantilever : Boron.

The EMM130 technical specification are : Generator Type : Moving Magnet Mount : Standard. Frequency response : 10Hz~20KHz. Output @ 5cm/s : 8mV @ 1KHz. Channel separation : 22dB @ 1KHz or better. Channel balance : Less than +-2dB @ 1KHz. Recommended load capacitance : 500 pF. Recommended load : 47K ohms. Compliance : 22 µm/mN. Tracking force : 1,7 to 2 grams. Trackability : 70 to 80 µm at recommended tracking force. Recommended effective tonearm mass : 12gr. at recommended tracking force. Stylus tip : Elliptical 6 x 18µm. Cantilever : Aluminium. Original RRP : 178 DM (Germany).

The EMM170 technical specification are : Generator Type : Moving Magnet Mount : Standard. Frequency response : 10Hz~30KHz. Output @ 5cm/s : 5,6mV @ 1KHz. Channel separation : 26dB @ 1KHz or better. Channel balance : Less than +-1dB @ 1KHz. Recommended load capacitance : 300 pF. Recommended load : 47K ohms. Compliance : 30 µm/mN. Tracking force : 1 to 1,25 grams. Trackability : 70 to 80 µm at recommended tracking force. Recommended effective tonearm mass : 6 to12gr. Stylus tip : VDH-II line contact 5 x 75µm. Cantilever : Boron. Original RRP : 248 DM (Germany).

Elite Electronics
Introduced a line of MC and MM pickup designs in the mid 80's, these are obviously sourced from a Japanese OEM. The MC design was the low output 555 which was available in 2 variants, the basic MC555 that featured a spherical stylus and the MCP555 that featured a parabolic stylus with a Boron cantilever and thus gained a slightly better audio specifications. The MM designs were also mostly idential execpt for stylus also but for the 300H which was the cheapest model and had a slightly cheaper generator, the 400 and 500 however were identical except for the stylus tip itself while the top of the line 700 has a better cantilever as well. Note that the names of the carts are sometimes prefixed with EEl which is simply a shortening of Elite Electronics and that the specifications printed here are taken from a scan of a specification sheet downloaded from the internet, this scan has obviously been doctored and thus the reliability of the information cannot be guaranteed.

The MC555 and MCP555 technical specification are : Mount : Standard. Frequency response : 10Hz~20KHz +-1dB (MC555) and +-0,5dB (MCP555). Output @ 5cm/s : 0,14mV @ 1KHz. Load capacitance : 1000 pF Max. Recommended load : 100 ohms. Impedance: 3 ohm. Compliance : 8cu (vertical & horizonal). Tracking force : 1,8 to 2,2 grams. Recommended tracking force : 2 grams. VTA : 23° (MC555), 20°. (MCP555). Distance from top to record : 16,5mm (MC555), 17mm (MCP555). Stylus tip : Nude spherical 13 Micron (MC555), Nude parabolic 50 x 3 Micron (MCP555). Equivalent stylus tip mass : 0,38mg (MC555) & 0,2mg (MCP555). Cantilever : Titanium (MC555), Boron (MCP555). Weight : 7 grams.

The EEl 300H technical specification are : Mount : Standard. Frequency response : 30Hz~18KHz +-2dB . Output @ 5cm/s : 10mV @ 1KHz. Load capacitance : 300 pF. Recommended load : 47kohms. Impedance: 2500 ohms. Compliance vertical & horizonal : 15cu (300H). Tracking force : 2,5 to 3g. Recommended tracking force : 2,5 grams VTA : 25°. Distance from top to record : 18mm. Stylus tip : Nude spherical 15 Micron. Equivalent stylus tip mass : 0,9mg. Cantilever : Aluminium Alloy. Weight : 6 grams.

The EEl 400 & EEl 500 technical specification are : Mount : Standard. Frequency response : 10Hz~20kHz @ +-1,5dB. Output @ 5cm/s : 3,5mV. Load capacitance : 300 pF. Recommended load : 47kohms. Impedance: 2500 ohms. Compliance vertical & horizonal : 18cu. Tracking force : 1,5 to 2grams. Recommended tracking force : 1,8grams. VTA : 25°. Distance from top to record : 18mm. Stylus tip : Shanked elliptical 16,5 x 20 Micron (400), Shanked parabolic 75 x 10 Micron (500). Equivalent stylus tip mass : 0,4mg. Cantilever : Aluminium Alloy. Weight : 6 grams.

The EEl 700 technical specification are : Mount : Standard. Frequency response : 10Hz~20kHz @ +-1dB. Output @ 5cm/s : 3,5mV @ 1KHz. Load capacitance : 270pF. Recommended load : 47kohms. Impedance: 2500 ohms. Compliance vertical & horizonal : 10cu. Tracking force : 1,2 to 2 grams. Recommended tracking force : 1,8grams. VTA : 23°. Distance from top to record : 18mm. Stylus tip : Nude parabolic 50 x 3 Micron. Equivalent stylus tip mass : 0,2mg. Cantilever : Boron rod. Weight : 6 grams.

Electro Sonic Laboratories (ESL)
The pickups and arms from the stereo era from this company are unmistakeably Ortofon in disguise, the earlier models like the mono Concert and the C99 78' carts I am not 100% sure about, but they appear to be moving coil designs as well (this would mean that they are Fonofilm/Ortofon too?).

Empire Scientific
Made some good MM carts in the late 70's and early 80's along with some outsanding MI designs in the mid 60's (for the time), I believe they did not start producing cartridges until the early 60's (could be wrong there). Amongst their 80's carts were the 2000E MkIII, the E stands for elliptical and the more upmarket 600 LAC that had a line contact stylus and a more respectable audio specification of 20Hz 50KHz frequency response, have been unable to find concrete info on older carts such as the P-800 or EDR-9.

The technical specification of the 2000E/III are : Frequency response: 20Hz~20Khz. Output: 4,5 mV per channel @ 3,54cm/sec. Intermodulation Dirstortion: 0,1% for 2 to 20KHz @ 3,54cm/sec. Tracking force: 0,75 to 1,5 grams. Tracking ability: 32cm/sec@1KHz at 1g. Compliance: 20x10cm/dyne. Channel separation: 20dB @ 20Hz to 500Hz, 28db at 500Hz to 15KHz and 20db at 15 to 20KHz. Channel balance: Less than +-1dB @ 1KHz. Stylus Tip: Elliptical 5 x 7µm. Effective tip mass: ,6 milligram. Recommended Capacitance : 400 to 500 pF. Load: 47k ohms.

These pickups are historically interesting, EMT started out supplying Ortofon arms and pickups with their studio turntables but soon began modifying the shells and generators to suit their own purposes, in the end the company started making the pickups from the ground up and while they did have an obvious lineage from the original Ortofon pickups they also had a distinctive sound of their own. In the late 70's and early 80's a number of small European companies started modifying EMT designs to make them more compatiable with hi-fi equipment rather than with the professional gear that EMT was actually designing them for. While many of these whee only available for a short time some other companies florished and some started making their own pickups, noticably Van Den Hul but his pickups are not only distintivly EMT derived but he also designed a MC pickup for Benz Micro AG that is the basis of all of their current lineup (previous models from Benz were all Empire Scientific derived MI designs), this means that all the MC designs currently manufactured in Europe (as opposed to bearing European labels) are derived from the original Ortofon MC design from 1948. Basically most of the pickups EMT has produced in the past 25 years of the currently manufactured EMT's are available in a standard mount almost all of their older products were integrated into a headshell (with an EMT/Neumann connector, what else). Amongst older models are the OSF15 , OFS65, HSD 6 and XSD 15. The Studiotechnik Dusch company manufactures accessories for EMT pickups such as shells etc., and there was a large number of companies that sold modified EMT pickups in the 70's and 80's ranging from simple headshell conversions from companies such as Radlett pickups to generator reworkings from outfits such as Van Den Hul.

"Nielsen-Van Alstine Dynamically Stabilised Phono Cartridge", we have no clue, do you ?.

Euphonics See --> Euphonics Tonearms

Next Page : Discontinued Pickups F - K

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The site was last compiled on Sun Nov 10 2013 at 9:15:00am