Plastic cartridge screws

Chuck Lee

New Member
Feb 6, 2015
70
0
0
#1
For the last few months I've used the plastic screws to hold down my Clearaudio TalismanV2 gold into my SMEV/SME 10 set up.

I haven't seen much written about this practise., I've always been a metal head when it came to attaching my cartridges to the headshell.

I haven't felt that it was any better than the conventional, but it has been awhile.

I have thought that the plastic screws would be less prone to ringing or picking up vibrations,but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Therefore I am asking those who are in the know to provide me with some information.

I will not be offended by any criticism of my choice of the plastic screws.
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
6,872
1
38
Northern NY
#2
For the last few months I've used the plastic screws to hold down my Clearaudio TalismanV2 gold into my SMEV/SME 10 set up.

I haven't seen much written about this practise., I've always been a metal head when it came to attaching my cartridges to the headshell.

I haven't felt that it was any better than the conventional, but it has been awhile.

I have thought that the plastic screws would be less prone to ringing or picking up vibrations,but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Therefore I am asking those who are in the know to provide me with some information.

I will not be offended by any criticism of my choice of the plastic screws.
One of my carts is a Shelter Harmony. It came with CF screws. I would imagine a plastic or carbon fibre composite screw bolt may damp better than the possible frequency ring that could theoretically occur with metal screws. My CF screws are delicate and expensive to replace. Perhaps I should try them on a different cart like Koetsu ?
 
Dec 26, 2011
265
0
0
#3
It's not about vibration.

It's all about the effects of eddy current - how metallic materials in close proximity with audio reproduction devices can affect its timbral/tonal and soundstaging characteristics.

But, if you are already using a turntable with metallic platter, metallic plinth body, metallic armtube/headshell, metallic record stabilizer, or even metallic peripheral ring, then switching to non metallic screws probably isn't gonna help much.

If I were you, a user of sme10 I might consider doing this experiment:

1. Compare the use of the original screw on sme stabilizer to a plastic clamp like clearaudio's clever little clamp.

Do you notice changes in the soundstaging size and soundstaging perspective after switching to plastic clamp?

2. With the plastic clamp in use, try comparing the plastic screws to metallic screws.
You should replace each screws one at a time, so that the cartridge remains aligned, reducing any unnecessary downtime.

Remember never to play the same portion twice in a row with your test records.
After the needle has gone through the grooves, they will bound to sound different.
So always play from the part where you last stop.
You should also refresh the power supply to the sme10 motor each time you start playing.
 
Last edited:

Grooves

New Member
Mar 1, 2012
150
0
0
Pacific Northwest
#5
I tried that myself and relly liked the sound that I got BUT my screws were polypropylene and I found two disaterous effects. One, I coundn't tighten them as much as I wanted for fear of stripping the screws, which did happen. Two, if I had to use the nuts as well the same thing happened. Then one day I noticed things weren't sounding quite right and I found that screws has loosened over the course of a couple weeks and I was able to rotate my cart. in the headshell w/o too much effort! I swapped them out for metallics. I also found that compared to the matallic screws they were harder to prevent cart. movement when tightening down.
I could never find a good alternative to the polypropylene screws, which is just too soft a compound to use, If anyone scored something better I'd love to know what and where!
 

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