Cartridge cantilever

I think I may have bent the cantilever on my AT OC-9 II while cleaning it in dim light yesterday.

I may be wrong but the angle looks too big - maybe 35-40 degrees to the body when 30 degrees might have been more normal.

Any thoughts? The only one I have is that the diamond looks more perpendicular to the record when on the vinyl, so maybe ok?

Initially though the LP12 was sounding very dru and harsh.

Next realised that it was taking ages for the platter to reach 45 rpm for the LP being played - this was with the supposedly genuine ‘longer lasting’ Linn belt, which I mentioned before also seems to cause the platter to bounce around when it gets to speed which is a real pain if you left the arm drop before it’s done so.

Swapped back to an old LP12 belt which is well used, but no instability starting up.

It’s a boron cantilever under a bit of gold plating (why?) according to AT’s web site. I suspect it will break rather than bend.
How does it look on a record?

When was your deck last setup?

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Yes, good point it’s boron, I don’t think it has actually bent but wonder if I may have displaced whatever retains it?

I’ve wondered for a while if it isn’t quite centered properly when viewed form the front.

I use AT’s stylus cleaning fluid/brush and normally listen to the brushing noise via the amps as I clean it - yesterday there was no noise, then a clunk - I wonder if I got the brush above the cantilever and managed to displace it downwards with a stroke somehow.

The stylus doesn’t look too bad considering, perhaps better after another clean.

I sheared the cantilever off my original (better) OC-9 ML I one Christmas as a record slipped from my fingers, so don’t seem to have much luck with them!

As for servicing - far too long - have been planning a long distance trip to get this done - no local Linn dealer anymore.

Not sure if the OC 7 is boron …but I certainly managed to bend that …back into shape when I was given it as scrap
The body of the OC7 and 9 both sit very close to the record when playing and at normal tracking weight…so have to say… yours looks a little high

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Yeah, that does not look right…

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Where’s local? You probably need to get it looked at. Some dealers still service LP12s even though they haven’t carried Linn for years. Simon at Audio T in Reading for instance, he also has a very useful stereo microscope for inspecting cartridges. You may have someone near you who could help.

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I’ve just had a look at my AT-OC9ML/II and I reckon the angle where the cantilever meets the body on yours looks slightly bigger than on mine.

Hope you can sort it.

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Thanks - that’s exactly what I thought on Saturday.

Fortunately I’ve got another one with likely very little use on another turntable which is stuck behind some stuff in another room - when I get to it I’ll try to post a pic of that for comparison.

Trouble is with a cartridge, if you think it’s not right, even if it sounds reasonable it might be causing damage.

I’ve been thinking of a new cartridge for a while, just not really sure what to go for these days - may well go for something a bit more expensive, though I have a feeling it may be time to look at some big LP12 upgrades, as my spec has not changed much since the early 90’s.

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I’m in South Wales - the turntable won’t be a priority in the current climate, but I’ve been considering seeing if I can get some demos of the newer PSUs/phono stages, as well as seeing what a Keel/Kore might do. The new Karousel almost seems a no-brainer, the Cirrkus was a solid upgrade all those years ago, but it will be nice to know how it changes the sonic character when a few have been installed and reviewed.

If you mean and go down a bit lower on the cartridge too, then that is what I have been thinking for next time as well.

It’s easy to over think these things but it may be that our decks are too low spec for the AT-OC9ML/II.

I’m probably thinking of a more expensive cartridge to be honest.

I love the convenience of streaming, but CD/streaming digital audio has never done it for me in the way vinyl always has.

My LP12 has the original Lingo and was upgraded from original Akito to an original Ekos quite some time ago. I have a Linto phono stage which has also been good. I used to have a Linn Arkiv, which is a different beast entirely, I just love the way the AT OC-9 has always sounded - very detailed without being fatiguing and generally just quite a smooth sound and good value for money.

There seem to be several OC-9 iterations now too.

My last LP12 upgrade was the Cirkus.

I baulked at the idea of the Keel for the cost, didn’t even know about the Kore until recently, and the newer PSUs and Karousel have aroused an interest - I wa s going to get an NDX 2, but have retained my Nova as source into an active system. For the cost of the NDX 2 I could make some pretty decent improvements to the LP12, and I think I’d get more enjoyment from that.

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If it sounds wrong then its probably damaged. With a boron cantilever they tend to shatter and that’s it. Bent cantilevers with a stylus at the wrong angle are a good way to damaged records.
To your dealer may be the way to fix it?

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It doesn’t actually sound that bad, and perhaps it’s not the cantilever itself that’s bent, rather whatever rubbery thing retains it near the body - I just feel something has ‘moved’ and the cantilever angles further downards when not on the record.

Totally with you on the great VFM. I have an Ittok LVII and was advised by a Naim mate who had done the hard yards in the eighties and nineties that there was great synergy between it and the AT-OC9ML/II. And so it proved. Speed and grace. My initial interest was in the AT-OC9ML/III.

Good luck and please report back…

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Apart from cantilever damage the “rubbery things” in the cartridge can age harden which does not help. i have a feeling modern rubbers, or what they are now, may be less resistant to hardening.

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Interesting thought.

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