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Old 12th May 2021, 04:26 PM
Dave999 Dave999 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Twickenham,Middlesex, GB
Posts: 35
Default Philips cartridges

A good few years back my head was turned by internet chatter on another board about the philips super 22 GP390 an electret/ceramic based cartridge which has in built adaptors to work with MM Phono pre.
they make a surprisingly life like sound, that has a real toe tapping drive to it.

a very nice thing it is, very detailed, superb mids and highs but lacking in bass, 40 well spent.

My listening room was small and i use mission 773E which i believe are not the last thing in deep bass, but the balance was good in a furnished and carpeted room when you sit about 2 meters away. certainly pinned my lugs back on occasions

i moved house and now have a room twice as big
the bass was light. noticeably, and i'm not a subscriber to the notion of loads of bass= good sound reproduction. but even i began to notice.

So i thought i'd try the philips GP400, their next offering, but a normal MM this time, in all but the pin out orientation.

my thinking was the same guys will have had a hand in designing it, and if the 390 was great and gave me 75% of the frequency range i want to hear then maybe they persisted and got it right with the 400

17 was duly invested on German ebay + the usual post packing and tax.

and then another 36 for a black diamond nude-line stylus from Mr-Stylus

all of it was a bit of a risk but a low cost one at that

i'm pleased i did.

bass is great, tuneful not baggy or boomy, and 95% of what i loved in the gp390 is also along for the ride.

well worth it

stylus is a chunk of synthetic diamond cut into a square shank with a interesting profile, that doesn't infringe anyone else's copyright or patent.
comes in a generic box which my case was badly packed and had cantilever of the stylus pushed to one side
letting it relax for a few days and its back in the middle, no obvious damage done.

pretty good
good detail
reasonable extension at both extremes
no nasty sibilance or distortion no vocalist has been imbued with a lisp

tracks at 2g works well in my RB250

your results may differ, but if you just want a change or are looking for a bit of a bargain the GP400 seems to work, few sold in the UK, obviously not "our thing" in 1975, lots and lots sold in Holland Belgium Germany Austria.

Seems to also like an arm with a bit of meat to it, as it also works exceedingly well in my Garrard Lab 80 which is perhaps the least delicate (looking) arm you may encounter, surprisingly nice to use. pace and bass like a 401 if not so refined.

The GP400 has a black plastic body, 406 has a silver body 412 and 422 aimed at 4 channel reproduction gold body.

i get the impression that what is inside is all the same so spend 17 on a 400 or 401 and not 200+ on a gold one, it will be the stylus that matters not the colour.

big thread on Lenco heaven about all the ins and outs of philips cartridges

all were primarily designed to make their own turntables sound good so assume they will work best in arms of similar mass/style/vintage

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Old 12th May 2021, 08:09 PM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: kettering northants.
Posts: 2,298
Default Re: Philips cartridges

Interesting reading Dave, but I think I will stick with my LP12 SME309 and Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, 10,000 lovely. Bob
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Old 12th May 2021, 08:23 PM
Ali Tait's Avatar
Ali Tait Ali Tait is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Leeds
Posts: 937
Default Re: Philips cartridges

I have a 390 which I've had for quite a while, haven't got round to trying it yet. Must give it a go..
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Old 13th May 2021, 10:00 AM
Dave999 Dave999 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Twickenham,Middlesex, GB
Posts: 35
Default Re: Philips cartridges

ooohh give it a go
never gonna beat high end stuff, it won't be worrying anything in bobs list, but a pleasant surprise awaits
obviously if its not been used for years it will take a day or 2 to wake up. there will be some rubbery stuff somewhere inside that will need a bit of flexing.

and no matter what anyone says yes you can change the stylus if you need to
new one glues in using zippo lighter fuel to activate the adhesive, and a funny little tool to maintain azimuth while it sets.

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