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Old 01-11-2016, 11:42 PM
Dr. Spivey Dr. Spivey is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: N.E. Wisconsin
Posts: 2,931

I reread the OP and have a little more time now.

You're correct in assuming the weight markings could be incorrect. A lot of them were way off when new. The Shure Stylus Force gauge has been around for decades. It's a simple, reasonably accurate tool that should suit your needs.

A turntable needs to be "set up" for optimal results, much like a guitar. Some tables have many things that can be checked and adjusted, others do not. Some tables without adjustments can be tweaked in other ways.

Not all cartridges perform their best on all tonearms. The weight or mass of the arm dictates which cartridges would be the best choice. The "wrong" cartridge will still produce sound, but it may produce poor sound, excessive record wear or premature wear on the cartridge or stylus.

Most older consumer level tables were designed to be plug and play. Some were better than others in that regard. Luck was a big factor, which is why CD killed vinyl.

The Shure cartridge you have should work, it's designed to compensate for mismatched cartridge/tonearm combinations. You should be able to get sound that is acceptable to very good from it.

The folks at Vinyl Engine are really helpful at diagnosing these things. I don't want to scare you off with a bunch of technical stuff, but you're going to have to deal with it. Best of luck.
All the years combine, they melt into a dream
A broken angel sings from a guitar

2005 Gibson J-45
1985 Guild D17
2012 Fender Am. Std. Stratocaster
1997 Guild Bluesbird
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