Anyone upgrade their Music Hall Tracker cartridge?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by elaterium, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Hi all, I have a Music Hall MMF 2.2 with the stock Tracker cartridge. Has anyone upgraded to another cartridge? If so, what would you recommend? Did you need to get a new counter weight? Thanks.
     
  2. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    elaterium likes this.
  3. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    I had a MMF-5, which used the same Pro-Ject tonearm as the MMF-2.2. I tried a few different cartridges on it - Goldring Eroica, 1042, and 2200, Audio-Technics AT-440, and Dynavector 10x4. I couldn’t balance the 2200 with the stock counterweight.

    The Tracker was a rebadge of a cartridge that was also badged by Goldring and several others. I would assume this one is the same, except unbadged:

    Pfanstiehl Sanyo Fisher MG-29DE MG 29DE MG29DE phono cartridge Improved by LP Gear
     
  4. SpeedMorris

    SpeedMorris Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa
    I went with a Grado Green2 for my 2.2 earlier this year. Love it, though it's a bit hummy when the volume dial is up and music isn't on. I think some of that is my old Pioneer SX-737, which is otherwise pretty sympatico in general. I don't hear it when the music starts, but someone really sensitive to that might.

    Presence might be the word I'd use to describe the change. More alive. Smoother and silkier, but also more energetic. I thought the Tracker was solid, with excellent bass, but just didn't have the "magic" for me. I presume a Nagaoka would also sound nice, assuming compatibility to the arm. I think I'm running at 1.6-65 grams, just putting on a tad extra to make sure I'm not under. I didn't like the 2M Red with my son's Debut Carbon, so that wasn't on my list. The brighter ATs don't appeal to my sonic preferences and the Shure M97 may go a bit much to the other side, I surmise.

    I then got a Red2 with my 20-year old Pro-Ject 1.2, which also seems to have the 5-2.2 arm. I assume it's somewhat better, but I really haven't tried a same-room comparison to attempt to prove it. They're definitely siblings.

    I've thought about trying an acrylic platter, but I like looking at and touching my deerhide mat, so I'll save that money for something else.

    Btw, I fooled around with an Orbit at B&N a couple of weeks ago, and while I root for those guys, it's lighter, more plasticky, and cheaper feeling than the 2.2. No dial in the little counterweight. The arm may be a fine instrument, but it certainly feels less substantial than the 2.2 arm. Skating hasn't seemed to be problematic for the Orbit, but I like the idea of the ol' fish weight being there.
     
  5. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Funny, I’m thinking of getting the acrylic platter as well but I too have a deer hide mat. I could still use it of course but Then I wouldn’t have the pleasure of seeing the acrylic platter. I’m considering an Ortofon 2m blue but then I’d need to buy a new counterweight.
     
  6. DocBrown

    DocBrown Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Canada
    I switched to a Grado Prestige 2 Red, then a Ortofon 2M Blue, now back to the Grado, all within the capabilities of the tonearm and counterweight. I'm fortunate not to have the Grado hum, but, as always, your mileage may vary.

     
  7. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The Ortofon weighs 7.2 g and the counterweight is good up to 5.5 g, no?
     
  8. DocBrown

    DocBrown Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Canada
    I believe the counterweight is good OVER 5.5g.
     
  9. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    There are three counterweights for the Pro-Ject 9 tonearm: 80g, 95g, and 120g.

    https://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-ject-80g-Counterweight-for-9-9C-10C

    If your turntable shipped with the Tracker cartridge, you might have the lightest of the three counterweights. Models that shipped with heavier cartridges probably have a heavier counterweight. Needle Doctor sells these counterweights for $26, so it doesn’t seem like this issue should stop anyone from getting the cartridge they want.
     
    PhxJohn and DocBrown like this.
  10. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Acrylic platters were all the rage a decade or two ago. Not go popular now. I am impressed with the 12mm glass platter that I got for my Rega. It weighs a good 5 pounds.
     
  11. bwalk63

    bwalk63 Member

    Location:
    Champaign, IL
    I have the Music Hall 2.3, came with the Spirit, just changed it out for the AT vm540ML. I can say without a doubt it is the best move I could make. The new cart tracks wonderfully, and I am no expert, but I can hear more soundstage and better separation. About 15 albums in and a very big difference.
     
  12. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I’m curious, am thinking of picking one up myself for Music Hall 2.2. I’ve noticed that you can’t adjust the cartridge in this headshell. Just 2 fixed screw holes. How is the alignment?
     
  13. bwalk63

    bwalk63 Member

    Location:
    Champaign, IL
    It took me a few tries but it wasn't to difficult to align. I did have to use the screws that were supplied with the 540 as the ones I had were to long. I also had to raise the arm which I had never done before. That was the most difficult to do as I am old with not great eyesight. I am sure I did not do perfect but it was the first time I changed a cart. It is worth it for sure.
     

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