Cartridge recommendation for the working class?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by EmmEff, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. Greg Carrier

    Greg Carrier Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa City
    I think the counterweight probably made the least difference. I wasn't sure I wanted to add it, but somebody had one for sale here at a good price. It probably adds some stability to the tonearm.

    So, why can't you close your dust cover now? What changed to affect that?
     
  2. Of course, the "intended" range is established by the manufacturer of the cartridge. If it's range is 20-22khz, then, with the stylus provided, it should operate within it's intended range. Or like another cartridge which I use, it is "intended" to operate in the 20-50khz range although the peak frequency on the record is 30khz, and it operates in that range. I haven't found a replacement stylus which extends the ranges, but I sure have found them which shorten the range.
    Again, adding costs to something considered in the "working class" brackets takes it out of that bracket. Maybe, unless, the "working class" means the 6 or 7 figure income range. The OP didn't state what the "working class" was considered.
     
  3. Opeth

    Opeth Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    what gear are you using? Phono stage ? I have a 2m blue and the 150sa is better but it's not like it makes it sound like ass. Beating the bronze hands down makes me very curious. it also makes me smile because I almost got one.
     
  4. kenbefound

    kenbefound Forum Resident

    Location:
    Western Mass
    So how did you make out with your MP-200? Any comments on the performance? Are you satisfied with your investment?
     
  5. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Audio-Technica AT7V. Japan only cart, gray import by LP gear. A "warmer" brother of AT-150, with interchangeable styli. Plus a bargain.
     
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  6. Licorice pizza

    Licorice pizza Livin’ On The Fault Line

    Is that one MM or MC?
     
  7. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    MM, 5 mV output.
     
  8. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    If you want to spend $300 on a cartridge you are not "working class".

    Let's have some truth in thread titles.
     
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  9. husafreak

    husafreak Great F'n music that's difficult to listen to!

    Location:
    NorCal, Bay Area
    Eh, I think 300 is a good upper limit for a "working class" person who is really into high end equipment. At that price you can get tremendous bang for your buck!
    But let's say our working class guy or gal has a $3-400 table. What is a reasonable cartridge upgrade price? I wouldn't recommend a thousand dollar cart on a $300 table, but maybe a $300 cart on that table would be a great upgrade? Maybe a $100 cart wouldn't improve the sound enough to justify the expense?
    Probably up to the OP.
     
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  10. Northa40

    Northa40 Member

    Location:
    Canada
    This thread is going on and on, but I would like to add my 2 cents. I have a Project Essential 2, which is ok but not sure I would recommend it. Spend you money on a good used table, maybe. As far as cartridges go, I have over the years used< shures, Empire, Grado, ortofons and even a Yamaha Moving coil. I now have the 2M Blue on my project and it sounds very nice. What I like about this cart is I find it does not add colouration to the sound, no bumped up highs, no bloated bass and a real nice mid range. On some tracks it gives me shivers, such as the Cowboy Junkies Trinity sessions. I did have to buy the heavier counter weight for the Essential, this allows me to use a large range of carts. Now to the question at hand, if I only had $100 to $150 CDN, (80 to 120 US0 I would seriously look at a Grado. For the money, pretty sweet sound, a bit rolled of highs but smooth.
     
    kitt1987 likes this.
  11. husafreak

    husafreak Great F'n music that's difficult to listen to!

    Location:
    NorCal, Bay Area
    Nice post man! Welcome. The best threads do go on and on don't they? One day I would like to own a Grado just to hear their signature sound. Maybe a good argument for inexpensive carts is you can try more different ones over the years and not be stuck with just one expensive cart and wonder what all the others sound like.
     
  12. Shiver

    Shiver Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Carts under $300 I've owned:
    - Shure M97xe (stock stylus): nice rounded, smooth sound. Felt somewhat rolled off at the top, which was useful on some LPs but seemed limiting on others. Some IGD on a few LPs but generally good tracker.
    - Shure M97xe with Jico SAS stylus: really lifted the lid off the top end and general detail, with superior tracking. Essentially same full mids and low end.
    - Denon DL-110. More sparkly and 'projected' sound than the Shure variants, with plenty of body. Very enjoyable. Did find it performed better with more gain than the above.

    All of these were on a Rega RB 303 arm, and the Denon also used on a Gold Note B5.
     
  13. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    David Price, former editor at Hi Fi World, once took a Technics SL1210, modded it with all the nonsense - new feet, new platter mat (swanky Achromat I think), offboard Timestep PSU - and then slapped a new SME V arm and whatever matching cartridge on it.

    By his account, it sounded amazing. It probably should've done!

    On a more modest scale, I put an AT440MLa on my old P3 some about ten years ago. That was a then £90 cartridge on a then £370 or so Rega. The AT shot up to £160 not long after, but they were such a good pairing that it rather put the traditional hifi cost apportionments out the window. That's analogue for you though! Different with digital and file transference.
     
  14. harmonica98

    harmonica98 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    I think the best value cart I have ever bought is my Denon DL-160. Still have it as a backup, though not mounted it for some years.
     
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  15. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I actually have a preference for carts under $400 - just because I don't have to feel guilty buying them, plus won't have to kick myself if I don't like one, the way I would if I'd paid over a grand for one.

    The most expensive cart in my inventory (info section) is the Zu Denon 103 MKII Type 1, which cost like $549, but the one I like most is the Shure M97HE, which I scored NOS unopened for $125. The 103 certainly sounds nice, but has its limitations.

    Denon 110 is certainly a great all-around cart, AT7V is also very pleasant, plus they're both comparative bargains.
     
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  16. Northa40

    Northa40 Member

    Location:
    Canada
    Sound is defiantly a personal choice and what sounds good to one might not another. In the 1980's I purchased a Nagaoka MP 11, and I didn't like it much it just 1 dimensional, meaning it was ok but seemed to lack a bass, and the mids and highs seem harsh, over powering. A few years ago a picked up a Kenwood 3055, I believe, and put a Signet model 100 on it. This is just a AT3600 with the elliptical stylus. At the time it was $50 CDN. I preferred it over the Nagaoka. I recently restored this turntable for my Daughter and installed a Tonar E-flip which is a AT3600 copy. again I like this cartridge. The bass is tight and there is lots of high end. This cartridge was $64 CND. I think a real bargain and for any older s shaped turntable a respectable choice.
     
  17. rasputin1

    rasputin1 Member

    Location:
    New York
    Nagaoka 200 has upper midrange honk (2db elevation from 1-5khz) not worth it in my opinion. MP150 much smoother. Boron cantilever sounds great on LOMC but does nothing for MM or MI, motor too slow to benefit which is why no other manufacturer uses it. It’s basically marketing BS. Money better spent on cartridges with nude tips which opens up the sound and let’s you hear real detail. Forget about M97xE, AT95, MP110, Sumiko Pearl, 2M Red, etc. Their bonded tips choke off detail and sound awful on any halfway decent system. Among popular brands, Denon, Ortofon Blue on up, and AT 540 on up have the best tips and give you the most for your hard earned money, especially those that sport a nude rectangular Vital diamond (e.g. AT OC9, 2M Blue/Bronze/Black, Denon 110). Square shank tips are also okay (e.g. VM540, 740, etc.) they align the diamond easier. Nagaokas, Shure M97 and low end Grados sport the lowest quality non-grain oriented round diamonds. That is why they are voiced warmly and rolled off, to hide their deficiencies (truth be told their defect rate is also higher because round shanks are harder to align accurately on the cantilever than square shanks). High fidelity is all about detail, dynamics and excitement. My $40 Tivoli tabletop radio sounds warm and fuzzy like my Grado Gold or my neighbor’s MP110, but hardly qualifies as hifi.
     
  18. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater Forum Resident

    Sorry, but you are wrong about the Pearl. Brilliant cart for the money. IMO
     
  19. DangerousKitchen

    DangerousKitchen Up in TO, keepin jive alive

    The honk could very well be coming from your speakers. Please fill out your profile.
     
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  20. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Get the Shure M 44-7. It is excellent for 78 RPM duty also. Jico styli are comparable in every way to originals. For 78 and 1950's and 1960's records and for your modern records, this is the closest thing there is to a does it all cartridge for your needs. I use one every day for just that reason. Also, our OP needs a 3 speed turntable which takes headshells so you can have a M 44-7 and something higher end for modern LP discs if desired. For me, on V 15, the Type III is my all time favorite. And Jico styli for it are superb and available in several options. I felt like the Type IV was never up to the III, overdamped sounding.
     
    JMAC likes this.
  21. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Oh, I dunno... inflation’s a thing, and $300 doesn’t buy what it used to.

    Heck, I remember when $35,000 was considered an ‘expensive’ new car. Now it’s the average new car selling price, looking it up. :sigh:

    Oh, and to the OP’s question... the answer is the Nagaoka MP-150. Sub-$300 and pretty amazing for the dough.

    Hopefully Naga doesn’t get a swelled head and starts charging $500+ for it. There are lots o’ audio companies like that, seems to be a thing in the industry.

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  22. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    I guessing working class means $100 is tough, but manageable. New Grado Green on ebay- $95. Handily outperforms $125 MP-110.
     
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  23. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Have you seen what plumbers make lately? ;)
    .
     
  24. classicrocker

    classicrocker Life is good!

    Location:
    Worcester, MA, USA
    I have purchased several Pickering XSV3000 with barely used stylus off of ebay recently for less than $300 US and they are amazing sounding cartridges if you can get one with an orginal D3000 stylus. I have heard mixed reviews on aftermarket stylus for that cartridge though.

    I don't own one but have read good things about Shure cartridges mated with JICO aftermarket stylus. If you are patient you should be able to grab a used V15 body cheap and fit a JICO stylus for under $300
     
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  25. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    Ya, plumbers. Roto-rooter. $250 and did not unplug toilet. Had to pay, they do not guarantee anything. Unbelievable crooks. Local plumber- 30 minutes, $400 to unplug toilet. Also crooks. Doctor is less than $800 an hour.
     

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