Cartridge recommendation for the working class?

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

  1. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    After 100 hours it completely settles down and blooms! And sings! I’m mortified how much cartridge that is for the $$$.
     
  2. SNDVSN

    SNDVSN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Good post, how do you rate the Rega Exact?
     
  3. Myself, as with the OP, has a need for a 3-speed turntable and I also need the variable speed function on top of that. I have several Pickering NP/AC carts, and I also have a custom elliptical stylus, the standard conical stylus and a wide-groove stylus for 78's. All but one turntable I use have universally interchangeable headshells with different cartridges mounted to best play whatever I am going to play. For microgroove, I use the Shure M97xe or the Pickering NP/AC. For CD-4 discrete quadraphonic, I use a Shure M24H. Because of the 50khz ceiling, this as Shibata-equipped cartridges should never be used on anything but CD-4 records. The higher upper end will bring out defects in the records which you wouldn't hear with a normal cartridge. For wide-groove records, I use the Shure M78S. I keep the Shure M44's with the commercial applications, which they were intended for, like jukeboxes. Someone put a micro-ridge(MR) Shure stylus in one of my M44-equipped jukeboxes and that was a big mistake resulting in record damage and the sound system wasn't capable of taking advantage of anything better than the standard conical stylus.
     
  4. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    If you can find one: 1980 Ortofon M20Fl super
     
  5. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979

    Love mine as well! Your transfiguration cart shouldn’t be bad either though...

     
    harmonica98 likes this.
  6. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979

    Amazing though that we have ended up considering the 300 dollars category as working class for a century old technology that is cartridge.
     
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  7. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    $300 gets you a cart that is capable. I would not spend more than that on a cart unless I got a better table/arm. Very happy with the DL-110 and AT540 carts that I have. The music has never been better.
     
    bluemooze and Giacomo Belbo like this.
  8. tables_turning

    tables_turning In The Groove

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic, USA
    This. My M93 came with a nice used Hitachi table I picked up on Reverb. The seller originally had an AT3600 on it, and got delayed in shipping it -- he felt guilty, so he swapped the Shure onto the arm as a way of making amends (see avatar). To my ears, the Shure is the deal, absolutely. Hunt one down before the resale prices get too stupid.
     
  9. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    +1... $300 is not insanely-expensive for a cart by any stretch, even by purely middle-class standards.

    Though it is probably about the most you’d want to spend on a cart in combination with the $500 ‘table the OP has.

    (and again... Naga MP-150, baby :agree:)
    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  10. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    I payed 270€ this year to a Japanese seller over Ebay.
     
  11. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    AT VM540ML is $250. I like it better in my system than any other cartridge I have, including an Ortofon 2M Black which costs $750. I love the fact that unlike the Ortofon (and similar to Nagaoka) it seems immune to IGD and picks up very little surface noise. But also the sound quality and how easy it is to set it up. It was a revelation, I didn't expect it to be so good. I was always afraid of the well-known brightness and capacitance sensitivity of some AT MM cartridges and took to long to buy one despite of many positive reviews. I should have done that a long time ago.

    I have a theory: since Audio Technica makes Technics SL-1200 clone turntables, and they're entry-mid level cartridges are probably made to be a good match to their turntables, it works pretty well with a Technics too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    patient_ot and 33na3rd like this.
  12. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Yah, which is about $310 USD. Often see 'em for under $350 on eBay, and its $369 @Amazon.

    IOW, LPGear does not have great prices on everything. :sigh:
    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  13. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    I think a new Grado Green at $85 is working class cost. It betters all others in the $80-$200 price range and one step below the VM540ML.
     
  14. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Indeed, AT carts work very well on Technics (or Technics "style",) tables and "S" shape arms.
     
    4011021 likes this.
  15. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    LP Gear have their own line (brand) of carts. They look like they are AT made(?)
     
  16. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Ian liked the Grado Green a lot... which as a former Grado owner myself, I am quite sympathetic to. :)

    But in the end, he picked the Naga 110 over it. And I'd agree.

    MM Cartridges US$90-120: Grado Green REVIEW - YouTube.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  17. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    I found the Nagaoka MP-110 somewhat dull and ordinary sounding. I got some 'wow' moments from the Grado Green, not from the Nagaoka MP-110.
     
  18. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Our ears differ. Ian's too, apparently.
    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  19. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    Probably more our systems vs ears. I have a crystal clear tube system. Unlike most SS, it is likely more smooth sounding thus the somewhat lack luster MP-110 response. I can say the MP-110 did nothing wrong for sure.
     
  20. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Yah, it's true that I've never been a big tube guy. Though I've sorta been eyeing the Schiit Saga (tube) preamp.
    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    33na3rd likes this.
  21. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Swedens proces can go close to 500$. No way Im paying that. And the MP-110 costs as much as the Blue here.
     
  22. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Fortunately, the many gorgeous women there soften the blow. :thumbsup:

    .
     
    Leonthepro likes this.
  23. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    As I am a cheapskate I never buy new cartridge bodies, always used. Very good deals can be had. The problem is then getting new needles to good prices. But in my experience they turn up now and then. E.g. I bought several nos ATN20Sla and ATS13 needles for 20€ a piece a couple of years ago, still have several left.
    Then we will have top quality cartridges for poor men.
     
    bluemooze likes this.
  24. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Haha, thats one way to look at it ;^)
     
    Cyclone Ranger likes this.
  25. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    If you are talking about the Vessel line those are made by Excel, based on the old Excel ES-70 generator.

    If you are talking about the HOMCs they sell under their name, not sure.

    They do sell some "factory special" items from AT not available elsewhere in the U.S.
     

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