Best MC cartridge ~1000USD

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Hunter Horvath, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. Hunter Horvath

    Hunter Horvath Member Thread Starter

    Hello,
    I need some recommendations for an MC cartridge that is a little or below $1,000. My pre-amp is a Pro-Ject Tube Box S2. For my turntable, it's a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO.
     
  2. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area
    Hana SL
     
    Zafu, Ed Osborne and chili555 like this.
  3. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    A huge waste of money putting a $1000 MC cartridge on a $500 Debut Carbon IMHO. Get a better turntable first.

    jeff
     
  4. Davey

    Davey NP: Death and Vanilla ~ Are You A Dreamer? (2019)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
  5. yamfan

    yamfan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Missouri
    I bought a Denon DL-300(LO) from a seller called cartridge-retipping-5. Great deal, works really well with my Technics SL-D2 feeding my Emotiva preamp which has MC capability. He has a bunch of MC cartridges and is a great seller. Not affiliated, just a very happy customer.
     
    woodpigeon likes this.
  6. woodpigeon

    woodpigeon Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    I got a retipped MC-200 from the same seller. Very friendly and helpful and does good work.
     
    Soundslave likes this.
  7. hoytis

    hoytis PDX Cratedigger

    Location:
    Oregon
    I swear by the AT33Sa. Shibata stylus and boron cantilever. Loving it.
     
  8. maglorine

    maglorine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fairport,NY
    My Rega Ania died and I’ve decided to replace it with the Hana SL based on all the positive comments on this and other forums. Fingers crossed.
     
    Andy Saunders likes this.
  9. Christian Evans

    Christian Evans Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chile
    Installed a Hana Sl on a modified Rega 3, could not be happier.
     
    Zafu, Ed Osborne and maglorine like this.
  10. vinnn

    vinnn Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    For a grand you could get a much better turntable than a Debut, don't waste your money on a cart twice the value of your current turntable. I've been there and had the same dilemma.

    The tonearm on the Debut has a limited range of cart compliance and cart weights that can be used with it so you're best sticking with the Ortofon, Sumiko or Goldring MM ranges and if you aim to take your LPs to the next level with an MC, save for a better table.
     
    hi_watt, jusbe and Jeff449 like this.
  11. maglorine

    maglorine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fairport,NY
    I picked up my table with a new dealer installed Hana SL today. It replaces the Rega Ania which recently died. I’m very pleased with it right out of the box. First thing I noticed was more LF extension and heft. Pretty smooth top to bottom and it’s very quiet. Smaller details and nuances to the music are more notable. I’m sure it will evolve on break-in but I’m a happy camper.
     
  12. Mr.Suave

    Mr.Suave Member

    Location:
    07003
    Anybody here heard of Charisma audio ECO ??? Please read all the positive reviews on the web. And the price $799 for a
    Moving coil
     
  13. Davey

    Davey NP: Death and Vanilla ~ Are You A Dreamer? (2019)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    I haven't heard it but am definitely intrigued, sounds like a pretty good buy, love the ceramic cantilever as one might expect if you've followed my DIY Micro Seiki arm wand adventures around here, not as much the super elliptical diamond, I've gotten pretty used to MicroRidge/MicroLine type cuts over the last 20 or so years so would be hard to go back to elliptical, even if the super variety (and not even sure what super means in this context, but assuming it is a finer cut than standard elliptical).

    Are you using one now, or just interested in it based on the reviews, or ...? It's a pretty heavy cartridge at 11 grams, so may not work on some arms without a heavier counterweight. I've seen reviews of the very nicely priced Charisma MC-1 in the past, that does have a line contact stylus, and uses titanium alloy for the cantilever, same body design, just a few hundred $ more. I don't know who actually builds their cartridges, Charisma is just a design and distribution group.

    For now, and for the last few years, my goto daily driver cartridge has been the Audio-Technica AT-OC9XML, with retail around $550 (and available for well under $500) and trade-in replacement cost around $280, boron cantilever and MicroLine stylus, and also machined aluminum body. Some prefer the more expensive Shibata or Special Line Contact models which take it closer to the Charisma price range, but the ML does everything well for me, and for others too as you can read around this site, or see in the Positive Feedback Writer's Award below, but that ceramic cantilever on the Charisma still intrigues me :)


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2022
    TarnishedEars likes this.
  14. Pmds55889397

    Pmds55889397 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Yes
    Unfortunately those cheap Project decks are poor build and sound.

    As others have pointed out, $1K is a crazy spend - you can get much better deck for this kind of money.

    Sorry its the truth.
     
    Slimpickens and chris8519 like this.
  15. chris8519

    chris8519 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    In this price range I consistently see:
    • Hana SL
    • Audio Technica Art9 XI/ XA
    I have the XI, and through research and listening to samples, found that it out performed the Hana. Mainly to what I believe is a larger corporation with “economies of scale” able to manufacture better quality components for less cost (compared to Hana which is a smaller company).
    My $0.02, but I strongly recommend the XI- it’s an endgame cart for me.
     
  16. Daddy Dom

    Daddy Dom Lodger

    Location:
    New Zealand
    If you do try a better deck, it should bring out more in your present cartridge, IMO, unless that's worn out.
    DD
     
  17. nutsfortubes

    nutsfortubes I never met a transistor I liked.

    Location:
    New Jersey
  18. nutsfortubes

    nutsfortubes I never met a transistor I liked.

    Location:
    New Jersey
  19. PoetryOnPlastic

    PoetryOnPlastic Forum Reedmaker

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Trade in your Debut Carbon for a Rega P3 while they are still bundling them with the upgraded Exact cartridge.
     
    nutsfortubes likes this.
  20. Davey

    Davey NP: Death and Vanilla ~ Are You A Dreamer? (2019)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, the $1395 pricing with Exact right now is pretty good, though he'd be stuck with using the Exact instead of a nice MC cart, and removing the platter and changing belt position to play different speed records. I'd probably stick with the Pro-Ject if it is working well, and get the Audio-Technica OC9XML. I probably wouldn't invest any more than that in a cartridge for the Pro-Ject, but I think it would be a nice sounding setup, and the AT is high enough compliance to work well with the lighter arm. Still, the arm design is marginal for LOMC carts.

    Anyway, neither the Pro-Ject or Rega is a perfect choice, both have pretty significant weaknesses, so it's really just up to personal choice. But he already has the Pro-Ject.
     
  21. Pmds55889397

    Pmds55889397 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Yes
    That would be an unbalanced non match for a poor project deck which never will handle the qualities of OC9xml.
    I'd stick no more than a $50 cartridge on such a deck.
    You don't shoot birds with cannonballs.
     
  22. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    AT33PTG/II
     
    Hendertuckie likes this.
  23. Davey

    Davey NP: Death and Vanilla ~ Are You A Dreamer? (2019)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    I know, you already said the same right above, but apparently the missing OP must not feel the same way.
     
  24. ubiknik

    ubiknik Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    This makes sense, a great cart that would work well and the OP can save for a better deck later.
    That is a pretty funny image in my head, I guess the hard part would be taking aim?
     
  25. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.

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