After learning that the Clearaudio (CA) MM carts are built around AT-supplied bodies, which allows CA MM owners to service their non-user-serviceable styli, I spent some time reading related threads on the various vinyl forums. It is pretty clear that up through the Maestro, something very, very similar to the AT95e cartridge body is the core of the CA carts. The specs listed for the Virtuoso and Maestro note much better channel separation and other differences from the stock AT95e, but there is disagreement out there about whether the CA carts are simply better-testing bodies pulled from the AT95e production line, or whether they are a higher-spec body made separately. Bottom line for CA cart users is that (1) any stylus that will fit an AT95e or AT92 cart will fit and work in the CA MM carts, (2) there are thankfully multiple stylus options from stock .4X.7 ellipticals all the way to shibata versions easily available with different compliances and (3) with a quick couple of snips from a nail clipper these styli can be made "nude" so they project from the cart front as CA intended. Multiple DIYers have produced long online threads not only about the ins and outs of CA MM carts and their AT heritage, but also effective methods to make the simple and cheap AT95e as good as possible. These topics naturally go together, especially for tinkerers and those looking to save a buck while maximizing sound quality. I was intrigued and had an AT95e sitting around, so I took a shot at potting the body with epoxy, replacing the plastic body top with a simple bit of hobby plywood and nuding the stock stylus. I was very happy with the way it sounded and it now lives on my U-Turn Orbit. It's a $40 cartridge sounding good enough that I'll happily leave it alone. I have Grado blue, Ortofon 2m blue and Shure m97xe carts sitting now as I prefer this modified cart. Next I ordered an AT95ES from LPGear. It's a stock AT95e but with an aftermarket .3X.7 elliptical, so "better" than the stock stylus but still not advanced like a VL or shibata. I detached the plastic cover, potted the interior of the body with epoxy and carved a wooden head shell from a block of hobby wood, softer than a typical hardwood but also easier to shape. I tried to approximate something like the wood shells on the first generation CA Virtuoso and then epoxied the cart into the new wood shell. After running a thin epoxy bead around all other exposed cartridge seams and nuding the stylus, I tapped the wood shell for cart screws and mounted it on my Marantz TT-15. I've been running it all morning at 2.2 grams VTF and can confirm what I had read elsewhere; it sounds ridiculously good to me. I'll give it 30-40 hours before making any personal declarations about it, but it sounds quite close to what I get from the CA Virtuoso. Considering that the AT95SE costs $60 and the Virtuoso goes for $750-900, the sound from the $60 cart is already embarrassingly close to the CA. If I'm happy with it in a couple hundred hours I'll pick up an ATN95VL (vivid line stylus) and see what that does for the sound. This sort of tinkering and frankencarting can be used to argue not only the merits of the lowly AT95e, but also the negatives of the CA MM carts, especially at their prices, IMO. Interestingly, the Virtuoso in particular has gotten rave reviews, including from professionals, and I've been very happy with its sound in my system. That an AT95-based cart that I ginned up myself sounds as close as it does to my copy of the Virtuoso amazes me and confirms what I had read previously about these carts. For anyone else intrigued by these projects, or on a tight budget, or who owns a CA MM cart and hates the idea of having to have it serviced instead of replacing the stylus yourself, I highly recommend looking at pertinent threads online. I am becoming a big big fan of chasing value and a bit of DIY in the hobby based on the above.