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If not Grado, then what?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Dan C, Apr 8, 2002.

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  1. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    Location:
    The West
    I have the MMF-5 with the standard Goldring cart that I've been thinking of upgrading. I'm looking for better tracking ability in the highs, tighter and deeper bass, warmer, that sort of thing. It doesn't seem to have the 'magic' right now.

    The Grado Platinum ($300) was in my sights, but I'm reconsidering that after all the talk of 'wobbles' and such.
    I'm currently using a vintage Marantz 1090 integrated amp, but plan on using a vintage tube Fisher X-100B integrated after I have it restored.

    I know there are several Benz fans here, but I need an MM. Not sure if the Benz Micro Gold ($350) has high enough output. If so, then it's still on my list.

    So here's the rest of that short list:

    Clearaudio Aurum Beta-$350
    Sure V15VxMR-$325
    Dynavector 10x4-$350
    Goldring 1042-$375
    The Sumiko BPS is out, I've heard one and didn't like it.

    Anything much higher than $350 is pushing my financial limits. Any thoughts are welcome.
    Thanks much,
    Dan C
     
  2. Todd Fredericks

    Todd Fredericks Senior Member

    Location:
    A New Yorker
    Dan,

    My advice is to just use an old rusty nail, good sonics and will never wear out (maybe just the records) :)

    Seriously, I'm very, very happy with the Dynavector 10x4 mkII. It's a great tracker (better than an old rusty nail) and very musical for it's price-range. Depending on the exchange rate, you can usually get one from Origin Live for about $250-260 shipped...

    Todd
     
  3. Beagle

    Beagle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    The Platinum will definitely give you a warmer sound, more musical, with tighter and deeper bass. It's a very musical cartridge. But tracking of hotly cut sibilants is still its Achilles heel.

    As far as the wobble goes, unless you own a collection of records that got too close to the heat register, don't worry about it. It's like worrying about your low slung Ferrari "bottoming out" on speed bumps in shopping centre parking lots. 99% of the time you are going to be having fun.
     
  4. Ronflugelguy

    Ronflugelguy Resident Trumpet Geek

    Location:
    Modesto,Ca
    Try the Clearaudio Beta , or the Benz Silver

    I like both of them. The silver is the same cart. as the Benz Gold, but with a high output. However, I'm really enjoying the sound of the Clearaudio. The voices tune right in on a good recording/mastering(SH).Wow, were listening to an original press of BS&T (2nd LP), sounded so vivid and I was hearing little details I'd never heard. (forget the $200 MOFI LP for now!) Anyway, try one of these carts.):) :cool:
     
  5. mazort

    mazort New Member

    Location:
    San Antone
    Grado Sonata

    It depends what you want. In contrast to what others have written about Grado's, I really liked the Grado Sonata before I lost all sense of proportion and bought a Grado "The Statement".

    I just think the two Grado's I've used have fabulous tone. I had absolutely no complaints about the tracking ability of the Sonata. People I trust tell me the extra money for the Sonata vs the Platinum is well worth it. It will cost you $500, though.
    The Sonata got a rave review in Stereophile.

    I used it in a Linn LP-12 with an Ittok LV II tonearm and I had the Linn dealer set it up. I would recommend going that route, personally.
     
  6. Kevin Sypolt

    Kevin Sypolt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    Hmmm, I upgraded from a "spitty" Grado prestige to a Dynavector 10x4 MKII, and unfortunately, I find the sound is way too bright in my system (selling the Dyna for cheap if anyone interested - contact me). Anyway, I liked the overall "balance" of sound that the Grado provided (warm with silky highs -- when they weren't mistracking). What other cart would give the the high-trackability of the Dyna, but the warmth of the Grado. I would like to stick to the $200-350 range. I think I will stick with MM this time too. Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Kevin
     
  7. Andy

    Andy New Member

    Clearaudio Aurum Beta S $359.99 with a trade.
     
  8. Kevin Sypolt

    Kevin Sypolt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    Hmmm, sounds like a good cart. Any other opinions (agreements, disagreements)?
     
  9. Andy

    Andy New Member

    It's a MM with a 3.5 output.
     
  10. Ronflugelguy

    Ronflugelguy Resident Trumpet Geek

    Location:
    Modesto,Ca
    Kevin, I only have the Beta version and the more I liasten to it, the more I like it. I think its a tad better than the Benz Silver, which I traded for it. I don't think its too forward either. I used to have Grados and generally liked their sound. I think the Clearaudios and the Benz are better, but not necessarily brighter.
     
  11. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    Location:
    The West
    From reading and advice I've narrowed my own choices down to the Clearaudio Beta and the Benz-Micro silver. I also like the sound of Grado carts, had a Red on my old 'table. But I don't want to deal with distortion anymore either.
    From other posts, it sort of sounded like the Benz was a tad bit warmer than the Clearaudio. As long as they aren't 'in your face' and too bright, they both sound like they could be winners
    Thanks for all of your input:)
    Dan C
     
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