There's a thread with this title but referring to the Bronze so I thought it would be fun to start one with the Black. Anyway, yesterday I bought a 2M Black. I also have a 2M Blue (and a Nagaoka MP-110) so I skipped the Bronze and went from the Blue to the Black. I aligned azimuth in a Jelco HS25 headshel. I set VTF at 1.5g, heard some songs, then 1.7g, and it sounded better I guess. I also reduced VTA a bit from the first position and I think it sounded better too. I dialed 1.5g then 1.7g anti-skate. Noticed a bit more balanced channel separation when I increased it to 1.7g to match the new VTF. I have maybe 2-3 hours on it only. The difference is really impressive. Not a "subtle" difference, on the contrary, it's pretty evident. The good part: - Much more detail. I'll describe it by saying that with the Black I hear things through the speakers that I could only hear with headphones. Very impressive. - Sound is clearer. It was muffled with the Blue (and the Nag) in comparison. That "take a blanket off" cliche works just fine. - Much more separation. Instruments don't mix themselves too much, each of them has its own more defined place. - More stereo separation and larger soundstage. - Much better highs. I bought the 2M Blue because I sensed roll off with the Nag. The Blue is a bit better in that aspect but a bit too bright sometimes. The Black has much better highs than both. Highs are easier to distinguish but it doesn't sound too bright. Cymbals sound like I'm playing them. - First I thought I had less bass with the Black. Then I realized I don't. I have more highs and mids and clearer sound overall. Bass is still there, at least as good as it ever was, but now everything else is better so it's less prominent. I have to focus more to hear it the way I did before. On the other hand, no matter how much I focus, I'll never hear the same highs with the other cartridge. It's just not there. - More real. What I said about cymbals could be said also about the whole drum set and all other instruments. - More "presence". The music is much more "in your face". It reaches me and touches me more. Actually it flows from the speakers, grabs me by the throat and shakes me yelling "listen to me!" and I can't help but hearing all of this so intense sound. - I absolutely noticed nothing worse in noise floor, clicks and pops. I read a lot of reports about it but not in my experience - I must say I only tried good condition records so far though. However, I think I hear more "whoosh" from the friction between stylus and record groove if I crank it up in an empty groove. I need to try more records to be sure though, since this whoosh varies from record to record. - No mistracking, no IGD and no sibilance so far. - There are reports on some difficult to set it up but I didn't have any problems. Maybe in the future I'll feel the need to fine tune it a bit but for now I think it's just right. - You might think it's funny, but I'm sensitive to visual aestetics and prefer a good looking cartridge/headshell/turntable system. I wanted to avoid the Bronze because it looks ugly in pictures and videos, but considered buying it because of the reported noise floor with the Black. I'm glad I didn't since I hear no more noise than what I already had with the Blue (no noise in good condition records). The Blue is beautiful. The Black is stunning. I love it. If you find it funny, or weird, ok, I agree. The bad part: - All this presence and detail seems to make some music sound more aggressive and fatiguing. - All this separation sometimes sound weird. It feels like I miss something to glue the music back together. These two negative aspects will maybe be eliminated if the cartridge breaks in and/or if my ears and brain get used to the new sound I have now. I don't know. I'm also having a very tiring weekend and I was already feeling ear fatigue before this new cart, it was difficult to use headphones in a flight I had a couple of days ago, so maybe when I calm down the music will settle down too. Let's see.