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Cartridge recommendation?

Printed From: Graham Slee at Hifi System Components
Category: Turntable Audio
Forum Name: MM: Moving Magnet | MC: Moving Coil
Forum Description: Learn about the differences between moving magnet and moving coil cartridges here
URL: https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4885
Printed Date: 01 Jun 2020 at 2:54am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Cartridge recommendation?
Posted By: CageyH
Subject: Cartridge recommendation?
Date Posted: 06 Mar 2020 at 7:05pm
I have a significant birthday comingg up, and the wife has asked what I want as a present.
I have been struggling to think of something if I am honest, but I have always wondered what a decent cartridge would sound like in my system.

As such, what cartridges do people have experience that sound really good? I have no preference about MM/MC, and I have a few good MMs such as the AT20SLa, EPC-205, AT150mlx etc. I have a couple of MCs as well, such as the SAE1000LT, AT33PTG/II, EPC310MC and a modified Denon DL-103 with Shibata tip.

I am after something that works well with Rock etc. So it needs to have good dynamic swing. I don’t want to spend more than £1k as it seems like a large chunk of money, for possibly a small performance increase. And the last sentence is part 5he reason I am not sure I want to go down that road.

What are people’s experiences of the cartridge upgrade path?
Will my money be better spent elsewhere?


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Kevin

European loan coordinator



Replies:
Posted By: kgilroy
Date Posted: 06 Mar 2020 at 7:14pm
I recently upgrade from the Clearaudio Virtuoso V1 to Maestro V2 and it's the best upgrade I have made by far.

https://elusivedisc.com/clearaudio-maestro-v2-ebony-wood-mm-cartridge-3-6mv/ - https://elusivedisc.com/clearaudio-maestro-v2-ebony-wood-mm-cartridge-3-6mv/

As a caveat this is the first time I have made a change to my cartridge so experience is limited.

Good Luck !

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Keith

Marantz TT-15S1, Maestro V2, Accession MM, Icon Audio Stereo 40 Mk lll, Wharfedale Jade 3.

Mac Mini, BitPerfect, Dynaudio Xeo2

Marantz SA-15S1, Apple TV, Cambridge CXA60, B&W DM2000, REL Sub


Posted By: Aussie Mick
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2020 at 3:48am
Hi Kevin,
   If you’re running a Rega arm, the Ania MC is a delightful match. I use the Apheta2 but have decent experience with the Ania as well. If you want to rock...
Mick.


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Rega RP8/Ortofon 2M Black/Rega Apheta 2 - Reflex M/Elevator EXP - C.E.C. TL5 CD Transport - MacBook Pro/Roon - Majestic DAC - Solo ULDE (Focal Elear) - Proprius - PMC Twenty5.22


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2020 at 5:19am
Thanks. I am running a Funk Firm FX-1200, which has been upgraded to the latest F.X arm tube.

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Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 13 Mar 2020 at 6:35pm
I have gone for a left field choice of a used Cartridge Man Music Maker Classic.
I have always wanted to try one, and one popped up recently, so I have taken the plunge.



-------------
Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 14 Mar 2020 at 2:09pm
Super cartridge, great match with a ReflexM or AccM.

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Elevator, Accession M, Majestic/Enigma, Reflex M, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 14 Mar 2020 at 3:16pm
Both are out on loan, so I will have to put up with my own phonostage.

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Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 14 Mar 2020 at 7:49pm
Originally posted by RichW RichW wrote:

Super cartridge, great match with a ReflexM or AccM.

According to one review I read, it appears that Mr Gregory used a Reflex M during the development of the cartridge.


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Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 17 Mar 2020 at 8:29am
Len Gregory is a very honest & genuine chap who tells it how it is.
GSP phono stages are I believe his favoured solid state recommendations.



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Elevator, Accession M, Majestic/Enigma, Reflex M, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 17 Mar 2020 at 8:51am
Well, I am looking forward to hearing it, if it is able to be delivered amongst the COVID-19 lock down in France.

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Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 17 Mar 2020 at 2:44pm
I found VTA quite critical when setting up the Classic (with the HiFi News test LP) & had the arm slightly tail down at the pillar end with tracking force at 1.6g.
Good luck - we all need a bit these days.Unhappy





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Elevator, Accession M, Majestic/Enigma, Reflex M, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 17 Mar 2020 at 4:40pm
 Thanks. I am hoping it arrives soon so I get a chance to hear it while working from home.

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Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 19 Mar 2020 at 10:41am
It arrived yesterday.
I have fitted it, and have to say I am happy with this cartridge. It seems to be a good compromise between MC and MM, and just gets on playing the music with great tone, good dynamics and instrument spacing.

I need to live with it a bit longer to see if it is a keeper, and if so, start thinking about thinning down my cartridge collection a bit.


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Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 19 Mar 2020 at 11:00am
Did you get the isolator unit with it Kevin?
It glues on top of the cartridge & is designed to isolate it from the tonearm ...& everything else.
LG is very keen on it but I found the cartridge wires tended to pull the azimuth out a bit.
If you don't have one & want to try it I think I might have a spare.





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Elevator, Accession M, Majestic/Enigma, Reflex M, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 19 Mar 2020 at 11:28am
Yes, I got the isolator with it thanks. It is a tad large, and I am not 100% sure I need it with my Funk F.X arm tube if I am honest. I have dressed the wires carefully, making sure they are not pulling.
I have the arm set slightly tail down, as this seemed to be the best sounding position to my ears.

It is a nice cartridge and I am really not sure it is worth me getting an ART-9 now. It will sound different, sure, but will it be much better?



-------------
Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 19 Mar 2020 at 2:00pm
The Classic is a very nice cart. I had mine upgraded to the MusicMaster by Mr. Gregory a couple of years ago & this is an upgrade path worth considering in the future.



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Elevator, Accession M, Majestic/Enigma, Reflex M, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 19 Mar 2020 at 3:56pm
I have already contacted him to see what options I have, and what the approximate costs are, but I am not sure the enquiry form on his website worked properly. I will give it a few days before I try again, as I am in no rush.

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Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 22 Mar 2020 at 3:53pm
The upgrade is £1,150.
Is it really worth it? What I mean is does it give a substantial improvement in performance.


-------------
Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2020 at 1:21pm
Good question.
It is better than the Classic - better tracking, more detail & stronger imaging etc,
but value is highly subjective with these things.

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Elevator, Accession M, Majestic/Enigma, Reflex M, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2020 at 2:01pm
Thanks for the response.
To put this into perspective, I bought the Classic for £300.

For £1k, I could get myself something like an IQ3, and have replaceable styli.
I could also get an ART-9.
I could also do nothing....

The biggest issue is that it is nearly impossible to hear these things before you buy them.


-------------
Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2020 at 5:24pm
Originally posted by RichW RichW wrote:

Good question.
It is better than the Classic - better tracking, more detail & stronger imaging etc,
but value is highly subjective with these things.

Out of interest Rich, what cartridges have you compared the MusicMaster to?
I am contemplating the upgrade at the end of April, if I do it.


-------------
Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2020 at 7:36am
Not that many Kevin - the Ortofon Cadenza Blue, which is a superbly detailed MC but can
sound a touch bright in the wrong system. It suits the Audiomods 6 arm & Elevator/ReflexM 
pair really well.
The AN IQ3 is a serious contender too I have to say.
Good luck.




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Elevator, Accession M, Majestic/Enigma, Reflex M, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2020 at 8:27am
Thanks again for the feedback.
More investigation is required, and when this COVID-19 is over, I may see if I can get a bit of a bake off with a few cartridges to narrow the choices down.

My other option is to just enjoy what I have for the time being, and stop chasing the next upgrade.


-------------
Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2020 at 4:41pm
I think I have decided that a new set of speakers will be more beneficial than a small improvement a cartridge would give me.

-------------
Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: MS61
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2020 at 8:47pm
Thank you very much, gentlemens! Very interesting thread for undecided newcomer. I just closed my loan (thx, Kevin!) and realized that I "need" not only new phono pre. :-) GS Accession is very fine but needs good companion. I believe AN IQ3 is more than serious contender. Audio Note wrote IQ is in stock and "will indeed work well in your ATP-12T tonearm." I´m looking forward to real price quatation by Czech distributor.

Michal


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Technics SP15 // AudioTechnica ATP-12t //SH15 B3 plinth//Audio Technica VM540Ml //ATI P-1000 phono pre // Genelec 8030 + RME ADI-2 Pro ADDA


Posted By: Aussie Mick
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2020 at 11:45pm
Speakers! Tremendous! Any ideas so far? Plenty of PMC lovers around here - they really seem to love being driven by my Proprius pair. Keep us posted!
Mick.


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Rega RP8/Ortofon 2M Black/Rega Apheta 2 - Reflex M/Elevator EXP - C.E.C. TL5 CD Transport - MacBook Pro/Roon - Majestic DAC - Solo ULDE (Focal Elear) - Proprius - PMC Twenty5.22


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2020 at 11:48pm
I am thinking Triangle Antal EZ.

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Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: Aussie Mick
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2020 at 12:07am
Oh, nice! I’ve always admired their accuracy to tone colour and way with voices. Sadly, no decent dealers anywhere near me, so they couldn’t be a part of my last audition process. The few times I’ve heard that brand, I’ve Ben super impressed with their ability to give me loads of detail as to what the musicians are doing on a micro level.
Enjoy!
Mick. 


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Rega RP8/Ortofon 2M Black/Rega Apheta 2 - Reflex M/Elevator EXP - C.E.C. TL5 CD Transport - MacBook Pro/Roon - Majestic DAC - Solo ULDE (Focal Elear) - Proprius - PMC Twenty5.22


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2020 at 12:16am
I just need to convince the wife.
I am not sure I will be able to sell my current speakers here easily or not, but I will need to try.

That will free up the cash for me to build myself another, more powerful amp to really get them going.


-------------
Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2020 at 10:43am
Originally posted by CageyH CageyH wrote:

I think I have decided that a new set of speakers will be more beneficial than a small improvement a cartridge would give me.

The MM Classic cost over £1K when current not so long ago  - not  a cheap cart by any stretch, & will require a fair bit of outlay to noticeably improve on.
I think that the IQ3 & the Cadenza Blue are better trackers - especially at side ends, but overall the Classic is a super cart.
All the best.




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Elevator, Accession M, Majestic/Enigma, Reflex M, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2020 at 10:59am
I ordered the speakers yesterday, as I am not allowed to go and pick them up.
I hope this was the right decision, but I have a 14 day trial period to see if these work in my room.
I am lucky in that I have the “European Loan Scheme Toy Box” at my disposal, so I can try a set of Proprius if my current amps do not work.

I will also be trying my different cartridges out with the new speakers to see which works best. I may as well, as we are not allowed off the property unless we have a good reason. Gendarmes are stopping people to validate the reasons why they are out and about.


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Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 02 Apr 2020 at 3:59pm
To close this thread, the Triangle Antal EZ were delivered this morning.
Carrying a 32kg box up two flights of stairs, twice, was fun.

It is now done. The speakers are installed and bedding in. Apparently they will need 150 hours to loosen up properly. They have had 4 so far, at low volume as I am working from home, as is the wife.
I am happy with the tone and detail with them so far. I hope they settle in quickly.


-------------
Kevin

European loan coordinator


Posted By: Aussie Mick
Date Posted: 03 Apr 2020 at 1:03am
Congratulations!

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Rega RP8/Ortofon 2M Black/Rega Apheta 2 - Reflex M/Elevator EXP - C.E.C. TL5 CD Transport - MacBook Pro/Roon - Majestic DAC - Solo ULDE (Focal Elear) - Proprius - PMC Twenty5.22


Posted By: CageyH
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2020 at 9:13pm
The Accession M has just come back from a loan safely (Thanks Michal).
I decided to set up a minimalist system, with the Accession M feeding my DIY amps directly. It sounds pretty good, but the Accession needs to warm up properly.

The Music Maker Classic was developed using the Reflex M (apparently), so it should also sound on the Accession.


-------------
Kevin

European loan coordinator



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