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Which direction to take?

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Guy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 Mar 2019 at 7:55pm
Hi all:

I'm a newbie here so first off I apologize if I'm posting in the wrong section of the forum. 
I'm in Western Canada & don't know anyone here that is knowledgeable about GS. Having said that I'm really pleased that I came across GS products and this community. 
Having perused the forums I've gotten a feel for things but have questions. Lots & lots of questions......

Some background: I'm in my early 50's with a long history as someone who loves music & what good equipment can do.
About 20 years ago I started getting into the audio thing seriously starting with a Denon mini system & B&W speakers & progressed with Rotel, Denon & others until I heard Naim. For better & worse I've been a fan of Naim ever since & after a lapse of about 7 years have a modest system consisting of a Nait XS-2 integrated amp, a CD5x coupled to a Flatcap 2 & a Rega P2 with an Ortofon 2M Bronze. I will be upgrading to a pair of Tannoy XT 8F sooner than any other changes happen though.

The Rega is the first TT I've has since I was a kid (35 - 40 years ago?) & I'm quite pleased with it. For a first table I think it was a good way to go. I'm hoping to upgrade to a P6 later this year & thinking of keeping the 2M Bronze as it still has a lot of life in it.
When I bought the Rega it came with the Carbon cartridge. I hadn't thought about MM vs MC up until that point & ordered a Naim MM Stageline phono stage to match it.
I sold the Stageline recently & have started looking for a replacement. 
I recently borrowed a GoldNote PH-10 & was impressed by the sound but not the associated price or "extras" that I won't use. 
I have heard that the Lehmann Black Cube do better with MC than they do with MM & while comparing Oracle tables recently heard that going to a SUT changed everything in a MM system.

So my dilemma is multi faceted: 
*should I stick with a MM cart? Is the whole MC argument compelling enough to sway things from a MM with a STU? I don't mind spending the money on the right gear for me but I do want the best bang for my buck
*the Accession vs the Reflex. How much of a difference can you hear?
*interconnects. Where to start?
*Rega vs Oracle. But that's another discussion for another forum & time

I'm planning on reaching out to Raphael (Godra) to borrow something & I'll definitely do as much listening as I can. After all it's what your ears tell you when you have your eyes closed. (And phenom lending program!!  Compliments to Graham on that!)

What are your thoughts? I suspect my inclination is to stick with a MM cart but if the MC argument is compelling I could change my mind.

Cheers  Colin (aka Guy)
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BackinBlack View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BackinBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2019 at 9:14pm
Welcome to the forum Colin.
In deciding which way to go, the first consideration has to be budget. A good MM such as those from Audio Technica, Nagaoka or Ortofon and A Reflex M will give you a most satisfying combination, even the Gram Amp 2SE will be a significant improvement over many phono stages.
Moving up to the Accession MM will bring about the best sound you'll get from MM.
Going on to MC cartridges will require considerably more investment to better the best of MM in my opinion. If your budget runs to good MCs then I believe that the Accession MC will get the best from them, but that is uncharted territory for me as yet.
The loan program is quite unique and an excellent way to decide on what you want.

Happy Listening
Just listen, if it sounds good to you, enjoy it.
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patientot View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patientot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2019 at 8:11pm

I can't tell you what direction to take as it's a personal decision. 

FWIW the MC carts I've heard that impress me the most cost thousands of dollars. They are out of my budget so I don't worry about them. Instead I stick with high output MM and MI carts. 

Does that mean that I'll never try an MC in my system? No, but it's not a priority for me right now. Besides the cost factor, there are tradeoffs in introducing more noise into your system. 

In terms of "common man", sub-$500 cartridges, it is doubtful you will find any MC cartridge that will best a good high output MM or MI cart in terms of technical performance. In terms of subjective performance, well, that is entirely up to you and your tastes. If you decide to make a significant investment in a new MC phono stage and MC cart, I wouldn't do it without hearing the gear first. I realize that may be hard to do with some cartridges, but try to find a local dealer that has some on demo. 

If you stay on the HO MI/MM path, definitely try to audition a Reflex M or even Accession M. 
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Aussie Mick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie Mick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2019 at 11:45am
Hi Colin,
  I started out with a Reflex M and the Ortofon 2M Bronze and Black. Very happy for quite a while. However, I was offered the chance to grab a low mileage Rega Apheta2 MC and I took it, also investing in the Elevator as step-up. I’ve been extremely happy and haven’t felt a desire to change at all. 

However, I think my next cart might be a Music Maker 3. I’ll run it into my Reflex and if I love what it does enough, I’ll probably sell both Reflex and EXP and buy an Accession. I tried the Accession at home and the improvement over the Reflex was not subtle! Alas, I just didn’t have the dollars at the time. 

What’s my point? That I’m a very happy music listener with the Reflex. Had I needed to pay full price for the cartridge and buy the Elevator, I might’ve not done it. Yes, I find my current MC set up better than my old MM set up. Easily. But I bloody well should considering the cost of things. but I think I’d like to get back into MM/MI and see. The Hana carts look great to me (I’ve on,y heard one and enjoyed it very much), and they’re way cheaper than the MM3...

Enjoy the hunt!
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
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Guy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2019 at 11:40pm
Thanks for sharing your thoughts & experiences everyone.

Once I borrow the Reflex M & Accession for an A/B comparison I'll know where I want to put my money & that will probably dictate my next move.

I think I'd like to go the MC route which will save me some money up front by getting a decent phono stage & not upgrading it down the line. 

What I haven't figured out is how to get there. 
I'm liking the Rega RP6 quite a lot & can get a new one for a good price sans cartridge but I don't have the budget for a new table, cart & phono stage at the same time.
If I hang on to the old MM Ortofon for a bit I'll still need a phono stage for it which means trading it in (or up as the case may be) down the line.

Time to put the seal on the piggy bank so I don't keep withdrawing when I'm a bit short.

Naim Nait XS-2
Rega P2
Ortofon 2M Bronze
Naim CD5x
Flatcap 2
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ServerBaboon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ServerBaboon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2019 at 7:03pm
To further muddy the waters I have a Ortofon 2M Black that I fell out of love with but I was saved from financial ruin Wink  in upgrading to full MC by buying a Hana SH which has brought me plenty of enjoyment.

I am currently running it through my Accession.



Various bits of GSP Kit ..well two so far, unless you count the cables that is.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2019 at 1:01pm
My Hana SL is doing a fine job for a reasonable price. I'd consider an SH if I hadn't already got an MC preamp.


Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.
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