AT-VM95L/H v Ortofon 2M Blue

andycc72

Active Member
I’ve recently got back into Vinyl after a long hiatus and despite a rocky-ish start I’m really starting to enjoy it . I have a Technics 1500C TT with the 2M Ortofon Red cartridge .I’m not really loving the Red, it’s a bit shouty, in your face and I’m looking to replace it.

My preferred sound is on the warm side of neutral. I’ve read on various forums that the VM95L fits that profile.

the only thing that is stopping me from buying the VM95L immediately is that I’m a massive cack-handed technophobe and I know that if I buy the 2M Stylus I can just take off the Red and slip on the Blue and I’m too good to go.

So my question is if I buy the VM95L/H does that mean I don’t have to mess about with screws etc, I just take the Red headshell off and put the VM95L/H headshell on, then recalibrate accordingly? I don’t know all the TT terminology but hopefully you know what I mean?

Also has anyone had or heard both the 2M Blue and the VM95L and how do they compare?

This is probably considered heresy by some but as yet, apart from a few albums/tracks the TT doesn’t sound better than the high res streaming. I do love it for house and Reggae music though, that’s probably the frustrated DJ in me but for the other genres I listen too Soul, Blues and some Rock and Jazz I seems to prefer the sound coming from the Node 2i.

I would love to hear some of these multi thousand pound TT set ups to hear what a really top notch set up sounds like.

Apologies for the rambling post. Been drinking beer in the garden most of day, glorious day ;)
 
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acgingersnaps

Active Member
Hi. I've had the 2M Blue and Red. In my experience the 2M series is not the one for you if you want a different (Not better. That's subjective) sound to your digital sources. I found that "vinyl", warmer sound from Nagoaka (the MP110) and Goldring (the 2200).
Changing your first cartridge is daunting, but as long as you take your time, and have a protractor, an electronic scale and tiny screwdriver, it's not too difficult. Just fiddly.
 

andycc72

Active Member
Hi. I've had the 2M Blue and Red. In my experience the 2M series is not the one for you if you want a different (Not better. That's subjective) sound to your digital sources. I found that "vinyl", warmer sound from Nagoaka (the MP110) and Goldring (the 2200).
Changing your first cartridge is daunting, but as long as you take your time, and have a protractor, an electronic scale and tiny screwdriver, it's not too difficult. Just fiddly.
Thanks, sounds like that would be right up my street but I had enough stress setting up the absurdly easy (once I worked out how ) 2M Red - anything fiddly with screws will drive me mad.


This VM95L ‘H’ comes with the headshell which I presume I can just attach on to the end of the arm?


I think the ‘H’ is just the VM95L with the headshell added; is that right?
 
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DT79

Well-known Member
Thanks, sounds like that would be right up my street but I had enough stress fitting the absurdly easy (once I worked out how ) 2M Red - anything fiddly with screws will drive me mad.


This VM95L ‘H’ comes with the headshell which I presume I can just attach on to the end of the arm?


I think the ‘H’ is just the VM95L with the headshell added; is that right?
Bear in mind that cartridges pre-fitted into headshells are not always to the easy cheat they seem to be. I’ve not seen any comment on the AT ones, but I know that people have found that the Ortofon equivalent isn’t always perfectly set to the mounting distance it’s supposed to be. If you go for a pre-mounted cartridge then you should still check it with your technics alignment gauge and tweak the cartridge position if necessary so it’s perfectly aligned to 52mm and square in the headshell.
 

oscroft

Member
If you get one already mounted in a headshell, the alignment might indeed not be quite right for your turntable. But then again, it might be good - and you could take the chance.

But it's relatively easy to loosen the screws just enough to move the cartridge around. By far the fiddliest part of mounting a cartridge, in my experience, is fastening it on in the first place when you don't have three hands.

I haven't heard either the 2M Blue or the VM95ML, so take this with a pinch of salt. But buying blind (well, deaf), I'd go for a microline stylus every time. I have two cartridges with microline stylii, and I would not give them up for an elliptical.

And yes, the VM95ML/H (don't forget the M) does just mean VM95ML in a Headshell.
 

andycc72

Active Member
Bear in mind that cartridges pre-fitted into headshells are not always to the easy cheat they seem to be. I’ve not seen any comment on the AT ones, but I know that people have found that the Ortofon equivalent isn’t always perfectly set to the mounting distance it’s supposed to be. If you go for a pre-mounted cartridge then you should still check it with your technics alignment gauge and tweak the cartridge position if necessary so it’s perfectly aligned to 52mm and square in the headshell.
Thanks for the advice, I’ll need to buy the alignment gauge, they seem cheap enough online.
If you get one already mounted in a headshell, the alignment might indeed not be quite right for your turntable. But then again, it might be good - and you could take the chance.

But it's relatively easy to loosen the screws just enough to move the cartridge around. By far the fiddliest part of mounting a cartridge, in my experience, is fastening it on in the first place when you don't have three hands.

I haven't heard either the 2M Blue or the VM95ML, so take this with a pinch of salt. But buying blind (well, deaf), I'd go for a microline stylus every time. I have two cartridges with microline stylii, and I would not give them up for an elliptical.

And yes, the VM95ML/H (don't forget the M) does just mean VM95ML in a Headshell.
thanks Oscroft, I might take the plunge, everything thing I’ve read seems to conform the VM95ML would be more to my taste.

I’ll buy the alignment gauge as advised to check if aligned correctly.Cue loads more posts asking for advice 😉
 

DT79

Well-known Member
Thanks for the advice, I’ll need to buy the alignment gauge, they seem cheap enough online.

thanks Oscroft, I might take the plunge, everything thing I’ve read seems to conform the VM95ML would be more to my taste.

I’ll buy the alignment gauge as advised to check if aligned correctly.Cue loads more posts asking for advice 😉
Didn’t your technics come with one? white plastic thing

 

andycc72

Active Member
No, don’t believe it did. I’ll pop up to the loft to check to see if I left into in the box
 

DT79

Well-known Member
No, don’t believe it did. I’ll pop up to the loft to check to see if I left into in the box
Perhaps because the 1500C came with the 2M Red pre-installed.

Get one of those it’s by far the easiest way of aligning a cartridge on a Technics tonearm. It saves a lot of faff.
 

andycc72

Active Member
Perhaps because the 1500C came with the 2M Red pre-installed.

Get one of those it’s by far the easiest way of aligning a cartridge on a Technics tonearm. It saves a lot of faff.
I’ll definitely get one, thanks !!

I’m tempted by the path of least resistance- 2M Blue for pure ease but I think I’ll prefer the AM-VM95L sound wise
 

RugbyAl

Well-known Member
I owned a 2m Blue and it wasn't for me. It does some things very well, clear detailed an great tracking but a little cd like in its presentation. Bought a Nagaoka MP110 which has a lovely fluid, analogue sound but not quite so detailed. I then replaced the Mp 110 stylus with one from the Mp 200. The bonded elliptical stylus of the 110 being replaced with the nude stylus of the 200 along with a boron canteliver and I have to say I'm delighted with the results. Detailed and very musical. The Nagoaka range is also available in a headshell if that suits you better.
 

andycc72

Active Member
I owned a 2m Blue and it wasn't for me. It does some things very well, clear detailed an great tracking but a little cd like in its presentation. Bought a Nagaoka MP110 which has a lovely fluid, analogue sound but not quite so detailed. I then replaced the Mp 110 stylus with one from the Mp 200. The bonded elliptical stylus of the 110 being replaced with the nude stylus of the 200 along with a boron canteliver and I have to say I'm delighted with the results. Detailed and very musical. The Nagoaka range is also available in a headshell if that suits you better.
don’t get me wrong I love the digital sound but I want something different from The TT..

the MP200 with headshell is at the very top of my budget, would it be better than the AT VM95ML ?
 

andycc72

Active Member
I think I’m gonna go for the that. I’ve just ordered the Technics Gauge .. payday next week and I’ll order the VM95ML..

im currently listening to Homeless by Paul Simon via Amazon HD and it sounds exquisite and I’m just musing whether it can ever sound that good on Vinyl without spending thousands?

love or hate the LS50’s but for blues, jazz and acoustic music I think you’ll struggle to touch them for the price (with the right Amp)
 
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musicphil

Active Member
I have numerous cartridges and possibly the best overall is the AT95ML.
Not as forward as other AT cartridges, but a superb tracker.
Goldring 1040 is another but over your budget.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
The 25th anniversary version of Graceland (Qobuz for me, but i asaume it's on Amazon too), is a particularly good master.
I find some stuff better on streaming and other stuff better on vinyl. Some copies on streaming sites just seem a bit sh*t, like no effort's been made, while some vinyl masters are also rubbish.
LED Soundsystem and Led Zeppelin, as an example, are so much better on vinyl. Don't know why, but they are.
 

andycc72

Active Member
I have numerous cartridges and possibly the best overall is the AT95ML.
Not as forward as other AT cartridges, but a superb tracker.
Goldring 1040 is another but over your budget.
Thanks Phil... it’s appears to get universally praised. I’m going in next week.
The 25th anniversary version of Graceland (Qobuz for me, but i asaume it's on Amazon too), is a particularly good master.
I find some stuff better on streaming and other stuff better on vinyl. Some copies on streaming sites just seem a bit sh*t, like no effort's been made, while some vinyl masters are also rubbish.
LED Soundsystem and Led Zeppelin, as an example, are so much better on vinyl. Don't know why, but they are.
I’ve just remembered I order a Mint condition LP of Graceland via Discogs last night whilst slightly pissed. I’ll be able to compare directly shortly.
 

andycc72

Active Member
I was reading some threads on a Steve Hoffman and someone mentioned the VM95L wouldn’t be ‘suitable’ with the 1500C internal phono stage.

when I asked why he said:

‘’I've read the built in pre on the 1500c is over 300pf capacitance, thus making it unsuitable for the 100-200pf AT spec. It will work fine but could have a tilted up mid treble region.’’

Anyone got any thoughts on this? I have a built in phono stage on my Cyrus One. I’ll check what the capacitance of that is
 

andycc72

Active Member
I just bought the AM VM95ML-H it arrives on Thursday. I'll let you know how I get on with it. Also ordered the Technics gauge to ensure its at 52mm. I read on another forum the 95ML comes set at 49mm.

@oscroft please keep an eye on your DM's I may need some of your sage advice :) :)

I very nearly blew the budget and bought the 2M Bronze with head-shell but that was coming in at £349 and some people have compared the VM95ML favourably to the Bronze so thought I'd save a few quid.
 

oscroft

Member
I just bought the AM VM95ML-H it arrives on Thursday. I'll let you know how I get on with it. Also ordered the Technics gauge to ensure its at 52mm. I read on another forum the 95ML comes set at 49mm.

@oscroft please keep an eye on your DM's I may need some of your sage advice :) :)

I very nearly blew the budget and bought the 2M Bronze with head-shell but that was coming in at £349 and some people have compared the VM95ML favourably to the Bronze so thought I'd save a few quid.
I'd imagine that 49mm is what the VM95ML needs on AT turntables - but it should be easy enough to move it forward a bit.

And yes, the VM95ML has the equivalent of the 2M bronze stylus in their respective ranges (95E = 2M Red = bonded elliptical, 95EN = 2M Blue = nude elliptical, 95ML = 2M Bronze = microline/fine line, 95SH = 2M Black = Shibata). In both ranges, a lot of people seem to think the microline/fine line hits the sweet spot.

Anyway, I'm not sure what help I might be able to offer, but I'll be here!
 

andycc72

Active Member
A gentleman is selling a 2M Blue Stylus on HiFi Wigwan (30 hours on it) and I’m also going to buy that. I’m intrigued as to how the blue will compare with the VM95ML in my set up and for £75 I’m sure I can sell it for a small loss after. Worst case scenario is i keep it as a spare.
 

oscroft

Member
A gentleman is selling a 2M Blue Stylus on HiFi Wigwan (30 hours on it) and I’m also going to buy that. I’m intrigued as to how the blue will compare with the VM95ML in my set up and for £75 I’m sure I can sell it for a small loss after. Worst case scenario is i keep it as a spare.
Hehe, why didn't anyone come up with that obvious answer? - get both! 😄
 

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