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Best Moving Coil up to £500(s/h included)

alexs2

Well-known Member
I'd appreciate a little bit of advice/help from anyone with recent knowledge of current M/C cartridges.

I've got the following turntable etc:

Linn LP12/Lingo/Ittok(arm rewired)
Supex SD900 M/c
Trichord Dino and NC power supply

Then a TAG AV32R/DP,plus 300B triodes and Quad ESLs or the AV side of the system with Krell KMA 100s and B&W 805s....I'll be adding something along the lines of an Audionote valve preamp to this in due course.

What I want is to upgrade the cartridge which I've had for some yrs,but hasnt actually had a lot of use,as I've only recently resurrected the vinyl end of the system.

I'd be interested in any views on the following:

Linn Arkiv(old but still around and can be rebuilt)
Koetsu Black(used)
Lyra Dorian
Sumiko Blackbird
Ortofon Kontrapunkt B

And any others that might be of interest...?

I'd also say that I dont particularly want to do any more to the T/T at present,although I'd consider upgrading the arm possibly at a later stage.

Getting to listen is always a problem,so any useful thoughts/info and suggestion would be appreciated.
 
You can probably find an ortofon Rohnmann or Jubilee if you look hard enough and those will beat the Kontra 'B' I used the Hifi news Test record and it (Rohnmann) <-- (not sure if this the right name but similar) completed all except one in tracking ability. The B is a very good catridge I have not tried the rest.

I had the Trichord, etc and now have the Ear 834p and 'even' :D my wife agreed the Ear was way better. You may find the following combo also improves deck (later of course) Origin Live illustrious arm with Origin Live DC power supply upgrade (hehe)
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Reano said:
You can probably find an ortofon Rohnmann or Jubilee if you look hard enough and those will beat the Kontra 'B' I used the Hifi news Test record and it (Rohnmann) <-- (not sure if this the right name but similar) completed all except one in tracking ability. The B is a very good catridge I have not tried the rest.

I had the Trichord, etc and now have the Ear 834p and 'even' :D my wife agreed the Ear was way better. You may find the following combo also improves deck (later of course) Origin Live illustrious arm with Origin Live DC power supply upgrade (hehe)
Thanks....I did try the EAR when I was looking for a phono stage,and also tried the MF XLP3,Tom Evans Microgroove(and plus) and a few others,but eventually decided on the Dino with the NC power supply,which just seemed to work best with my system,plus being user adjustable.

I've seen the odd Rohmann or Jubilee around,but really wanted opinions from anyone who's used any or all of the cartridges I mentioned.....you have a Kontrapunkt B I assume?.....if so,can i ask what your general impressions of it are,and what you'd compared it with?

Ideally I'd like to try and narrow the choices down before trekking around and trying a few.
 

la gran siete

Distinguished Member
Londondecca said:
How about a Decca or maybe a Cartridge Man
Its called Music Maker
 

la gran siete

Distinguished Member
its not a moving coil, BTW but a moving Iron
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Wasn't too enamouredwith the Music Maker for a few reasons,but I'll still look one out for a listen,but I don't think the Decca would either suit the TT/arm,or my tastes!.....I prefer the sound of MC's to MM etc,so I'd like to stick to something along those lines.
 

Paul Williams

Active Member
Nic Rhodes said:
ZYX ones?, never heard one but reputation is good (I'm a MM guy!!)
These are very nice, RS20 is is under the £500 & quite tasty, but these weigh around 5.0grms - can't remember the range of the Ittok. Personally I've never heard a poor dynavector, so don't forget these. I don't know if Shelter cartridges are available in the UK but based on a brief listen I'd like to investigate these myself.

A good contact for cartridges would be Heatherdale Audio in Worthing

http://www.hifi-stereo.com/index.htm

who have "....Selection of high-end popular moving-coil cartridges at serious discounts..."

and saved me nearly 30% on my last cartridge & are good to deal with - no connection with them except as a satisfied customer.

Paul
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Paul Williams said:
These are very nice, RS20 is is under the £500 & quite tasty, but these weigh around 5.0grms - can't remember the range of the Ittok. Personally I've never heard a poor dynavector, so don't forget these. I don't know if Shelter cartridges are available in the UK but based on a brief listen I'd like to investigate these myself.

A good contact for cartridges would be Heatherdale Audio in Worthing

http://www.hifi-stereo.com/index.htm

who have "....Selection of high-end popular moving-coil cartridges at serious discounts..."

and saved me nearly 30% on my last cartridge & are good to deal with - no connection with them except as a satisfied customer.

Paul
Many thanks for that,Paul...looking now!
 

Paul Williams

Active Member
alexs2 said:
Many thanks for that,Paul...looking now!
Don't alway list their best deals so give them a call!

Paul
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Paul Williams said:
Don't alway list their best deals so give them a call!

Paul
Thanks again Paul...he managed to persuade me(not that it took much doing) to go for a Lyra Argo at a very decent price.
 

Paul Williams

Active Member
I'm told this is a beautifully detailed, emotional, revealing sounding cartridge & with energy/vibrancy that is almost Decca like. This would not have been a cartridge that would have initially sprung to mind, but given its signature married to the pace of the Linn and your 300B's you could be in for a seriously good sound from your LP's - be great to know how you get on & if your impressions match the above. The only cautionary note that I've picked up is that it responds to very, very careful set-up to get the best from it.

Paul
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Paul Williams said:
I'm told this is a beautifully detailed, emotional, revealing sounding cartridge & with energy/vibrancy that is almost Decca like. This would not have been a cartridge that would have initially sprung to mind, but given its signature married to the pace of the Linn and your 300B's you could be in for a seriously good sound from your LP's - be great to know how you get on & if your impressions match the above. The only cautionary note that I've picked up is that it responds to very, very careful set-up to get the best from it.

Paul
Pretty much exactly what the chap at Heatherdale said,including the advice about fiddling around with things like VTA,tracking weight etc.

Having had the bottom off the Linn a few times,and fitted a Lingo to it,I think I'll be Ok doing that,and should have the Argo by Friday,all being well and fingers crossed!

I'll let you know how I get on....thanks again.
 

Paul Williams

Active Member
alexs2 said:
Pretty much exactly what the chap at Heatherdale said,including the advice about fiddling around with things like VTA,tracking weight etc.
Bit more than that - I think this one will require a level of precision set-up beyond the norm for most cartridges! After all how many carts do you know with a big wide tracking force range of 1.7 to 1.8 grams :eek: At least it comes with a good stylus guard.

Mind you, you just know its going to be worth it, but this is just the start, you aught to hear what Lyra cartridges sound like in an Avid Volvere (just happen to know where there's an ex dem one with £500 off) :devil:

Paul
 
Woops yes have heard the Kront b but preferred the Rohnmann I also compared it to kront A (not much in it on my system) and the ortofon 540 mk2 (mm) (better than this). Also compared against the goldring 1042 mm and it was better than that too.
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Reano said:
Woops yes have heard the Kront b but preferred the Rohnmann I also compared it to kront A (not much in it on my system) and the ortofon 540 mk2 (mm) (better than this). Also compared against the goldring 1042 mm and it was better than that too.
Probably a bit late now!...I've bought an Argo,which has made me re-evaluate how much I like CD,and really been quite a surprise overall,both sonically,and to the wallet!
 

michael orme

Standard Member
Londondecca said:
How about a Decca or maybe a Cartridge Man
I have a cartridge that is blue in colour and looks like a Decca London. It has a red plastic protective cap. It has only 3 pins to connect it up with. Do you think it is worth messing with it, or should I put it on Ebay/price?
Michael Orme, Rhyl, UK.
 

Paul Williams

Active Member
I have seen these fetch rather surprising prices on ebay & I've even been known to bid for the occasional gold/super gold myself. I'd be happy to use a Decca with a good tip on any of my records, but the emphasis is on a good tip. I don't think the factory(?) tip for the Blue or Maroon was ever in the same league as that fitted to the gold (bit vintage dependent I know) and yes I have tried all three. However, I did briefly have a Garrott tipped Blue which was superb. So depending on your set-up, nice uni-pivot arm or one that can be fluid damped and the condition of the cart (ensure the tie wire, and tip are good) then you may wish to give it a try. Otherwise, let the Decca enthusiasts join the queue. For me without the pedigree it'd be worth about £20 delivered as a gamble - but I'm only ever interested in a bargain!

Paul
 

Londondecca

Active Member
As much as I like Decca's they are not for everyone and will not suit every system but with the right equipment they can make every other cartridge, regardless of cost sound dull and lifeless
 

overkill

Well-known Member
Probably a bit late now!...I've bought an Argo,which has made me re-evaluate how much I like CD,and really been quite a surprise overall,both sonically,and to the wallet!
In what way Alex? Intrigued by that statement! :) I haven't heard the Argo (heard the Lydian & more recently the Helikon and was deeply impressed) so I would be interested in your comments, musings etc.........
 

karkus30

Banned
Londondecca said:
As much as I like Decca's they are not for everyone and will not suit every system but with the right equipment they can make every other cartridge, regardless of cost sound dull and lifeless
Amazing cart, had one mounted in a turntable arm combination (can never remember the name of the TT, its black with the platter and plinth filled with plaster of paris and other strange substances and uses a bath of liquid silicon for the end of the arm where you mount the cart). It was incredible and I have never heard anything so vivid and attacking. I was of the belief that because of its none compliant nature that it could ruin albums after a few plays. We used a really knackered Roxy album that had been kicking around the floor and was covered in dust and scratches, every time we put the stylus onto the album this glorious hard kicking bass drum ripped out of the speakers. I dont know if it was accurate, but, bloody hell, it was fun. :clap:
 

Paul Williams

Active Member
karkus30 said:
Amazing cart, had one mounted in a turntable arm combination (can never remember the name of the TT, its black with the platter and plinth filled with plaster of paris and other strange substances and uses a bath of liquid silicon for the end of the arm where you mount the cart).
Townsend Rock(?) It's on my list to get one day.
 

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alexs2

Well-known Member
Just a few thoughts and comments.....

Price wise,pretty much as I expected,although Heatherdale Audio were very well priced and fast to deliver...full marks there.

I've had MC's for virtually all of the time I've had a TT,from a Coral MC77,then a cheapish Linn,and latterly a Supex,which had sat in the loft alongside the TT for yrs while the kids were young.

Once I'd dug it all out of the loft,and upgraded the TT with a Lingo PSU,rewired the arm etc,the change to a new cartridge was the best addition I've made....the detail,depth,and range of the Argo are superb,and miles ahead of an admittedly tired Supex,which sounds warm and wooly by comparison.
It does require a lot of fiddling with tracking weight,bias and angles to get it working to the best possible,but it manages to be detailed and extended in frequency range,without ever being hard or tiring,although getting the cartrdige loading right can also help(I've tried all of the combinations on the Dino phono stage,and settled on 47kOhms).
The other thing which made a lot of difference was changing the phono stage PSU to a NC supply,which although relatively expensive really opened the sound out very nicely,and to my ears anyway,sounds much better than the Tom Evans Microgroove plus,which was edgy and tiring
 

karkus30

Banned
Paul Williams said:
Townsend Rock(?) It's on my list to get one day.
Thats the beasty, it had a fancy power supply and the Excalibur ? arm. Im not sure which arm it was but it was Townsends most pricey version. With that London Decker gold installed it was amazing, forget the usual HiFi terms it just blew the lid off everything I had ever heard. I had the Townsend at home for a while but didnt dare fit the Decca in case it damaged albums and it just didn't have anything like the kick when fitted with my MC20 Ortofon. Add the dreaded trough and it was really a bit of a hassle, so I just kept The Oracle Delphi. But the sound of that cart in that TT still makes me wonder what if....................
 

Londondecca

Active Member
An incorrectly fitted Decca will damage the records and I think in the early days of the Decca, the stylus profile was not good and probably did wear out records. I used Decca's for 15 years without any problems, I did occasionaly test other cartridges but for my system, none of them came anywhere near the quality of a Decca.
 

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