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cartridge help please

neilmac

Established Member
I have purchased a project 6 perspex turntable with a view to getting back into vinyl. It was a little more expensive than i intended but felt it would be worthwhile in the long run. I need to buy a cartridge for it but don`t want to spend too much at the moment. Something that will get me started but sound decent with a view to upgrading at the end of the year. Any recommendations would be much appreciated. Any tips from existing owners would be gratefully recieved also. Thanks.
Neil
 

steveledzep

Established Member
Depends on your budget. If really low, the Audio Technica AT95E sounds decent and can be had for £30 or so. Anything from the Goldring 1000 series will be better, particularly the 1042 (over £200). I have assumed a requirement for a Moving Magnet cartridge. What amp and speakers are you going to partner your Project with ?

Steve.
 
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neilmac

Established Member
Thanks. The amp is a Luxman L550aII & the speakers are Art emotions. I`m guessing somewhere around the £250 mark for now. Would i be right in thinking that an mm would be a better bet than a budget mc at that price?
 

spikey1

Established Member
If you want to keep it cheaper try a Nagaoka MP110 at about £88. Closer to your budget a Nagaoka MP150 at about £228 (but replacement stylus are harder to come by).

The reviews suggest they better many much more expensive carts but are not well known at the moment.

I have a Goldring 1022 GX which is excellent but I got it for £120 (I was very lucky). Had I known about the Nagaoka reviews before I would have tried them. I must stress however I haven't heard then personally, I'm only basing this view on many different reviews.

S.
 

Mr Pig

Prominent Member
Would I be right in thinking that a mm would be a better bet than a budget mc at that price?

Not really. Denon's cheaper moving coils are not just good for the money but good, period. I use a Denon DL103 because I like it, not just because it's cheap. They lack a little in some areas but are so well rounded and musical it's instantly forgiveable. I can't think of anything at or near the price that comes close.

The DL110 and DL160 are high output carts that will work perfectly into a moving magnet input.
 

neilmac

Established Member
Thanks again. I'll look into all your suggestions. I will be buying this without audition so might go for something at the lower end of the scale as I have a very long journey to audition anything. As long as it sounds decent & lasts me a year tops I'll be happy. Obviously I'll make more effort to audition come upgrade time.
Neil
 

DIBSTER

Prominent Member
Ortofon pairs up well with Pro-ject too, a 2M Blue would fit easily in your budget. Very tight and punchy.

I was going to suggest the Ortofon 2M range too.

When I got back into vinyl a couple of years ago I started with a 2nd hand Pro-Ject II TT which came with a 2M Red MM cartridge. When I then bought myself a Systemdek IIX TT I swapped the old cart it came with to the 2M Red. Eventually I bought myself a 2M Blue stylus to replace the 2M Red stylus (which I had damaged through carelessness :facepalm:). I really like the 2M Blue, very detailed and punchy as stated above. You could do worse.

The thing is, around this price range there are a lot of cartridges that will do a good job, but I can only commet on the Ortofon range.

.
 

CJROSS

Prominent Member
DL110 or a second hand Shure V15 III lovely sub £100 carts. I'd also be looking at the Nagoka's as mentioned above.
 

coruja

Established Member
This is the point when I want to moan about how easy it would be - in terms of postage costs and delivery especially - for a company to loan out a few used carts to potential customers to try out before buying. But I wont. :)
 
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neilmac

Established Member
Finally decided to order an ortofon 2m red at the lower end of the scale. I decided it will sound decent enough for now & if I put by what I don't spend from the original budget I should be able to upgrade to something worthy of the deck a bit sooner than I hoped. Thanks all for your input. Much appreciated.
Neil.
 

DIBSTER

Prominent Member
Finally decided to order an ortofon 2m red at the lower end of the scale. I decided it will sound decent enough for now & if I put by what I don't spend from the original budget I should be able to upgrade to something worthy of the deck a bit sooner than I hoped. Thanks all for your input. Much appreciated.
Neil.


Nice cartridge the 2M Red. Also, like I did if you need to change the stylus only, you can upgrade to a 2M Blue but still use the 2M Red cartridge.

.
 

coruja

Established Member
What's the rest of your set-up by the way? It's good to keep things balance in terms of cost/quality.

You've got a £1,300 TT with a £80 cart. I know you don't want to spend too much now, but in the future I don't think it's worth going from a 2M Red to a Blue stylus.

If you're phono-amp, amp, and speakers are as good quality as your TT then you'd have to spend a bit more.
 

neilmac

Established Member
The amp is a Luxman L550AII which supposedly has a very good phono stage so I'll just be using that. I would spend £500ish on a cartridge come upgrade time which will hopefully get something worthy of the rest of the set up.
 

Mr Pig

Prominent Member
I would spend £500ish on a cartridge come upgrade time

The most expensive carts I've used are the Linn Troika and Audio Technica AT-OC9 and to be honest the little Denons are close enough performance wise and I like not being terrified of trashing the thing! I took the cantilever off a brand new DL103 with an Allan key a couple of years ago while fitting it. It didn't get to play a single second of music! Annoying, but can you imagine doing that to a £500 cartridge? :O(
 

coruja

Established Member
... but can you imagine doing that to a £500 cartridge? :O(

I know, i guess when you spend that much you would get the shop to fit it. I often wondered about those who have Koetsu carts - mounting something like that would be an awful experience, what with the bank manager standing next to you sweating, your wife crying, children wailing as they are starving because you just spent £7k on a cart!

No I guess, it's all relative.
 

Mr Pig

Prominent Member
I was at a guy's house once, playing records on his Hi-Fi and just manually lifting the arm on and off. I've been playing records for a long time and never use the lift. He was clearly nervous and said "Do you realise that's four-grand cartridge?". "So would you like me to use the lift" said the pig :0)

Another time a friend decided to manually cue up the record player whilst the owner was out of the room. To be fair it was a Naim Aro so there isn't any other way to do it but as he was a little drunk it wasn't a very good idea. We did tell him this but he was confident. Sumiko Sho crashed onto the record from about an inch up!

I'm not saying I would never use an expensive cartridge, I quite fancy another OC9 in fact, but it's nice just chucking your records around and not worrying about the needle.
 

alexs2

Distinguished Member
The most expensive carts I've used are the Linn Troika and Audio Technica AT-OC9 and to be honest the little Denons are close enough performance wise and I like not being terrified of trashing the thing! I took the cantilever off a brand new DL103 with an Allan key a couple of years ago while fitting it. It didn't get to play a single second of music! Annoying, but can you imagine doing that to a £500 cartridge? :O(

It really does concentrate your mind I'd say.

I've got a Lyra Argo after many years of Supex and Linns,and I do treat it very carefully....the Denon as you say though is a superb cartridge on all fronts.

Value,performance,and quality.....
 

Mr Pig

Prominent Member
I can remember the sickening feeling killing that DL103. Can you imagine what it would feel like if you did that to a brand new £1000 cartridge? Or a £4000 cartridge?? No, not for me thanks. I like Hi-Fi to be fun, it's not something I want to sweat about.
 

alexs2

Distinguished Member
I think for the OP's use,a DL103 could be an excellent choice,or if it really has to be something more costly next time,as opposed to something much better,then the Sumiko Blue Point is good as is the Dynavector 20X2,and the Goldring Elite seems to get some good press as well.
 

neilmac

Established Member
I'm starting to think I should maybe have tried the denon or something similar first. Too late now though. Might try one shortly. It's like everything else in hifi, you get to a level & the law of diminishing returns kicks in where you can spend silly amounts for marginal improvements. So how much would most people spend on a turntable of that price? If a denon does 90% of something 3 times the price does it make sense to spend more?
 

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