New cartridge help needed.

David ap

Novice Member
Afternoon all,
I’m a long time lurker here but am now in need of a bit of advise.

I’ve recently liberated my records and gear from the loft and need to replace my cartridges. My system is:

2xtechnics 1210’s with santon 680el’s
Manky old Citronic mixer
Creek 5250 amp with dedicated phono stage
A pair of AE 109’s.

I won’t be DJing any more but I will be messing around with mixing for fun and equally importantly I’ll be listening to a great deal of jazz, bypassing the mixer completely and want the best sound I can get out of my old but decentish system.
So ideally I’d get a pair of cartridges that will do the lot or possibly 2 cheaper ones DJ jobs and one dedicated hifi one and just swap headshells as needed.
Was thinking the AT XP5’s would be more than good enough as I’m not really planning on upgrading anything else atm.

All thoughts greatly appreciated.
Cheers;

D.
 

DT79

Well-known Member
I can‘t advise on the DJ side, although I‘m sure someone can, but what sort of budget are you looking at for the Hi-Fi cartridge?

That’s the great thing about Technics, the ability to swap out headshells so quickly and easily. It’s not just the arm, it’s the fact that all of the adjustments have been implemented so conveniently and with a scale so you can make precise and repeatable adjustments.
 

David ap

Novice Member
I think if I was getting a pair for both duties I’d say £200 tops. If I was splitting it out - which might be too costly tbh, probably just some replacement stylus for the 680’s I’ve got but I have no idea about the replica jobs I’ve see about - and then if that’s doable for say under 100 then maybe up to 150 absolute max for the dedicated cartridge. I’m probably taking to much time thinking, for the budget I’m spending eh!
 

DT79

Well-known Member
I think a good choice would be the AT VM95 range and the ‘ML’ version with microline stylus should just about fit your budget. If you‘re going to get a dedicated Hi-Fi cartridge then you might as well get a better stylus profile. Advantage of the VM95 range is you can swap out the stylus for any profile in the range, so you could even start lower down and upgrade later if you wanted. Search for the review on here.

I personally have tried the Ortofon 2M red but I didn’t like it on my 1210mk2 - mediocre sound and horrible inner groove distortion. I also had a Denon DL110 for a while and enjoyed it very much. It’s a high output MC (use with a regular MM phono stage) and it has a lovely rich sound, but is quite mellow. Perfect for Jazz and classical, per perhaps too mellow it you sit down and listen to the sort of music you’re probably DJing with.
 

David ap

Novice Member
I think a good choice would be the AT VM95 range and the ‘ML’ version with microline stylus should just about fit your budget. If you‘re going to get a dedicated Hi-Fi cartridge then you might as well get a better stylus profile. Advantage of the VM95 range is you can swap out the stylus for any profile in the range, so you could even start lower down and upgrade later if you wanted. Search for the review on here.

I personally have tried the Ortofon 2M red but I didn’t like it on my 1210mk2 - mediocre sound and horrible inner groove distortion. I also had a Denon DL110 for a while and enjoyed it very much. It’s a high output MC (use with a regular MM phono stage) and it has a lovely rich sound, but is quite mellow. Perfect for Jazz and classical, per perhaps too mellow it you sit down and listen to the sort of music you’re probably DJing with.
Cheers for that - I had started looking at that AT. So what I’m gonna do is try and XP5 for regular duties and see how that sounds. If it doesn’t stack up against my old 680el’s (it better they’re 20 years old!) I’ll get that VM95 for proper listening.
That’s the plan at least.
I’m dead curious whether for my set up I’d notice the difference audibly between the XP5 or XP7 (which I nearly just bought) and say the VM95 you mention.
I think I might end up with a few Amazon returns at this rate..
 
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DT79

Well-known Member
Cheers for that - I had started looking at that AT. So what I’m gonna do is try and XP5 for regular duties and see how that sounds. If it doesn’t stack up against my old 680el’s (it better they’re 20 years old!) I’ll get that VM95 for proper listening.
That’s the plan at least.
I’m dead curious whether for my set up I’d notice the difference audibly between the XP5 or XP7 (which I nearly just bought) and say the VM95 you mention.
I think I might end up with a few Amazon returns at this rate..
The rest of the system is good. I should think you'll notice. Don't mess about with the lower stylus levels if you get the AT - go for the microcline stylus (VM95ML)
 

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