System weak point

Richb65

Novice Member
I’m not happy with the sound I get from my set up, I seem to get better sound from CD. I have a Project Debut Carbon Esprit, Project MM phono box, NAD 320BEE amp and Dali Spector 2 speakers.
I get great performance from this with the NAD C 521BEE CD player but through the turntable not so, any suggestions welcome
 

lee711

Standard Member
What is it about the sound from your TT that you're not happy with ?. In my personal opinion, you have good individual components and I feel the weakest link would be the cart on the TT. The Ortofon 2M red can be so much bettered, I don't rate that cart. But the first thing I would do is make sure that everything is set up correctly, balance the tone arm, set the correct VTF and cart alignment before spending any cash.
 

Richb65

Novice Member
What is it about the sound from your TT that you're not happy with ?. In my personal opinion, you have good individual components and I feel the weakest link would be the cart on the TT. The Ortofon 2M red can be so much bettered, I don't rate that cart. But the first thing I would do is make sure that everything is set up correctly, balance the tone arm, set the correct VTF and cart alignment before spending any cash.
It’s not very defined or precise, it’s all set up correctly as far as I’m able to tell.
Are there any recommendations on cartridges, I’d of expected some posts given they come fitted if they weren’t great
 

lee711

Standard Member
Depending on budget, you could just swap out the 2m red stylus ( Elliptical ) for a 2m blue stylus ( Nude Elliptical ), they both use the same cart body so is a cheaper upgrade and very easy to do just a straight stylus swap and a lot of people enjoy this stylus. Then there is a whole raft of carts you could swap to. The AT-VM95ML gets very highly rated with it's microline stylus or you could go better and get AT-VM95SH with it's shibata diamond tip. I personaly like Goldring and have a 1042 which is superb for my needs. Plenty of advice and opinion is available online for you to research. The "which cart and stylus is best" debate is a never-ending black hole but I think any of the above will serve you well. A more expensive stylus with it's more detailed profile will bring out a lot more detail and give a better soundstage but then you need to evaluate the rest of your set up and decide were the cut off point is.
 

lindsayt

Active Member
How close is your turntable to your speakers?

Get it as far away as you conveniently can. Even if this means that your speaker cable are 10 to 20 metres long. Just get thick copper cheapo non-branded cables if your existing cables are too short.

Also what is your turntable sitting on? A rigid and level shelf screwed to a brick or stone wall is fine. A light rigid turntable table is good too.

Once you've explored these no to low cost options to improve the sound the next step is to change your turntable, arm, cart, phono amp, cart to phono amp cable on that order of priority.

Best value in vinyl sources is from buying used - when you buy the right stuff at the right price.
Apart from cartridges, which are semi consumable items.
 

Kapkirk

Well-known Member
I’m not happy with the sound I get from my set up, I seem to get better sound from CD. I have a Project Debut Carbon Esprit, Project MM phono box, NAD 320BEE amp and Dali Spector 2 speakers.
I get great performance from this with the NAD C 521BEE CD player but through the turntable not so, any suggestions welcome
The 2M red in my opinion is a very underwhelming cartridge, and I couldn't wait to change out the Pick-It Pro cartridge (based on the 2M series) on my Project TT, I was not enjoying my music from my new TT at all. Then I came on this forum for help and it was suggested to change it for either an Audio Technica vm-at95ml or the 540ml, I disliked the sound of the Ortofon so much I didn't want to even bother going up to a blue or Bronze stylus so went with a complete change and purchased the vm540ml and carefully installed it (I would advise you ask a dealer to install it) and WOW what a massive difference, it was like listening to a completely different turntable, first thing I noticed was a massive stereo sound stage, it makes the 2M sound mono and bland, it really brought my Lp's to life and dug out so much more detail, it just sounds so alive and exiting without being aggressive or tiring, I prefer to listen to my vinyl now more than streaming from my Node or listening to my CD's.

Also that Project MM phono is not a particularly good phono stage, I had one a while back and thought the phono stage in my Denon amp sounded better so I practically gave it away.
I would suggest changing it for a Rega Fono 3 or an Ifi Zen phono, I'm sure with these upgrades you'd be very impressed listening to vinyl again, as I was.
 

Kapkirk

Well-known Member
I’m not happy with the sound I get from my set up, I seem to get better sound from CD. I have a Project Debut Carbon Esprit, Project MM phono box, NAD 320BEE amp and Dali Spector 2 speakers.
I get great performance from this with the NAD C 521BEE CD player but through the turntable not so, any suggestions welcome
Here is a clip of my Project TT with a cartridge upgrade to a vm540ml.
Taken with a cheap Samsung smartphone near the speaker, so will have reduced frequency range and dynamics compared to the real thing but it will give some idea.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
As stated above, definitely change the cart. I've had 2M red, silver, blue and pivk it. Not a fan of any of them. As noted above the VM95ML is a good option. Also the Nagoaka MP110.

You'll be amazed at how much difference a cart change makes.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
All sound advice given by the previous posters. So there's little I can add, other than change the Ortofon 2M Red for something else. Those mentioned above are all excellent recommendations. If you choose another cartridge, be sure to give it time to bed in. It's suspension will need to adjust after being static since manufacture. Do this, and you'll reap the benefits.
 

musicphil

Active Member
Try a Goldring 1042 £282 if you do a search.
Alternatively try Goldring 2200 or 2300, both these I believe are made by Nagoaka for Goldring.
I have a AT95ml in my collection and it's a very good cartridge not on the bright side but also not warm like the Goldrings or Nagoaka's.
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
I have just had my AT95ml modified with a solid body called a RigB it is an excellent cartridge.
IMG_0317.jpg
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
How do you find this, now it has the solid body?
I think it has took an already good cartridge to another level. I have no regrets. Tried the before and after cartridges the same day so its not placebo effect as some might think. I bought the modified one from them with an M95C stylus in . I then installed that and fitted the 95ML stylus from the original cartridge in that way I now have a 95C cartridge spare for another fitting.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
I think it has took an already good cartridge to another level. I have no regrets. Tried the before and after cartridges the same day so its not placebo effect as some might think. I bought the modified one from them with an M95C stylus in . I then installed that and fitted the 95ML stylus from the original cartridge in that way I now have a 95C cartridge spare for another fitting.

Thank you. Since first learning of the solid body, it has always been my intention to take the same route you have. It's just that I have yet to get the AT cartridge.
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
Thank you. Since first learning of the solid body, it has always been my intention to take the same route you have. It's just that I have yet to get the AT cartridge.
Which AT cartridge are you looking at?
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
Any of the AT95 range, which has since been superceded. It is more out of curiosity than something I need. Maybe one day.
 

Richb65

Novice Member
How close is your turntable to your speakers?

Get it as far away as you conveniently can. Even if this means that your speaker cable are 10 to 20 metres long. Just get thick copper cheapo non-branded cables if your existing cables are too short.

Also what is your turntable sitting on? A rigid and level shelf screwed to a brick or stone wall is fine. A light rigid turntable table is good too.

Once you've explored these no to low cost options to improve the sound the next step is to change your turntable, arm, cart, phono amp, cart to phono amp cable on that order of priority.

Best value in vinyl sources is from buying used - when you buy the right stuff at the right price.
Apart from cartridges, which are semi consumable items.
Thanks for the advice, the turntable is 5’ from the speakers on a glass panel on rubber on a hifi unit, also have project dampit feet. I’ve stripped it back and reset the counter balance and it’s much better, I’ll see how it goes before investing in a new cartridge and phono stage etc
 

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