I recently decided to upgrade my cartridge, hoping that would cool an increasing upgrade fever. After lurking on this site for a bit and doing as much online research I could, I decided on the Ortofon 2M Red. I stopped by my local dealer to see what price they were offering it for (if it was more than what it would be online I would probably still get it from them [within reason]). I was surprised to find they didn't carry Ortofon carts, but he offered me an amazing deal on a Grado Gold. I hesitated and he told me to check it out & come back if I was interested.
Turns out the Grado hums, so I ended up ordering the 2M Red online. Oh man, I couldn't wait! It was (finally) delivered the day before Thanksgiving. What a perfect situation - I only had to work a 1/2 day, but my wife had to work a full day and my son would be at his daycare until I picked him up - plenty of time to install the new cartridge a break it in (at my preferred [rarely achieved] listening levels!).
Then, in the process of swapping out the old one I broke one, then two of the leads! Ugghhh. Totally ruined my day. I was able to drop it off at my dealer that day, but with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up they didn't know how long it would take. I was totally beside myself, seeming consumed with the gaping hole between my speakers where the table used to be. (I realized I was overreacting [a bit], I mean, I can't go a few days without listening to vinyl? I still have 1,000s of cds & my ipod, but I think everyone here understands!)
Andyway, got the table back, told my guy about the Grado Hum Database (he hadn't heard about it) & set up the new cartridge. FINALLY. I love it! A real, noticible improvement! Its louder (not that that matters much), roomy & has much more bass pick up.
Well, thanks for indulging me! In the next day or two (hopefully) I'll post before & after recordings for any of you tempted to upgrade but still unsure. Pics, too.