Last year I visited the first proper hifi show in Australia in some 25 years, one of the things I was eager to audition was turntable cartridges, somethng you never hear these days, but sadly i found them disappointing. Very clean and modern sounding, but also just too much like CD but with the addition of snap, crackle and pops. I left somewhat underwhelmed by vinyl, a big disappointment since I have a Technice SP 10 which has just, in the last 24 hrs, been finally restored after buying the motor unit in 2003 (the tonearm dates back even further).
One of the more hilarious things I do is review cartridges by watching Youtube videos of them (can hear the hysterical laughter already) plus of course the online reviews. Nagaoka is a brand I've paid no attention to, but I was surprised to find a lot of references to them, and very favourable they were to. On to Youtube, found a MP110/Coltrane video, and did that ever ring the memories of how vinyl used to sound, but in a good way. Warm, rich and just had a feeling of nostalgic rightness about it.
I'm curious, if anyone has comments on budget Nagaokas, to about $150 to $200, I'd love to hear your opinions. I have a budget $30 Ortofon Omega to start off with (wanted something very cheap to practise on while setting up, installing tonearms etc) but would like to get a better cartridge at years end when I have more time to play with the deck. Tonearm is a vintage, but modded, Decca London International. I want vinyl to sound like vinyl, not vinyl pretending to be digital, so is Nagaoka the way I should be going?