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Ortofon Samba vs Nagaoka MP-200...

the thin end of the wedge

Ortofon Samba vs Nagaoka MP-200...

Postby Chopsrr » 06 Aug 2010 04:02

I'm planning on upgrading from my current 31 year old Pickering XV-15/625E to either the Ortofon Samba or Nagaoka MP-200 carts. Does anyone have any input on either of these carts?

They'll be mated to a Grace G-707 MkII on a Denon DP-55K. I'm looking for a full, warm-ish sound with deep, detailed bass, natural mids and a smooth, extended top end. I listen to all types of music for the most part, from classical to jazz to blues to 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's pop/rock/alternative. I live in an apartment on the second floor with my girlfriend, so we listen at quiet to moderate volume levels.

I hope this is enough information from me to get things rolling. I look forward to your input!



Just a side note, my girlfriend and I just went out today and bought our first set of LP's together. It's the first LP's I've bought in about 5-6 years, but it's been over 20 years for her. In fact, since my integrated amp (Technics SU-8099) has two sets of phono inputs and she's afraid to touch my TT, I'm now on a search for another TT that I can throw a decent MM cart on so she can spin some vinyl when I'm not around.
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Postby Alec124c41 » 06 Aug 2010 04:14

Sounds like you have a great girlfriend!

Cheers,
Alec
Keep them spinning.
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Postby Dadimo » 06 Aug 2010 04:21

In my personal experience Ortofon and warmish are not synonyms. But you can get some nice clear mids, and highs from them. I am not familiar with the Nagaoka cartridges, so I can not comment on them really. I would describe the Ortofon sound as "accurate" maybe, this is not a knock on thier cartridges either.
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Postby 1200y3 » 06 Aug 2010 04:22

Nagaoka is a premium quality MM. That is it is a very good, if not special, MM.
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Re: Ortofon Samba vs Nagaoka MP-200...

Postby fscl » 06 Aug 2010 04:27

Chopsrr wrote:Just a side note, my girlfriend and I just went out today and bought our first set of LP's together. It's the first LP's I've bought in about 5-6 years, but it's been over 20 years for her. In fact, since my integrated amp (Technics SU-8099) has two sets of phono inputs and she's afraid to touch my TT, I'm now on a search for another TT that I can throw a decent MM cart on so she can spin some vinyl when I'm not around.


+1 on Alec's comment.... :)

An easy to use foolproof tt may be one of Technics linears. An SL-QL1 as it is quite substantial and for some reason can be had quite reasonably on fleabay.

Fully automatic so you can just touch a button and start playing LPs. Cueing is also done at a touch of a button. With the right P-mount can sound nice. A turntable to gain confidence on and can graduate to the Denon / Grace.

Good luck.

Fred and wondering what LPs you picked up... :-k :-k
Music is Everything....Except Predictable....WFUV Fan.
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Postby Chopsrr » 06 Aug 2010 04:50

Dadimo wrote:In my personal experience Ortofon and warmish are not synonyms. But you can get some nice clear mids, and highs from them. I am not familiar with the Nagaoka cartridges, so I can not comment on them really. I would describe the Ortofon sound as "accurate" maybe, this is not a knock on thier cartridges either.


So I should probably stay away from the Ortofon's then, huh? Seems like those might be the exact opposite of what I'm after.
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Postby Chopsrr » 06 Aug 2010 04:52

1200y3 wrote:Nagaoka is a premium quality MM. That is it is a very good, if not special, MM.


I take it you have one of these or heard them at some point? If so, can you tell me a little about their sound?
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Postby lini » 06 Aug 2010 11:10

1200y3 wrote:Nagaoka is a premium quality MM. That is it is a very good, if not special, MM.


Actually, it's an MI - hence the MP prefix (moving permalloy)...


Chopsrr: Hmmmm - not sure whether the Samba would be so ideal for your Grace. I think I'd rather suggest to try the Denon DL301II instead. Well, and regarding the Nagaoka, you could also consider the older MP20 - currently it's offered for a pretty fair price over there:

http://cgi.ebay.it/NAGAOKA-MP-20-STEREO ... 3a5d6672fd


Greetings from Munich!

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Postby 1200y3 » 06 Aug 2010 12:59

I understand it is a very well designed version of a 4x7 elliptical. And the LP Gear specs state that it is MM.

I haven't heard one, but it appears to fulfil many requirements for a "typical general purpose" stylus to perform. It has a solid housing. The next model up boasts a super rigid housing. I would think it has a very full bodied and rich sound, with a slightly weak but very smooth treble. 4x7s are great for the lower and middle octaves. A tom-tom cartridge, likely not a violin cartridge.

I'd use the Nagaoka for everyday enjoyment, but I am sure the Samba would be much more transparent and "delicate", a higher class of listening. Not to discriminate against personal taste, in fact the Nagaoka really highlights on the true enjoyment factor vs the "perfect presentation" factor of a so-called high performance audiophile cartridge. It appears that Nagoaka put super high quality in down to earth vinyl. Many peole would look at the Nagaoka in shock feeling it is overkill to even attempt to get quality from a "chunky" sounding 4x7. It appears Nagaoka, somewhat of a rebel, did not follow the pack, and continued to improve the existing world. Th 4x7 is the typical budget cartridge tip.
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Postby lini » 06 Aug 2010 15:23

1200y3 wrote:And the LP Gear specs state that it is MM. (...)


They may do that all day long, but both the old MPxx and the new MPxxx models are MIs (thhe OSxxxMPs also were, btw). But in case you don't want to believe me, maybe you believe the manufacturer infos: http://tonnadel.de/PDF/Nagaoka_new.pdf

And as for your musing regarding the Samba vs. the MP200: The latter has got the more sophisticated cantilever, so I wouldn't be so sure that the former really is higher class in comparision. But I'd suggest to get the older MP20, anyway - as that one also sports a nude, medium-sharp elliptical similar to that of the Samba.

Greetings from Munich!

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Postby 1200y3 » 07 Aug 2010 04:17

I feel MI is superior to MC anyhow. Case closed! :lol:
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Postby Chopsrr » 07 Aug 2010 13:30

I'm still at a loss as to what to get.

I'm also looking at the Shelter 201/Sumiko Pearl. From what I have read, they seem to be the same cart, just rebadged. But I haven't seen anything about how they sound. And is the Shelter $150 more than the Sumiko just because of their name on the cart, or is there some kind of major improvement?

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Postby bastlnut » 07 Aug 2010 13:58

hallo,

great GF. i bet she could use the Denon/Grace deck you have if you just encouraged her.
women usually have steadier hands than us men do, so even less of a problem for them to use a tonearm.

about the cartridge.
the Nagaoka cartridges are good, i know the series before the modern one with only double digit names.
they are lower compliance so better for middle mass tonearms.
the MP-200 is said to be better for Jazz and Classic but the MP-20 and 30 did well for rock/pop.
i would use a Grado on a low mass tonearm like the Grace G-707.
if you can not swing the Sonata, then get the Platinum.
other than the Grado, i like the Stanton 681 which will also match well.
you could try the Benz Micro Silver high output MC.
great all around cartridge with great dynamics like the Grado and Stanton.
the Stanton is smoother but a bit more crude.....less refined detail.
my tip is still the Grado Sonata.

regards,
bas
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Postby 1200y3 » 07 Aug 2010 14:15

I personally would stick with a long established name such as Nagaoka or Ortofon until enough experience is gained.
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Postby sreten » 07 Aug 2010 14:32

Chopsrr wrote:I'm still at a loss as to what to get.

I'm also looking at the Shelter 201/Sumiko Pearl. From what I have read, they seem to be the same cart, just rebadged. But I haven't seen anything about how they sound. And is the Shelter $150 more than the Sumiko just because of their name on the cart, or is there some kind of major improvement?

Image

Image


Hi,

If your considering that route checkout the DEFT 2 :

http://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merchan ... de=LPGCART

Image

It is another rebadged Sumiko with a very good tip for the price,
some members here including b50 rate it very highly for the price.
By other reports it seems to have the sort of balance you desire
and should work extremely well in the G707 arm, ideally matched.

8) /Sreten.
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