Project Debut III Cartridge Upgrade

the thin end of the wedge
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killercortez37
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Project Debut III Cartridge Upgrade

Post by killercortez37 » 25 Jan 2018 22:01

Hi there,

I'm considering upgrading my cartridge on my Project Debut III from the stock ortofon om5e. I like the sound of it now, but I am just interested in trying a new (hopefully better) sound. I'm worried about choosing an appropriate upgrade since the tonearm is so light on this table. I am not wanting to replace the stylus with an om10 or om20 unless you think that is a great idea. Cartridges I'm considering:

Nagaoka MP-110 or MP-100 (worried about weight of these)
Sumiko Pearl
Grado Black (have heard that there is humming problems)

Thanks!

willwill
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Re: Project Debut III Cartridge Upgrade

Post by willwill » 26 Jan 2018 12:58

I think changing stylus to OM 20 is a great idea. Much better than 5E and OM works nicely on Debuts tone arm.

I had also Grado Black on my Dual but I think it is more par with OM 10 than 20. I have no experience on Sumiko but I think it is lower level than OM 20. OM 20 has nude stylus.

Slavikcc
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Re: Project Debut III Cartridge Upgrade

Post by Slavikcc » 26 Jan 2018 14:17

I agree with willwill that changing the stylus to an OM 20 is a great idea. It's also the quickest and easiest upgrade path for your cartridge.

killercortez37
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Re: Project Debut III Cartridge Upgrade

Post by killercortez37 » 27 Jan 2018 05:34

Thanks guys! I’m definitely going to look more into the om20 stylus. Any opinions on the nagaoka? I’ve heard great things but I’m still worried about how it will cooperate with the light arm. Still curious about this option since it’s cheaper than the om20 stylus. Thanks!

StuieJW
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Re: Project Debut III Cartridge Upgrade

Post by StuieJW » 28 Jan 2018 13:06

I have the debut carbon III which came with the Ortofon 2M Red. As far as I can gather the OM range is a bit like a little sister company to the 2M range but good value compared to the rest of the 2M range.

I have been through all the 2M range now and would suggest that the 2M Blue should be a nice upgrade to your OM5e. In terms of performance, easily double the Red, smoother, much less prone to sibilance and has a good body to the sound.

Going forward I would sidestep the Bronze as I would say it`s a little unusual in it`s presentation, high clarity but not very musical.

I currently have the 2M Black and love it to bits. I would say the 2M Blue isn`t a million miles off the black in general terms but what the black does everything effortlessly from bass to fine details (never harsh). It is more prone to surface noise so keeping your vinyl as clean as possible (and stylus) is a must if it bothers you.

I have only had the 2M range so cannot comment on the Nagaoka etc but if you want a good performance without breaking the bank I would opt for the 2M blue as a starting point.

willwill
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Re: Project Debut III Cartridge Upgrade

Post by willwill » 29 Jan 2018 11:52

StuieJW wrote:I have the debut carbon III which came with the Ortofon 2M Red. As far as I can gather the OM range is a bit like a little sister company to the 2M range but good value compared to the rest of the 2M range.
2M Red is like OM 10 Super wrapped in new plastic body. You can even fit OM stylus to 2M body.

Some people say OM is better and some say 2M. Probably it is about they fit to your tone arm and riaa.

StuieJW
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Re: Project Debut III Cartridge Upgrade

Post by StuieJW » 29 Jan 2018 22:20

If the OM40 was better than the 2M Black I would bite your hand off.

I have a feeling there is much more to it than just comparing OM X to 2M X. I can understand at the Red level as that IMO is a poor stylus, harsh, sibilant (no matter how you try to rectify) but if the OM40 was on par with the black then there would be no need for the black to exist.

Both models will fit most tonearms so I wouldn`t use that as a comparison. I will look into it, it is interesting and a range I have never owned nor learned about.

Thanks,
Stu

willwill
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Re: Project Debut III Cartridge Upgrade

Post by willwill » 13 Mar 2018 15:09

Comparing 2M Black and OM40 is different than lower models. They don't share the stylus design like others. Black has Shibata and OM40 is FG 70.

And why in the world Black would be no need to exist if it would be par with OM40. 2M is more than a facelift than brand new product line. It is very common method to get new products to market. You can even fit OM stylus to 2M. OM Super body also has same split pole pins design than 2M.

Internet is filled of comparison of these two Ortofon generations so you have no need to trust only your feelings. Some people say OM is better and some prefer 2M. Probably it is a matter of taste and how they fit your set.

Rillto
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Re: Project Debut III Cartridge Upgrade

Post by Rillto » 17 Mar 2018 15:53

I now use the OM30 on my Debut table. It works great.

ViliVee
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Re: Project Debut III Cartridge Upgrade

Post by ViliVee » 16 Jan 2019 05:03

I have Nagaoka MP-110 my old Pro-Ject Debut 3 and it's ten times better than OM5. It suits well Debuts tonearm. I use old thick rubber mat instead original felt mat. MP-110 is much better than 2M red and maybe even little better than 2M blue, which sounds nearly same, but MP-110 is cheaper. Last year I bought new Rega P3 with Nagaoga MP-200 and in my opinion that is ten times better than Pro-Ject MP-110 compination.

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