Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

the thin end of the wedge
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cafe latte
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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by cafe latte » 29 Aug 2018 06:39

I really like my mp-500, but prefer my new Grado gold2 which is also MI. The Gold 2 maybe lacks a little in the last word of detail, not high frequencies like the old Grado, there is plenty of highs, but you get the impression the better stylus on the MP-500 is pulling out a little more detail. The negative points though re the mp-500 compared to the grado is the mp-500 sounds a little restrained, maybe a slightly limited sound stage. The Mp-500 is a great cart, but I just prefer the wide Grado presentation even at the cost of that last word in detail which is tiny anyway. I wonder if the shielding of the mp-500 is responsible for this slightly reduced sound stage. Grado must be unshielded for a reason?
Chris

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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by cafe latte » 29 Aug 2018 13:14

I have had another listen, not convinced there is more detail with the mp-500. Maybe more top balanced and more narrow, but happy that the Gold is back on if that makes sense. The mp500 is nice but the gold is like comfortable shoes.
Chris

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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by watchnerd » 03 Sep 2018 00:56

cafe latte wrote:I have had another listen, not convinced there is more detail with the mp-500. Maybe more top balanced and more narrow, but happy that the Gold is back on if that makes sense. The mp500 is nice but the gold is like comfortable shoes.
Chris
Is this the Grado Gold2 model you have?

https://www.needledoctor.com/Grado-Gold ... -Cartridge

If so, if it is matching the MP-500 for half the price, that's impressive.

cafe latte
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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by cafe latte » 03 Sep 2018 02:08

watchnerd wrote:
cafe latte wrote:I have had another listen, not convinced there is more detail with the mp-500. Maybe more top balanced and more narrow, but happy that the Gold is back on if that makes sense. The mp500 is nice but the gold is like comfortable shoes.
Chris
Is this the Grado Gold2 model you have?

https://www.needledoctor.com/Grado-Gold ... -Cartridge

If so, if it is matching the MP-500 for half the price, that's impressive.
What the mp500 does well it does well, it is a great cart and some will love it. It has a great stylus and it is very clean. I just love the wide presentation of the gold2

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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by watchnerd » 03 Sep 2018 02:09

cafe latte wrote:
watchnerd wrote:
cafe latte wrote:I have had another listen, not convinced there is more detail with the mp-500. Maybe more top balanced and more narrow, but happy that the Gold is back on if that makes sense. The mp500 is nice but the gold is like comfortable shoes.
Chris
Is this the Grado Gold2 model you have?

https://www.needledoctor.com/Grado-Gold ... -Cartridge

If so, if it is matching the MP-500 for half the price, that's impressive.
What the mp500 does well it does well, it is a great cart and some will love it. It has a great stylus and it is very clean. I just love the wide presentation of the gold2
Cool...but I was really just trying to verify if that is the same Grado you're referring to.

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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by krenzler » 03 Sep 2018 05:34

Perhaps try your Nagaoka's with higher than usual capacitance?

https://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/nagaoka_mp11_e.html

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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by watchnerd » 03 Sep 2018 05:45

krenzler wrote:Perhaps try your Nagaoka's with higher than usual capacitance?

https://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/nagaoka_mp11_e.html
Very interesting...I wonder if that graph applies to the rest of the range?

Because at least for the MP-500 & MP-150, that's a very different test result than the measurements from Miller Audio research.

https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/in ... -jpg.2586/

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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by cafe latte » 03 Sep 2018 10:57

Yes sorry, mine is a gold 2 which is the one you linked to. I also have a statement reference, but it is the gold 2 I was talking about.
Chris

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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by cafe latte » 03 Sep 2018 11:02

watchnerd wrote:
krenzler wrote:Perhaps try your Nagaoka's with higher than usual capacitance?

https://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/nagaoka_mp11_e.html
Very interesting...I wonder if that graph applies to the rest of the range?

Because at least for the MP-500 & MP-150, that's a very different test result than the measurements from Miller Audio research.

https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/in ... -jpg.2586/
This may well explain the lack of "air". I did not find the mp500 sounding rolled off, but the graph is only really rolled off about 10k which is very high really and even then only decreasing gently to about 15k which is what most will hear too give or take, but it may just reduce that last element of wideness I noticed. Look the mp500 is a great cart, I love mine just prefer my gold 2 which is a lot cheaper anyway.
Chris

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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by Sterling1 » 03 Sep 2018 11:54

I've heard great praise for Nagaoka cartridges. This makes me think about buying one; yet, they do not specify cartridge height and I fear shimming the cartridge for use on SL-1200 series might be necessary, which I am not going to entertain.

cafe latte
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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by cafe latte » 03 Sep 2018 12:34

Sterling1 wrote:I've heard great praise for Nagaoka cartridges. This makes me think about buying one; yet, they do not specify cartridge height and I fear shimming the cartridge for use on SL-1200 series might be necessary, which I am not going to entertain.
No shimming needed on a sl1200 as that is what I use mine on.
Chris

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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by Sterling1 » 03 Sep 2018 12:53

cafe latte wrote:
Sterling1 wrote:I've heard great praise for Nagaoka cartridges. This makes me think about buying one; yet, they do not specify cartridge height and I fear shimming the cartridge for use on SL-1200 series might be necessary, which I am not going to entertain.
No shimming needed on a sl1200 as that is what I use mine on.
Chris
Chris, as I recall you have a 1200g, is that right? I'm assuming you are using a Nagaoka with the Technics headshell. With that condition, what is your VTA setting?

cafe latte
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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by cafe latte » 03 Sep 2018 14:01

I have a sl1200mk2 not sure on the setting as I have a block and put it on the record then lower the arm and dial in the arm height it takes seconds so dont worry too much.
Chris

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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by TrueLies64 » 26 Nov 2018 02:46

[/quote]I think part of the problem is that even after 15 years of being very aware of, and continually learning and refining, I'm still not 100% confident that I know how to properly set up a cartridge. I understand the principles behind the various major considerations (using both two point and arc protractors, VTA, SRA, VTF, anti-skate, azimuth), but I'm not confident I understand the interplay between them all, so I'm never confident I'm getting the best out of any cart I use. And I have very little understanding of cart/arm matching, compliance, resonance etc. For example, whilst to the best I can judge the P77i should be a reasonable match for the 9cc Evolution arm, (using the evaluation tool on this site), but is it really ? And then there's the cables, and the amplifier, and the speakers.......
[/quote]


I have a Nagaoka MP110 and am very happy with it. I also am a fan of Empire cartridges and I find they both have a similar sound. To my ears a clean,clear high, not too bright, slightly forward mids and a good tight bass, not boomy or muddy. Sade's Diamond Life, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours and Dire Straits Brothers in Arms sound fantastic.
I am using a Technics SL1700 (no mods) connected to a Kenwood KA1100D integrated amp powering KEF Q100 speakers.

I have also tried the myriad ways/tools to align my cartridges and have found something that works really well for me. I have used it with my Empire 2000 E, Ortofon 2M Red, Shure M95ED and the MP110. I am sure this was posted somewhere and recommended. It took a lot of the guess work out of the alignment process and every time I try something else I go back to this protractor/process. Maybe you have already tried it, I don't know, but here is the link to the Alignment guide and protractor.
http://www.vacuumstate.com/index.dna?rubrik=4&lang=2

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Re: Just how good are Nagaoka cartridges?

Post by Pikey » 26 Nov 2018 11:10

Ah yes , the 'Guru' protractor! ... I've had a look at that in the past.

JAS had a review of that on here a while back too, but I don't think he was too impressed with it ...

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... hp?t=15093

Of course if it works well for you, then that is all that matters!

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