nat wrote:Any list like this has to be somewhat whimsical/arbitrary. I noted that the highest rated cartridge I've owned (a Denon 103s) was 153 or so. Nice cartridge, but I wouldn't have thought it was that much better that many others I've owned. Several I thought significantly better were way down the list, and I was surprised to see the Decca Gold near the bottom. (And he uses unipivots as well as conventional pivoted arms, so he probably heard it close to how it was intended to be used.)
I enjoyed looking at the list even if probably 75% were cartridges I will never own - I listen to, not worship, records, and wouldn't want to spend thousands of dollars on a cartridge even if I were able, which I am not remotely close to being able to do. There are enough really good used cartridges on tables that can be picked up cheap that I am able to use fine cartridges without spending much, though I have to use what shows up.
I doubt this guy has even heard these carts, he has a Grado green and even a grado platinum (which I own) way up the list from the Decca Gold even a Stanton 500 he has up the list!! The Decca super gold is one of the best carts which I have ever heard and he put utter rubbish ahead of the slightly lesser gold
This kind of makes my point though, were all these carts new? No not possible as they span many years even if he has heard them all which I doubt. Decca to pick one though if old will likely have many issues with tieback for a start and will likely sound horrible unless serviced. Same goes for all these carts, I have some MC's that sounded very "yes whatever" before a retip and after they are WOW!! If this person is really listening to all carts is he listening to perfect examples of them? No for sure not it would cost more than my farm to buy and retip all those carts!!
Like I said a real list is impossible to do anyway, some of us like a more treble sound, or a more bass sound, it is so subjective. Last night I set up my Conrad premier 3 and 4 power and pre valve amps thick creamy but detailed a real in the chest bass lovely.. Before had my mosfet which is heavily biased to class A power amp with the Conrad premier 3 preamp. a slightly cleaner presentation less of the CJ slam but probably more accurate. Then a few weeks ago had the mosfet connected with the DNM preamp probably totally accurate but a bit thinner as valve components removed, still sounds amazing though. Point is using any combination of the gear I own my carts all sound totally completely different so how can one judge a cart for a list with so many other factors affecting the sound and I have not mentioned different arms or carts? Really you would need to listen to each on a few systems to really see how it performs and even then a few people would need to listen as we all like different things anyway. Foolish list IMO..