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The best cartridge money's no object

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The best cartridge money's no object

Postby IndigoRock2001 » 11 Jul 2018 03:39

I was wondering what is the best cartridge you've ever heard (in real life) I said money's no object, but in reality probably nobody has real experience with a $15,000 cartridge, so from about $800 down, what's the best cart you can think of.
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby LD100 » 11 Jul 2018 06:20

IndigoRock2001 wrote: what's the best cart you can think of.


My recommendation for best sound for the money is AT-OC9ML/II. =D>

37157

The best sound that I could afford was the Lyra Kleos SL. =D>
36952

The Lyra Etna SL is way out of my price range so I do believe I am maxed out with my current choice. But that's fine, I have never been happier with the sound of a cartridge in over 50 years. :D

But these cartridges match well with the rest of my system; so as they say, "your mileage will certainly vary". :wink:
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby mamakasou » 11 Jul 2018 09:41

I am not sure about the AT-OC9ML/II, but AT-OC9ML/III on a VPI table was unremarkable.
Weirdly, several oldel and less expensive MMs, were able to surpass its performance.
It was not bad, in any sense. Just wasn't anything extraordinary.

Maybe the match with the table was the culprit.
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby billrog787 » 11 Jul 2018 10:30

If money really is no object, then EMT moving coil with VdH stylus does it for me. A bit more than $800 dollars though.
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby mamakasou » 11 Jul 2018 10:48

An ΕMT transcription turntable, with a Neumann DST or a Decca?

By the way, the professional DST-62 cartridge, had a recommended VTF of 6 grams. 8)
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby billshurv » 11 Jul 2018 11:53

There is no 'best'.
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby cafe latte » 11 Jul 2018 13:06

There is no best as others have said. As another member said Decca are amazing, I have a Decca super gold which to my ears at least are stunning, Decca are a real live performance cart, close your eyes with the right gear and you are there in the concert. I have loads of MC's the best are actually retipped vintage carts my Madrigal Carnie one and my Gas sleeping beauty. From modern stuff best is my Benz micro glider, I have a dynavector 17d3 which is good, very good actually but it does not really rock my world. I have also a Grado low output statement reference which I bought recently IMO it beats most MC carts as it does not accentuate the highs which many MC do but it has the cream of MC's kind of the best of both worlds. Best cheap cart by a long way ( at least what I have heard which is all I can comment on)is the new Grado gold 2 which is a bargain at 220 bucks I just cant believe how good it is, tail up (set up needs to be right) it sounds like a cart a 3 or 4 the price. There is no best or I would have one cart, but I love to swap and change which is part of the fun IMO. What is best for you is going to depend on your ear, this list is my choice, but a lot will depend on what TT what amp and what speakers and even what room. Arm too is very important and compliance. I have a Stanton 881 which has somewhat of a cult following. THat said it never sounded amazing, it was good but noting special. A while ago I got a Hadcock arm on one of my turntables which is very light ie high compliance which is ideal for the 881. I fitted the 881 and WOW what a difference, for this reason it is hard if not impossible to pick a "best cart" as there are too many other factors.
Regards
Chris
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby patient_ot » 11 Jul 2018 14:45

I don't have any really high dollar carts. Out of my budget and beyond what my system can handle. Of the carts I have, the most expensive is a Goldring 1042, though U.S. prices on that cart are very inflated IMHO. I have other carts that perform very well for the money also. I would agree that every cart has its strengths and weaknesses and arm and system matching is very important. There really is no best.

Awhile back a contact gave me several needledrops made with his Ortofon Cadenza Black. That's a very fine sounding cart, though not very forgiving IMHO.
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby abs1 » 11 Jul 2018 14:53

IndigoRock2001 wrote:I was wondering what is the best cartridge you've ever heard (in real life) I said money's no object, but in reality probably nobody has real experience with a $15,000 cartridge, so from about $800 down, what's the best cart you can think of.



I've heard many very expensive cartridges up to perhaps $15K MSRP at various high end shows but who can tell how good they really are in that kind of environment? Terrible rooms, annoying crowds, variable associated equipment, etc. makes true evaluation impossible under show conditions.

Meanwhile, the best cartridge that I've REALLY HEARD up to now is my lowly Zu Audio DL-103 II grade2 that I paid around $700 for. I have a brand new Ortofon SPU sitting around (waiting for a new SUT before I can try it out) so I don't know where it will rank vs. the Zu.

Cheers,
Al
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby a.wayne » 11 Jul 2018 15:18

IndigoRock2001 wrote:I was wondering what is the best cartridge you've ever heard (in real life) I said money's no object, but in reality probably nobody has real experience with a $15,000 cartridge, so from about $800 down, what's the best cart you can think of.



Zyx universe is the most expensive i have heard and have experienced, relatively expensive analog system all around and it was fantastic , digital quite on a kronos, not any more music than a good 1-2K cartridge but nuance and consistency of performance is what makes the difference along with very low surface noise and a very black back ground , great dynamics..

Regards
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby billshurv » 11 Jul 2018 16:56

ZYX are certainly up there in maximum marketing ****. And tracks like a bonded conical. seriously 60um is barely adequate.
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby mamakasou » 11 Jul 2018 18:28

billshurv wrote:ZYX are certainly up there in maximum marketing ****. And tracks like a bonded conical. seriously 60um is barely adequate.


These ultra-buck pickups, smell like snake-oil to me.. :?

On a side note, what's wrong with a conical?
I certainly don't find anything wrong with them and I enjoy them.
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby EdAInWestOC » 11 Jul 2018 19:53

I lived my entire life with cartridges that sell for a maximum of $1000 USD. Very recently I was the benefactor of a very large tax refund. I used some of that money to buy an Ortofon Windfeld Ti ($4390.00 USD).

This is an outstanding cartridge in every sense. Extremely low distortion, outstanding tracking ability, very neutral with all of the slam and impact you could ever want from a great cartridge. It also has the strange ability to decrease LP surface noise.

On top of that, it digs out more detail than I ever thought was on my LPs. On really great LPs it sounds like you are listening to the master tape. It is just stunning.

Ed
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby billshurv » 11 Jul 2018 22:34

mamakasou wrote:
On a side note, what's wrong with a conical?
I certainly don't find anything wrong with them and I enjoy them.


Nothing wrong with conicals, just pointing out that some of the heaviest pig iron tipped with coal (say ortofon 3E) will track 60um. I've got an 80s MM that will do 95um.
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Re: The best cartridge money's no object

Postby mamakasou » 12 Jul 2018 00:21

On a separate note, I must confess that i hold rather dubious thoughts for all those 'boutique' companies, that senselessly charge astronomical amounts for their pickups.

I just can't see a way, to justify their asking prices.

Now, that's a common trend in the entire 'audiophile' field, so it's a much wider issue, of course.

But, I am only speaking about pickups now.
A small but important part of the audio-chain.
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