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looking for a new cartridge

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looking for a new cartridge

Postby Cdaddy7 » 15 Jul 2018 17:29

Hello
yes I'm a newbie
the site and forum looked to go to be true, so I signed up!

I have a Denon 59L which has only been used for arouund 25 hours or so.
I'm the original buyer, had a bad cart., or ?? the result was very weak sound, and that sounded bad.
Sooo,,, it has been in its box for the last 20++ years.
My kids are after me to set it up, so I have been trying to figure out what would be a "reasonable" cartridge to get for it. It has the straight tone arm. I would like to keep it under $350.00, preferably under 300 (have 5 kids).

your Help is greatly appreciated
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby Agrippa » 15 Jul 2018 19:43

Moving Magnet or Moving Coil?

If MM, I'd strongly consider an Audio-Technica AT440MLb for $237.

If MC, I'd look at an Audio-Technica AT-F7 for $250.

Although I've never actually heard either of them I'm very familiar with a number of their family members. Both should represent more or less the best sound you can get for the money and a little Google-fu will unearth glowing reviews of either cartridge.
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby Cdaddy7 » 15 Jul 2018 21:32

I have an Adcom preamp (and amp 555 series), which has the mm/mc switch.
I do not have an SUT otherwise.
So I'm guessing MM would be suggested?
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby br158 » 15 Jul 2018 23:45

Hello to all. I'm looking for a cartridge as well. I think. I have a Technics SL 230 that I put a new belt and cork mat on. It has been in a box for decades but runs beautifully . It has a Grado MT+ . Any room for
improvement ? Staying with MM since its going through an Onkyo 8050 reciever.

Thanks to all
MB
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby raphaelmabo » 16 Jul 2018 09:45

For a smooth and dynamic sound with a touch of warmth and richness:

Sumiko Pearl or the new Sumiko Olympia
Nagaoka MP-110 or MP-150
Grado Silver or Gold
LP Gear The Vessel A3SE or A3VL

All of the above are 100 - 250 USD, and MM.

For a tighter and brighter sound, more neutral then Audio-Technica VM520 or the Ortofon 2M Blue. Very detailed sounding, but perhaps not as rich as the above.

High-output MC cartridges (works in the MM section) that fits the budget are Denon DL-110 or the Ortofon MC-1 Turbo. The Denon is more dynamic and sugary here, Ortofon a jazzer a little bit laidback in comparison but still neutral sounding (as all Ortofon). LP Gear Bin 215 also fits within your budet (249 USD), this is an updated version of the classic Excel MC100. Very musical sounding.
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby br158 » 16 Jul 2018 16:54

Thank you sir, good to know...I'll see what I can find.

MB
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby justjed0001 » 17 Jul 2018 03:58

For $300, the Sumiko Moonstone, with a Vivid Line stylus. Probably the rough equivalent of the Ortofon 2M Bronze, but considerably cheaper.
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby pinenut » 17 Jul 2018 06:16

Cdaddy7 wrote:I have an Adcom preamp (and amp 555 series), which has the mm/mc switch.
I do not have an SUT otherwise.
So I'm guessing MM would be suggested?


I’m also using a gfa-555 power amp (first series) and was using a gfp-555 pre, ‘till I decided it should sound better than it did with a MC cartridge. While I still like the 555 pre, I replaced it with a Schiit Mani phono amp which can handle both MC and MM/MI carts, and a Schiit Saga passive pre-amp. Sounds much cleaner and more open than the Adcom pre did, especially with a MC. Maybe my old Adcom pre-amp needs some recap Help.. The 555 power-amp still sounds pretty sweet!

I’m going to suggest a Denon dl-103 for a MC cartridge if you want an inexpensive MC that sounds good. I bought the “r” version of it, then rebodied it in ebony and potted it with beeswax. It sounds very good to me.
BUT - you can get very good sound from plenty of MM or MI cartridges too. I’ve developed quite a fondness for a particular Audio Technica I’m presently using, and it’s around 30-35 years old!

Haven’t yet tried one, but I’d be tempted to give a Nagaoka MP-110 a spin. From what I’ve read, it offers good “bang for the buck”. I may pick one up soon. ^_^
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby raphaelmabo » 17 Jul 2018 08:06

justjed0001 wrote:For $300, the Sumiko Moonstone, with a Vivid Line stylus. Probably the rough equivalent of the Ortofon 2M Bronze, but considerably cheaper.


The Moonstone has an elliptical stylus, I believe you are thinking about the Sumiko Amethyst this one has a line contact stylus plus an upgraded generator and cost 600 USD.
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby cafe latte » 17 Jul 2018 08:17

raphaelmabo wrote:For a smooth and dynamic sound with a touch of warmth and richness:

Sumiko Pearl or the new Sumiko Olympia
Nagaoka MP-110 or MP-150
Grado Silver or Gold
LP Gear The Vessel A3SE or A3VL

All of the above are 100 - 250 USD, and MM.

For a tighter and brighter sound, more neutral then Audio-Technica VM520 or the Ortofon 2M Blue. Very detailed sounding, but perhaps not as rich as the above.

High-output MC cartridges (works in the MM section) that fits the budget are Denon DL-110 or the Ortofon MC-1 Turbo. The Denon is more dynamic and sugary here, Ortofon a jazzer a little bit laidback in comparison but still neutral sounding (as all Ortofon). LP Gear Bin 215 also fits within your budet (249 USD), this is an updated version of the classic Excel MC100. Very musical sounding.

If you get the Grado gold get the gold2 it appears they are a step up from the old version. The Gold 2 has a very MC sound, I am loving mine and using it with a lot of other carts well over 1k not being used. Some admittedly sound better than the gold2 but the Gold 2 is very good indeed and I do love what it does right.
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby a.wayne » 17 Jul 2018 15:21

Agrippa wrote:Moving Magnet or Moving Coil?

If MM, I'd strongly consider an Audio-Technica AT440MLb for $237.

If MC, I'd look at an Audio-Technica AT-F7 for $250.

Although I've never actually heard either of them I'm very familiar with a number of their family members. Both should represent more or less the best sound you can get for the money and a little Google-fu will unearth glowing reviews of either cartridge.


Have you heard the new AT VL540ML , plenty hoop la about them lately ... :)
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby addicted-to-analog » 17 Jul 2018 16:13

The Denon DL103 is one of my favorite cartridges but it requires a very high mass tonearm to perform at it's best. The tonearm on the 59L is more medium mass (IIRC).

Perhaps something like the wood bodied Grado Reference Platinum? The Audio Technicas previously mentioned are also good.
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby mamakasou » 17 Jul 2018 16:37

Shure M97xE is quite a bargain for its current price.

Denon DL103 must also be a good match, given it's a Denon and seems to have a cult following.
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby justjed0001 » 17 Jul 2018 23:49

raphaelmabo: You are correct, and I was wrong about the Moonstone. I feel even dumber, as I was confusing the Sumiko with the Vessel A3SV. Both are good alternatives to the Ortofon 2M Blue or Bronze.

As for the Moonstone, do you know if they may be using either a 'special' elliptical or a nude elliptical stylus to go with the upgraded cantilever? I can find little information online as of yet, and both the Sumiko and Vessel cartridges look interesting to me.
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Re: looking for a new cartridge

Postby Cdaddy7 » 18 Jul 2018 03:29

Hello again

Thank you everyone for your Help and time!
I can't say how much both are appreciated!

So, it turns out I have a Ortofon OM 30 cart in my 59L, that for some reason had a Grado stylus put in it. Not sure why, but that is what I have. The shop I bought the turntable from "put it together" for me when the deck was purchased. I think it was intended to "get me by" until I could get a better one. It was so long ago it's hard to remember accurately.

Question is, do you think it would be worth getting a new Ortofon stylus for the om 30 cart, or just go with a whole different setup??

Thanks again for all your input
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