Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

the thin end of the wedge
dl_hoffman
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Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by dl_hoffman » 03 Dec 2018 05:13

Hi, I have a Rega P2 (New version). The only upgrade I have on it is the Rega Performance Pack, which includes the Bias II cartridge. I'm quite happy with the sound, but keep reading that the Rega cartridges are only fair and that there are many carts that will sound much better. I've read excellent things about the Nagaokas new Grados and the new Goldring e3.
I called an audio retailer in Toronto that carries them and asked their advice. The rep I spoke to said that the Nagaoka's were very good but on the warm side. The Ortophones and New Grados would be on the more analytical side. He recommended the Goldring e3, since he feels it is a more neutral sounding cartridge and is one of the best under $500.00 Canadian. Just wondering what you all think, especially if you have listened to the Goldring e3 and have evaluated it and possibly have a first hand opinion of the Bias II.
The price is certainly reasonable and if it's as good as he says, and as good as I've read, it should be a good purchase.
I will probably upgrade the subplatter at some point, but feel I will probably hear more improvement upgrading the cartridge first.
Thanks for any advice you can offer me.
Larry

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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by EfeTe » 03 Dec 2018 12:49

Hi Larry,

What would you say your preferred/more frequent listening genre is?

If the answer is Jazz and based on your setup, I'd lean towards the Nagaokas but starting with the MP-200 not the 110 nor 150.

Cheers

Woodbrains
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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by Woodbrains » 03 Dec 2018 13:00

Hello,

I have an E3 and it is a nice cart for the money, but bear in mind, I paid perhaps £90 for mine in England. I believe in North America, the cost is somewhat higher, so not such a bargain. I have not heared the Nagaoka carts, as paradoxically, they are overpriced here! I would say that the Nag 150 would be superior by a good margin and the one I would get if the price was more affordable here. As it is, I have a Goldring 1042 and it is far superior to the E3. I don't know about how it sounds compared to the Nag, but quality wise they are more equal than would be the E3 and that quality shows.

However, I do think the E3 is a nice cart and a step up from a Rega Carbon, if that is what you have, you will enjoy it. Also, the E3 is made by Audio Technica, (as is the Rega) so exploring something higher up the chain from AT seems logical.

BTW I have both fitter to RB 250 and 251 arms, so similar to your setup.

Mike.

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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by EfeTe » 03 Dec 2018 13:39

Hi Mike, the city is Red btw!!

Yes I would imagine the Nagaoka being a marginal upgrade for him, but if he managed to get an MP-200 then I think it'd be quite more considerable a step up for him. Finances permitting, obviously.

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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by BMRR » 03 Dec 2018 13:57

dl_hoffman wrote:
03 Dec 2018 05:13
The rep I spoke to said that the Nagaoka's were very good but on the warm side. The Ortophones and New Grados would be on the more analytical side.
Warm isn't necessarily a bad thing, and I completely disagree with his statement about Grado cartridges.

Woodbrains
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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by Woodbrains » 03 Dec 2018 14:19

Hello,

I just re read the OP and am not sure if any/much noticeable benefit would be heard from an E3 compared to a Bias cart. Certainly not if the cost in Canada is not favourable. I agree the Nag 200 would be better yet, but it is a lot more money. The 150 gets very good reviews.

Mike.

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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by EfeTe » 03 Dec 2018 14:48

Had the 110 and the 150, and now own an MP-200. Significantly better indeed and 'warm' in a really classy, engaging way.

dl_hoffman
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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by dl_hoffman » 03 Dec 2018 23:02

Thank you all for your comments.
Problem with the MP-200 is the cost. It's over $500.00 plus tax in Canada and much higher priced than I want to spend. Also, would the arm on the Planar 2 be suitable for it? The MP-150 was suggested as about as high end a unit that would work well with the Planar 2. Do you agree?
I listen to jazz, rock, classical and pop. Not interested in metal, hip hop, rap, etc.
I have a Cambridge CXC for CD's. A Yamaha A-S801 integrated amp. A set of Kef LS50's and a Totem Kin sub.
The MP-150 is a bit over $300.00 Canadian plus tax. I'd rather not go higher than that.
So many have said the Bias II is a poor sounding cart, I feel I'd like to get something that I'd enjoy more.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks again,
Larry

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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by dahoo » 03 Dec 2018 23:18

i would go with mp150, it sounds more refined than mp110 yet preserving the nagaoka signature.
if you would like to upgrade later, you can get jnp200 stylus for mp150 body, which is the same as mp200.
i just ordered jnp200 for my mp150 btw.

Woodbrains
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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by Woodbrains » 03 Dec 2018 23:20

Hello,

How much would a Goldring 1012GX set you back in Canada, compared to the Nagaoka carts. I could get one for much less than a Nag 150 in England, but I don't know if Goldring are all overpriced in North America.

My Goldring GR2 table, which is a rebadged Planar 2, came new with a 1012 fitted and it sounded fabulous. It is a great match for that arm and is a much better cart than the E3. I suspect it is superior to the Nag 150.

Mike.

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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by EfeTe » 04 Dec 2018 00:20

Yes Larry the MP-150 might be the one for you then! I can see you really liking it in the context your (very nice btw) system.

dl_hoffman
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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by dl_hoffman » 04 Dec 2018 05:55

Thanks again gentlemen!
I checked pricing for the Goldring 1012GX and its well over $500.00, more in the MP-200 range, though I did see it from one seller England for about $350.00. I'd feel better buying from a local dealer for warranty and support though.
From what you all have said, I'll probably end up with the Nagaoka MP-150, unless a 200 goes on sale soon. I'll check prices through the holiday period and maybe get lucky with either the 150 or the 200. Either one will be a big improvement on the Bias II. If I sell the Bias II that would go towards the new cart, so that would Help as well.
I may not have the money put away for another couple of months, so if anyone comes up with another alternative that would be worth considering, please let me know.
Thanks for your Help,
Larry

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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by patient_ot » 05 Dec 2018 01:19

Goldring 1000 and 2000 series are very overpriced in the U.S. I would suspect the same for Canada, which appears to be the case. You can get them from Europe for a better price. I would warn you that these are very high output cartridges by hi-fi standards and they need careful phono stage matching or you will get graininess in your sound if your phono pre can't handle them.

The E3 I would skip altogether. It's just a rebodied ATVM95. Buy a VM95 instead, at least those have more stylus options and the base price is better if you start with one of the cheaper, more basic models.

The lower end Nagaokas don't impress me for various reasons but may be "fine" for many people.

Downside about your P2 is non-adjustable anti-skate. It may not play nice with certain carts, but you won't know until you try it unfortunately.

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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by mamakasou » 05 Dec 2018 01:34

patient_ot wrote:
05 Dec 2018 01:19
I would warn you that these are very high output cartridges by hi-fi standards and they need careful phono stage matching or you will get graininess in your sound if your phono pre can't handle them.
Any solid state equipment (don't know much about tubes) that has a typical (post-70s) phono input, would surely be more than capable of handling an output of 6.5mV @ 5 cm/s.

Actually, the 'hi-fi' standards you are probably referring to, mean that most solid state components have overload levels exceeding 100mV in their MM phono inputs (with less than 0.01% T.H.D. @ 1kHz).

Of course they will always be exemptions to that rule (usually some oddball 'boutique' stuff), but in general I wouldn't imagine that to be a real issue.

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Re: Nagaoka mp110 or 150 vs Goldring e3

Post by patient_ot » 05 Dec 2018 05:51

mamakasou wrote:
05 Dec 2018 01:34
patient_ot wrote:
05 Dec 2018 01:19
I would warn you that these are very high output cartridges by hi-fi standards and they need careful phono stage matching or you will get graininess in your sound if your phono pre can't handle them.
Any solid state equipment (don't know much about tubes) that has a typical (post-70s) phono input, would surely be more than capable of handling an output of 6.5mV @ 5 cm/s.

Actually, the 'hi-fi' standards you are probably referring to, mean that most solid state components have overload levels exceeding 100mV in their MM phono inputs (with less than 0.01% T.H.D. @ 1kHz).

Of course they will always be exemptions to that rule (usually some oddball 'boutique' stuff), but in general I wouldn't imagine that to be a real issue.
I have a phono preamp that is barely a year old, supposedly designed by a "name" designer and it cannot take the output of the Goldring 1042 with distortion and graininess @40db of gain (no lower setting available). Vocal distortion is especially bad on certain records. I have a totally different (and more expensive) phono preamp on loan that was specifically stress tested with carts up to ~10MV in output by the designer @ fixed ~42db of gain. That one can handle the output of the Goldring with no problems.

So while your theory is nice, it doesn't play out in practice all the time. Many manufacturers of phono preamps aren't stress testing their stuff adequately. I've contacted a few and most either give a vague response or they don't answer my questions. Many don't even publish an overload spec, or the spec is inadequate for hotly cut records and a higher output cartridge.

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