Best Grado VFM

the thin end of the wedge
telecaster_
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Best Grado VFM

Post by telecaster_ » 12 Jan 2019 13:05

As per the title really, I want to try a few different MM/HOMC carts this year and have never tried a Grado, so which of their lower budget (sub £250?) carts offers the best bang for buck?

BMRR
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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by BMRR » 13 Jan 2019 16:41

In my opinion, the Prestige Blue2 is probably the best bang for the buck. You get 95% of the performance of the Gold2, for about half the price.

telecaster_
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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by telecaster_ » 13 Jan 2019 16:53

Thanks I'll check out the blue.

As a rule what are the strengths of Grado carts? I'm looking for something that is outstanding at vocals, air, space, imaging and soundstage, not too worried about thunderous bass I'm looking more for that magical holographic sound.

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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by BMRR » 13 Jan 2019 17:19

Grado carts are most famous for the way they render midrange musical content, particularly vocals. The founder of the company was an opera singer and that influenced the Grado "house sound" to a great extent.

telecaster_
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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by telecaster_ » 13 Jan 2019 18:07

Thanks.

Looking here at the UK prices the difference between a Blue 2 and Gold 2 is about 35% rather than half price, would you suggest stumping up for the Gold or stick with the Blue at those rates?

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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by BMRR » 13 Jan 2019 18:16

That is interesting! In the US, the Blue2 is $125 and the Gold2 is $260.

If you can afford the Gold2, get it. :) The differences between the Blue/Red and the Silver/Gold are very minor and perhaps inaudible, but the Gold is gold, and who doesn't like gold? ;) :D

telecaster_
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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by telecaster_ » 15 Jan 2019 20:33

From what I can see, a Blue2 here is £135 ($170? ish) and a Gold2 £180 ($230? ish)

Strange that the Blue is considerably more expensive here, yet the Gold is cheaper :?

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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by BMRR » 15 Jan 2019 20:47

What are the prices for the Black2 and Green2 there?

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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by KentT » 16 Jan 2019 14:32

Grados are today, MI cartridges. Not MC. The Grado Prestige Blue2 is the sweet spot, the most Grado, for the least cash outlay.

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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by rewfew » 16 Jan 2019 17:59

I went up one notch with the red. So far, very nice. Good bass and that mid-range magic. Top end hasn't fleshed out yet but I've hardly used it yet. If the stylus ever needed replacement. I'd use the blue. They all have the same stylus tip, the only variance to the line is 3 or 4 piece cantilever's.

telecaster_
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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by telecaster_ » 16 Jan 2019 22:35

BMRR wrote:
15 Jan 2019 20:47
What are the prices for the Black2 and Green2 there?
They're not commonly stocked so it's hard to get an accurate average price, but about £80/$105 for the Black 2 and £95/$125 for the Green 2.

I know they're MI and not MM I was just including them as the price point puts them up against many other MM carts I'm interested in trying which is why I included them.

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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by Boltman92124 » 17 Jan 2019 23:47

BMRR wrote:
13 Jan 2019 18:16
That is interesting! In the US, the Blue2 is $125 and the Gold2 is $260.

If you can afford the Gold2, get it. :) The differences between the Blue/Red and the Silver/Gold are very minor and perhaps inaudible, but the Gold is gold, and who doesn't like gold? ;) :D
So Grado says that The Black> Green and Blue> Red upgrades are because they take the top 10%? of the manufacturing run of the same cart right? What does that mean anyway? A Grado Green IS a Grado Black but performed better on the bench testing??

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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by BMRR » 18 Jan 2019 14:43

Yes. A Green is a Black that performed slightly better than spec. A Red is a Blue that performed slightly better than spec. And a Gold is a Silver that performed slightly better than spec.

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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by AdlerW » 19 Jan 2019 06:52

I went with the Silver because it's the least talked-about and I'm guessing therefore most seldom-purchased of the line and I love an underdog story :)

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Re: Best Grado VFM

Post by Drewan77 » 19 Jan 2019 11:10

I have a Black2 & a Gold2.

Both have the same smooth & seductive midrange, strong & extended bass & a sweet, well balanced treble. If I was to compare & summarise, the Gold just has 'more so' of everything the Black possesses & with greater air & image separation within the soundstage.

I travel back & forth UK/USA & I purchased in America in case of quality issues/return. Both are fine however.

The difference isn't huge but these are excellent value cartridges. Some people experience hum but I don't (on a Technics SL1200G & I've also heard these on a 1200Mk2 and a 1600, also without hum)

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