Best MM cart <£600

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lezarus
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Best MM cart <£600

Post by lezarus » 27 Aug 2019 13:10

What are my option for an MM cart to complement a RB880 tonearm with a budget around £600?

I mainly listen to Rock/Metal so would like the cart to be dynamic with good bass and clean highs. Would an MC be a better choice?

billshurv
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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by billshurv » 27 Aug 2019 13:21

Do I assume you mean best new cart?

lezarus
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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by lezarus » 27 Aug 2019 13:32

Yes new please. Is the Ortofon black a good choice?

billshurv
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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by billshurv » 27 Aug 2019 13:42

Cool, just wanted to check before I waxed lyrical about all my favourite carts of yesteryear.

Luicas
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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by Luicas » 27 Aug 2019 14:24

My advise would be to get an Ortofon Super OM 30, from Thakker. It’ll do wonders and should work very well with your arm and AS-1100 phono input.

If looking for something more expensive and theoretically better, an AT VM760slc should get you there, but you might need to consider an external phono pre with at most 100pf of internal capacitance.

The 2M Black is also a very nice cart, but I feel you’d be overpaying quite a bit versus the super om30. And not necessarily getting a better product. Plus, the om30 is much better suited to your 10g eff mass tonearm.

Cheers!
Luis

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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by Pikey » 27 Aug 2019 14:51

I've got an Ortofon 2M Black here and sadly never managed to get it to 'sing' properly!

It's highly sensitive to VTA apparently and since you can't adjust that easily on Rega arms it might not work? ... (that was my excuse anyway!)

I know a lot of folk here-abouts love it to bits though ...

lezarus
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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by lezarus » 27 Aug 2019 14:57

Someone recommended The Dynavector 10 x 5 MKII as being a very good MC for a reasonable budget. Is this cart good? Will it be a good match for my arm?

Thanks for any pointer it is much appreciated.

billshurv
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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by billshurv » 27 Aug 2019 15:04

Word of warning. You will get 100 recommendations, all of which are different! If you can wait a few weeks I can lend you out a superOM body with a couple of stylus options (but not the Stylus 30) to get a stake in the ground. I could also rustle up an AT440 for comparison.

DeepEnd
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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by DeepEnd » 27 Aug 2019 22:39

At this level you are at the top end of the MM markets but a couple seem to be a bit over priced (2M Black, Nagaoka MP-500 and AT VM760SLC).

A lot depends on personal preference as well. What are you using at the moment and what would you like to improve/change.

From my personal point of view I find the current 2M range a little too “CD like” and the OM30/Super OM30 perhaps the sweet spot for Ortofon. Alternatives like the AT VM750SH if you want more detail but other cartridges have more bottom end grunt. The Nagaoka MP-200 is a very refined cartridge but can be slightly “polite” and don’t dismiss the Goldring G1042 for the price but it’s very very picky on setup due to the FGS stylus.

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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by Collux » 28 Aug 2019 07:31


Mr Pig
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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by Mr Pig » 28 Aug 2019 08:06

The Ortofon 2M Black is a very good cart but...

It's very detailed, dynamic yada-yada but it's demanding. If the alignment isn't perfect, it's harsh. If the record isn't perfect, it's harsh. etc etc etc. I got rid of it, just too much work and even when it is sounding clean it's kinda clinical although I'm sure that will depend on the turntable it is on.

I swapped it for a Ortofon 540 MkII, which is the predecessor of the Black. A little less of the everything Hi-Fi wise, although not that much, but a smoother more organic sound. Also a bit more forgiving of poor vinyl.

You can pick up the Goldring 1042 cheaply these days and it's another impressive MM cart. Up there with the Ortofons I'd say but has a leaner, colder sound.

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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by wojtekf » 28 Aug 2019 08:36

Mr Pig wrote:
28 Aug 2019 08:06
You can pick up the Goldring 1042 cheaply these days and it's another impressive MM cart. Up there with the Ortofons I'd say but has a leaner, colder sound.
I was about to suggest Goldring 1042, but I would double-check the match with the tonearm. Dynamic compliance of 10 mm/N may put you outside the safe range of resonance frequency.

lezarus
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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by lezarus » 28 Aug 2019 12:34

The Sumiko looks nice but the cantilever is aluminium which seems quite modest for the price.

A lot of the higher end MM's seem to favor a boron/Ruby cantilevers. Does the cantilever have an impact on sound quality?

DeepEnd
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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by DeepEnd » 28 Aug 2019 12:50

Yes the cantilever has a impact on the sound but personally I think the smaller diameter of the Boron, Ruby,sapphire types allows a much smaller tip to be used.

Reducing the effective mass improves transients, tracking ability and moves the resonance point higher giving smoother treble this makes it hard to determine what is cantilever related and what is tip mass related.

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Re: Best MM cart <£600

Post by raphaelmabo » 28 Aug 2019 13:13

You may find this review an interesting read. It covers Ortofon 2M Black, Nagaoka, Audio-Technica and others.
http://soundadvicevinyl.com/2017/12/04/ ... -reviewed/

Cartridges with advanced styluses are fuzzy to get it right and they can make it unbearable to listen on old worn out records, but if you get things right they can work well. A cartridge not covered in the above review, but one that should be considered, is Goldring 2x00-serie. The top of the line is 2400 and I have the 2200, it has extended treble and a very well defined bass and a dynamic sound. For me, it was a bit too much, I prefer a more relaxed sound. But, it may be just your thing since you like rock and metal.

Regarding your question - will a MC be better?
Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO is a great cartridge for rock'n roll and metal, available as a high output MC (HOMC) and low output (LOMC). Could be just your thing. Elliptical stylus so it's not that demanding to set up.

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