Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound?

the thin end of the wedge
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hal55
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Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by hal55 » 27 Jun 2012 23:26

Last year I visited the first proper hifi show in Australia in some 25 years, one of the things I was eager to audition was turntable cartridges, somethng you never hear these days, but sadly i found them disappointing. Very clean and modern sounding, but also just too much like CD but with the addition of snap, crackle and pops. I left somewhat underwhelmed by vinyl, a big disappointment since I have a Technice SP 10 which has just, in the last 24 hrs, been finally restored after buying the motor unit in 2003 (the tonearm dates back even further).
One of the more hilarious things I do is review cartridges by watching Youtube videos of them (can hear the hysterical laughter already) plus of course the online reviews. Nagaoka is a brand I've paid no attention to, but I was surprised to find a lot of references to them, and very favourable they were to. On to Youtube, found a MP110/Coltrane video, and did that ever ring the memories of how vinyl used to sound, but in a good way. Warm, rich and just had a feeling of nostalgic rightness about it.
I'm curious, if anyone has comments on budget Nagaokas, to about $150 to $200, I'd love to hear your opinions. I have a budget $30 Ortofon Omega to start off with (wanted something very cheap to practise on while setting up, installing tonearms etc) but would like to get a better cartridge at years end when I have more time to play with the deck. Tonearm is a vintage, but modded, Decca London International. I want vinyl to sound like vinyl, not vinyl pretending to be digital, so is Nagaoka the way I should be going?

Thanks,

Hal55

Singlemania45
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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by Singlemania45 » 28 Jun 2012 00:16

Find a nice Supex 901.

JoeE SP9
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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by JoeE SP9 » 28 Jun 2012 01:24

Well, whatever floats your boat. I can't imagine a YOutube video having enough quality to judge the sound of anything.

hal55
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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by hal55 » 28 Jun 2012 05:18

Won't disagree with that at all - Youtube is really crappy audio wise, which is why it's quite a surprise when something sounds good, and oddly the MP110 did.

Hal55

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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by Keso77 » 28 Jun 2012 07:55

I, for one, love the Nagaokas. For the exact reason that was your impression from the youtube clip.
They aren't too expensive, so maybe you should buy one and try it out? Would give you the real deal experienceways compared to youtube.
However, the sound is very much dependent on the rest of your gear. A missmatch with for instance a phono pre can make anything sound bad.

If you do, please allow the Nagaoka several hours of play before judging it. Mine didn't sound right for the first week or so.

Sandbah 92
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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by Sandbah 92 » 28 Jun 2012 11:50

Nagaoka MP110 > warm, detailed, wide soundstage, killer of surface noise, lots of punch in the bass, and tracks like a mountain lion.

hal55
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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by hal55 » 28 Jun 2012 12:12

I like all of those descriptions, but at the moment particularly "the killer of surface noise" I seem to have 60/40 music to noise off the old LPs I'm using at the moment (my wifes hand me downs from her family, no doubt played on very cheap equipment and the worse for it).
Really looking forward to getting new vinyl, have ordered the last Adele LP and will be getting a Coltrane tomorrow.

Hal55

Sandbah 92
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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by Sandbah 92 » 28 Jun 2012 13:07

99% of my vinyl is used. There is a striking difference in noise reduction between my Nag MP110 and my other carts: ome5, 2m blue, grado black prestige, stock 97xe, 97xe with JICO SAS, Denon DL110 > none of these come near the Nagaoka for cutting the noise and allowing the music to flow through.

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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by jrobby » 28 Jun 2012 13:20

Second the Nagaoka MP-110.Here is a short you tube video of my Nad 533 with
a Nagaoka MP-110.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxnGneSE6ks
It gives you a rough approximation of the sound quality.

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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by Cyreg » 28 Jun 2012 15:40

Sandbah 92 wrote:Nagaoka MP110 > warm, detailed, wide soundstage, killer of surface noise, lots of punch in the bass, and tracks like a mountain lion.
Do use an MP110 too :D
I agree mostly with above comment, adding that optimal VTA on my TecnoDec setup was very rewarding for the better sound!

Just try it and you will feel OK :wink:

ipapb

Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by ipapb » 28 Jun 2012 17:57

Hi,
Somebody have an opinion on MP100 (sphérical tip).

PS : what is "the authentic vinyl sound" ? :D

Regards

hal55
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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by hal55 » 28 Jun 2012 23:40

"authentic vinyl sound" is just something I made up to describe my feelings on the strength of vinyl, ie musical to the extreme with a real "the performer is standing in front of you" presence. These are traits that digital, good though it is (and it IS very,very good, particularly in hires) just doesn't, to me anyway, possess.
I was playing an old Bread album last night, and despite the old noisy record, the presence factor on their big signature hits like guitar man was just fantastic, and this is on a budget $30 Ortofon Omega that is only half run in!

Really, really looking forward to getting a Nagaoka and getting replay with less snap, crackle and pop. Although one Jerry Rafferty LP had so much crap the stylus couldn't even get down into the groove....

Are the more expensive Nags like the MP30 or it's modern equivalent worth the extra over the 110? Anyone any ideas if there is a "blinder" in the range I shold be aiming for?

Hal55

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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by Hepokatti » 29 Jun 2012 02:33

How well these typical (supposedly bonded) elliptical diamonds track inner grooves? I'm interested in hearing how MP 110 or maybe MP 150 or MP 200 perform with inner grooves.

I'm looking for a new below 300e cart once again, but I don't want to buy a cart with poor inner groove tracking. Wouldn't want to look towards Audio Technica this time..

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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by thommo_work » 29 Jun 2012 08:44

hal55 wrote:Really, really looking forward to getting a Nagaoka and getting replay with less snap, crackle and pop. Although one Jerry Rafferty LP had so much crap the stylus couldn't even get down into the groove....

Are the more expensive Nags like the MP30 or it's modern equivalent worth the extra over the 110? Anyone any ideas if there is a "blinder" in the range I shold be aiming for?

Hal55
Hal - to be honest, if your records are in that sort of condition, you'd probably be better off spending the difference on some sort of record cleaner.

I suspect getting a better Nag would be a bit of a waste in those circumstances.

An MP110 on cleaner records will sound better than a MP200 on dirty ones, IMO.

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Re: Nagaoka cartridges - that authentic vinyl sound??

Post by Sandbah 92 » 29 Jun 2012 11:05

Never had any IGD or sibilance issues with the MP110. To me "authentic vinyl sound" is a warm sound as opposed to "bright" sound that I get with the 2M blue.

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