the home of the turntable

Help me spend £300 !

the thin end of the wedge

Help me spend £300 !

Postby glenugie22 » 16 Oct 2017 10:17

Hello to the good people of vinylengine.com!

Some advice and guidance please. I am on the lookout for a new cartridge and have set myself a budget of £300 ($400 USD).

I've noticed that the Goldring 2300, Ortofon Bronze and Nagaoka MP-150 are withinn my budget (and many, many others) - and as I'm unable to 'test drive' any of these, can any forum member give me a short, practical review of these carts? eg. ease of set-up, ease of styli change and ability to handle screaming punks and syrupy smooth vocals - not asking much eh? (I've read thru' some of the reviews on here - and have kinda made my mind up).

For the 35 + years I've been listening to vinyl, I have ALWAYS had an ORTOFON cartridge. I listen to all sorts - should I admit this? - from ABBA to ZZ Top and most inbetween - more recently I've rediscovered my love of blues and classic rock. Currently I have a 2M Silver in my Pro-Ject 'The Classic'

But as with most of you reading this - we always think there is a better and improved sound to be had.

Many thanks to all that take the time to read and hopefully reply.
glenugie22
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: 09 Oct 2017 21:25

Scotland

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby billshurv » 16 Oct 2017 14:28

what arm?

For £300 you can with a little hunting get a SuperOM40 which, despite a slightly higher compliance than the 2M is IMO a better cart than the 2M black. You could also get one of the nicer ATs if you shop around.
billshurv
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 679
Images: 0
Joined: 16 Oct 2014 15:38

United Kingdom

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby glenugie22 » 16 Oct 2017 16:26

Thank you billshruv

The arm is the 'standard' Carbon/Aluminium sandwich arm that is supplied with the T/T - a 'one piece' design, no removable headshell.

And I'm not adverse to shopping around ..... being a thrifty Scotsman !! ha ha
glenugie22
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: 09 Oct 2017 21:25

Scotland

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby billshurv » 16 Oct 2017 16:48

I'm like you (although no Scottish ancestry). I recently picked up a low hours Stylus 40 for £175. Even though it looks odd, the OM stylii will fit in your silver body. There is really little difference when you take it apart!
billshurv
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 679
Images: 0
Joined: 16 Oct 2014 15:38

United Kingdom

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby tckmet » 16 Oct 2017 17:27

billshurv you absolutely correct the motor body is identical and it is pushed in on either model, found that out when removing cart leads and I actually pulled the motor body out on an OM 10 and a 2M Bronze. The windings are different with different resistive readings though.
User avatar
tckmet
member
member
contributor
 
Posts: 136
Joined: 24 Dec 2012 11:35
Location: Cuyahoga Falls Ohio

United States of America

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby krolf » 17 Oct 2017 23:26

I have recently listen and compared Ortofon 2M series on my Kenwood KD500 with a new Ortofon TA110 arm.
My primary pickup was an Clear Audio Virtuso Wood that I loved listen to, but I was ready for something new.

I started with 2M Blue just for fun, a good and reasonable priced pick up, but a little to neutral in my opinion.
Then I tested the 2M Silver that is almost identical the Blue, but with sliver wiring in the coils if I am not mistaken... Better punch in the bass than the Blue and overall a good pick up.
(BTW 2M Silver is only available on Pro-Ject players and not sold retail)

But none of them was near the Virtuso Wood...

Then I started to listen to the 2M Bronze.
What can I say about it... WOW! What a great MM pick up.
It is well balanced and detailed in the mid and tweeter area, but the strength is clearly in the bass region.
It is warm sounding and made me play record after record, totally forgetting it was getting late and I had to go to work in a few hours.

The next day I put on the 2M Black and was surprised again...
Could it be more details reveling it self now? Ohhh yes it could...
It is clearly the best MM pickup I have heard so far.
But of course it comes with a price...

I ended up with the Black myself.
But if I could recommend a pickup for you I have to say the 2M Bronze.
Even though the Black is much more expensive, I have to say that Bronze is the one pick up that really give a lot of quality for the bucks.
If you are listening to a lot of different types of music, you can't go wrong with that one in my opinion.
krolf
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 15 Apr 2016 23:48
Location: Oslo, Norway

Norway

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby billshurv » 17 Oct 2017 23:59

Krolf: I am bringing a KD-550 back on line so with Phil that makes at least 3 konkrete Kenwood owners on here (OK mine says 'Trio' on the front:)). My OM40 is going on that. The Black is too pricey for me as I got the superOM body, stylus 40 and an AT150MLx for less than a black stylus.
billshurv
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 679
Images: 0
Joined: 16 Oct 2014 15:38

United Kingdom

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby AlwaysAirborne » 18 Oct 2017 00:58

First off let me say I think you need to spice up you life with a different sounding cart. I would like to see you get something with a bit more warmth. Having said that I do own both a Ortofon OM 30 (ie bronze level) and a Nagaoka MP-200. Both are very nice, but the OM 30 is the more detailed, sophisticated, and satisfying cartridge over the full range of my musical interests (hard rock, classical, reggae, blues). So my suggestion is sell your Silver, buy an OM 30, and use the remaining 100£ to buy a fun second cart with an entirely different sound like a Shure M97XE, Sumiko Pearl, or Naga MP-110. More is better. :D
Easy Company Approved
User avatar
AlwaysAirborne
member
member
 
Posts: 96
Images: 1
Joined: 29 Mar 2016 01:36
Location: Near the Needle Doctor

United States of America

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby glenugie22 » 18 Oct 2017 16:04

Krolf - Thank you for your views, testing all those carts is not something we can readily do here in the UK - unless you buy them all or have a very understanding (and weathly) friend ! The 2M Bronze was gonna be my choice of Ortofon carts, until Billshurv threw 'a spanner in the works' and suggested the Super OM series!

AlwaysAirborne - I like the idea of having different carts to 'fit the mood' - I'm just not sure on my ability to continually fit them correctly to the arm. It was my intention to sell on the 2M silver cart when I replaced it, but with billshurv's comments about the OM styli fitting it I may just pass on the stylus only.
Based on the thinking of getting a 'few' carts - I've started looking at the 'new' VM series (530EN) Audio Technicas which would leave plenty of pennies to dip my toe into the 'fun' market.

Thanks to all for your comments and advice
glenugie22
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: 09 Oct 2017 21:25

Scotland

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby DeepEnd » 18 Oct 2017 18:57

If I remember correctly the "2M Silver" has a more sophisticated body than the 2M Red and Blue (silver wire rather then copper) but the same bonded stylus as the Red. The Bronze/Black bodies are silver plated copper wire, slightly lower inductance in a different plastic.

If so then perhaps just a Bronze Stylus on your Silver Body is less cost (~£209) than on Super OM30 (£241) and both are fine line/line contact types perhaps this is an option as well both being a major jump in performance.

The OM30 is a favourite of mine and has a more "traditional" voicing whereas I find the 2M series to be voiced a bit more like CD and less "traditional" but the differences are quite small. One may suit your system better than the other.

The Audio Technica VM530EN is a similar spec to a 2M Blue (Nude Elliptical) and the VM540ML is a similar price to the OM30/Bronze stylus but it's MicroLine type majors even more on the detail than the Bronze and I prefer the finelines for vocal performance (e.g. prefer the OM30 to the Gyger tipped OM40 for the same reason).

Without knowing your own preferences and system it's hard to give specific answers (but if you have always used Ortofons then you are probably used to a just slightly warm side of neutral) but if it was my money I would go slightly over budget and buy the 2M Bronze stylus (~£209) for a more neutral option AND a Nagaoka MP-110 (~£109) as a bit of a warmer, traditional contrast.

I actually bought a second user MP11 Boron for the same reason, it only cost me £35 - at some point intending to have it re-tipped with, yes you've guessed it, a line contact tip (Paratrace).

If you then decided you do like the Nag then upgraded styli like the MP-150 and MP-200 (out of Japan) are reasonably priced (£105-£125) so I now have a MP11 Boron body and stylus, with MP110 and MP200 styli for less than £200.
(LP) Rega Planar 3/RB300/A&R-P78+FG2 (CD)Rega Planet-2000, (Amp) Musical Fidelity A3.2, (Speakers) Rega RS3
DeepEnd
senior member
senior member
contributor
 
Posts: 750
Joined: 19 Dec 2014 11:21
Location: Lancashire

United Kingdom

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby glenugie22 » 18 Oct 2017 20:10

Thank you DeepEnd
I'm attracted to the ATs VM range for the same reasons - once you have the body there are a choice of styli to change/upgrade to. And as you've highlighted the Nagaoka appear to offer several choices once you possess a Nagaoka cart body.

At some point I'm going to have to narrow it down and make a decision! (Before the missus realises I've £300 burning a hole in my pocket!!
glenugie22
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: 09 Oct 2017 21:25

Scotland

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby krolf » 19 Oct 2017 17:18

Also remember that if you decide to buy the 2M Bronze, you can upgrade to black later just by replacing the stylus.
They have the same body...

I actually thinking about buying the Bronze stylus to my black of two reasons.
One It is different sound, and even if I love the black, there is something with the bronze that is special on certain tracks.
Two, my kids use the player much, And it is much cheaper if they break a bronze stylus.... :D
krolf
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 15 Apr 2016 23:48
Location: Oslo, Norway

Norway

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby Ottermel » 19 Oct 2017 17:47

When the music fades so will the world
User avatar
Ottermel
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 541
Images: 0
Joined: 19 Mar 2012 21:42
Location: Ontario, Canada

Canada

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby cultjake » 19 Oct 2017 19:44

Gotta agree, if you can handle MC, it's worth a shot, even if you're only going
to get an elliptical stylus. My experience has been nothing but positive with it.
Denon DL perhaps.
'84 Linn LP12, Magnepan Unitrac, AT-OC9ml2
Yamaha A-1020 driving Polk Monitor 70's
cultjake
member
member
 
Posts: 200
Joined: 18 Jan 2006 15:22

Re: Help me spend £300 !

Postby glenugie22 » 19 Oct 2017 21:44

Thanks guys ... never considered the MC route - I think I'm gonna stick to MM for the moment - but a MC cart maybe something I'll consider in the future (my pre-amp has settings for both).
glenugie22
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: 09 Oct 2017 21:25

Scotland

Next

Return to Cartridges and Preamps