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Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 17:34
by ifloresdozol
First. I apologize, I have created the exact same thread in another audio site, but I would like to know what is Vinyl Engine's community perspective on this.
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I am ready to buy a Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge for my Technics SL-1200. I intend to use it mostly to listen to Jazz, and then some classical and Folk. I have read in AK that the Nagaoka MP-110 tracks extremely well.

I would love a very warm, rich, intimate sound. Almost as if I had the singer, guitarrist or jazz trio right infront of me in my living room. I love to hear the wood sound of the drums sticks hitting the cymbals, the crispy sound of the nail plucking the nylon strings, and the intimate breaths of the singer between words.

I read very good things of the Nagaoka, but a recent review really put me off. It is from All For Turntables website, and it gives another prespective:

"But the design of it, really does make it something that has a special kind of niche, and that niche is your loud music like rock and metal.

So if you like heavy hitting stuff like Guns n Roses or even a little Free Bird from Skynyrd. You are going to love this. Not just because of the quality of the instruments, but it is the vocals as well that really stand out. It is perfect if you like to put an album on in one room, turn it up loud and then potter around the house."

This is the first time I saw a review claiming such a thing. Now it has left me with serious doubts towards if this is the cartridge I am looking for.

I am looking for AK members that have heard/used the Nagaoka MP-110 to tell me if it is a good cartridge for jazz, or if it is more of a rock/metal sound it gives.

Budget: $150 USD
System: Technics SL-1200, Pickering NP/AC (not working), Sansui 5000X (1971), Margules SA 1.3 bookshelf.

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 18:15
by bicyclejoe
Do not place your trust in this one bad review. It is not typical. My Nagaoka MP110 is serving me wonderfully for all types of music. In your budget, this is the best cart I know of. Many others agree.

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 19:50
by ifloresdozol
bicyclejoe wrote:Do not place your trust in this one bad review. It is not typical. My Nagaoka MP110 is serving me wonderfully for all types of music. In your budget, this is the best cart I know of. Many others agree.
Thanks,this is the opinion of 98% of the reviews I have read, except this odd one.

Did you purchase the MP-110 with the Nagaoka Headshell? I have an OEM Technics headshell and I would like to know if this headshell is actually better.

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 20:26
by kitt1987
The MP-110 excels with Jazz music, definitely do not take that bad review seriously. I have the Nagaoka headshell with my 110 but honestly you can save the money if you have the experience and know-how and just put the cartridge on your Technics head shell. The money you save can buy you an additional stylus for the day it needs replaced.
I have been nothing but extremely happy and satisfied with my MP-110 since I bought it back this past spring. It tracks extremely well also. For the money this is one of the best buys in the cartridge market. Trust me, you won't be sorry.

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 22:14
by ifloresdozol
Ok

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 22:16
by ifloresdozol
kitt1987 wrote:I have the Nagaoka headshell with my 110
Hey kitt1987, which Nagaoka Headshell came with your cartridge? I have found on the internet two variations. I do not know if this is an older version vs a newer one. One has punched out holes, the other is solid. I prefer the left one from the attached picture.

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 22:40
by turntabletechniques
Re. previous post, I'm sure the H simply denotes that a Nagaoka headshell is included for those cartridges.

I have not experienced a MP-110 but have heard a MP-20 (older model of MP-200 which I thought was great ) and have read on various forums that Nagaoka cartridges are all great performers at their price points.
I'm sure if you buy a MP-110 you can try for yourself and then will have a benchmark against which to measure other comparable cartridges.

I have also read that the specifications and especially the high impedance of Nagaoka cartridges reduces surface noise and also gives them their 'tone', irrespective of the style of music being replayed through one...
Though it's fair to say I don't know enough about cartridge and stylus related electronics/science to verify this.

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 00:24
by cminor7b5


This reviewer has put a lot of time, money and effort into his reviews.

He likes the MP110.

He plays jazz in the review.

Worth watching (as are his other videos)

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 00:58
by AlwaysAirborne
Among carts in this price range the MP-110 is a very good choice if you are looking for a rich and warm cart for jazz. There are some trade-offs in every design of course. The MP-110 uses a fatter elliptical tip which provides a rounder bass response and lacks a bit of high frequency detail, but compensates with a very natural and non-fatiguing sound built around superb mid-range. I find it to be a very rhythmic and relaxing cartridge. I think it would suit your tastes very well.

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 14:07
by kitt1987
ifloresdozol wrote:
kitt1987 wrote:I have the Nagaoka headshell with my 110
Hey kitt1987, which Nagaoka Headshell came with your cartridge? I have found on the internet two variations. I do not know if this is an older version vs a newer one. One has punched out holes, the other is solid. I prefer the left one from the attached picture.
The one I received was the headshell with punched out holes on the right. Like you I would prefer the look of the solid on the left but it might be difficult to find here in the States as there really aren't too many dealers stateside.

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 14:30
by ifloresdozol
kitt1987 wrote:
The one I received was the headshell with punched out holes on the right. Like you I would prefer the look of the solid on the left but it might be difficult to find here in the States as there really aren't too many dealers stateside.
How long ago did you get your MP-110H?

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 18:20
by Tonybro
I use a standard Technics headshell with my MP500 on my 1200 MkII - sounds lovely. :) Standard headshell is fine - save the money if there's a difference in cost.

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 27 Oct 2017 14:22
by kitt1987
I purchased my MP-110 back around March or April of this year. Has continued to grow on me. In fact I lucked upon an MP-50 cartridge that I've installed a new JNP-500 stylus that I have YET to try out yet. Shows how much I have been appreciating the 110!
did install the MP-50 cartridge into my Pioneer head shell (I am using a Pioneer PL-71 turntable) and just haven't taken the time to properly line up and calibrate just yet...the rumors are true, that 500 stylus is very difficult to see with the naked eye so I'm not looking forward to lining it up!
I continue to use the 110 cartridge with the Nag head shell it came with on my Pioneer and again have been nothing but happy with the results.

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 27 Oct 2017 15:10
by Slavikcc
I used the Nagaoka MP-110 for my Music Matters Jazz pressings and it sounded very smooth and pleasing to the ears. Ian in the video also uses his Music Matters Jazz LP's and I can definitely attest to his findings.

Re: Is Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge good for Jazz?

Posted: 31 Oct 2017 20:56
by ifloresdozol
Thank you all for sharing your experience with the Nagaoka MP110. So I decided to purchase it through Amazon (actually cheaper than LP Gear). I got the version with the Headshell MP-110H. It should be arriving tomorrow and I will let you know how cool it sounds!