Nagaoka MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

the thin end of the wedge
cdynak
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Nagaoka MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by cdynak » 30 Jul 2019 16:35

Hi all,

New member here. Anybody have any experience with a Nagaoka MP-110H? I mounted it last night and call me unimpressed. Checked alignment. Good. Adjusted tracking force to 1.75 grams. Anti skate on the money.

It sounded worse than my AT95E in my opinion. Highs were a touch harsh. Mids were muddy. The only thing that improved was the bass response. Cleaner and punchier than the AT95E.

I get that's its not broken in yet. I only played it for an hour. Will this thing brighten up? Or should I return this?

cdynak
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Re: NAGAOKA MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by cdynak » 30 Jul 2019 16:58

I forgot to mention it also jumped out of the groove between songs. Skipped three times then jumped out. Thats never happened to me. It was weird.

Agrippa
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Re: NAGAOKA MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by Agrippa » 30 Jul 2019 17:19

Sounds like a bad st-up or a really bad mis-match between cartridge and arm. Or a defective cartridge of course.

I have many, *many* hours behind me listening to the MP-110 in a really good system belonging to a friend and it has never failed to provide a very enjoyable listen. In my experience it's nicely detailed, slightly on the warm side, has good bass response, a lovely mid-range, tracks perfectly fine and goes really, really well with one or more bottles of India Pale Ale.

cdynak
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Re: NAGAOKA MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by cdynak » 30 Jul 2019 17:26

I think you're correct. In my excitement to hear the new cartridge I probably didn't set things up proper. I'll redo it tonight. Hopefully it was just my eager enthusiasm.

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Re: NAGAOKA MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by Tonybro » 30 Jul 2019 17:56

If it is the H model in the headshell, it should be aligned. So set up should be good but there is always the chance it wasn't set right at the factory.

I'm in the camp of give it some time to settle in. My MP500 took a while, 30 or so hours, before it loosened up and came to the party! ;-)

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Re: NAGAOKA MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by P4t1n3tt3 » 30 Jul 2019 18:15

What turntable do you have?

Marriage with the turntable or the tonearm may not be happy... For example, MP-200 goes very well on Technics SL-1200mk2 but does not give me satisfaction with Technics EPA-100 or EPA-250.

A break-in time of 30 hours is required for MP-200 (I'm at 21H), it may be the same for MP-110 ...

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Re: NAGAOKA MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by goatbreath » 30 Jul 2019 18:32

Nagaoka align to Pioneer 49 mm in the headshell rather than the Technics 52mm..
I prefer 49mm on my Technics,which is a Baerwald variant..
The same geometry as the single alignment point on the Hifi News Protractor that comes with the record..
I track my Nagaoka MP110H at 1.84 grams,I find that is the sweet spot where it tracks well,but doesn't sound leaden.
Be careful not to go overboard with the Antiskate either...
If all else fails,there is the Technics 52 mm geometry if you have the gauge..
I have all my cartridges in headshells at 49mm though,I hear less distortion..

cdynak
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Re: NAGAOKA MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by cdynak » 30 Jul 2019 19:27

Thanks for all the tips. I'm definitely going to go through my setup again. I more than liklely missed something. Then a proper break in.

Btw, I'm replacing an AT-VM95e NOT an AT95E. Also, My TT is a Fluance RT81.

cdynak
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Re: NAGAOKA MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by cdynak » 31 Jul 2019 02:36

Quick update. Mea culpa. I went through the steps properly this time.

Level was off a bit. Leaning back about a coasters width. Now good.

Reset the tone arm. Leveled that and set the track weight to 1.84 grams (Ty GB)
Checked the protractor. Yes and yes. Both spot on.

Reset anti-skate. Put the needle on a blank vinyl. Setting to 2ish keeps it stationary.

I think I got it all right this time...
.
.
.

Oh my. Wow...Yes I definitely got it right this time.

Its completely different. I'm listening to The Final Cut.

The gunners dream. Stupendous.
Paranoid eyes. Enthralling
Two Suns in the sunset. Renewed.

I'm off to put on Guero.

Happy days!

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Re: NAGAOKA MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by P4t1n3tt3 » 31 Jul 2019 04:59

Happy to read that you have found the smile with your new settings. Obviously, tonearm does not jump anymore. This problem sometimes appears about Nagaoka.

So, the MP-110 sounds better than the AT-VM95E? This little stylus seems to be well loved. Maybe you can try adjust it again to see if it will not sound better ... :wink:


HS: The Final Cut. Very good choice! =D> Badly liked album but one of my favorites of PF which according to me is part of a triptych in terms of musical tension:
- PF - The Wall
- PF - The Final Cut
- Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking

If you like The Final Cut, you should love The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking :)

cdynak
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Re: NAGAOKA MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by cdynak » 31 Jul 2019 15:46

P4t1n3tt3 wrote:
31 Jul 2019 04:59
Happy to read that you have found the smile with your new settings. Obviously, tonearm does not jump anymore. This problem sometimes appears about Nagaoka.

So, the MP-110 sounds better than the AT-VM95E? This little stylus seems to be well loved. Maybe you can try adjust it again to see if it will not sound better ... :wink:


HS: The Final Cut. Very good choice! =D> Badly liked album but one of my favorites of PF which according to me is part of a triptych in terms of musical tension:
- PF - The Wall
- PF - The Final Cut
- Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking

If you like The Final Cut, you should love The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking :)
Its amazing what properly setting it up does for sound. I still have small tweaks to
do. Isolate the TT from my speakers and get a heavier more stable stand.

Does it sound better than AT-VM95E? With bass? For sure. Bass response is much much better.
Mids and highs? Still too early to give a proper answer. I'll let you know once I play
it a few more hours.

Ha! I have all of those albums...I love Roger Waters. Bad news is I lost The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking
during a move. I think its buried in a box somewhere. I'll have to buy another. Its been a couple
years since I listened to that album.

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Re: Nagaoka MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by jjkalervo » 09 Aug 2019 20:00

I switched to MP-110 from AT440Mla last year, and was initially underwhelmed. I landed from the overly bright, thin-on-the-bass side on the overly muddy, fat-on-the-bass side. The problem in this case was a mismatch between the amplifier and the cartridge. My old integrated just couldn't handle the Nagaoka, and I made up for the lack of highs by turning up the treble, but I wasn't completely happy. Then I bought a better amp and a preamp, which I was going to do anyway, and the curtain was lifted. My new amp also has tone controls, but I bypass them. I think the crucial thing initially was a lack of a good preamp. The Nagaoka now sounds glorious, and my records better than ever, won't be going back to AT. I have set the tracking force by ear at the max, 2 grams. It's a great cartridge, don't give up on it.

P4t1n3tt3
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by P4t1n3tt3 » 10 Aug 2019 04:01

jjkalervo wrote:
09 Aug 2019 20:00
I switched to MP-110 from AT440Mla last year, and was initially underwhelmed. I landed from the overly bright, thin-on-the-bass side on the overly muddy, fat-on-the-bass side. The problem in this case was a mismatch between the amplifier and the cartridge. My old integrated just couldn't handle the Nagaoka, and I made up for the lack of highs by turning up the treble, but I wasn't completely happy. Then I bought a better amp and a preamp, which I was going to do anyway, and the curtain was lifted. My new amp also has tone controls, but I bypass them. I think the crucial thing initially was a lack of a good preamp. The Nagaoka now sounds glorious, and my records better than ever, won't be going back to AT. I have set the tracking force by ear at the max, 2 grams. It's a great cartridge, don't give up on it.
Have you tried your AT440Mla with the new preamp? It might be interesting to know if it sounds better than the MP-110. :roll: :wink:

jjkalervo
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by jjkalervo » 10 Aug 2019 11:56

I can't do a fair comparison anymore because the AT is worn out, it already started to sound like s**t before I got the Nagaoka. I doubt I would like it better, not a fan of a bright sound signature.

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Re: Nagaoka MP-110H...Is thing supposed to be good?

Post by Ghaasl » 10 Aug 2019 14:18

I have both a Nag 110 and an AT VM520EB. The AT isn’t broken in as of yet, haven’t had the time for any serious listening lately. I love the Nag, great sounding cart. It gives me the warmth and classic vinyl sound signature I want without lacking in detail. Once the AT is run in, I’ll be able to do a better sound comparison. I think the AT will be a little less warm, but a good companion cart to the Nag.

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