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Thread: Which cartridge? Opinions needed...

  1. #1
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    Which cartridge? Opinions needed...

    Hi!

    Need an opinion.

    I'm am now using, temporarily, a Shure M-97 XE, that is replacing my Denon DL-301 MKII, which, had it stylus suspended melted, probably due to some "heavy" cleaning with Isopropyl alcohol.
    I sent it to a company in Germany that is said to do a great job in rettiping/replacing stylus in all kinds of cartridges. But, unfortunatelly, it seems it has no repair, so, I ended up with a 2 year old cart w/out stylus.
    So, and because I liked this cart so much I'm considering on buying a new one.
    However, I'm also considering the Audio Technica AT-F7, that can be bought at LPGear for something around 240 USD, or a 2nd hand Benz L0.4, for around the same price as a brand new DL-301MKII.

    But I'm open for more suggestions, around the same budget.

    Any suggestions/opinions will be much apreciated.

    Thanks

    Cheers

    David
    Pro-Ject RPM 9.1; ASR Mini Basis; Sonic Frontiers SFL 1; Classe CA-400; Martin Logan Ascent; Theta Miles; Teac X-1000 R R2R; Denon DR-M 44 HX; Cambridge Audio NP 30 Streamer.

  2. #2
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    The Denon gets high praise for it's likeable sound, it will be hard to beat if you like it's sound. You should have sent it to Zu Audio, or check to see if they have any rebuilt 103's. They are more expensive and I'm not sure what they do but I've never seen a complaint.

    If wanting to try something a bit more neutral Ortofon always has good offerings at various price points.

    What turntable do you have?
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  3. #3
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    I have a Benz L0.4, the model you're considering. I think it's outstanding. I don't know how you'd do any better at the prices you're considering.
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I have the AT F7 and it is a nice cartridge for the price. It has a fairly narrow profile for an elliptical stylus. I would not classify AT cartridges as warm but accurate. I have the Benz MC Gold but I prefer the AT F7.
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    JohnMichael
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    The Denon gets high praise for it's likeable sound, it will be hard to beat if you like it's sound. You should have sent it to Zu Audio, or check to see if they have any rebuilt 103's. They are more expensive and I'm not sure what they do but I've never seen a complaint.

    If wanting to try something a bit more neutral Ortofon always has good offerings at various price points.

    What turntable do you have?

    Thanks for your advise.

    Previous to the DL-301 MKII I had a DL-103, which I really like, but the 301 outperformed it.

    My TT is a Pro-Ject RPM 9.1

    I will try to get in touch with ZU Audio, but I'm afraid the prces they practice are way too much for my budget.
    (like prices practised by Soundsmith, maybe? )
    But I'll check
    Thanks
    Pro-Ject RPM 9.1; ASR Mini Basis; Sonic Frontiers SFL 1; Classe CA-400; Martin Logan Ascent; Theta Miles; Teac X-1000 R R2R; Denon DR-M 44 HX; Cambridge Audio NP 30 Streamer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob View Post
    I have a Benz L0.4, the model you're considering. I think it's outstanding. I don't know how you'd do any better at the prices you're considering.
    Hi.
    I spoke today with the guy that has it for sale. He is a very honest and reliable person, ( I bought him my Classé CA-400, and never had a problem).
    He gave me good news.
    The first is that I can pay him in two times, half when picking it up, and the rest later on.
    He also told me that this cartridge ih being kept without work for some months because he bought some top of the line Van den Hull.
    But I'm afraid of the stylus condition, altough he gives one year warranty...

    But I'm seriously considering it...

    Thanks
    Pro-Ject RPM 9.1; ASR Mini Basis; Sonic Frontiers SFL 1; Classe CA-400; Martin Logan Ascent; Theta Miles; Teac X-1000 R R2R; Denon DR-M 44 HX; Cambridge Audio NP 30 Streamer.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    I have the AT F7 and it is a nice cartridge for the price. It has a fairly narrow profile for an elliptical stylus. I would not classify AT cartridges as warm but accurate. I have the Benz MC Gold but I prefer the AT F7.
    Thanks, John Michael.
    In fact, the first review I read of this AT F 7 was from you here in this forum, which made me consider this cartridge.
    And I'm still considering.

    Thanks

    Cheers

    DAvid
    Pro-Ject RPM 9.1; ASR Mini Basis; Sonic Frontiers SFL 1; Classe CA-400; Martin Logan Ascent; Theta Miles; Teac X-1000 R R2R; Denon DR-M 44 HX; Cambridge Audio NP 30 Streamer.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    Thanks.
    I have to check this one out
    Pro-Ject RPM 9.1; ASR Mini Basis; Sonic Frontiers SFL 1; Classe CA-400; Martin Logan Ascent; Theta Miles; Teac X-1000 R R2R; Denon DR-M 44 HX; Cambridge Audio NP 30 Streamer.

  10. #10
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    You have a nice table, get as much cart as your budget will allow. Sounds like with a year warranty there shouldn't be any fears with buying the Benz.

    LOL, I did get the Denon models turned around.

    Much of your decision will depend on what sound you'd like to go for, meaning more to the neutral or keeping with a warmer more lush presenation.

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    Hello again.

    Just to let you know that I decided to buy the Benz L0.4 and it is already fitted on the Pro-Ject.
    I still didn't have the time for a more exaustive auditioning, but so far, I'm very happy with the sound of it.
    IMHO, it sounds better at 220 ohm, than with the 100 ohm recommended by Benz.

    Later on I'll come with further news about it.

    Cheers

    David
    JohnMichael likes this.
    Pro-Ject RPM 9.1; ASR Mini Basis; Sonic Frontiers SFL 1; Classe CA-400; Martin Logan Ascent; Theta Miles; Teac X-1000 R R2R; Denon DR-M 44 HX; Cambridge Audio NP 30 Streamer.

  12. #12
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    thanks for the feedback, enjoy.

  13. #13
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have a nice cart!..Congrats!.....Some time before the year is over I want to upgrade my Phono amp and Cart. Im leaning towards the Advid Pellar Phono Stage and the Ortofon Cadenza Red.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  14. #14
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Hi DavidP,

    I just purchased a Musical Surroundings Phono amp and I have really been considering the Denon DL-304 MC cart or the Denon DL - 301 ll MC cart. This will be my first time with a MC cart after using sevral MM carts. I've been listening to the Denon's online with head phones and like what I'm hearing. Can you tell me anything about the 301 Cart and how does it stack up to the Benz L0.4 which cost much more than the 301?
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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    W10 i5 Quad core processor 8GB RAM/Jriver 20/ Fidelizer Optimizer/ iFI Micro DSD DAC-iUSB 3.0/Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/MS Phenomena ll+/Canton Vento 830.2

  15. #15
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    I've used the Zu. It was very good for the money.

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