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  1. #1
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    Cartridge recommendation?

    say under $200 unless there's big bang for a little more

  2. #2
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddler
    say under $200 unless there's big bang for a little more

    I'm quite happy with my audio-technica AT440MLa. LP Gear has them for $145 right now. What are you using for a phono pre?


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  3. #3
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    What turntable will it be on?

  4. #4
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    Yeah we need to know what the arm is? I just bought a Denon DL-110, as recommended by Noob, and is it simply amazing; I cannot recommend enough. If you like Luvin's recommendation of the AT-44MLA, Amazon has it for $99.00. That is probably your safest and best deal on it.

  5. #5
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    For that price point you should pick up a Shure M97xe and the corresponding JICO stylus from LPGear.

  6. #6
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Chubbs...for a second there I thought in my early morning fogginess I must have hit AK instead of AR. When did you get on the Shure/JICO train?

  7. #7
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    Chubbs...for a second there I thought in my early morning fogginess I must have hit AK instead of AR. When did you get on the Shure/JICO train?

    Since you sent me the cart, and I then found out about JICO. For $200 I think it's pretty much unbeatable. You don't recall me having thoughts of ordering the stylus? I am pretty sure once the Nag goes, I will try it out.

    And no AK would be Shure/JICO vs. Technics SL 1200...

  8. #8
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    I guess I do remember that. It's too bad we don't know anything about the OP's setup or preferences. There's value to be had in the sub-$200 range, but there are big differences in them. AT, Ortofon, Denon, Nagaoka, Goldring, Shure and Grado all have cartridges that I can think of that are good value in this range, but they suit different systems and different ears.

  9. #9
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    new cartridge/stylus will be used on a Technics SLD-202 TT currently with Ortofon OM5E thru late '80's 55W Denon amp (looking to upgrade soon) and Klipsch Forte speakers.

    playing rock/jazz with widely varying album quality, thanks for any help here

  10. #10
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Something like the already-mentioned AT 440MLa is certainly an option, but is in many people's minds tipped up in the highs. Something like the Ortofon 2M Red at around $100 might be closer to neutral and the 2M Blue at around $200 closer still. Neutral isn't necessarily everyone's preference, though. Many people prefer a bit warmer presentation, like you would get with the Nagaoka MP-110 at around $100 or the Grado Red at $140. One brand that doesn't get much publicity but I really like is Goldring. You could order the 1006 from the UK for around $160 and get good value there.

    And another thought...Simply replacing the 5E stylus with an Ortofon 20 should provide a nice upgrade within the budget.

  11. #11
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    I would save up for a moving coil. Blue Point high output is fine IMO.

  12. #12
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    after reading lots of reviews,i'm attracted to the Denon DL 110 cartridge, partially due to the noted ability to play poor condition records. However, reviews indicate it is a tall caertridge and i am wondering if this will be a problem mounting on the old Technics SLD202. Anyone have any knowledge about this situation?

  13. #13
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddler
    say under $200 unless there's big bang for a little more
    I suggest the good ol' 7x55mm Mauser -- it's got pleny of bang for most purposes ...


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    I suggest the good ol' 7x55mm Mauser -- it's got pleny of bang for most purposes ...

    thinking about this for either me for stating this upgrade stuff or for all my gear

  15. #15
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddler
    after reading lots of reviews,i'm attracted to the Denon DL 110 cartridge, partially due to the noted ability to play poor condition records. However, reviews indicate it is a tall caertridge and i am wondering if this will be a problem mounting on the old Technics SLD202. Anyone have any knowledge about this situation?
    Taller cartridges aren't ordinarily a problem, although some people are very particular in tweaking their turntables to get their tonearm to sit dead level while playing. If it's off by a millimeter or two, that's actually acceptable, but you might have to adjust the arm lifter a little.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    I've been using a DL-160 for the last 6 months or so and absolutely love it. I've read a couple places the 160 and 110 are pretty similar. I've gone through a few Shures, Ortofon's and a couple ATs and for me the Denon has been far better, detailed without being at all bright. Nice warm sound with a ton of well-defined bass. Opinions and results and all vary of course. But for me the Denon was a big step up.

    You do need to make sure your phono stage has enough gain for one though. I stopped using the Belari I had and went back to an older Parasound unit that had more gain and got the best results that way.

  17. #17
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    nobody makes a good point. With the Denon cartridges you could find yourself turning the volume knob quite a bit further than with the Ortofon.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    nobody makes a good point. With the Denon cartridges you could find yourself turning the volume knob quite a bit further than with the Ortofon.
    i read about that, someone thought it was maybe one level down but i dont have much power to spare. in the market for a new amp as well so if more severe maybe only a temporary problem

  19. #19
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    nobody makes a good point. With the Denon cartridges you could find yourself turning the volume knob quite a bit further than with the Ortofon.
    Well all I can say about the 2M Red is that once it gets broken in you have a fine budget cart. Detailed..clear. I love mine.
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  20. #20
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddler
    i read about that, someone thought it was maybe one level down but i dont have much power to spare. in the market for a new amp as well so if more severe maybe only a temporary problem
    Hey Paddler,

    What preamp with phono stage or external phono preamp are you using?
    Getting a new amp may not resolve the problem, but a different phono stage should.
    But your current setup may work out just fine. If you have around 40dB of gain in MM setting, the Denon DL-110 will work just fine.

    DL-110 is defintely one of my favorite carts.
    I have yet to mount the AT-440LMA I have laying around so I cannot compare, but I cannot get enough of what DL-110 has to offer. DL-160 has the same stylus as DL-301mk2. If DL-160 sounds anywhere between DL110 and 301mk2, then it must be a killer cart. I don't know how your system sounds, and the sound of your preference. But the Shure M97xE sounds depressingly dark and dead to my ears. Denon DL-110 has wide and warm sound that reminds me of why I got into analog in the first place. Not neutral, just great.

  21. #21
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    The only cartridges I have loved are (1) moving coil or (2) London Decca. Start with the Denon 103 D.

  22. #22
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    Great cartridge under $200

    Just purchased a rega p2 with a orofon 2m blue cart .Still in the break in period but it sound's great.Made my return to vinyl that much more pleasing .Impressed at the low cost and great sound.

  23. #23
    Meh. Brett A's Avatar
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    Be careful to match the cartridge's compliance rating to the tonearm's effective mass. A quick look at the owners manual for your 'table (available over at Vinyl Engine) states an effective mass of 11 grams.

    That's good news. 11 grams is on the light side of "medium mass" which will allow you to choose from a range of cartridges.

    I'd steer you toward something with higher compliance. (lighter tracking force) such as an Audio Technica 440MLa or 150MLx if you wanted to stretch your budget.

    The 440 MLa was my first "real" cartridge; the one that showed me that distortion is not inherent in the LP medium. The ATs have very open sounding top-ends with excellent detail retrieval and image resolution. Some people hear this as too "digital" and go for something a bit warmer like Grados. I don't care much for Grados myself; too rolled off on top and a bit too pronounced in the midband. --just not my taste.

    I recently bought a Red Ed (eliptical) for my secondary 'table and am totally smitten with it. i swear if I knew about the Red Ed back when, i would have bought it instead of the AT440 MLa and saved $100 or so.

    http://www.edsaunders.com/reded.htm

    Anyway, have fun deciding. Just steer away from anything that has an optimal tracking force at or over 2 grams.
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