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  1. #1
    Linear Guy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    SW Pa.

    cartridge recommendations for MMF 2.1

    Got a very nice price on a cheap table , the MMF 2.1. Not entirely sure how far I will take Analog but what the heck. Anyway, I have an AT 95 on there now. I have played the table for about 40 hours. The AT 95 sounds OK but I was hoping for something with a little deeper sound and slightly more 3d. Asking a lot for a cheap rig I know, but what would you rocket scientists recommend as a better cartridge without getting silly. My price range is maybe 180.00. Thanks and Cheers. dk

  2. #2
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Lower AL
    I have a Pro-Ject 1.2 which I believe is very similar. (In fact, I think these were built in the same Czech factory at one time.)

    For an introductory price of $179.99 I bought the Ortofon MC-3 Turbo which replaced the popular XM-3. It's a high output moving coil (3.3mV) that can be used with any moving magnet phono pre. It seems to be a very good match for the Pro-Ject arm that is also used on the MMF2.1. Smooth extended highs (cymbals are awesome) and tight extended bass. It also presents a 3D soundstage with well-recorded music. In my system, it performs best with jazz and pop that leans to the acoustic side - it features vocals really well. Unfortunately, the reg list price I've seen is $249. If you can get it discounted to $180, I think it will serve well immediately and easily transition to another table if you decide to upgrade later.

    I have the $99 Ortofon 2M Red for my Technics table, but haven't tried it on the Pro-Ject yet. It seems to be a little agressive in the highs (it may not be settled in yet), but it has tons of bass slam. I keep going back and forth between it and a Grado Red. The Grado has a nice midrange presentation but it seems to lump everything together (if that makes sense). The Grado Red was half-price at when the new 1 series came out. I'm also thinking of trying a Denon DL-160 which is in your price range. Its output is a little low so you would need to make sure your phono stage (and other things like room size, etc.) could handle it. Apparently, spaciousness and 3D are its strong points.

    Other seemingly popular carts in that price range that I'm aware of are both A-Ts. If you like the basic sound of your 95, you might try the AT120E or the 440mla.

  3. #3
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Dallas, TX
    The Goldring 2200 is a nice cartridge and can be had for $145 plus shipping at this site:

    It's in the UK, but they ship to the US. I think the 2200 was the cartridge originally provided with the mmf-5. I also like the Shure M97XE. They're a little smoother but less detailed than the Goldring. They're under $100 at most sellers.

    I do have both of these cartridges. I prefer the 2200. I believe the Grado would hum on your Music Hall turntable...not sure about the Denon...maybe it would, too.

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