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Thread: Nagaoka MP-200

  1. #1
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Nagaoka MP-200

    My Blue Point is at the Pearly Gates (thanks so much JM!!!). I had a big decision to make, and I pulled the trigger on this, a "mid level" Nagaoka.

    I got an excellent deal, it only had 5 hours of use (long story) and was repacked perfectly. For the use, the price was adjusted to $175.

    I bought 2 minty Vanguard - Joan Baez for $3 today also. All in all a great day.

    I will fill you in as I get it mounted and get spinning...






  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    My Blue Point is at the Pearly Gates (thanks so much JM!!!). I had a big decision to make, and I pulled the trigger on this, a "mid level" Nagaoka.

    I got an excellent deal, it only had 5 hours of use (long story) and was repacked perfectly. For the use, the price was adjusted to $175.

    I bought 2 minty Vanguard - Joan Baez for $3 today also. All in all a great day.

    I will fill you in as I get it mounted and get spinning...






    Congrats on the new cartridge! I look forward to your initial impressions.

    So how did old Blue expire? Keep it in a drawer and when you are ready the needledoctor will accept as a trade for other Sumiko carts and for Benz cartridges.
    JohnMichael

    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Ringmat Anniversary mat, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, GSP Fanfare 3 w/PSU1

    Digital Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001

    Int. Amp Krell S-300i

    Speakers Focal 806V/Focal 800 stands

    Cables AQ Rocket 33's, Diamondback XLR's & IC's

  3. #3
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    Congrats on the new cartridge! I look forward to your initial impressions.

    So how did old Blue expire? Keep it in a drawer and when you are ready the needledoctor will accept as a trade for other Sumiko carts and for Benz cartridges.
    They won't do it with Canucks, I tried. Soundsmith are the only ones. I will definitely keep it. The cantilever is giving out John, it's not quite done but I know it's only a matter of one day...POOF!

    I've got it mounted. No not like that, on the Ariston. Stay focused John. I am taking a smoke break and then fun time.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    They won't do it with Canucks, I tried. Soundsmith are the only ones. I will definitely keep it. The cantilever is giving out John, it's not quite done but I know it's only a matter of one day...POOF!

    I've got it mounted. No not like that, on the Ariston. Stay focused John. I am taking a smoke break and then fun time.


    Do not forget your friends in the US that would help with the exchange.
    JohnMichael

    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Ringmat Anniversary mat, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, GSP Fanfare 3 w/PSU1

    Digital Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001

    Int. Amp Krell S-300i

    Speakers Focal 806V/Focal 800 stands

    Cables AQ Rocket 33's, Diamondback XLR's & IC's

  5. #5
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Nice. I've been curious 'bout that brand of cartridge. Looking forward to reading your impressions.

  6. #6
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    So far so good...

    Out of the box is quite pleasant. Highs are super smooth and present. Lows are great. Overall a really nice presentation, good seperation and nice stage. The upper mids are quite engaging from Donaldson's horn. Cymbals have a nice sizzle.

    Just really pleasant and listenable.


  7. #7
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    Do not forget your friends in the US that would help with the exchange.
    Thanks John. I will pay you off, and upgrade my tonearm cable to a Van Den Hul I have been looking at first. At that point I will consider a trade in via Ohio. Would you like it back so that YOU may trade it?

    BTW, what tonearm cable experience do you have? I was looking at the AQ Wildcat at 79.99. Would be nice to keep all AQ in my system at this point. There's a guy on Agon with a truckload of King Cobra's, so I can buy more of those too.

    My issue with the AQ Wildcat is that for a "nominal" amount more, I can have something that I suspect would kill the Wildcat. I am looking at Van Den Hul D-502 DIN to RCA.

  8. #8
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    Poppa nice cartridge!!!!!!!! I'm jealous. The 200 is the best deal in the line up of Nagaokas;
    has the boron cantilever and nude diamond for $175.00: superb value. How's the compliance on that ( I heard it is much higher than stated) I have been considering a MP-150, but the compliance might be too low for my low mass tonearm.

    Great score and I even like the color

    By the way, does it give a good amount of detail while retaining it's smooth nature?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Thanks John. I will pay you off, and upgrade my tonearm cable to a Van Den Hul I have been looking at first. At that point I will consider a trade in via Ohio. Would you like it back so that YOU may trade it?

    BTW, what tonearm cable experience do you have? I was looking at the AQ Wildcat at 79.99. Would be nice to keep all AQ in my system at this point. There's a guy on Agon with a truckload of King Cobra's, so I can buy more of those too.

    My issue with the AQ Wildcat is that for a "nominal" amount more, I can have something that I suspect would kill the Wildcat. I am looking at Van Den Hul D-502 DIN to RCA.

    Poppa I have rewired my tonearm which does not allow for a change of cables. The Incognito rewire which is continuous wire from the cartridge clips to the RCA plugs that plug into my phono preamp. There are not any additionl connectors or solder joints along the length of the cable.
    JohnMichael

    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Ringmat Anniversary mat, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, GSP Fanfare 3 w/PSU1

    Digital Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001

    Int. Amp Krell S-300i

    Speakers Focal 806V/Focal 800 stands

    Cables AQ Rocket 33's, Diamondback XLR's & IC's

  10. #10
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enochrome
    Poppa nice cartridge!!!!!!!! I'm jealous. The 200 is the best deal in the line up of Nagaokas;
    has the boron cantilever and nude diamond for $175.00: superb value. How's the compliance on that ( I heard it is much higher than stated) I have been considering a MP-150, but the compliance might be too low for my low mass tonearm.

    Great score and I even like the color

    By the way, does it give a good amount of detail while retaining it's smooth nature?
    Thanks Eno. My tonearm is low mass as well, I have compensated by adjusting my VTA ever so slightly with it's tail up. I have a Stanton H4S headshell which allows me to add either a 2g or 4g weight. Next week I plan to upgrade my tonearm cable and my headshell. I will probably go with a heavy (12 - 15g) Sumiko from my local shop.

    I am only approx 8 hours into this carts life, break in is at approx 30 hours. So far detail is incredible. I should also add that seperation is also great. My system is very resolute with the low level detail, and this cart is no doubt furthering that.

    Listen, get yourself a Nag. You have to get off the fence. Dude Nagaoka have great detail and are super listenable. Tell you what, if you get a Nag I will send you my Stanton headshell as a gift.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    Poppa I have rewired my tonearm which does not allow for a change of cables. The Incognito rewire which is continuous wire from the cartridge clips to the RCA plugs that plug into my phono preamp. There are not any additionl connectors or solder joints along the length of the cable.
    Well, my local shop usually stocks the Wildcat, but have been out for sometime. Turns out they placed an AQ order about a week ago, and should be getting some in. I think I may just get one and say "F" it. Of course, I could always opt to audition. The Van Den Hul is tempting however...

  11. #11
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Turns out they placed an AQ order about a week ago, and should be getting some in. I think I may just get one and say "F" it. Of course, I could always opt to audition. The Van Den Hul is tempting however...
    Why is the Van Den Hul tempting?
    This is a test to edit sig.

  12. #12
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    You are right Poppa. I made an offer to the guy with the MP-150.

    When you mean you adjusted the VTA tail up, I'm figuring you put in a negative position? i.e. just south of a even balance? I also have an extra head shell weight that will give me an extra 2.5 grams.

    Thanks for the offer on the head shell, but my arm takes an ADC head shell for straight arms. I think the shame of being on the fence was enough to motivate me (?)

    Poppa, don't be disappointed but I sold the SX-650 and the Dual to fund new cart purchases. But, we might part of a new Nagaoka club!!

  13. #13
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    Why is the Van Den Hul tempting?
    They make very reputable DIN cables and the one I want is priced crazy cheap...

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ntr&1289772998

  14. #14
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enochrome
    You are right Poppa. I made an offer to the guy with the MP-150.

    When you mean you adjusted the VTA tail up, I'm figuring you put in a negative position? i.e. just south of a even balance? I also have an extra head shell weight that will give me an extra 2.5 grams.

    Thanks for the offer on the head shell, but my arm takes an ADC head shell for straight arms. I think the shame of being on the fence was enough to motivate me (?)

    Poppa, don't be disappointed but I sold the SX-650 and the Dual to fund new cart purchases. But, we might part of a new Nagaoka club!!
    No...good, I am glad you are compounding your gear. Less is more. I love the SX-650 but it's hardly reference.

    Cool so you may get a 150!! I think the Boron cantilever begins with that model. As far as the arm goes, yes I put it just a tad lower than square so that the counterweight is up a tad. I'm talking just a bit. 2.5g should be enough extra weight to help effect your arm.

    Once you have your new cart at home, you will see better what I have been trying to say. Reviews, opinions and stats are all helpful but at the end of the day, most of the better offerings from the better brands sound great. I think that aside from a horribly matched arm/cart, taste is the ultimate decider.

    Unfortunately developing tastes in this hobby means buying and selling, making mistakes and quite often a bit of frustration to boot. This is why buying used is such an important thing when you are still growing in terms of preferences.

    Perhaps you will decide that the MM sound is one that you love. Maybe you will need more detail and move onto MC. The point is that eventually you must just pull the trigger and have a go at it.

    If you decide that Nagaoka have it all figured out, you can sell the remaining time on your 150 and buy a 500 knowing that it will be spinning for it's entire lifespan.

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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    ...I'm hardly a photographer.







  16. #16
    Swing rakeford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    ...I'm hardly a photographer.
    But it looks good poppachubby.

    Have fun.
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  17. #17
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Thanks rake!

    The detail is really starting to enhance now. Detail in combination with dynamics. This cart is wild, it's laid back yet forward all at the same time. Everything is captured and conveyed as it should, conjuring a really musical listen. Zero fatigue. I find it VERY hard to walk away from or turn off for that matter.

    This cart was definitely designed by analog lovers.

    Anyone who has listened to the Shure M97xe and has been dissatisfied with dynamics would enjoy a Nagaoka. It's laid back like the Shure but nothing is missing from the mix to create that chilled out sense.

    I must admit I was a bit nervous when making the purchase but now I realise I made the right choice.

  18. #18
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Congrats PoppaC. I've read up on that cart and the positive reviews a few months back after a conversation about it over at Vinylengine.com. Sounds like you got a winner.
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  19. #19
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    Looks amazing.

    I've always wanted to see good pictures of a Nagaoka in action. The purple looks classy yet pop-modern and I still think that is the overall best value in the Nagaoka line up. Boron cantilever: sheesh,what a deal!!!

    Please keep me posted Poppa. I like the insight you're giving about the comparison to the 97xe.

    More pics!!!!!

  20. #20
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Eno I don't want to spook you, but in the MP-200 booklet, Nagaoka have this to say regarding stylus life...

    "But for general use at home, the reference time is 150-200 hours in which the stylus begins to wear and the tone quality begins to deteriorate."

    HUH?!?

    I am chalking this up to a combo of marketing and salesmanship. Perhaps yes, at that point the stylus begins to head in a downward spiral. I am doubting that the sounds it emits are severely lacking enough to require replacement.

    Anyhow I am looking into it, there's a thread at the Vinyl Asylum, but it seems lacking. The meber who posted it however is a member here and at AK. I think I will try to PM him and get the goods since his thread is old.

    If it truly only lasts until say ...300 hours. I will be most certainly ditching this cart.

    Remember, the MP series is not moving magnet but infact moving permalloy, thus the MP designation. Permalloy is derived from the moving iron camp. It has different mechanical characteristics in how it achieves it's output.

  21. #21
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby

    If it truly only lasts until say ...300 hours. I will be most certainly ditching this cart.
    WOW - that is really short. I was told my Evo III would only last about 3 years in this SoCal environment. With all the air pollution that eats away at the insides of the cart.

    That made me a bit sad/skeptical - but at least I've got another 'year' with it and that will be up in the crisp, clean, mountain air.
    This is a test to edit sig.

  22. #22
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    No way is that right in the mind of the average vinyl user.

    I think that Nagaoka is such a straight forward audiophile company that also happens to be one of the foremost industrial metal corps. in Japan. I think they are giving you specs from the latter stand point. I think that all styli (spelling?) begin at that stage to deteriorate, it's just that all other companies tell you when the deterioration ends, not begins. Nagaoka is straight up: 300 hours is really the end of their warranty and the beginning of your careful treatment for longevity. If it is not 100% till the 300th hour then they have a manufacturing defect.

    I would say that it at least has 700 - 1000 hrs with normal 1.5 - 1.8 tracking force. Remember Nagaoka is really a metal company that happens to make a lot of parts for other people, they have never needed to "upsell".

    I am still jealous of your silky purple player.

    -Chrome

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