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Thread: Ortofon X3-MC

  1. #1
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Ortofon X3-MC

    Finally ordered a new cartridge today. After much net surfing, anguish and internal debate I decided to for a high output moving coil. I have no idea what to expect.
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  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    I would have probably gone with that one (or the X5-MC) if not for the low mass tonearm on my turntable, which makes it less suitable for MC carts. You might recall that I went with an Ortofon OM30 after consideration of alternatives, and it has brought my vinyl collection back to life after a brief hiatus being stuck with a Sumiko Black Pearl. It uses the same fine line elliptical needle as my cartridge, and from my experience, it's very revealing. Ortofon's high output MCs are known for having a detailed sound with quick transients and well extended highs. Unless you prefer a fat sound to the midrange or a gentle rolloff in the highs, I think you'll be pleased with your purchase.

    Looking at Ortofon X3-MC, OM30, and Grado Silver/Gold ... opinions?
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  3. #3
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    I would have probably gone with that one (or the X5-MC) if not for the low mass tonearm on my turntable, which makes it less suitable for MC carts. You might recall that I went with an Ortofon OM30 after consideration of alternatives, and it has brought my vinyl collection back to life after a brief hiatus being stuck with a Sumiko Black Pearl. It uses the same fine line elliptical needle as my cartridge, and from my experience, it's very revealing. Ortofon's high output MCs are known for having a detailed sound with quick transients and well extended highs. Unless you prefer a fat sound to the midrange or a gentle rolloff in the highs, I think you'll be pleased with your purchase.

    Looking at Ortofon X3-MC, OM30, and Grado Silver/Gold ... opinions?
    Ortofon OM30: THAT'S how my vinyl is supposed to sound!
    I recall your experience and I was considering the OM 20 and 30 for a long time. I stumbled across a link over at audio asylum and found the X3-MC for $159. (This was just recently, Wooch, or I certainly would have have passed it on, but you had already decided to go mm due to your LM tonearm and picked the OM30.) Anyhow, I'm trying Jack's Music Factory for the first time. BTW, if my Dual with the Ultra Low Mass tonearm hadn't died on me I would've followed your path. I really liked its stock cart made by Ortofon.

    I started overhauling my system with a Jolida tube amp. I think if I had gone with a moving coil in the old ss system, it might have been too lean for my taste. I'm anxious to see how well everything comes together.

    http://www.jacksmusicfactory.com/def...3_MC_Cartridge

  4. #4
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    OK, so that didn't work out. I ordered the cartridge on Friday. I received an email saying that Jack's Music Factory is processing my order. Here it is Tuesday and I happen to notice that the Ortofon X3-MC has been removed from Jack's website so I called to check the status of my order. The guy tells me they sold their last one on Friday just before I placed my order! Uhhh...when were you going to tell me?

    So now the grand plan must be modified. Since I got the Jolida tube amp back in November (I couldn't wait for Christmas), I've been using the phono section of my Parasound preamp. I had planned to replace it with the CI Audio VPP-1 which WAS $299. Now it's $349. I ordered the $159 cart. Now it's gone. (A guy at a shop in Atlanta offered to sell me one for $205.)

    But there is some good news. I didn't think the X3-MC with its 2.2 mv output would work well with the Bellari VP129. I've been intrigued by this little tube phono and headphone amp since it came out, but its output is relatively low (30dB). I received an email from lpgear saying that the replacement for the X3-MC is the MC3 Turbo. Its output is 3.3mv and it's not much more than the X3-MC. Now the Bellari is in play, I think.

    So what do I do now? Move up to the X5-MC (which is still available) and stay with the plan to get the VPP-1? Or, go for the MC3 Turbo and the Bellari? Any ideas, guys?

  5. #5
    If you can't run-walk. Bernd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    OK, so that didn't work out. I ordered the cartridge on Friday. I received an email saying that Jack's Music Factory is processing my order. Here it is Tuesday and I happen to notice that the Ortofon X3-MC has been removed from Jack's website so I called to check the status of my order. The guy tells me they sold their last one on Friday just before I placed my order! Uhhh...when were you going to tell me?

    So now the grand plan must be modified. Since I got the Jolida tube amp back in November (I couldn't wait for Christmas), I've been using the phono section of my Parasound preamp. I had planned to replace it with the CI Audio VPP-1 which WAS $299. Now it's $349. I ordered the $159 cart. Now it's gone. (A guy at a shop in Atlanta offered to sell me one for $205.)

    But there is some good news. I didn't think the X3-MC with its 2.2 mv output would work well with the Bellari VP129. I've been intrigued by this little tube phono and headphone amp since it came out, but its output is relatively low (30dB). I received an email from lpgear saying that the replacement for the X3-MC is the MC3 Turbo. Its output is 3.3mv and it's not much more than the X3-MC. Now the Bellari is in play, I think.

    So what do I do now? Move up to the X5-MC (which is still available) and stay with the plan to get the VPP-1? Or, go for the MC3 Turbo and the Bellari? Any ideas, guys?
    Hi Dean,

    What a bummer. Anyway, the bright side. I know the Bellari is a great little product (so is the Eastern Electric Minimax Phonostage-a giant killer). Just thought I'll complicate the issue. Cartridge wise I would go and buy the new MC3 Turbo. You can use it and safe up some green if you need to upgrade. I am sure Ortofon wouldn't release a new product that's not up to scratch.
    Have fun

    Bernd
    "Let The Earth Bear Witness."

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    www.needledoctor.com has the X3-MC Turbo for $249. I have always received excellent service and they have always had stock in what I have ordered.
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  7. #7
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    www.needledoctor.com has the X3-MC Turbo for $249. I have always received excellent service and they have always had stock in what I have ordered.
    Hey, JM - thanks for the response. I emailed needle dr. and asked about the discontinued X3-MC. They have one left and they're asking $279. Evidently there's been a rush everywhere to snatch up this cart before it disappears.

    If anyone is interested, the X5-MC (next cart up the X line) is still in production and is available at Jack's Music Factory for $199 w/free shipping. If you must have the X3-MC, but can't find it, I can give you the name of the shop in Atlanta that offered to sell their last one for $215 (or $205, I can't remember which) yesterday.

    As for me, I think I'm going to pull the trigger on the newer and higher output MC3 Turbo so I can use it with the Bellari.

  8. #8
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernd
    Hi Dean,

    What a bummer. Anyway, the bright side. I know the Bellari is a great little product (so is the Eastern Electric Minimax Phonostage-a giant killer). Just thought I'll complicate the issue. Cartridge wise I would go and buy the new MC3 Turbo. You can use it and safe up some green if you need to upgrade. I am sure Ortofon wouldn't release a new product that's not up to scratch.
    Have fun

    Bernd
    Hah, hah, very funny, Bernd. I looked at the Eastern Electric back when I had grand illusions/delusions of spending all my $$$ on myself rather than on the wife and kids. It ain't gonna happen right now.

    The Bellari is interesting to me because it has a headphone amp unlike the Jolida integrated I'm using now. I can still use the headphone amp in my Parasound preamp, but I'm trying to move it out of the chain.

  9. #9
    If you can't run-walk. Bernd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    Hah, hah, very funny, Bernd. I looked at the Eastern Electric back when I had grand illusions/delusions of spending all my $$$ on myself rather than on the wife and kids. It ain't gonna happen right now.

    The Bellari is interesting to me because it has a headphone amp unlike the Jolida integrated I'm using now. I can still use the headphone amp in my Parasound preamp, but I'm trying to move it out of the chain.
    Apologies all round. The Bellari is a great little phono stage. No youngsters in my house anymore to take my cash.
    Let me know how you get on.

    Bernd
    "Let The Earth Bear Witness."

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