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What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions? (Read 364 times)
BicycleJoe Lo-Fi
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What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
09/05/22 at 11:46:54
 
Licorice Pizza Lovers, What is your favorite Moving Magnet cartridge?
My TT came with an Ortofon which I replaced with a Shure V 15
Next was a discontinued NOS Empire EDR9 that  was a revelation.
After a year I had it retipped with a Shibata nude stylus.

After I could no longer find Styli for the Empire EDR9 I upgraded to a Clearaudio Maestro V1
I've retipped it twice, now I am ready to try  something new ?

Not sure what the next step up would be.
Suggestions?

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"Once there was a note, pure and easy,playing so free like a breath rippling by,the note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,forever we blend and forever we die".
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chapsjon
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #1 - 09/05/22 at 15:16:53
 
If we are sticking to MM carts, Here are the ones I currently use, in no particular order. JICO makes carts for most of them.

Grace F-8 (sub stylus Sony ND-150GE)
Shure V 15 III and IV (w/ JICO VNE and SAS)
Technics EPS 205E
Shure N-44G
Nagaoka MP-110 (new stylii easily available)
Audio Technica AT-150E/G.

MI
Pickering XV-15/ 625E

These all sound different and are one reason I prefer records. I can listen to the same album on same setup with two different carts and get slightly different presentation. I went the route of (mostly) vintage IOT broaden my range of sound signatures instead of spending more money on one cart. Others may disagree with my approach, but it works well for me as not all records are mastered the same. Certain ones play better to my ears with certain carts.
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LR:Mini Torii, CSP2+ & Pioneer Exclusive M4, Accuphase E-303
Wright WPP100 phono, Graham Slee Jazz Club
Technics SL-1200MK3D Grace F-8 & Nagaoka MP-110
Yamaha NS-1000M, KEF Reference 101, Sony SS-5050
BR: SE84C+, ZP1 phono, Decware 945
JVC QL-7 Shure V15 Type
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Lon
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #2 - 09/05/22 at 15:39:51
 
The only cartridge I'm using is a Rega Exact2 on an RP3 with ALL the Groovetracer mods, the TTPSU and new Rega Reference belt. Love it.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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HockessinKid
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #3 - 09/05/22 at 16:57:27
 
Here's my favorite:

Audio-Technica VM740ML

Great tracker and outstanding performance for a reasonably priced MM cartridge.

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 LO cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 > CSP3-A preamp > ZMA-A amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Audio Lii15 Magnum speakers > Snake River Audio & ZenWave cables.
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BicycleJoe Lo-Fi
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #4 - 09/05/22 at 19:41:25
 
Thanks I took a good look at both Audio Technica's , the Grace too and the Shure DJ cart.
If I was going to buy something vintage I'd want to get NOS from a dealer, I don't think I wanna take a chance with eBay. I saw some people are just selling the cartridges without the stylus and its after market for premium prices. When I found the empire EDR 9 it was a bargain but the prices went up triple from what I originally paid for them. I don't think I'll be buying any more one K cartridges anytime soon now I like the idea of getting a good MM for a nice price
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"Once there was a note, pure and easy,playing so free like a breath rippling by,the note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,forever we blend and forever we die".
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BicycleJoe Lo-Fi
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #5 - 09/05/22 at 19:43:34
 
The Rega Exact2 looks really nice. Must be nice with the Rega arm.
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"Once there was a note, pure and easy,playing so free like a breath rippling by,the note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,forever we blend and forever we die".
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4krow
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #6 - 09/06/22 at 01:55:23
 
 I have not owned a lot of cartridges over the years. No doubt there were personalities to each of them. Surprisingly, I have found that the AT95SE 'cloned' by LP Gear is a keeper. It was the price of only $200 that made me decide to try it out. The Shibata stylus gives this cartridge the chance to find detail that I like so much.
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Decware 34I.3 integrated amp/Forte' 3 bass amp/Velodyne SMS-1 bass mngmnt system/Decware ZOB speakers/Audio Nirvana 8" bass drivers/Xiang Seng DAC/ LR Audio Computer/Rega Apollo R CDP/Emotiva ERC3 CDP/BPT 3.0 power cond.
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chapsjon
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #7 - 09/06/22 at 02:44:58
 
Your recommendation of the AT95SE is great one I'm sure. Though I don't have direct experience with that model, my 150E/G is excellent and likely the best tracker I have. As you note, it also does excellent with detail. What it trades compared to others is a little warmth. AT makes excellent carts though.

I'm not sure I could choose just one, but the Grace F-8 is my favorite. Part of that is how I happened onto it in a Japanese thrift store. The F-8 and F-9 sound so good, that many have them retipped and/ or rebuilt (rare for MM's) as NOS stylii are very hard to find and, when found, are expensive. As I mentioned, one can sub a JICO stylus made for the Sony ND-150GE. I have done this (saving my NOS stylus) and it works well.

RE finding NOS vintage carts or stylii, I am unsure how possible this is now. Maybe there are some dealers that are sitting on NOS stock, but they've got to be expensive. I have had excellent experience with JICO stylii, so in my opinion so long as they make stylii for the vintage cart you are considering, buying NOS is less of a concern.
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LR:Mini Torii, CSP2+ & Pioneer Exclusive M4, Accuphase E-303
Wright WPP100 phono, Graham Slee Jazz Club
Technics SL-1200MK3D Grace F-8 & Nagaoka MP-110
Yamaha NS-1000M, KEF Reference 101, Sony SS-5050
BR: SE84C+, ZP1 phono, Decware 945
JVC QL-7 Shure V15 Type
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BicycleJoe Lo-Fi
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #8 - 09/06/22 at 11:41:08
 
Pardon my pun but thanx for the tips
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"Once there was a note, pure and easy,playing so free like a breath rippling by,the note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,forever we blend and forever we die".
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Dr3wman
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #9 - 09/06/22 at 17:01:33
 
While it is not a moving magnet,  I have a high output moving coil cartridge  - which in many/most cases can be used with a MM amplifier -  I have the PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp which is for both MC/MM and run it through the MM side.

The Dynavector 10x5 MKII - I love it. Shibata stylus - tracks nicely - was a big improvement over my Ortofon  2M Blue.
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On the waiting list for Torii MKV and ZROCK2 (both w/ all anniversary mods).
PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamplifier
Technics SL-1200GR w/ Dynavector 10x5 MkII.
Emotiva T1 towers.
Sonos connect.
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BicycleJoe Lo-Fi
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #10 - 09/06/22 at 17:22:59
 
I wonder how these suggestions compare to the cartridge I'm using now which I've had for 15 years, I've had it re-furbed exchanged twice and just examined recently by SoundSmith so it's good to go .

I'm using the Clearaudio Maestro, the first version from around I'm gonna say 2006. in between maybe about five or six years of downtime.

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"Once there was a note, pure and easy,playing so free like a breath rippling by,the note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,forever we blend and forever we die".
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chapsjon
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #11 - 09/06/22 at 18:17:32
 
I have no experience with the Clearaudio so can't say. I have posted this reference before, but I highly recommend the vinyl engine site for cart reviews, specs, and other general info. For example, here is the link for their Grace F-8 info: https://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_reviews.php?make=Grace&model=F-8

Though most reviews don't make direct comparison between carts, sometimes you can piece together generalities on how a cart may sound in comparison based on reviews and specs.
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LR:Mini Torii, CSP2+ & Pioneer Exclusive M4, Accuphase E-303
Wright WPP100 phono, Graham Slee Jazz Club
Technics SL-1200MK3D Grace F-8 & Nagaoka MP-110
Yamaha NS-1000M, KEF Reference 101, Sony SS-5050
BR: SE84C+, ZP1 phono, Decware 945
JVC QL-7 Shure V15 Type
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BicycleJoe Lo-Fi
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Posts: 534
Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #12 - 09/06/22 at 19:55:52
 
Yes I did check out the Gracie 8 Grace 9 Smiley I'm gonna take another look at that particular review.
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"Once there was a note, pure and easy,playing so free like a breath rippling by,the note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,forever we blend and forever we die".
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4krow
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #13 - 09/07/22 at 01:07:21
 
 I think that it might a good idea to consider high output moving coil, or even a moving iron cartridge.
I owned a DynaVector 10X5 many years ago, and loved it. Recently, I owned a moving iron (I forget the make at the moment) and was surprised to hear what it had to offer.
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Decware 34I.3 integrated amp/Forte' 3 bass amp/Velodyne SMS-1 bass mngmnt system/Decware ZOB speakers/Audio Nirvana 8" bass drivers/Xiang Seng DAC/ LR Audio Computer/Rega Apollo R CDP/Emotiva ERC3 CDP/BPT 3.0 power cond.
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BicycleJoe Lo-Fi
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #14 - 09/07/22 at 02:15:48
 
Yes I will after I compose the system I want as a goal.  I like the new balanced turntables on the market. I'd like to run a balanced signal front end to output to the speaker.  I'd like to keep my turntable and records in a different room then my listening space for vibration isolation. Then I'll think about MC or MI . Top of the line ClearAudio MM has the same stylus as the 25K CA MC cart. But I want new choices till then.
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"Once there was a note, pure and easy,playing so free like a breath rippling by,the note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,forever we blend and forever we die".
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Same Old DD
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #15 - 09/07/22 at 17:54:31
 
Stanton 981s was my first MM, which I think fits this topic.  '90s era.

I had bought a step up transformer to help with existing gear and, except for needing to go farther with the gain, it sounded amazing. Though a bit soft with gain in my ability to integrate it properly into an SAE Preamp of those days, I always wanted a full on MM pre to match it to.

Still have it and it needs a stylus replacement, but even the early efforts, MM seemed like the way to go at the time. A stylus was difficult to find at times.

Kind of hoping to try a more modern version at some point.

Keeping an eye on this thread.
Wink
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SE84Cs Mono'ed, McIntosh MC2500, Yamaha Pre, Dual TT, Ortofon, JBL2235x4 modded for OB, Visaton B200 OB, Kleenline Power, Revox & Sony R-R
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4krow
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #16 - 09/08/22 at 14:00:13
 
The idea of running a balanced signal all the way to the speakers has intrigued for many years. It would seem to be the more natural way to do it.
Also, the idea of going balanced from the TT to a headphone amp and then balanced to a set of headphones comes in at a close second. Could be the idea of eliminating the room from the equation.
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Decware 34I.3 integrated amp/Forte' 3 bass amp/Velodyne SMS-1 bass mngmnt system/Decware ZOB speakers/Audio Nirvana 8" bass drivers/Xiang Seng DAC/ LR Audio Computer/Rega Apollo R CDP/Emotiva ERC3 CDP/BPT 3.0 power cond.
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BicycleJoe Lo-Fi
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Re: What is Your Favorite MM Cartridge? Suggestions?
Reply #17 - 09/08/22 at 17:35:59
 


Quote:
the idea of going balanced from the TT to a headphone amp and then balanced to a set of headphones comes in at a close second. Could be the idea of eliminating the room from the equation.

This would seem the simplest route FOR ME to go with Decware. All the other  solutions are not balanced totally front end source to output. I have to do more research.
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"Once there was a note, pure and easy,playing so free like a breath rippling by,the note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,forever we blend and forever we die".
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