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P-mount cartridge under $100?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am going to be picking up a Technics turntable and a vintage JVC receiver next week for my first foray into vinyl and need a recommendation on a good P-mount cartridge for under $100.

Thanks for your help, I am totally clueless about vinyl...
post #2 of 15
I believe that several of the Grado cartridges are available in P-mount. A Grado Black P-mount around $60 would be pretty good. You should be able to order one from TTVJ, as well. Todd is a Head-Fi sponsor and the customer service is great.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
So, regarding the Grado black vs. the Green, is it worth the cost of upgrade, or am I even going to be able to tell?

The table is a Technics SLBD20D, and the receiver is a JVC JA-S22.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akathisia View Post
So, regarding the Grado black vs. the Green, is it worth the cost of upgrade, or am I even going to be able to tell?

The table is a Technics SLBD20D, and the receiver is a JVC JA-S22.
I've been wondering the same thing. Grado has a pretty extensive line of incrementally priced phono cartridges that start in the $60US and on up through several $100US.

I did find the following review on Audiogon. AudiogoN Reviews: Grado Prestige Black Cartridge

What’s the point of diminishing point of return in regards to sound/price on the Grado cartridges?

This may be a loaded question depending on what you’re willing to spend and what type of turntable you intend to mount this on.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrsu.ranger View Post
I've been wondering the same thing. Grado has a pretty extensive line of incrementally priced phono cartridges that start in the $60US and on up through several $100US.

I did find the following review on Audiogon. AudiogoN Reviews: Grado Prestige Black Cartridge

What’s the point of diminishing point of return in regards to sound/price on the Grado cartridges?

This may be a loaded question depending on what you’re willing to spend and what type of turntable you intend to mount this on.
I read that review and it has sold me on the Grado Black for this table. It is really my introduction to vinyl (automatic everything, p-mount cart) and I won't really sink any more that a few bucks into it before making the decision to upgrade to a better vinyl rig... which I think I already have

Here are is a pic of what I picked up today :

Technics SLBD20D Turntable (brand new condition, owner says used once and I have no doubts)
JVC JA-S22 (needs thorough de-oxit bath)
Radiohead "OK Computer"
Brand New "Daisy"
The Shins "Oh, Inverted World"

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akathisia View Post
I read that review and it has sold me on the Grado Black for this table. It is really my introduction to vinyl (automatic everything, p-mount cart) and I won't really sink any more that a few bucks into it before making the decision to upgrade to a better vinyl rig... which I think I already have

Here are is a pic of what I picked up today :

Technics SLBD20D Turntable (brand new condition, owner says used once and I have no doubts)
JVC JA-S22 (needs thorough de-oxit bath)
Radiohead "OK Computer"
Brand New "Daisy"
The Shins "Oh, Inverted World"

I had one of those JVC amps nearly 30 years ago. Grado cartriges work well on it. Did not like the sound of the cheaper Ortofon cartridges on it though, bright & irritating. These amps have good headroom for a 40 watt/channel stereo amp. Played louder than some 60 watt/channel amps available at that time. This amp was also D.C. coupled so care has to be taken to minimize D.C. at the inputs. Sound was quite good for being an I.C. based power amp. As long as your speakers are no lower than 4 ohms you should be fine with this amp. It has excellent protection built in too.
post #7 of 15
I'm itching to get back home. My wife bought me some re-pressings of "The Smiths" vinyl. My wife had previously bought me one of those Sony $100 turntables but I'm yearning for something a little more and I have an eye on a Grado cartridge.

I have an old flagship Yamaha DSP-1000 amp, hook up the record player, plug in my HD-600s and I''m jonsing just thinking about it.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post
I had one of those JVC amps nearly 30 years ago. Grado cartriges work well on it. Did not like the sound of the cheaper Ortofon cartridges on it though, bright & irritating. These amps have good headroom for a 40 watt/channel stereo amp. Played louder than some 60 watt/channel amps available at that time. This amp was also D.C. coupled so care has to be taken to minimize D.C. at the inputs. Sound was quite good for being an I.C. based power amp. As long as your speakers are no lower than 4 ohms you should be fine with this amp. It has excellent protection built in too.
Unfortunately the JVC I have is quite temperamental (if you look at it funny it drops a speaker or crackles out of control.)

I plan on picking up some de-oxit and hopefully alleviating these issues today.
post #9 of 15
Were you able to de-oxit it yet?
post #10 of 15
Were you able to fix the JVC yet?
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrsu.ranger View Post
I've been wondering the same thing. Grado has a pretty extensive line of incrementally priced phono cartridges that start in the $60US and on up through several $100US.

I did find the following review on Audiogon. AudiogoN Reviews: Grado Prestige Black Cartridge

What’s the point of diminishing point of return in regards to sound/price on the Grado cartridges?

This may be a loaded question depending on what you’re willing to spend and what type of turntable you intend to mount this on.

I would strongly, strongly recommend getting a P-mount from LPGear. They have upgradeable styli that IMO far outclasses what you'd get from a Grado. For $100 you can get this AT Hyperelliptical cart. AT put alot of money into P-mount carts so they get the job done. Not to mention there have been grumbles about Grado P-mounts just not being optimal for the p-mount format. Also, LPGear has upgradeable styli so when you're ready you can even get a shibata/fine line stylus. You won't find a P-mount cart that offers that anywhere else. Or a hyperelliptical for that matter (Grado Blacks are regular elliptical).Of course they have a different sound. AT carts are clear and detailed, and Grado's go for warm fuzzy (some would say muddy) mids.

But the consensus I've read over the years is for the money Grado's just are too finicky and so-so performance wise until you shell out bigger bucks.

I would search and post on Audiokarma's TT forum for advice. Huge knowledgebase there.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wushuliu View Post
I would strongly, strongly recommend getting a P-mount from LPGear. They have upgradeable styli that IMO far outclasses what you'd get from a Grado. For $100 you can get this AT Hyperelliptical cart. AT put alot of money into P-mount carts so they get the job done. Not to mention there have been grumbles about Grado P-mounts just not being optimal for the p-mount format. Also, LPGear has upgradeable styli so when you're ready you can even get a shibata/fine line stylus. You won't find a P-mount cart that offers that anywhere else. Or a hyperelliptical for that matter (Grado Blacks are regular elliptical).Of course they have a different sound. AT carts are clear and detailed, and Grado's go for warm fuzzy (some would say muddy) mids.

But the consensus I've read over the years is for the money Grado's just are too finicky and so-so performance wise until you shell out bigger bucks.

I would search and post on Audiokarma's TT forum for advice. Huge knowledgebase there.
Hmm, not exactly my experience at least dealing with Grado & Audio Technica. The Grado is very much compatable with the amp in question. My only experience with an AT catridge though with a different preamp left me in tears it was so agressive. I begged the guy to put the Denon cartridge back in after about 4 hours of doing LP evaluations with the AT. The Grado on this amp was smooth & easy to listen to without loosing any sense of detail especially with the JVCJA-S22 amp.The further you move away from eliptical toward fine line styluses the more finicky the setup is & the less likely to get a good setup with a p-mount cartridge as p-mounts were basically meant for plug & play with little user adjustment. Fine line styli should only be used on high end turntable-tonearm setups that offer very fine adjustments as these adjustments make a lot of difference.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post
Hmm, not exactly my experience at least dealing with Grado & Audio Technica. The Grado is very much compatable with the amp in question. My only experience with an AT catridge though with a different preamp left me in tears it was so agressive. I begged the guy to put the Denon cartridge back in after about 4 hours of doing LP evaluations with the AT. The Grado on this amp was smooth & easy to listen to without loosing any sense of detail especially with the JVCJA-S22 amp.The further you move away from eliptical toward fine line styluses the more finicky the setup is & the less likely to get a good setup with a p-mount cartridge as p-mounts were basically meant for plug & play with little user adjustment. Fine line styli should only be used on high end turntable-tonearm setups that offer very fine adjustments as these adjustments make a lot of difference.
Ah, well amp/preamp compatibility can certainly be a factor. I do prefer the AT sound, though they take some time to break in.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hmmm, more to think about on the cart front (still haven't invested in a new one yet )

Anyhoo, I finally got around to cleaning the JVC out (both thorough internal dusting and a De-Oxit bath), and it sounds pretty damn sweet. All internal gremlins are gone, or haven't shown back up yet, and after cleaning I found that the caps are not leaking - which I had originally feared.

My only comparison for integrated amps is my late 80's Technics receiver, and the JVC makes it sound brittle and flat.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akathisia View Post
Hmmm, more to think about on the cart front (still haven't invested in a new one yet )

Anyhoo, I finally got around to cleaning the JVC out (both thorough internal dusting and a De-Oxit bath), and it sounds pretty damn sweet. All internal gremlins are gone, or haven't shown back up yet, and after cleaning I found that the caps are not leaking - which I had originally feared.

My only comparison for integrated amps is my late 80's Technics receiver, and the JVC makes it sound brittle and flat.
Yes they are a fine sounding amp. The power amps themselves are D.C. coupled. Not sure of the preamp section. You will notice the DC logo on the upper right of the facade, that referes to the D.C. coupled power amps. It is these I believe that contribute heavily to the open sound on this model amp. That is why I use D.C. coupling wherever I can. D.C. coupling is different from direct coupling as the amps with D.C. coupling will amplify all the way down to D.C. where merely direct coupling won't. D.C. coupled amps sound very open, Thier main benifits are not in how deep they go in the bass which they will go deep but in the clearity & soundstage as well as realistic attack on drums & percussion.
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