I have both a previous-generation Grado green and an Ortofon X3-MC cartridge (with no stylus). I am using Stax Classic II cans to listen to this table and I really loved the Grado's warm midrange and rolled highs, which paired well with the ultra-detailed but colder and brighter electrostats.
I am considering an Ortofon re-tip, which I believe would cost nearly as much as just getting a new X3-MC cartridge. What shall I gain by using this more expensive cartridge? Do you think the synergy will be the same? The Grado, motor-intereference hum aside, was really something special.
I think that this Dual was built around Ortofon cartridges, so I'm curious to know any sonic compromises I might be throwing into the mix here. Obviously it would be a lot cheaper to just stick with what I like, the Grado, but I'm intrigued since I own the darn Ortofon anyways.
I don't think that any table must be used with a specific cartridge brand, more than that the compliance of the cartridge must match the tonearm. Maybe the Ortofon was a good choice here, but there must be alternatives.
If you like the sound of the Grado, go for it. The older Ortofons are known to be neutral and accurate but dynamics not being there strong side, a little boring. This seems to have changed with their newer models. My Kontrapunkt has good dynamics and neutrality. It is not cold at all but I wouldn't either say it has any excessive warmth. This is a low output MC. If you want a high output MC you could consider one of the new Dynavectors.
If it costs nearly as much to retip your Ortofon as a new one, you could equally well say you don't have one!