Reccommendations for a good, cheap phono cartidge?
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eric343

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Well, now that we've got a good phono preamp (thanks ai0tron!), we need a good cartridge. Our Audio-Technica DC20 just won't cut it anymore. (heck, it wouldn't cut it hooked up to the MM-only phono input of the MA6500, it definitely doesn't cut it hooked up to a dedicated preamp)

So, any suggestions?
 
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TimSchirmer

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what is your budget, and which tonearm will you be using?

If you are looking for a good all-around cartridge for cheap, go with audio technica AT440ML...

If you want something a bit more expensive, go with the grado gold (not good with anything rega) or some of the moving coil designs such as the ortofon X5MC or the sumiko blue point special

On the high end... pretty much anything in the clearaudio line is decent. I'm a dynavector fan myself.
 
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eric343

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Hmm, I think my dad would be willing to spend about $100 or so (it's mainly his setup). The tonearm is the stock one on the Techics SL-BD22 turntable, AFAIK.
 
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RGA

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I upgraded my Goldring Elektra that came with My NAD 533(a Rega 2) to a Shure M97xE. around $90.00US http://audioadvisor.com/store/produc...no%20Cartridge

The best bit is that it is IDENTICAL to the V15VxMR except for the stylus. So you can buy the V15VxMR Stylus down the road as an upgrade. http://audioadvisor.com/store/produc...no%20Cartridge

Mine hasn't broken in yet but sounds much better than the Goldring(which was not all that cheap to start with.

You can get the M97xE cheaper here: http://www.garage-a-records.com/
 
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Great suggestions from the vinylphiles here.I would say anything by Dynavector is a good bet.I have fallen in love with them and they are the very best tracking cartridges I have used.even the cheaper Dynavector carts track records that I would normally never play because of surface noise and scratches.they also are one of the very few cartridges that offer outstanding playback with mono and deep groove LPs and 45s.the trade-in programs help out a lot.
 
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I don't think it will make sense to spend a fortune on a new cartridge for this Technics entry level table. But you'll need one with a T4P connector, so the AT331LP could be a good choice. I had replaced my old Technics cartridge in my old Technics turntable by an AT cartridge, years ago, and was very happy with it...

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by sil0nt
Anything Grado.

The Red is especially good for the price.


Yes. The Red, Green and Black are all under $100.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by eric343
Hmm, I think my dad would be willing to spend about $100 or so (it's mainly his setup). The tonearm is the stock one on the Techics SL-BD22 turntable, AFAIK.


If you decide to go with the Shure you'll have to be contend with the M92E, since the arm on the BD22 does not accept 1/2" mount. So the M97xE won't work. On the other hand all of the Grado Prestige are available in P-mount. In like manner carts like the AT-331LP and AT-301EP will be under $100 and work with your table.

Finally, there is the Ortofon TM 14 U, which I never heard, but it has a good reputation.

The Grado tracks OK, but they have a known problem with hum in some tables / setups. I've had this issues with Grado on three of my turntables - it's regrettable, since I like their sound otherwise.

I would lean toward the Shure because it's a very good tracking cartridge and is compatible with low mass arms like that of the SL-BD22. It is quite detailed for the money.

Good luck,

~Michael~
 
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eric343

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Well, maybe he can be persuaded to get a new tonearm, too... Any recommedations for those?

And if he can't, then it looks like it's either the Dynavector, Grado, Shure, or AT331LP. I just can't decide WHICH!
 
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Anders

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Did I understand it right, that your tonearm doesn't fit with standard cartridges?
A short time ago I tried to explore the market to find a good but not too expensive tonearm because I was somewhat insecure about how much I would listen to vinyl in the futute. You can understand that I have not tried different alternatives at home but have to go for reviews and specifications.
My choice was the Rega RB250. It has good reviews and is cheap, slightly above 100 pounds if bought in UK (minus VAT + freight to US). It was much better than the tonearm on my old Thorens TD166. The good thing is that you start at a cheap point and have an option to upgrade it. There are kits for a structural modification that improves tracking and upgrades for the tonearm cable. Both were substantial improvements.
I considered Dynavector cartridges seriously but my choice was an Ortofon Kontrapunkt (more easly accessible and relatively cheaper in Sweden). But that was just before the new Dynavecor models.
Whatever, I am satisfied with my choices. Spend something on it! Used LPs are cheap and usually sound good if you can accept some occasional scratches. Doesn't disturb me much!
 
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TimSchirmer

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if he ever seriously gets into analog...he aught to get an Origin Live modified RB250. It's price/performance ratio is similar to that of our beloved koss KSC-35's.
 
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TimSchirmer

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Quote:

Originally posted by eric343
Well, maybe he can be persuaded to get a new tonearm, too... Any recommedations for those?

And if he can't, then it looks like it's either the Dynavector, Grado, Shure, or AT331LP. I just can't decide WHICH!


Dynavector is the clear winner among those three.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by lini
I don't think it will make sense to spend a fortune on a new cartridge for this Technics entry level table. But you'll need one with a T4P connector, so the AT331LP could be a good choice. I had replaced my old Technics cartridge in my old Technics turntable by an AT cartridge, years ago, and was very happy with it...

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini


I second this. The AT is very very nice for the price. It's great.
Grado cartridges are like their headphones. Too bright. The lower series anyway. I had a Grado Red and returned it because I thought it sounded pretty nasty and bright. I still have the AT on my old Technics, but use a Goldring on my main turntable.
 
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Eagle_Driver

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Sorry for digging up this old thread, but my current table is a Technics SL-QD33 with its stock tonearm (most low-end Japanese tables have non-user-replaceable tonearms, to the point that if you upgrade your tonearm, then the automatic start/return features may not work correctly). I currently have an Audio-Technica AT92E cartridge whose stylus had not been changed at all in eight years. Unfortunately, a new stylus costs almost as much as an ENTIRE new cartridge! [By the way, my cartridge has a bonded .3x.7 mil elliptical diamond stylus - but I should have known better: Bonded means that the diamond had been glued onto the metal cantilever (as opposed to nude-mounted, in which mounting method involves cutting an extremely narrow groove around the diamond tip, and trying to somehow jam it into a smaller hole in the metal cantilever). And bonded styluses (or is the plural of stylus "stylii"?) don't last very long: The glue or adhesive is apt to weaken and wear out, causing the diamond to eventually fall out.]

So, I know the general rule of thumb is the appropriate cartridge for my Technics turntable shouldn't cost more than the original MSRP of that table (in this case, $199.99 - but I had paid $149.99 back in 1989). Given that, should I upgrade to a Grado Prestige Silver or Gold cartridge? Or, in the $80 range, a Grado Prestige Blue or Red, or an Audio-Technica AT331LP? Or, should I just go with another sub-$40 cartridge (such as another AT92E), or go with a Grado Prestige Black or Green? Or, should I just buy the cheapest cartridge available where I shop at [which means an A-T AT90E, with an 0.7 mil conical (spherical) stylus]? (NOTE: I'll need a P-mount cartridge for my particular table.)

And for music listening, which type of stylus is better? Conical (spherical), or elliptical?
 
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