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Boring tales of moving magnets

Discussion in 'audio' started by Tigerjones, Feb 8, 2022.

  1. Tigerjones

    Tigerjones Bagpuss

    Good evening and welcome to my boring tale of moving magnet cartridges, please feel free to add your own.

    I have recently moved my turntable - Technics SL-1200 MK2 - away from her normal partner - JVC AX Z1010 - in the lounge and set her up in the dining room. My kids make it difficult to remember what my lounge even looks like. So, she now has some new partners in the dining room, a Sugden A21 (the proper A21, the one with the wooden sides) and a pair of Royd Minstrels.

    But first let’s rewind a quite a few years. I contacted Patrick at Sugden around six years’ ago enquiring which MM carts were a good match for the A21. His recommendations were the GR 1042 and the Ortofon 2M range. I bought a 1042 and loved this cart, possibly the best cart I have owned apart from the Denon DL-110.

    When the time came to replace the 1042 I was using the JVC amplifier. I went out and bought an Orfoton 2M Red, I instantly hated this cart, I’ve described it on here as a ‘screechy dog of a cartridge’ (don’t worry readers, if you’ve not given up yet, there’s a twist in this particular tale) Off it went, in to the box of random hifi rubbish.

    What replaced it? You all ask. After some deliberation I bought a Nagoaka MP-110. I have enjoyed this cart, a nice match with the JVC and have used it for a couple of years. A very pleasing sound, if a little soft at times.

    However, moving the Technics and Nagoaka to the Sugden hasn’t proven to be a particularly good partnership, lacks high energy and sounds rather shut in. Maybe the cart has run out of batteries.

    So - and here comes the twist, ladies and gentlemen - I, In desperation, got the 2M Red out, stuck it in the arm and off we go. Well, blow me down with a feather. It sounds pretty good, couldn’t quite believe it was the same cart I had tried with the JVC a few years ago. It’s still got a lot of energy going on up top and I don’t think it tracks that well on the inside, but it has a lot of drive to it and decent bass. Well I never.

    I now find myself thinking about a suitable MM cartridge for the Technics that has some of the drive the 2M Red has but with a more refined sound and less of the top end.

    If I had the money I’d buy another GR1042 or the DL-110 but that’s not quite the bargain it once was.

    What MM carts below £150 do people recommend?

    Miss Ariel likes this.
  2. Andy Stephenson

    Andy Stephenson pfm Member

    Left field idea...What about a 2M Blue replacement stylus.
    Plug in to your Red body, no set up, away you go.
    Priced around your budget.
    I use a 2M Blue I wouldn't call it screechy or top heavy.

    Regards Andy
  3. topa

    topa Sans CDPs

    Never got on with Ortofons myself, but love the Denons. What you describe sounds like the need for some Audio Technica?
    torstoi, Simon s and Tigerjones like this.
  4. Tigerjones

    Tigerjones Bagpuss

    Talk to me.
  5. The Bish

    The Bish pfm Member

    Yep, the blue is very enjoyable, good shout. Or an AT VM95ML, bargain.
    Nagraboy, torstoi, MJS and 2 others like this.
  6. Mynamemynaim

    Mynamemynaim 38yrs a Naim owner

    The 2M blue is a nice cartridge
    95% of the black , at a fraction of the price and seemingly none of the setup hassles
    Tigerjones likes this.
  7. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Not much of an answer here I'm afraid. I used to have a 1042, in fact I s5i'll do. It's well used. I now run a denon 110. Both are really good. As for an alternative, I'm a bit out of touch these days. A wanted ad might turn up a few gems for less than half your budget.
    musicman7988 and Tigerjones like this.
  8. Tigerjones

    Tigerjones Bagpuss

    We have very similar tastes it appears, Steve.
  9. Darren

    Darren Doin' the Southern Freeeez

    Didnt realise how good the 1042 was until I part exed it against an expensive moving coil. The coil was better... but not by much and lacked the Goldring's rockin' bass.
    Tigerjones likes this.
  10. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Alternatively we both read the same magazines!
  11. Tigerjones

    Tigerjones Bagpuss

    I’ve never set foot inside a hifi magazine in my entire life.
    matt j likes this.
  12. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    That's a very good policy. I used to in the 90s, used HFW as my source of used stuff and did very well. The articles though were worth a light apart from, you guessed it, Old World. These days I never pick one up, a mate recently gave me one aftef he'd bought the same one twice, I had it kicking about but every time I tried to read it I disliked it so much I threw it away.
    torstoi and Tigerjones like this.
  13. PerF

    PerF Scandinavian Member

    Afraid budget wouldn't even buy a G1042 stylus nowadays, maybe a 1012.
    Tigerjones likes this.
  14. rough edges

    rough edges Sapere Aude

    I have an SL1200Mk2 with an Ortofon 2M Bronze that sounds pretty good to my ears.
    freefallrob and Tigerjones like this.
  15. LPSpinner

    LPSpinner pfm Member

    Hi All

    As other have said, the 2M red is best avoided, it’s stylus is a bonded rondel type of very basic geometry. It has issues tracking the groove wall particularly as you get toward the inner portion of the groove, it's built to a cost. The Blue has a proper Nude Elliptical stylus with much lower tip mass, this will track the groove much better, It also fits onto the Body of the Red.

    I have a 2M Bronze in my SL1210 II and it absolutely sings and tracks like a trooper.

    The Ortofon 2M range seems to focus on neutrality and accuracy. The other Cartridges mentioned are more noted for the Musicality or Verve rather than “Accurate Rendering” of the groove, Its all about taste. It’s your system and your ears, use what you enjoy.

    freefallrob and Tigerjones like this.
  16. Miss Ariel

    Miss Ariel pfm Member

    Using a AT 95 ML on a Technics SL1210 with stock arm and no mods.
    Its a superb mm.Can't fault it.Great musicality.A real sweet spot in the AT mm range and superb VFM.
  17. freefallrob

    freefallrob pfm Member

    The Red is rubbish frankly, buy an AT VM95SH or ML, or the blue stylus, all are light years ahead.
  18. Simon s

    Simon s pfm Member

    AT VM95ML or 540ML (if you can stretch to a bit more) all the way !
    These carts were made for the Technics IMO.

    I did try the 2M bronze for a bit and while it sounded good, the AT carts seem to groove better with better HF extension and separation- without sounding screechy.
  19. Simon s

    Simon s pfm Member

    The VM540ML punches well above its weight.
  20. barryb

    barryb pfm Member

    In agreement that the red, for all its faults, has a type of bombast, drive and coarseness that's fun with rock etc.

    The bronze forsakes this but gains on refinement and tracking. It really is a decent cart.
    LPSpinner likes this.

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