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MM upgrade for Pro-ject 1Xpression with 2M Silver, going on Bronze

Discussion in 'audio' started by PJD, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. PJD

    PJD pfm Member

    Have the 1Xpression with 2M Silver

    I believe the Silver cartridge will take a Blue or Bronze stylus so likely to go down that road.. but can't see MC being budgeted for in the foreseeable

    For practicality reasons I was using a Pro-Ject Box E BT (https://www.project-audio.com/en/product/phono-box-e-bt/) an entry level Bluetooth phono stage to an CA Azure DAC.

    Don't laugh! I truly believe the audio bottleneck isn't the BT codec, however I've decided to go for impractical and have the wiring for a MM phono stage at the ready, so looking for something a little better to suit my upgrade trajectory.

    My index finger ordered a Rega MM III last night based on glowing reviews, being delivered today. 14 dys to try it under DSR I believe.

    Can I get any feedback on the Rega, and suggestions of alternatives (used/new) £200 or less if that's not rated?
     
  2. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I would put an Audio Technica cartridge on a ProJect turntable, all day long.

    ProJect and Ortofon are distributed by the same company which is why all ProJect turntable ship with Ortofon cartridges. Sonically though they are often not the best match and when you fit an AT it's a finger snapping moment. They match much better.

    Which Rega did you buy?
     
    PJD likes this.
  3. PJD

    PJD pfm Member

    Interesting.. I have wondered about AT and Nagaoka carts.. but the Ortofon stylus upgrade path is certainly laid out for the Pro-Ject customer with a Silver - plug and play - and I believe switching cartridge can be fiddly slightly challenging with the carbon arm?

    It's this Rega.. http://www.rega.co.uk/fono-mm-1.html

    I'm hoping for some improvement on the Pro-Ject, by virtue of the budget nature of the E box, but I do wonder if it's the best choice for £200. (The Rega does seem to fetch £150+ used all day). Apparently it's not the most punchy character, so it might tame the 2M Silver.. but the cart/stylus will see an upgrade

    I ruled out the schiit due to RF issues.
     
  4. The Bish

    The Bish pfm Member

    I tried the Bronze stylus on the silver cart, sounded really good although the Blue stylus will give you a big improvement for less money. I ended up moving to a second hand 2M black which is much more detailed but sometimes prefer to use the bronze stylus on it as it’s a bit more forgiving on less than stellar vinyl.
     
    Geoff WILTON and PJD like this.
  5. PJD

    PJD pfm Member

    Thank you.

    Approx £67 more for Bronze £185 vs £118.

    Worth it in your opinion?
     
  6. gerlando

    gerlando Prog Rocker

    1) I don't think you can put a Bronze Stylus on your Silver body.
    The Silver body is the same of the Red and Blue ones, but different from Bronze and Black (which share the same body).

    2) I would go for an AT-VM95ML.
     
  7. Adam3004

    Adam3004 pfm Member

    I put a bronze on a blue cartridge, they tell you that you can't do that but I don't see why not. Was told by a dealer that you will get about 80% of what the Bronze is capable off by putting it into the blue cartridge. IMO it's a worthwhile upgrade, I've also got the Rega mm you've ordered and found that to be a big improvement over the Tisbury Audio it replaced. Order the Bronze you won't regret it.
     
    Geoff WILTON likes this.
  8. The Bish

    The Bish pfm Member

    not in my view unless you went for the full bronze/black cart upgrade. The blue is a very decent improvement.
     
  9. The Bish

    The Bish pfm Member

    ps happy to lend you my spare bronze if you want to try it out first, drop me a pm if interested
     
  10. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    No worse than any other arm really. I certainly wouldn't let that stop you changing to a different cartridge.

    Sure, upgrading the stylus will improve things but changing the whole cartridge will change the sound wholesale.
     
  11. gerlando

    gerlando Prog Rocker

    Simple, because the material of the body and the generator are different and therefore the results are unpredictable.

    Furthermore, the price difference between a full 2M Bronze and the replacement stylus is only £60, so I don't think it's worth it.

    The full 2M Bronze is £244 from Audio Emotion.
    https://www.audioemotion.co.uk/ortofon-2m-bronze-cartridge-8491-p.asp
     
  12. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I don't really buy that. It's still going to work. Better copper in the windings and a stiffer body, not a completely different cart. The 2M Silver itself is a 2M Red with the same silver plated copper as the 2M Bronze/Black.
     
    Adam3004 and The Bish like this.
  13. Adam3004

    Adam3004 pfm Member

    As I said it was told I'd get 80% of the capability, that was good enough for me. I will be trying an AT or Nag once it needs changing.
     
  14. PJD

    PJD pfm Member

    I read somewhere that the Silver cartridge body is some halfway between the red/blue and bronze/black... silver plated coils but not as many windings as in the bronze/black -- something like this?

    Lot of food for thought, thanks chaps.. Will be comping various rip on YT videos (pity we can't do needledrops here would be sooo helpful... presume that's a closed discussion.. and my TT is going to spend 90% of it's time wired directly from phono stage into a quality studio convertor so would be a doddle to rip and share examples.. alas)..

    @The Bish may give you a shout over that, kind offer thank you !

    @Adam3004 Good to hear positive about the Rega - about to unbox look forward to spinning some records
     
    Mr Pig likes this.
  15. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I've not heard about the body being different from the Red/Blue but that's spot on regarding the windings. It was originally only supplied as a special fitted to ProJect turntables but they pop up for sale separately from time to time. Reading between the lines, I think ProJect asked for a brighter sounding cartridge.
     
  16. PJD

    PJD pfm Member

    Memory still works! Good to get confirmation I'm on the right track ty ..

    I've also seen wanted ads for the Silver cart body!
     
  17. daytona600

    daytona600 Registered User

     
  18. PJD

    PJD pfm Member

  19. Geoff WILTON

    Geoff WILTON Member

    I am also running a bronze stylus on a silver body. I bu**ered my original bronze body by pulling out one of the connecting pins. Grrr! A silver body presented itself on the Bay so I went for it. It works just fine (listening to it as I type). Can't honestly say it sounds worse and I have a Blue stylus on standby for the day the bronze has had it! Clearly Ortofon are just keen to sell the higher price bodies, and who can blame them. Marketing in action!
     
  20. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I had a silver here a couple of years ago. Bit of a weird one. From what I could find out it was special made for ProJect, both ProJect and Ortofon are distributed by the same company, Henley Designs. It was intended to be supplied on ProJect turntables and was not for general sale but the odd one turns up here and there.

    Is basically the same as a 2M Red but with silver wire windings instead of copper. I'm guessing to make it a little brighter to better suit the ProJect decks but I don't know. As it doesn't share the stiffer plastic body of the Black and Bronze it's not the same body as those carts, if I remember correctly the wire is different too.

    Who knows where the heck it sits in the pecking order. I'm inclined to think it's probably different from the Red/Blue body rather than better or worse but I guess the stylus looks a little better than a red one, if that tickles you.
     
    Geoff WILTON likes this.

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