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Your Cartridge History

Discussion in 'audio' started by Miss Ariel, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Yes, in some ways it's all you'll ever need! I comfort myself with the thought that if I ever hit hard times, I'll always be able afford to play my records!
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  2. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    In vague reverse order. Dynavector 20X2 L, Ortofon Cadenza black, Benz wood SL, Ortofon MC 30 super, Goldring 1042, AT95E, Ortofon VMS 10, Stanton 500, Shure M75ED. And another 3 or 4 cheap magnetics early on which i now forget.
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’ll just quote from my own post to expand on what I view as the highlights/the things I learned the most from:

    This was both a great cartridge and highlighted the power of marketing. At the time (late ‘70s) Grado were running ads showing it mounted in a then state of the art SME Series III and a far heavier arm on a PL12D, the strap-line was ‘What a Grado can do in this arm, it can also do in this one…’. It did actually work ok in my clunky big Lenco 75 arm, I don’t remember it jumping warps or anything despite what had to be a compliance mismatch (I didn’t understand such things back then), and it was noticeably better sonically than the M75EJ that was in the deck when I bought it. I bet it would have sounded great in a better arm though. If Grado made cartridges of this quality today I’d be very tempted to try another.

    This was me rejecting Linn orthodoxy as I was well aware I’d been sold a pup in the Basik LVV which had rattly bearings and pissed azimuth, so I traded it in for a then totally unfashionable second-hand Audio Technica AT1120 fluid damped low-mass arm and bought the M25FL high compliance cart from Laskeys who were closing them out at about £20. I really liked that combination, it would track anything cleanly, though it demanded very clean records as it tracked at about 1g IIRC.

    More rejecting orthodoxy. I just never got on with the K9, it was a bright and lean thing and I didn’t care how much the magazines and dealers tried to convince me otherwise. The Stilton Nag just killed it to my ears, a far bigger, more powerful and involving sound. A great tracker too.

    Arguably the best cartridge I’ve ever owned. Hugely dynamic, but it didn’t last long. It seemed to fall off a cliff after about a year and a half becoming rather grainy and hard despite being physically clean and not high hours. Kind of put me off spending a lot of cash on cartridges.

    Another one that left a good impression. About half the price of the Lyra, but I suspect no worse (different deck, system and house by this time). One I should mention because I just can’t fault it.

    Can’t not mention it. The 103 is flawed, but a classic for good reason. If your musical diet is entirely 50s and 60s jazz then it is real high end as it tracks these short beautifully cut sides perfectly. I kept going back to it time and again, but the end of side tracing on more densely packed music always lets it down. It is what it is.

    Where I’ve ended up and will likely stay for the foreseeable future. Tracks anything, works great in my deck/arm, likes my phono stage and reminds me a lot of what I liked so much about that Stilton MP11. It’s just well balanced and doesn’t put a foot wrong. One of those components that draws no attention to itself, and I like that. A lot to spend on an MM, but if you are crafty styluses are not too painful; I paid <£180 landed for my current spare from Japan via eBay (I didn’t get hit by UK customs for some reason).

    PS I have never owned a Decca, so they are not on my list, but they have left a huge impression whenever I’ve heard them. Dynamics like no other cartridge. Unbeatable if you like jazz drumming!
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  4. Durmbo

    Durmbo not French

    Rotel DD, forget model:
    B&O SP something
    Ortofon 305

    Planar 3/RB300:
    Ortofon X5
    Garrott K3
    Garrott with Jico SAS
    AT100e (current)
    AT3600L (not yet used)

    Faves would be the Garrott/SAS (amazing tracking; let down by too little capacitance in my phono stage) and AT100e (fantastic dynamics and neutrality). I’d intended to put an ML440xxx stylus on the latter; however, I found the stock cartridge so satisfying that I’ve never bothered.
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  5. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones pfm Member

    Early nineties: Rega Super Biases all the way.
    Rega Elys
    Rega Exact
    Ortofon MC20 Supreme
    Dynavector DV17D2
    Dynavector DV17D2 "and a half". (They upped the output a little in the mid 00s).
    Dynavector DV17D3
    Dynavector Te Kaitora Rua
    Benz Micro Ace SL
    Koetsu Red T Signature (the one up from the Red K). Fabulous on an SME20.
    Rega Ania Pro. Just got it. Loving it so far.
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  6. colasblue

    colasblue pfm Member

    Dual 505 I (long gone)
    Dual TKS49s
    ADC Phase III

    Linn LP12/Ittok/Ekos (recently gone but not much used in last 10 yrs)
    ADC phase III (didn't migrate well)
    Linn Asaka
    A&RP77 (big mistake)
    Linn Troika (rebuilt several times)

    Orbe/Graham 2.2
    Ortofon Kontrapunkt b (not for long - poor match)
    Ortofon MC20 super
    AT33 PTGII

    Townshend Rock II with J7 RB250 & Linn Lingo
    Ortofon Kontrapunkt b (inherited from Orbe)

    I've never been one for spending crazy money on a cartridge and it seems to me a lot of peeps have gone up the price range towards the top and are now coming back down again with no sense of loss or disappointment. I'll certainly be checking out he Hanas and Regas next time but the PTGII has only just gone on so it's not for a while.
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  7. RJohan

    RJohan pfm Member

    ERA turntable inherited from my brother, ca 1974, had a Shure M-75 on it. Everybody used them in those days.
    ADC Q32
    Stanton 681 EEEEEE - one of the better ones I've owned, but, everybody was talking about MC's, so:
    Dynavector 21R - Probably quite good, but it didn't work with a ultra wide band Kenwood head amp.
    Dynavector 19A - Better with the above- later used with a Dynavector low price transformer which tamed the highs but also removed most of bass.
    Ortofon MC-10 with it's own head amp.
    Finally a proper turntable - Ariston RD80 - Still my largest upgrade ever. With a big margin.
    Linn K9 - Relief!
    Linn LP12
    Linn Troika's - I think I had three.
    Linn Arkiv B
  8. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    AT 33PTG (did not like)
    DV20XL - like a lot!
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  9. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    Never owned one myself, but on demo it always sounded more pleasant to listen to than it's overhyped big brother, the AT95E.
  10. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Too many to list, but Shures up to V15, then Decca and h.o. m/c Onlife for quadraphonic CD4 use, then l.o. m/coils all the way from ' the late seventies;

    Ortofon ('orrible; sold it immediately), Linn, Roksan, Lyras x 2, Koetsus x2, Benz and Transfig. A few others I can't remember plus VMS 20E I still have, for some reason ('cos it's a brilliant stand-by?)
  11. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    I bought an AT95E to see what all the fuss was about, but didn't keep it for long. It's not a bad cartridge, but on less than perfect material, the Carbon murders it.
  12. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Amadeus GTA
    XX2 MkII this time. Tried to get a Hana but none available and no sign of delivery

    Rega 25
    DL 103
    Super Elys
    Cheap AT (the green one) thrown in with deck by the kind dealer.

    Always DL110s
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  13. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    @gerlando for the win, that's alot of cartridges and in alphabetical order too!

    @gavreid there's 36 Hana cartridges listed on ebay, every model seemingly.
  14. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    That's good, there was nothing in the country a couple of months ago - needs must!
  15. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    My god, I couldn't list/remember them all.
    mikechadwick likes this.
  16. Bettisdad

    Bettisdad pfm Member

    Crikey, my list is minute in comparison to most, in my defence, I’ve only got into vinyl in the last 3 years.

    Rega Exact
    AN Iq 1
    AN Iq 3
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  17. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    To quote myself, I've had a think and narrowed it down.

    The best MM I've owned has been an Ortofon VMS20

    The best MC a Benz Glider SL

    But I'm not done yet so...
  18. tpetsch

    tpetsch pfm Member

    Ortofon OM-10
    K-18 (Inc several new stylus changes.)
    Troika (rebuilt several times.)
    Back to Troika (I own 2)
    Apheta 2
    Aphelion 2
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  19. Alun Rains

    Alun Rains Jus Juan Cornetto

    Shure M75ED
    AKG P7E
    Linn. K18
    DV. 20x2L
  20. timpy

    timpy Speaker Abuser

    Not a long list:

    Shure M75
    Ortofon OM10
    Goldring Epic II
    Nagaoka MP11 Gold (Stilton Body)

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