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  1. #1
    Wammer Neilb's Avatar
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    Best MM Cartridge under 250 quid?

    What are your thoughts on this guy's? With lots of other things to think about right now I looking for a good allrounder for between 150-250 quid. I know there's a lot of choice and my default option was something like an Ortofon 2M blue. Something comfortably better than entry level which would stave of the nagging itch to immediately upgrade. Any opinions on items such as Goldring's 2500?

    It'll probably be used on something Like An Xperience Classic for now.
    I\'m gonna eat your brains and gain your knowledge.

  2. #2
    Wammer
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    Consider a high output moving coil like the Denon DL110 or even better the Dynavector 10x5, otherwise the Ortofon range seem to be as good as any MMs I've heard. Sadly you hardly ever get the chance to hear cartridges before you buy them, so there is a risk of getting it wrong if you just rely on reviews. The Goldring range get good write ups but I have only heard a couple of budget models.
    It\'s the music that it is there for!

  3. #3
    Super Wammer freefallrob's Avatar
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    The Goldring 1012GX is a very good all rounder, the 2M BLUE is very much more forward sounding, but very good to...

  4. #4
    Wammer Neilb's Avatar
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    Hmmmm. People describe the 2M blue as being very 'modern sounding' almost more like playing a cd but with great Bass apparently. Whether this is good or bad depends I guess. My Proac D15's can be a little aggressive in the treble though so I wander...
    I\'m gonna eat your brains and gain your knowledge.

  5. #5
    Super Wammer freefallrob's Avatar
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    Yes the 2M Blue is very dynamic, has tight solid bass and sounds focused, it throws the images forward from the speakers, doesn't treat rubbish/poor recordings well (you get what is there, which is good and bad....).

    On jazz it can sound spectacular, but on less than well balanced stuff that's what you will get.

    The upper mid is forward where 'most' MM have a saddle or dip so it can take some getting used to.

    It does pull out some detail and will make some LP's sound 'fresh' again.

    I prefer the Golding 1012GX overall in a RB301 type arm, swings and roundabouts!

  6. #6
    Moderator myrman's Avatar
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    Another vote for the 2M Blue

  7. #7
    Super Dooper Wammer rockmeister's Avatar
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    proac d15's? What happened to the BMW 805's??
    Anyway 'modern' means tuned to sound like CD replay...ie more dynamic, cooler, brighter and probably with a tad of lift at either end.
    Forget cheap MC's...a good MM is better.
    Goldring everyday, whichever you can afford.
    still just watching clouds

  8. #8
    Wammer
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    You could consider the Audio Technica 440MLa - a pretty reasonable cart, comes in at about 150 ish. Been enjoying mine for a few years, however I'm no idea how it compares to the more expensive 2M Blue.

  9. #9
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    What would be the difference in the "character" of the sound between a high-output MC like the Denon 110 and an MM like the 2M Blue? Are there low-output MCs in this price range that would be worth considering?

  10. #10
    Wammer Neilb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmeister View Post
    proac d15's? What happened to the BMW 805's??
    Anyway 'modern' means tuned to sound like CD replay...ie more dynamic, cooler, brighter and probably with a tad of lift at either end.
    Forget cheap MC's...a good MM is better.
    Goldring everyday, whichever you can afford.

    I've still got the 805 signatures but I'm considering selling them. So lovely but the finish is very precious and I'm constantly worried about getting them scratched in anything less than a hermetically sealed environment.
    I\'m gonna eat your brains and gain your knowledge.

  11. #11
    Pac67
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    1042GX or Sumiko BPS EvoIII would be my immediate choices around the 250 mark. Goldring has good solid bass and isn't too forward in the mids and has a controlled well extended upper response. Couldn't do much better IMHO. Its less forward than offerings from AT such as the 440 and tracks well. The sumiko doesn't get much coverage and I'm at a loss as to why. They vary between carts a bit, which may be a clue. Get a good one and it could almost compete with an entry level Lyra; detail retrieval is excellent and it has a very airy presentation. They improved them from a few years back as early one's could be a little forward with a lift in upper treble but I've always liked these carts.

  12. #12
    Wammer
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    agree with Arfa - The Audio Technica 440 Mla sound good and tracks extremely well (virtually no sibilance problems) - I'd love to try the AT-150 Mlx which probably sounds even better and definitely has a better body.

  13. #13
    Wammer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arfa View Post
    You could consider the Audio Technica 440MLa - a pretty reasonable cart, comes in at about 150 ish. Been enjoying mine for a few years, however I'm no idea how it compares to the more expensive 2M Blue.
    Hi Arfa,
    This is my recommendation too. Wide FR, good seperation, and toped off with a line contact diamond to dig out information from the groove and lower wear at the same time. It sounds much more expensive than it is. It benefits from the phono cable and amp input capacitance to be as low as pos for the levelist FR. and set up like this nothing touches it unless you spend 2 or 3 times the money. A true gem.
    Regards
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  14. #14
    Wammer
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    you could get a low output moving coil like the denon 103 well within your budget

  15. #15
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    The Digitrac 300 SE. Gives you Ortofon OM30 quality at a fraction of the price, to whit, 59.

    If you like bright, go for the AT440MLa. Too bright for my system, so moved it on. I also have a Goldring 2600, but have only used it once or twice. Less bright than the AT, reasonably full sounding, but can't really say much more.

  16. #16
    Frugalphile Howlindawg's Avatar
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    I've tried most of the main contenders in this price range in my own system.

    Goldring 2500
    Goldring 1042
    Sumiko BPS Evo III
    Dynavector 10x5
    Ortofon 2M
    Denon DL110

    For me the Goldring 2500 was the clear winner, with the DV 10x5 and Goldring 1042 close behind.
    (DV a little more exciting, GR2500 a little more refined, GR1042 a bit warm and rose tinted).
    The Sumiko looked fantastic but was too strident at the top. A big disapointment.
    The DL110 sounded artificial, like listening through an AV amp with DSP turned on.
    The 2M was good but lacked in bass in comparison to pretty much all of the others. Dynamic but on the warm side of natural.
    The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.

  17. #17
    Wammer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howlindawg View Post
    I've tried most of the main contenders in this price range in my own system.

    Goldring 2500
    Goldring 1042
    Sumiko BPS Evo III
    Dynavector 10x5
    Ortofon 2M
    Denon DL110

    For me the Goldring 2500 was the clear winner, with the DV 10x5 and Goldring 1042 close behind.
    (DV a little more exciting, GR2500 a little more refined, GR1042 a bit warm and rose tinted).
    The Sumiko looked fantastic but was too strident at the top. A big disapointment.
    The DL110 sounded artificial, like listening through an AV amp with DSP turned on.
    The 2M was good but lacked in bass in comparison to pretty much all of the others. Dynamic but on the warm side of natural.
    I had a Dynavector 10x5 before I had my current Ortofon 2M Blue. The Dynavector sounded fine with my Audio Research SP9 mk2, but it just didn't have enough output for my current phono amp, a Puresound P10. The P10 and the 2M sound like they are made for each other, and I think the 2M Black will sound even better from what I've read. I don't find my 2M Blue lacking in bass and I would say it is better than the 10x5. Maybe the Dynavector had slightly sweeter treble and was more forgiving to bad records, but I'm pretty happy with the 2M Blue at the moment. So I think an avantage of moving magnets is that they work with a wider range of phono amps.

  18. #18
    Wammer KT66's Avatar
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    Denon 160 is the one to get, more refined than the 110

  19. #19
    Super Wammer tkimages's Avatar
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    The DL160 does sound very good on my Gyro/Technoarm TT, but I can't compare to the 110 as I've not heard that one. I preferred the DL160 over the Goldring 1042 and Sumiko BP, as it sounded as detailed as them but a little smoother - refined?
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  20. #20
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    I think the DL-160 has been discontinued.

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