Technics SL-1500C - cartridge upgrade recommendations please

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daccordimark

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Mark
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I've had my Technics with the stock Ortofon 2M Red for a while now having bought it second hand on here. As ever I'm never satisfied with what I've got so I'm wondering what my sensible options are for a cartridge upgrade.

At present I'm using the built-in phono stage as I assumed it wouldn't be much worse than my Graham Slee 1 Bridge stage. An easy option would be a 2M Blue stylus which is a straight swap but I'm underwhelmed by some of the reviews I've read. A Bronze seems a better bet but is ~£300 money well spent on this turntable or a waste? I've read some good things about AT cartridges like VM95ML and VM540ML but with their 100-200 pF loading recommendation I assume the built-in stage wouldn't be suitable. Likewise the Goldring 1042 has similar loading requirements. The 2M Red wants 150-300 pF which presumably the built-in stage caters for but whether it's 150 or 300 I cannot find. There's nothing in the Technics specs to indicate what load it actually presents.

So a change of cartridge manufacturer will probably mean a new phono stage - a Graham Slee 2 SE for example at £260 - to add to the cartridge cost. Even with the cheaper AT I mentioned we're now up to over £400 at new prices. Again, is the underlying TT/arm combo worth this investment? I have no idea so I'm hoping the wisdom of the 'Wam can help me out here!

Oh, and one more thing. Does anyone know if the Technics arm would be suitable for my old Shure M95HE with it's high compliance? It's got a barely run in Jico (non-SAS) replacement Hyper-Elliptical stylus so could be an improvement over the Red (or not!).

Cheers,

Mark.

 

Lurch

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Hi Mark. 

I have a 2M Blue stylus here doing nothing (about 50 hrs) do you want to give it a try? Happy to send it to you to audition to see if it floats your boat, if not for you then send it back or happy to sell if you want to keep it. 

 

vinyl4ever

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Hi lurch
If the OP doesn't take you up on your offer I would be very appreciative of you offer to try the blue, as I'm looking to upgrade my cartridge this month.

Many thanks [emoji4]

Stewart

 

Lurch

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Hi lurch
If the OP doesn't take you up on your offer I would be very appreciative of you offer to try the blue, as I'm looking to upgrade my cartridge this month.

Many thanks

Stewart


 
It's the stylus only, no body, but if you've already got a 2M Red/Silver then if no response by tomorrow eve am happy to send too you. 

 

Idlewithnodrive

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Exactly what the man above said. I used one with the SL1500C I owned and it's an excellent match and a decent upgrade on the Red or Blue.

 

DomT

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daccordimark

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Mark
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Hi Mark. 

I have a 2M Blue stylus here doing nothing (about 50 hrs) do you want to give it a try? Happy to send it to you to audition to see if it floats your boat, if not for you then send it back or happy to sell if you want to keep it. 
Hi,

That's a tempting offer, so yes please I'll accept. For a few quid postage it seems rude not to. I'll PM you my address.

Thanks,

Mark.

 

daccordimark

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DomT

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Dom
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Hi lurch
If the OP doesn't take you up on your offer I would be very appreciative of you offer to try the blue, as I'm looking to upgrade my cartridge this month.

Many thanks

Stewart


 
Hi Stewart as the OP has responded to Lurch’s offer I have two 2M Blues that I bought to test tone arms with. They are consequently very low hours. I will PM you. 

 

AndyCC72

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I have the 1500C and have gone though a few carts, every one an improvement (to me) on the last

From 2M Red to 2M Blue to AT VM95ML to AT OC9XML

I also added the Funk Firm achromat and the KAB Fluid dampener.  I can't recommend the fluid dampener high enough, excellent mod that really made a SQ difference in my system.

I disliked the Red, thought the Blue was a definite improvement (sounded a bit to 'digital' for my liking), really liked the AT VM95ML (an absolute bargain for the price) and am now in MC heaven with the OC9XML. 

Worth adding I was initially using the phono stage in my Lyngdorf amp and then moved to a valve phono stage that I bought from a member here.  Both better than the built in one (which isn't too shabby).

 
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Jason P

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Errr...Jason
I'm experimenting with just this on my new (to me) SL1500. At the moment I'm running the 2M Red but on a Jelco headshell - I have to say it's definitely better with a better headshell. Thinking of trying my Nagaoka OS300 on same HS, but also pondering one of the RigB AT VM95ML carts or possibly the 540ML if the RigB modded bodies are available - by all accounts they're a bit of an unsung audiophile bargain...

The KAB damper is also on the cards - it was a huge upgrade on my old SL1210, and a must for using MC carts.

 
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