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What's the best upgrade to the OM10 on the Project Xpression?

TIU

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Hi, what's an ideal first upgrade from the standard Ortofon OM10 on the Project Xpression TT?

I will be using it with a NAD PP2 through a Cambridge A500 and Monitor Audio B2s.

My budget is £100-£150 and I'm not sure whether to switch to MC such as the Denon's or stay with MM like the Grado Gold or Goldring 1012GX/1042.

Someone suggested the Ortofon MC15 Super II but as that is 7g in weight I would have to order another tonearm counterweight. The present one is ok with carts weighing up to 6.5g and a tracking force of 2.5g.

I only listen to rock music off vinyl, such as Floyd, Genesis, Led Zep, Gabriel, Neil Young, Pearl Jam (oh no, another hippie stuck in a 70's timewarp!)
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Oh and a very merry Christmas everyone!!

 

yoda900

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As stated my preference would be the Denon.

Sell the PP2 and use the cash and the balance from the cart. to buy a better 2nd hand

phono stage.

Will give huge enjoyment
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wow and flutter

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The Goldrings would be good, or how about the AT 440 ML which has excellent reviews, although often overlooked.

With your budget switching to MC would not be a good move. In fact there are some who would say that MC doesn't offer that much of an improvementto justify the switch from MM, at any price.

W&F

 

TIU

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yoda900 wrote:

As stated my preference would be the Denon.Sell the PP2 and use the cash and the balance from the cart.  to buy a better 2nd hand

phono stage.

Will give huge enjoyment
biggrin.png
That's interesting. I thought the PP2 was rated excellent with budget-ish decks. What phono amp would u suggest?

 

TIU

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Can I just add that this is only a first upgrade and I'd like to spend less than £100 if that would be worthwhile in performance terms. As the OM10 only costs 40 quid it must be pretty basic so is spending say £80 on a Goldring 1006 worth it? I'm not expecting a night and day difference in sound quality, just something better than the norm.

 

Biscuit

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I'd consider the Grado Prestige range - very nice.

Also, Icehockeyboy is selling Grado GF3 super carts for £40, which are pretty darn good IMO, well worth a punt as I'd say it would be a significant upgrade on the OM10 for not much money!

 

Ant

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Depends on how you like it. Grado for music first, Sumiko Blue point for detail.

WARNING when ordering the counterweight be very specific, I got one that was too heavy and the stock one was too light. Ended up using blue tack with a bit of brass in to make mine work.

 

TIU

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Jezzer wrote:

Curtis is selling his PhonoBox SE for £60.http://forum.hifichoice.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=20694

Worth getting that and one of Icehockeyfella's Grado carts.  £100 well spent I say.
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Cheers everyone. I'd rather make a bigger jump with the phono amp at a later date i.e when I'm working again and have some more spare cash. More of an upgrade to a Creek or similar. I'm just going to change the cartridge for now and will look at the Grado Prestige Blue and Red, the Goldring 1006 and the Denon DL110 or DL160.

Then there's the Audio Technica 440, the Grado Prestige Silver and Gold, the Goldring 1012GX... oh bugger!
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Many thanks for all your suggestions.
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PaulH

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Denon would be my best bet.

dl304.jpg


I once put one of these, a denon DL304, on my Pro-Ject Classic.... the difference was jaw (ear?) dropping.

 

griffo104

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Good as the Denon DL304 is - and it is very good - I do think a much better phono amp than the NAD would be needed here especially with the very small output the DL304 puts out.

Personally for the price and I'd consider going the Goldring route and sticking with MM for now. Then go with one of the cheaper Graham Slee phono amps at a later date.

 

TIU

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griffo104 wrote:

Good as the Denon DL304 is - and it is very good - I do think a much better phono amp than the NAD would be needed here especially with the very small output the DL304 puts out.Personally for the price and I'd consider going the Goldring route and sticking with MM for now. Then go with one of the cheaper Graham Slee phono amps at a later date.
Yep that's the route I'm heading for. Or maybe one of the Grado Prestige range.

It's wierd this hi-fi separates thing. Everytime I make a decision and buy something it later turns out needing upgrading and wasn't such a great decision after all. I have a built-in phono stage but decided to get the NAD PP2 (used off eBay). Now it seems when I upgrade the cart the NAD won't hack it so that needs looking at as well. I guess that's the fun of separates – you're forever chasing down the upgrade path.
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griffo104

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It never does stop trust me
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- there is always something better.

If you take the NAD unit it actually does a very good job for the amount of money it costs - problem is someone in the hifi press goes over the top and makes daft statements about these things. The NAD may well better the built in phono and be great for starter carts and such.

The problem with something like the Denon DL304, mentioned earlier and my reply to it, is the fact that the Denon puts out very little output and with something like the NAD you are simply not going to have enough gain to take full advantage of a cart like this therefore you end up (more) unhappy and start upgrading again - well not upgrading but probably moving sideways.

The deck you have is a great deck for the money but the Ortofon cart can be bettered by the Goldrings and Grados mentioned. These will work fine with the NAD and allow you time to save up for something like the Graham Slee phono, which in all honesty is a serious step up from the NAD.

You will never stop upgrading, if we did then we would all be happy with our systems - and we wouldn't want that now would we
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TIU

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When I say I have a built-in phono stage I mean my amp, not me personally. I don't walk round with a turntable ghetto-blaster balanced on my head. If I did where would the leads go?

 

TIU

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griffo104 wrote:

The problem with something like the Denon DL304, mentioned earlier and my reply to it, is the fact that the Denon puts out very little output and with something like the NAD you are simply not going to have enough gain to take full advantage of a cart like this
Yeh thanks this is great info. The NAD has an MC input but only for high output type carts like the DL110.

Think I'll stick with MM for now, the MC path is in the distance.

 

thommo

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I'd say think about upgrading the stylus to an OM30 or 40. That gets you all the good stuff like a fine line or Gyger stylus profile, and no faffing about with extree weights and stufffor the arm.

Just my op. of course.

 

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