Ceko

The Vinyl upgrade

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Super Wammer
3 hours ago, The Marlin said:

Forget the Ortorfon red abs blue, Nagaoka MP200 is a best way to spend your money. 
 

Even the cheaper MP110 is an excellent cartridge. 
 

I’m using an MP500. I’m nearly 50hrs in, amd it keeps getting better and better.  

Don't you just hate it when someone throws a "better" in the mix that costs considerably more.   As to what cartridges sound best - as we all know there is a best for you which may not be best for anyone else.  As for me my best is a Decca Supergold - I have tried em all - and if I had to have a MM I would probably get the Goldring G1042 .. 

There are so many factors that come into play from the Phono stage to the balance or your loudspeakers to what your ears like to hear ..  the answer as we all know is to get your ears around them and buy the one you like the sound of best .. not easy these days but if you are going to shell out over £200 on a cartridge wouldn't you want a test drive?

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The Nagoaka MP110 costs the same as the Ortofon Red, and kicks it ass all over the place. 

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Phono stage, I’d recommend the Schiit Mani. Best £150 I’ve ever spent.  It’s an awesome MM phono stage, not so good in MC. 

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Hi ceko,

If your amp has a decent quality MM, which it appears to being an optional module rather than a tick box inclusion, a good MM cart should make a big improvement.  I have owned and can also recommend the AT 150Sa (same as VM 750), and the  cheaper Nag MP110.

However you need to check the cart compatibility with your relatively budget Project deck, the  AT 750 range is heavier and weight is carried forward of stylus so needs more VTF to compensate.  If you prefer a warmer balance the mp110 should suit, if you want a more open explicit sound, AT might suit better.

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59 minutes ago, DomT said:

Whilst I said that Fled was deaf he actually made a good point. His point was that it’s possible to be very happy at lower price points if you have the right combination of products. I used to have a much more expensive t/t and arm but am happier now. 

Anyway Ceko let us know how you get on. 

I will. I’m very interested in the AT model as it seems to get a lot of credits already in this thread and also the Nagaoka seems nice!

I’m suddenly aware I’m getting in the price region of new recordplayers so maybe I’ll even investigate if there’s one with a better cart to begin with.

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I can't add much here as my current set up is rather different being an Ortofon Quintet Black S cart which is MC ..on Atmo Sfera TT into Pathos In The Groove Phono ..onto a Minute EL34 amp into Klipsch Quartets...which is a step up from a Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 SE ...which i must admit sounded really good on my previous TT an SRM Tech Athena with an EL1 Tonearm, initially with a Shure V15 Mk II then an Ortofon 2M Red ....

So all i can say is enjoy the journey and explore the changes that carts can give, allowing time for them to open up/bed in before deciding on other changes ...

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5 hours ago, rabski said:

Long term, everything. Short term, cartridge.

I know they have their fans, but (based on my 'taste') I don't get on with Ortofons, and for me that includes the serious ones, apart from the SPUs. To my ears, they always sound dull and lifeless. I don't know the Moonriver amp, but the specs suggest there are two phono stage options, MM only or MM/MC switchable. Either way, I'd probably stick with moving magnets at the price point. Many of the Audio Techincas have a bit of liveliness and a nice, open sort of sound, but still manage bass well.

I'm known as an AT fanboy, because every one I've had here has sounded better than expected at the price point, though I should add that apart from the perennial AT95 cheapie, I don't have much experience of the MM ranges. If it was on my rack, I'd probably look at phono stage second, but I'd also be asking around about people's opinion of how much the ProJect would take in terms of doing justice to a decent moving coil. A vinyl front end needs everything to work well together, and just upgrading one part substantially is unlikely to see it performing at its best. What you have, however, should easily be capable of sounding a lot better with a good MM cartridge.

TBH I've found the 2M's anything but dull and lifeless. I'll leave that to the Nagaoka's. lol

If I was starting again, I'd try the new-ish AT range. But as a definite and easy improvement I'd change the stylus to a Blue.

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, Ceko said:

I will. I’m very interested in the AT model as it seems to get a lot of credits already in this thread and also the Nagaoka seems nice!

I’m suddenly aware I’m getting in the price region of new recordplayers so maybe I’ll even investigate if there’s one with a better cart to begin with.

Your turntable is ok to put a better cartridge on it.  If you were going for a new t/t then you should look secondhand to get something better.  But £500 will not get you something significantly better.  For £500 and selling your Project the only two or three worthwhile t/ts would be a custom Lenco, a Technics SL1200 or a Systemdeck.  But I would be more inclined to do the cartridge now and when you have a bigger budget go for a much better turntable. if you had 1500€ then you would get a great value and better performing secondhand t/t. @radiant red for example is selling his Thorens but I believe that its collection only.

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Super Wammer
6 hours ago, Ron Hilditch said:

Sorry about butting in!  I've been advised by a dealer, that the phono stage in my Denon PMA2500NE won't be good enough if I upgrade my cartridge.  Consequently the search for a preamp has been going on and I'm finding it a bit confusing.  The front runners at the moment are the Project Tube Box DS2 or the much cheaper MoFi StudioPhono.  Although I suspect the MoFi won't be much of an upgrade, just looking at the price.  Can't afford to pay more than £700.  Any help would be welcome.

Checkout this months HFN&RR, the two in your price range that get bigged up are the Mofi Ultra Phono (£499)& Pro-Ject Tube Box DS2 (£550).

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Super Wammer

There is always a problem when demoing cartridges at a dealers .. putting a new cartridge in properly is not like swapping a cable or even an amp .. A cartridge needs to be installed to the nth degree to get the best out of it and some can be right sods sometimes..they also need several hours to run in ...How many carts can you demo in a reasonable time .. 

kindest regards Julian

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16 hours ago, Ceko said:

If I compare my vinyl setup with digital, digital wins. I'd like to "like" my vinyl setup more, so what can I do to upgrade my vinyl set a littlebit?
I now have a pro-ject debut carbon esprit with a red ortophon cartridge (do I say that correctly?), connected directly to the phono stage of my amp. Can I make some adjustments to my record player to make it sound better? I'd like to spend around 500 euros on it if that makes it notacibly better.

And by noticably I do not mean the "Day and night" difference that power cables make but clearly, audibly better for anyone in the family.

This is a very good question - is it the drive & stability you get from digital that vinyl lacks?
To be honest I don't think you can get digital's drive and stability with a record player on your budget.
Vinyl is super but it needs good speed stability.
Is the drive & attack your issue?

Messing about with a different cartridge will probably not sort you out.


 

Edited by Von Krolock

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Super Wammer
5 hours ago, bigrod said:

There is always a problem when demoing cartridges at a dealers .. putting a new cartridge in properly is not like swapping a cable or even an amp .. A cartridge needs to be installed to the nth degree to get the best out of it and some can be right sods sometimes..they also need several hours to run in ...How many carts can you demo in a reasonable time .. 

kindest regards Julian

And the vast majority of dealers do not demo cartridges because of this. At best they will have some turntables that have a cartridge but it’s more about demoing the turntable. 

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6 hours ago, Von Krolock said:

This is a very good question - is it the drive & stability you get from digital that vinyl lacks?
To be honest I don't think you can get digital's drive and stability with a record player on your budget.
Vinyl is super but it needs good speed stability.
Is the drive & attack your issue?

Messing about with a different cartridge will probably not sort you out.


 

I don’t mind speed and stability issues, as long as the sound is good. I usually miss the detail dynamics and sound stage that I get when playing cds or Spotify.

Edited by Ceko

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14 hours ago, DomT said:

Whilst I said that Fled was deaf he actually made a good point. His point was that it’s possible to be very happy at lower price points if you have the right combination of products. I used to have a much more expensive t/t and arm but am happier now.

That's exactly the point I was trying to make. Poorly worded I agree. 

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Super Wammer
3 hours ago, Ceko said:

I don’t mind speed and stability issues, as long as the sound is good. I usually miss the detail dynamics and sound stage that I get when playing cds or Spotify.

Sounds like a Dynavector DV20XH would work. But also a Technics SL1200G would seem to be the turntable that would be a good fit. And I just remembered that if you like an uncoloured sound from t/ts then a Nottingham Analogue Ace Spacedeck is rather good. 

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