Is there any point in my buying an MC cartridge?

baltika_no_9

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My TT started life as a humble Rega P2 and over the years I'd added a number of upgrades. The most significant in terms of (positive) impact were the Inspire HiFi changes that I had done this year moving to the birch-ply plinth and acrylic platter. The transformation was staggering and as a result vinyl is once again my preferred medium. I rarely listen to anything else now. The only bits that remain from the original P2 are the motor and the RB250 arm but that's been rewired by Johnny of AO and has a Michell Technoweight fitted.

Putting to one side the matter that perhaps I should have saved the money I spent on upgrades over the years and bought something decent to replace the P2 as that's moot. What I've ended up with, rightly or wrongly, is something that is able to deliver some fantastic sounds. As the TT is at the core of my listening now I am pondering the next steps and inevitably the possibility of trying out an MC cartridge comes to mind. The bottom line is am I wasting my time (and money) thinking that an MC cartridge would be a reasonable step? Do the inherent limitations of my ex-P2 make it an unwise? I am not considering spending a lot of money, let's say £300, but would the experiment be worth it do you think?

I'd appreciate your views.

 
M

MJ.

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IMHO, not for 300 quid, unless you get a blinding deal on something.

 

dudywoxer

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Unfortunately I think that the way cart prices have gone over the last few years, 300 may be a bit restricting. Unless you go for high output mc carts. The dyna dv20x2 should work well on your arm, but is well over budget. The denondl110 is a ho mc that is worth investigating.

 

RobHolt

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Definitely look at the DL110 which gives more than a taste of good MC sound.

Goldring Eroica is also good but at £300 isn't better than the Denon IME - just a little different in presentation. The Denon is really big and 3D sounding, the Goldring a tad tighter and more grounded. Both neutral tonally and track well.

 
M

MJ.

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The DL110 certainly isn't better than your 2M Blue.

I have owned both and the Blue is, IMHO, significantly better than the 110.

 

bandit pilot

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I recently got an AT-OC9ml2 for your budget, brand new and including shipping. I'm just a bit happy with it too. No regrets.

 

bandit pilot

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I'd look for a used cart in the classifieds. I flogged a Shelter 501.2 a year or 2 ago for £250 - it's way ahead of the DL110. Fwiw I'd take an good MM over a DL-110 all day long and the 2m Blue is a good MM imo. Consider posting a wanted add up before spending on a new HOMC, there are bargains to be had if you're patient.- - - Updated - - -

Hadn't seen your post before I clicked send. I fully agree :^
You've got to live by the screen to get a cart bargain. That Shelter of yours, I bet you could have sold it 20 times over. In fact I bet whoever bought it 2 years ago would probably still get their money back today.

 

bandit pilot

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Well it did sell within 2 hours. Posting and bumping a wanted add for a few days wont hurt though, got to be worth a try.
Absolutely.

Your old Shelter though, is a wam legend.

Was it 2 or 3 Benz Gold carts sold last week? something along those lines might be worth looking at. Oh, and an IQ3 on budget too.

 

Jazid

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Alternatively shift the P2, get a Lenco and after fettling have enough for a better MC cart.

Not that I am saying MC is inherently superior. but I am saying (based on my humble but direct experience) that a Lenco is inherently superior and cheaper than a fettled P2.

 

bandit pilot

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Alternatively shift the P2, get a Lenco and after fettling have enough for a better MC cart.Not that I am saying MC is inherently superior. but I am saying (based on my humble but direct experience) that a Lenco is inherently superior and cheaper than a fettled P2. But only if you get one very soon, as Garrard's have sent the price of everything with an idler wheel, stupid.
Slightly fxt.

 
G

Guest

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The Audio Technica AT33EV is reported to be pretty good. One for sale on the forum herehttp://www.hifiwigwam.com/showthrea...-Technica-AT33EV-mc-cartridges-%A3329-p-amp-p

http://www.hifiwigwam.com/showthread.php?94415-FS-Brand-new-unused-Audio-Technica-AT33EV-mc-cartridges-%A3329-p-amp-p

If you like the 2M Blue you should also consider sticking with MM and moving up to a 2M Black. Its an excellent cart.
This. Stonking bargains if you don't want the risk of a second hand MC.

Having said that, looking to your phono stage there are major gains to be had by looking in that direction too.

 

FiftyPlus

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My TT started life as a humble Rega P2 and over the years I'd added a number of upgrades. The most significant in terms of (positive) impact were the Inspire HiFi changes that I had done this year moving to the birch-ply plinth and acrylic platter. The transformation was staggering and as a result vinyl is once again my preferred medium. I rarely listen to anything else now. The only bits that remain from the original P2 are the motor and the RB250 arm but that's been rewired by Johnny of AO and has a Michell Technoweight fitted. Putting to one side the matter that perhaps I should have saved the money I spent on upgrades over the years and bought something decent to replace the P2 as that's moot. What I've ended up with, rightly or wrongly, is something that is able to deliver some fantastic sounds. As the TT is at the core of my listening now I am pondering the next steps and inevitably the possibility of trying out an MC cartridge comes to mind. The bottom line is am I wasting my time (and money) thinking that an MC cartridge would be a reasonable step? Do the inherent limitations of my ex-P2 make it an unwise? I am not considering spending a lot of money, let's say £300, but would the experiment be worth it do you think?

I'd appreciate your views.
I have had no regrets about the high output moving coils I have tried. I started off with the Denon DL160 but eventually upgraded to the Dynavector 10x5 (costs just over £300 at present). A good all rounder on classical and rock. My only complaint is the cost of replacement when the stylus finally wears out (lowest exchange price £249) - which is a tall order in present circumstances, hence I'm looking at a cheaper MM backup. That said, I have not heard a better sounding cartridge all round than the 10x5 that is cheaper, though there may be one out there. If you can, find a dealer that has one set up. I was lucky to find one - hence buying it in the first place!

- - - Updated - - -

My TT started life as a humble Rega P2 and over the years I'd added a number of upgrades. The most significant in terms of (positive) impact were the Inspire HiFi changes that I had done this year moving to the birch-ply plinth and acrylic platter. The transformation was staggering and as a result vinyl is once again my preferred medium. I rarely listen to anything else now. The only bits that remain from the original P2 are the motor and the RB250 arm but that's been rewired by Johnny of AO and has a Michell Technoweight fitted. Putting to one side the matter that perhaps I should have saved the money I spent on upgrades over the years and bought something decent to replace the P2 as that's moot. What I've ended up with, rightly or wrongly, is something that is able to deliver some fantastic sounds. As the TT is at the core of my listening now I am pondering the next steps and inevitably the possibility of trying out an MC cartridge comes to mind. The bottom line is am I wasting my time (and money) thinking that an MC cartridge would be a reasonable step? Do the inherent limitations of my ex-P2 make it an unwise? I am not considering spending a lot of money, let's say £300, but would the experiment be worth it do you think?

I'd appreciate your views.
Just noticed where you live. It might be worth checking out "Phonography" in Winchester.

- - - Updated - - -

The Audio Technica AT33EV is reported to be pretty good. One for sale on the forum herehttp://www.hifiwigwam.com/showthrea...-Technica-AT33EV-mc-cartridges-%A3329-p-amp-p

http://www.hifiwigwam.com/showthread.php?94415-FS-Brand-new-unused-Audio-Technica-AT33EV-mc-cartridges-%A3329-p-amp-p

If you like the 2M Blue you should also consider sticking with MM and moving up to a 2M Black. Its an excellent cart.
2M Black would be on the cards if I could afford it, but it is even more expensive than the Dyna!

 

Gizza

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I'm going to come at this from a different angle. From my experience, having tried a Mitchell gyro/origin live silver arm/Benz micro ace and Audio Synthesis mc phono stage (total retail probably around £3 - 3.5k), I'd not spend any more money on the analogue front end, but instead go for a good second hand DAC for your digital front end. Even using only a squeezebox touch streaming spotify at 320 kbps through my DAC, I get a more accurate sound than I got from my vinyl front end (which I subsequently sold on). OK, so my DAC now retails at around 5k, but I reckon you'd pick up a used, more up-to-date DAC for much less that would still give you a more accurate sound than a vinyl front end costing many times more. I'm sure many vinyl lovers will be along to disagree, but that's just my honest opinion from the experience I've had.

 

Gizza

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In fact, I'd go even further and suggeat that you buy a used Squeezebox Touch and subscribe to to one of the services that stream in 320 Kbps for £10 per month. Almost unlimited access to music, old and new. The internal DAC on the SBT is very good indeed and measures very well. If you have any doubts about this, just read some of the magazine reviews of the SBT.

 

JANDL100

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Lol, chap asks for some advice and ideas for a new cartridge and gets told to buy DAC, and then, after a bit more thought a Squeeze box touch and a Spotify subscription. You couldn't make it up. :doh:
Well, with a limited budget it's well worth looking at alternatives. ;-)

If you're prepared to go for a used cart (which would be my reccy) you can get an awful lot of cart for £300.

For a HOMC I'd go for a Dynavector 10X5 - stonking cart for the money. :^

 

greengoblin

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Unfortunately going to mc would inevitably bring into discussion the quality of your mc phonostage. Not only you'd be changing cartridge but also changing phono amplification either by introducing more circuitry or a step up transformer. There are plenty of high quality mc cartridge sub £300; I sold a zyx r50 recently for £250 that was in my view better than an ortofon kontrapunkt b.

However I'm staying with MM (well actually moving iron) because my step up transformer+ mc cartridge did not give a better match than my music maker going straight into my m&m phonostge. The mc gave better sonics, but my MM boogies better and overall better music for me

 

goomer

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Unfortunately going to mc would inevitably bring into discussion the quality of your mc phonostage.
The OP has a Pro-Ject Phono Box RS which I would think is well up to the task of handling a very decent MC cartridge.

Buying an Audio Technica OC9 mlII from LP Gear, as already suggested by someone further up the thread, for about £300 inc. import and shipping fees would be what I would choose if spending on a new cartridge, although, like the OP, I wouldn't be sure on whether I should spend on the cartridge or on the turntable.

 

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