Cartridge Advice

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by cloneofkane, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. cloneofkane

    cloneofkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I use following cartridges, all on the same Marantz headshell for relative ease of swapping:

    Ortofon 2M Bronze (~30 hours)
    Nagaoka MP-110 (~10 hours)
    Sumiko Pearl (~40 hours)
    Piezo YM-308II (hours unknown)

    I've got one more headshell that needs a cartridge to both create a set of 4 complete setups for a display holder I have and, more importantly, to ideally provide a different listening experience.

    I am beyond thrilled with the Bronze -- it's been my primary cart this year, and appreciate the MP-110 and Pearl for their neutrality. I bought the Piezo because I regretted selling an Acutex cartridge I once had, and dig it's sound, as well.

    I run the 6300 straight through a 2275 and listen primarily to classic rock, alternative rock, and jazz vinyl.

    I'm not experienced enough to analyze the spec particulars of the cartridges I own, but I think they are all fairly similar in output (~5 mV).

    Would really appreciate recommendations that you believe would produce a different (not necessarily better) listening experience. At this time, I need cap cost at $100-$150. I bought the Piezo well below that and hold it in similar regard as the Nagaoka and Sumiko.
     

     

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  2. dfunghi

    dfunghi AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  3. malden

    malden Super Member

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    @cloneofkane , are you using the original solid aluminum head-shell that came with the Marantz 6300?
     
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  4. 2channel*

    2channel* Well-Known Member

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    NJ, USA
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  5. Powertech

    Powertech Active Member

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    What about trying a Grado?
     
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  6. cloneofkane

    cloneofkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Yes -- they are all original solid aluminum headshells used with the 6100/6200/6300 turntables.
     

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  7. hi*ball

    hi*ball Records & Coffee Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Shure M35x

    That cart is just fun. And it is very forgiving. Also won't set you back much.
     
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  8. cloneofkane

    cloneofkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Shure M97xE was a consideration before trying the Sumiko and Nagaoka, so I know it fits the budget and is a well-regarded cartridge for the money. Am I right in remembering that it is a more laid back, subdued sound?

    Grados are moving iron, right? I can do a search comparing Grados to the Shure M97xE and my carts, but is there a particular Grado you had in mind? New models vs. old?
     
  9. classic carl

    classic carl Got Vinyl? Subscriber

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    Location:
    North Coast of Pa.

    Yes, the M97Xe is very laid back in my opinion, to the point of being dull. I sold the one I tried.

    Another house sound I am not fond of. Also laid back to the point that I sold the Grados that I tried. Many are fans of the Grado sound. It just doesn't do it for me.
     
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  10. cloneofkane

    cloneofkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    "Fun" sounds interesting, man! Quick Google search shows it to be a DJ cart... that would definitely be different. Would like to hear more about makes the M35x more fun than other cartridges you've listened to.
     
  11. cloneofkane

    cloneofkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I missed the Audio Technica comment earlier. The first cart I had was the at95e, which I thought sounded great for the cost. Bright and detailed are characteristics I heard about the Ortofon 2M line -- are AT's and Ortofon 2M's on par or is one considered more bright/detailed than the other?
     
  12. malden

    malden Super Member

    Messages:
    4,677
    Those solid aluminum head-shells add considerable mass to the tone-arm, so in my opinion, a cartridge with a medium compliance stylus would be preferable. The exception would be the Shure M97xE. The stabilizing brush allows it to be used in medium mass tone-arms.
     
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  13. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

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    Too bad you can't stretch your budget a little and give a HOMC cart, like the Denon DL-110 a try.

    If you want fun, want to try something from Shure, but are worried the M97xE would be too laid back, what about one of the vintage Shure cartridges of the M75, M91 or M95 variety. These are plentiful and affordable and there are a lot of good aftermarket stylii (as well as a few NOS genuine Shure stylii still floating around out there) to give you some good options and still keep the total cost well within your budget.
     
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  14. malden

    malden Super Member

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    4,677
    Actually not different at all. The M35X is very smooth sounding, unlike the high output M44-7 which is loud and has solid bass response but at the same time kind of harsh.
     
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  15. malden

    malden Super Member

    Messages:
    4,677
    The M97xE is a somewhat neutral sounding cartridge. When I first bought mine, I thought it was on the dull side, but the more I listened to it, I came to realize that it is very smooth and enjoyable.
     
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  16. cloneofkane

    cloneofkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I appreciate the thoughts and welcome more/others. I know I could do a lot more to understand better the science and specifications side of the relationship between the tone arm/headshell and cartridge, among other things. The tech that serviced my 6300 told me the Bronze was a perfect match for the 6300, its tone arm and headshell. It does sound amazing, but I just took his word for it.
     
  17. Balifly

    Balifly Listening Subscriber

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    Some Marantz headshell are pretty heavy, which one are you using? :idea:
     

     

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  18. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I wouldn't even say it's laid back. The Sumiko Pearl is what I would call laid back--at least one that I have. Got another one recently and it's totally different, but looks the same!

    Let's see, you have an Ortofon (moving iron/narrow aluminum/Fine Line), Nagaoka (moving permalloy/medium aluminum/.4 x .7 elliptical), a Sumiko Pearl (moving magnet/medium aluminum/.2 x .8 elliptical) and a Piezo YM-308II (moving magnet/medium aluminum/elliptical).

    I actually have every one of these, but my Piezo is a different brand--same cartridge, though.

    I don't think the M97xE is going to sound a heck of a lot different than any of these if you're looking to try something interesting. I agree with @malden that you'll need something mid compliance--those headshells are heavy and I'm not sure that I'd even run an M97xE on one.

    Seems like you need a moving micro cross (B&O) or a moving coil cartridge to give you something different. You might also need something with a cantilever that is not aluminum. You're not likely to grab a new moving coil cartridge for your budget limit unless you're very patient. I've done it, but you can't be in a hurry.

    For $15 you can do an Audio-Technica AT3600 from China via ebay. I suggest it because it has a carbon fiber cantilever--something different, as well as affordable. It seems to make a lot of people very happy and you can keep $85 to $135 in your pocket.

    http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/chinese-at3600-11-wow.790786/page-12#post-11400460

    That spending limit really does seem to make things difficult for you if you really want to find something vastly different from what you've already got if you want something new. But there are all kinds of great deals for that kind of money, even NOS, on ebay and auction sites.

    I also think the Shure SC35C could be a great match for that arm and give you a lot of dynamics and slam that you're probably not getting from those more refined cartridges in your collection. You don't have anything with a fat aluminum cantilever and conical tip, so the more I think about it, that's the one I'd recommend. You'll start seeing things fly across the room because of the dynamics. It's quite fun with rock and roll especially: transients come through with extra mass, texture, and punch. It can spoil you and make you think your other cartridges sound wimpy.

    I'd recommend the M35X, but it tracks lighter and doesn't have quite the dynamic impact. I think the M35X is not going to give you as different of an experience as you are looking for because the M35X is going to have a lot in common already with some of your other cartridges.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  19. cloneofkane

    cloneofkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    [​IMG]

    Shure SC35C on order, and I going to try that Audio-Technica AT3600 too I will need another headshell, though. :thumbsup:
     
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  20. malden

    malden Super Member

    Messages:
    4,677
    You are going to like the SC35C cartridge. When you are ready for a new stylus for it, the JICO SS35C stylus will be a step up from the stock stylus.

    The current Made in Mexico SS35C stylus has a .7 mil conical tip. The original Made In USA tip was .6 mil conical, same with the JICO. You'll find the JICO SS35C to reproduced the higher frequencies better.

    https://www.jico-stylus.com/product...cts_id=1040&osCsid=ltv4fdb601voo3uaji08egcoa7
     
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