Cartridge suggestions for a medium mass tonearm

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Norliss, May 8, 2017.

  1. Norliss

    Norliss New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    Further to my recent post http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/buying-via-hifi-do-in-japan.769262/ I pulled the trigger on a Kenwood KP-1100 turntable which is (hopefully) arriving this week. It's a Japanese model but from as much as I can ascertain it's the same as the KD-990 that was released in the west.

    Anyhow, it comes with a headshell fitted with a new Shure M44G cart. Given the outlay I could probably do without any additional expense right now, however from what I've read the tonearm is pretty nice and probably deserves a higher quality cartridge. Consequently, I'll be looking to upgrade in the coming months.

    From what I understand, it appears to be a medium mass tonearm: can any of you guys suggest any suitable MM carts in the Ortofon 2M Bronze price category (or lower)?
     
  2. Balifly

    Balifly Listening Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,603
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    Check out some of the following:

    Audio Technica AT 440 MLb
    http://www.musonic.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4_23&products_id=17336

    Audio Technica VM 540 ML
    http://www.musonic.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4_23&products_id=19333

    Audio Technica VM 740 ML
    http://www.musonic.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4_23&products_id=19337

    Nagaoka MP-150
    http://www.musonic.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4_22&products_id=17417

    Nagaoka MP-200
    http://www.musonic.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4_22&products_id=83 :idea:
     
    Norliss likes this.
  3. Norliss

    Norliss New Member

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    48
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    Thanks @Balifly - I've been reading about the Nagaokas, they seem well regarded. Never thought of looking at Audio Technica before...
     
  4. Balifly

    Balifly Listening Subscriber

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    16,603
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    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    Now is the time....:)
     
    bob smog likes this.
  5. AudioSoul

    AudioSoul Super Member

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    1,573
    How about replacing the stylus on the M44. As I understand it they have a conical stylus, you could spring for a better stylus then as funds permit get a better cart.
     
  6. VinylRescue

    VinylRescue Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    I have the AT440MLa, but only use it as a spare. I recently upgraded to a Ortofon MC-3 Turbo moving coil cart. It works great with any MM preamp as it's high output. The AT was what most people complained about - too harsh and eventually put out noise exhaustion. Since I switched to the Ortofon MC-3 Turbo my albums have a new kick to them. A much better balance with great detail. My ears don't get exhausted anymore and I enjoy my albums so much more! It has a Nude Fine Line stylus tip for more detail sound. The MC-3 Turbo runs about $320 at most websites, but I found mine on eBay for $299. I first heard this cart on a YouTube video of a straight unedited recording of Paul McCartney's "Band On The Run" LP and it sold me. I can't recommend this cart enough. I've posted a few recent videos on my channel with some unedited LP cuts in the background if you want to hear a few samples:


     
  7. Norliss

    Norliss New Member

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    48
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    Hey, thanks for this! Initially this cart was not on my radar but it looks to be a good fit in compliance/output terms and seems to be available for a reasonable price on eBay, presumably as its been discontinued now?

    There's precious little information/reviews out there for this, so it's good to hear from a satisfied customer. I think it's probably now between this and the Nagaoka MP 200 IF I can get one of those for a good price (from Japan)....
     
    VinylRescue likes this.
  8. VinylRescue

    VinylRescue Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    As far as I know it's not a discontinued cart. Ortofon has it on their website: https://www.ortofon.com/mc-3-turbo-p-553-n-1579 If you Google it you can find some reviews/feedback on a few sites that sell it. I see it as a hidden jewel that many are just not aware of. The Nagaoka carts are a good deal also, but they have an elliptical stylus. I realize this may be my preference, but I find Fine Line styluses provide better detail in my experience. Ortofon does have a lesser priced model, MC-1 Turbo, that has a elliptical stylus and works with any moving magnet preamp also: https://www.ortofon.com/mc-1-turbo-p-552-n-1579 Customers who bought it at the Needledoctor http://www.needledoctor.com/Ortofon-MC-3-Turbo-High-Output-MC-Phono-Cartridge (priced too high) and TurntableNeedles https://www.turntableneedles.com/Ortofon-Turbo-MC-3-Moving-Coil-Cartridge_p_4246.html all gave it 5 stars. Good luck on whatever you chose!
     
    mjw21a likes this.
  9. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    1,887
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    My picks for value are all vintage. The Supex SD900 Super is inexpensive and even if requiring a retip will be cheaper with a new shibata tip than a Hana EL and sounds significantly better ;)

    Ditto the Fidelity Research FR-1 Mk3 (forget the F, it's sought after). My pick for new is the Hana EL. On a medium mass arm the Supex and Hana are the best of those I've mentioned :)
     
  10. malden

    malden Super Member

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    2,514
    Rentz likes this.
  11. Norliss

    Norliss New Member

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    48
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  12. Rentz

    Rentz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Texas
  13. malden

    malden Super Member

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    2,514
  14. Chrisxo55441

    Chrisxo55441 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Why not go just with the 2M Bronze i was listening to mine last night and it is an awesome MM one of my favorites. i prefer it to my 2M black which is a little too detailed for me and picks up a lot of surface noise. The Bronze is a little more laid back and smoother sounding and i get great sound stage when im using it. williamthakker has them on ebay for $361 with free shipping, good seller ive bought a few carts from him. i have it mounted on a Technics SL 1700 mk2 which is a med mass arm.
     
  15. Norliss

    Norliss New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    I'm sure the 2M Bronze is great but it's just too high compliance for my tonearm.
     
  16. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

    Messages:
    1,887
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    The Bronze is a fantastic cart. Probably the best non MC I've heard :)
     
  17. Norliss

    Norliss New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    I was pretty close to buying an Ortofon MC-3 Turbo as they're a good match for my tonearm and amp in terms of weight/ compliance/ output and are currently available at a decent price on eBay. However, I was able to buy an Audio-Technica AT33PTG/II for a pretty good price so have pulled the trigger on one of those instead.
     
  18. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat Active Member

    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Pittsboro, NC
    I think you have changed from a high output MC to a low output MC. Make sure that you have the proper preamp or step up to enjoy the very nice cartridge you have purchased.
     

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