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Martin83
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Looking for a new phono cartridge

Hi Guys

My current setup is:

Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut III SB
Cartridge: Ortofon om 5e
Amplifier: NAD C320BEE
Speakers: Wharfedale Pacific Evo 10

I was looking into getting a new cartridge to try and get more out of my vinyl. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Martin

Kev72s
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I am currently using ortofon

I am currently using ortofon 2m blue and I must say it offers a much wider sound stages. the bass can hit really low and tight. it also offers a good dynamic range. the only draw back I could think of is the slight lack of clarity for some really  high notes. Not noticeable for most of my collections.

I heard Goldring 2500 is a good one too but more costly.

jackfish
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What is your budget?

$100 or less - LP Gear Deft 2, Audio Technica AT95E, Nagaoka MP-100, Nagaoka MP-110, Shure M97XE, Ortofon 2M Red, Sumiko Black Pearl, LP Gear AT-95VL

$101 to $150 - Sumiko Pearl, Audio Technica AT120E, Denon DL-110

$151 to $200 -Audio Technica AT440MLa, Ortofon MC1 Turbo, Clearaudio Concept V2 MM, Goldring GL 2100, Audio Technica AT440ML/OCC, Ortofon Super OM20

$201 to $250 - Ortofon 2M Blue, Goldring G 2200, Goldring 1006, Nagaoka MP-150

My favorites in bold.

Get much more expensive and I don't know if your table and phono stage will be able to complement it.

Martin83
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The guy in the store recommended either the Shure M97XE

or the Ortofon 2M Red which are around what I was planning for my budget but if there's enough of a jump in quality in the next £30-£40 then I could be persuaded to stretch it. I was considering upgrading the whole setup but thought the cartridge would be a good pace to start. What I was hoping for was a better soundstage and a warmer tone, currently I get a lot of bright treble and slightly fwubby bass and not a lot of mid range, everything sounds like it's coming from a speaker rather than being in the room as it were. Digital soureces sound better but still not great. I realise that these things are subjective and that there's only so much you can hope for on a limited budget but I don't think a sound I'd be happy with is out of reach. Any thoughts on acheiving a warmer analogue sound with better mid range appreciated.

Martin

Martin83
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Also thanks a lot for the fast detailed replies, it can be hard

to find good friendly advice online so it's much appreciated.

jackfish
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You might want to try a

Nagaoka MP-110 to achieve the sound you describe.

commsysman
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CARTRIDGE

The Ortophon 2M Blue may be hard to beat for the money.

The 2M Red is only $100 and would be an improvement over what you have, but the Blue would be a BIG improvement.

Martin83
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Nagaoka MP110

Ok so in the end I have gone for the MP110 but am as yet not blown away by it. Are any of the adustment tweaks like azimuth and alignment going to make a big difference? I've done them by eye but they're definitely not WAY out. The main issue for me is that the mids still seem pretty distant whilst the bass and treble are pretty far forward. Up against a digital source I still think the digital sounds more filled out. Any thoughts? Is this just what the cartridge sounds like?

Martin

jackfish
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Comparing analog sources to digital sources can be

frustrating. One shouldn't really expect that they will be very comparable, they are just different animals. I have always considered the Nagaoka midrange sweet. What did you use for alignment of the cartridge? I'd suggest a mirrored cartridge alignment protractor from turntablebasics.com http://www.turntablebasics.com/align.html which makes accurate alignment easy. What tracking weight are you using and how did you set it? The built-in phono preamp is a Phono Box II which is a pretty good unit. Also I'd try low capacitance interconnects between the table and amplifier. http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/audio/

commsysman
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Phono?

You don't say what you are using for a phono stage, which the 320BEE did not come with.

Or did it come with one as a plug-in option?

In any case, I would invest in a Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono stage, and you may find the improvement very impressive. 

That cartridge should sound better than what you are describing.

 

 

jackfish
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The Pro-Ject Debut III SB comes with a Pro-Ject Speed Box

and Phono Box II built in. The Musical Fidelity V-LPS is a marginal improvement over the Phono Box II. I'm thinking its likely an alignment issue.

Martin83
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Adjustments

I think I may have judged it a little harshly initially, most of my records actually sounf pretty great on the MP110. The alignment I just did by lining the cartridge head up with the left hand side of the angled point on the headpiece/tonearm which looked like what the manual was describing to get a 25 degree angle. So it is pretty amateur but I already had to buy a new counterwieght and didn't want to buy a protractor I'd use once and then selve, ditto a tracking wieght gauge. I downloaded a free protractor print out that apparently lets you set the alignment to any two null points but I haven't used it yet and don't actually know what null points are.The tracking wieght I adjusted as per the manual instructions and have tried it at either end of the recommended 1.7g-2.3g scale to as yet no great difference in sound quality. The azimuth I haven't touched but I think it looks a bit out.

jackfish
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I'd get some help here

http://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewforum.php?f=19&sid=2bdc4cb806a238a741e624239a4e5092

http://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewforum.php?f=19&sid=2bdc4cb806a238a741e624239a4e5092

and get that unit properly set up. You could also contact Sumiko/Pro-Ject and ask for the paper protractor that comes with the turntable.

Martin83
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That's actually

where I got the paper protractors I downloaded. Also I realised I wrote down the recommended tracking wieght wrong in that last post it should be between 1.5g and 2.0g which is what I have it at. Thanks for the help I shall decamp to the vinyl engine forum for now. Thanks again.

Martin

Glotz
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Soundsmith Otello

Otello $300.  Longish wait time for handmade cartridges. 

Grado carts in that range from $225-300 as well, all very well reviewed. 

Ortofons are nice, and I've used most in the OM range, years ago... good stuff. 

Check out an online dealer like Music Direct or something... for a list of your price range. 

 

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