There is no way I can demo these in advance.
I know that the Ortofon 2M Blue is a pretty typical upgrade from the Sumiko Oyster. No one hates it but no one really raves about it as I have read the reviews.
I have read reviews on the Grado Gold 1 Prestige. Either it is the best thing since sliced bread or it seems to have a hum and people hate it. Something about an unshielded design causes issues with certain tables. Would I be likely to have that issue with a pro-ject?
I haven't seen any reviews on this particular Soundsmith, SMMC4 and it is their entry point cartride. The higher end cartridges get rave reviews but I am not sure if this one stands up. It does not offer a replacement stylus which the Grado and the Ortofon do. However, my understanding is that is good for sound but bad once you have hit 400 hours and it is time to replace.
My gut tells me to go with the Soundsmith but my gut is frequently wrong.
Any thoughts would be helpful as I am going to be placing my order in the next few weeks.