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IntlManOfDanger
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Vintage turntable/arm with new phono preamp and cartridge

I am just returning to vinyl after a 20 year hiatus. I have a Mission 775S turntable and 774 arm, c. 1980, with an Audioquest 606 cartridge. None were used extensively, although I would be willing to replace the cartridge with something more modern.

Can anyone suggest some appropriate cartridges for this low-mass arm? Also, what price range of modern preamps is appropriate for this set-up? Are the Parasound or Sutherland preamps reviewed by Stereophile in Feb/Mar price overkill by comparison, or unsuitable in some other way?

analogguy
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Suggestion

Hmmm...I wonder if a Soundsmith SMMC4 series might be a good fit? They also make some fairly nice sounding phono preamps, too. If you felt the need to purchase a more "modern" cartridge I would start there...otherwise I might just talk to them about the retipping services they offer and use your Audiquest

http://www.sound-smith.com/products/phono2.pdf

jackfish
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Dynaudio X20 or

Ortofon 2M Black?

deckeda
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@ IntlManOfDanger: Is this your arm?

http://www.collectibles-articles.com/antique/collectible-image-large/mis...

Google says that's a 774 (shown resting on a Lenco's platter.) If so, that arm is an AudioQuest design. I know because my old SOTA Comet has one that looks a lot like it, and SOTA sourced its OEM arms from AQ back in the day.

My Comet's arm currently has a Grado 8MZ ($200 new) and I can report it works very well in that arm, so more modern Grados will likely also be a good match for your 774 arm, too.

If this all sounds like 6-degrees of separated recommendation, so be it.

I'd be interested in learning what you finally go with, if a new cart is indeed what you get. I'm itching for a new cart but lack of funds means I also don't have to seriously think about it just yet.

deckeda
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One possibility: Grado

I found a picture online of a Mission 774 arm that looks like the one that came with my old SOTA Comet. It's sourced from AudioQuest, who used a small "platform" that stuck out on the right side of their arms with an upward-facing knob for the anti-skate adjustment.

Here's one shown resting on a Lenco's platter:

http://www.collectibles-articles.com/antique/collectible-image-large/mis...

Is that like yours?

Grados work fine on such an arm. I have an old 8MZ ($200) on mine still, and the current Grados wouldn't be any different regarding size or compliance. Focus on the better Prestige (Gold or Silver) or lesser Reference (Sonata or Platinum). I believe this puts you in approximately a $150-$500 range to consider. I personally have never been impressed with the cheapest Grados, but a lot depends on the rest of your system.

deckeda
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correx: not actually AudioQuest

Small clarification. I just learned Jelco made/makes the AudioQuest-branded (and many other) arms. http://www.soundhifi.com/jelco.html

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