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markm1111

Best "Bang for buck" MM cart $175-$525?

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Thanks everyone for their input. This, with quite a bit of other reading, has left me better informed, slightly narrowed the field, but still not defined.

 

I'm inclined to buy in the $2-300 range, which would mean the AT95VL, a Shelter 201, or a very good 2nd hand Garrott P77i.

 

There is a lot of love for the AT150MLX and it is very interesting, but I would have to import from Japan and it is north of $500.

 

Have I missed anything I should really consider, or is this a reasonable trio to select from?

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Do you know how to set up a cart? The AT150 is fussy..

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Guest Muon N'
7 hours ago, Wimbo said:

Have you tried this? or anyone else with a 95E. Looks very simple.

I haven't, but the improvements with other carts given wood bodies seems consistently good.

Edited by Muon N'
typo

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2 hours ago, blakey72 said:

Do you know how to set up a cart? The AT150 is fussy..

Thanks Blakey, you have made the decision easier. Not too interested in fussy for this cart

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4 hours ago, markm1111 said:

 

There is a lot of love for the AT150MLX and it is very interesting, but I would have to import from Japan and it is north of $500.

$401 AUD from 2juki. I have bought a couple of carts from here and had absolutely no problems. 

 

http://www.2juki.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=34_56&product_id=52

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I have been reading up on the AT150MLX and it seems quite a few have lost the diamond from the tip.

It is a solid boron cantilever with the diamond glued to the end while the AT150SA has a aluminium one that has a slot that the diamond slips into on the end with less glue needed.

It seems that also the SA might differ in that, Quote"The Sa has a more prominent midrange and mid-bass." and tracks just as good.

On special at LP gear for $300 US plus $22 US freight. https://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=LG&Product_Code=AT150SA

Some have been ordering just the new SA stylus for the AT150MLX bodies with great results. https://www.lpgear.com/product/ATN150SA.html

Edited by rocky500

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So, I settled n a very good used Garrott P77i. Now to set up the new TT and fit the cart....

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On 21/02/2018 at 3:35 PM, Spider27 said:

 

Dumb question.. Is there a difference between AT150SA and AT150MLX?

 

The Mlx has a microline stylus. The Sa has a shibata, which is not as good.

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On 21/02/2018 at 10:40 PM, rocky500 said:

I have been reading up on the AT150MLX and it seems quite a few have lost the diamond from the tip.

It is a solid boron cantilever with the diamond glued to the end while the AT150SA has a aluminium one that has a slot that the diamond slips into on the end with less glue needed.

It seems that also the SA might differ in that, Quote"The Sa has a more prominent midrange and mid-bass." and tracks just as good.

On special at LP gear for $300 US plus $22 US freight. https://www.lpgear.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=LG&Product_Code=AT150SA

Some have been ordering just the new SA stylus for the AT150MLX bodies with great results. https://www.lpgear.com/product/ATN150SA.html

Ive been cleaning my AT150Mlx stylus with AT607 Stylus cleaning solution, and have no problems. Who knows what some people do or use to clean their stylus? I wouldn't put too much consideration to those comments about stylus falling out. Im sure the AT150Sa is OK. Perhaps even good, and nice. But it's cantilever isn't as good, nor is the stylus profile. I admit, I like brutal warts and all detail, i think detail and low distortion is what hifi is about.  If it's not about that, then what's it all about? A nice sound? That can be had many ways, but it might not be hi-fi?  my Shure m91 sounds nice, and so to my Grado Green, but they're not in the same league.

 

 

I think it's not a good idea to keep trodding the same old path of "what sounds nice" and mucking around with anything less than a microline. By doing that you'll never step up in sound quality,  just keep making side steps, a change of flavour, but not a genuine improvement.

 

Perhaps there are better cartridges than the 150Mlx. I certainly haven't heard them all, but I don't care that much about vinyl to bother exploring it I admit. 

 

That prominent midrange and bass mentioned is a characteristic of a shibata cut diamond, and it's a colouration not an attribute. The microline doesn't have this bloated colouration.

 

This is just my observation and general reply as part of this discussion. Hopefully this won't be taken as criticism in any way.

Just continuing the banter as I listen to a crackly old Bo Hanssen LP. 

Edited by eltech

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On 21/02/2018 at 6:06 PM, blakey72 said:

Do you know how to set up a cart? The AT150 is fussy..

Not my experience at all.

 

Fit it.

Set rough tracking force at 1.5g.

Align it.

Set VTA parallel.

Play it.

Enjoy it.

 

No different to any other cartridge on earth.

 

Edited by eltech

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16 hours ago, eltech said:

That prominent midrange and bass mentioned is a characteristic of a shibata cut diamond, and it's a colouration not an attribute. The microline doesn't have this bloated colouration.

 

Don't have that problem with my AT33sa.

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22 hours ago, Wimbo said:

Don't have that problem with my AT33sa.

Did you compare it to the same cartridge or any cartridge with a microline stylus?

 

If not, I don't think you can honestly say if it does or doesn't. 

 

All you can say is that in your system that you didn't notice it.

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1 hour ago, eltech said:

Did you compare it to the same cartridge or any cartridge with a microline stylus?

 

If not, I don't think you can honestly say if it does or doesn't. 

 

All you can say is that in your system that you didn't notice it.

I've compared it to the other two Cartridges I've got and it is highly detailed. It is also not forgiving with crap LP's. Don't note any slap me in the face colouration.

AT's in the past I've had are AT130E, AT140LC, ATF3, ATF5, OC7, OC9, OC10. Then gave the hobby away for around 15 years. I now have a Sota Nova with a Tokyo Sound arm. Cartridges are Grado Signature Reference (Low output), AT95VL (Wooden body coming) and the AT33sa.

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Cool. Fair enough. The OC9 has a microline if I recall correctly.

Unforgiving of worn records is a common complaint ive read of Shibata profile, ive also observed it myself.

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