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Rawshack

Cartridge recommendations

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Hi folks,

 

I have recently completed my (semi) vintage set up of Pioneer PL-12R and pioneer SA-500a amp. I'm running a rega fono pre-amp and acoustic energy AE-100 speakers. 

 

The table is running an Audio Technica VM95E cart, which I picked up for around $60 AUD. It's a nice cart; good mid range, nice treble and good lively sound, but it's not the last word in detail. So, I slipped on a Rega Elys and tried that. Great detail and mid-range, but man, it was so dull I could snooze.

 

So, recommendations on a new cart? Obviously, the PL-12 is going to be limited, but I think I can squeeze something more out of this set up. Something with the enery of the VM95E, but the detail of the Elys. I've been thinking either the Ortofon 2M blue, The Audio-Technica AT-VM95ML or something like the Sumiko Pearl...

 

Thoughts? 

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34 minutes ago, Rawshack said:

The Audio-Technica AT-VM95ML

That's what I use.  It should give you lots of extra detail on top of the sound you already like.

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23 hours ago, aussievintage said:

That's what I use.  It should give you lots of extra detail on top of the sound you already like.

Thanks mate; it's what I was leaning toward. I have been terribly disappointed with the Rega cart, to be honest. Even on my PL1 it sounds dull and lifeless.

 

I am keen to try the Pearl sometime, but I think that might be a future purchase.

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In the entry level which you're looking at, Grade can be rather nice 

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4 minutes ago, MattyW said:

In the entry level which you're looking at, Grade can be rather nice 

Do you perhaps mean Grado?
 

Cheers Keith

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then you could experiment!

 

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39 minutes ago, cheekyboy said:

Do you perhaps mean Grado?
 

Cheers Keith

Yup, my phone auto correct mucked things up

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21 minutes ago, MattyW said:

Yup, my phone auto correct mucked things up

Yep, I hate it when my phone or ipad does the same thing. In the budget MM cartridge range the OP @Rawshack could look at Grado, Shure, AT and Ortofon for example and one that I've fitted for a few people and has real bang for buck, is the Shelter 201 which is well worth considering.:thumb:

 

Cheers,

 

Keith 

Edited by cheekyboy

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9 minutes ago, cheekyboy said:

Yep, I hate it when my phone or ipad does the same thing. In the budget MM cartridge range the OP @Rawshack could look at Grado, Shure, AT and Ortofon for example and one that I've fitted for a few people and has real bang for buck, is the Shelter 201 which is well worth considering.:thumb:

 

Cheers,

 

Keith 

I've looked at Grado, but the infamous hum is putting me off. I had an old Project running a 2M red which sounded good, albeit a trifle on the bright side. The 2M blue is certainly on my shortlist

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10 minutes ago, Rawshack said:

I've looked at Grado, but the infamous hum is putting me off. I had an old Project running a 2M red which sounded good, albeit a trifle on the bright side. The 2M blue is certainly on my shortlist

Hello Alistair, good luck with your search. I'm not familiar with the hum issue surrounding Grado cartridges, but I would doubt that would be an issue running throughout their range. I had a 2M Black in a second deck for a while several years ago and I thought it was a reasonably good performing MM cartridge, but I don't think I've heard a 2M Blue so I can't make any recommendation there. I have heard the Shelter 201 in several different set ups and it does punch well above its price point.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Edited by cheekyboy

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1 minute ago, cheekyboy said:

Hello Alistair, good luck with your search. I'm not familiar with the hum issue surrounding Grado cartridges, but I would doubt that would be an issue running throughout their range. I had a 2M Black in a second deck for a while several years ago and I thought it was a reasonably good performing MM cartridge, but I don't think I've heard a 2M Blue so I can't make any recommendation there. I have heard the Shelter 201 in several different systems and it does punch well above its price point.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

The 'Grado Hum' is a long running issue with a number of carts across the range. I obviously won't link to other sites/forums, but a quick google search should give more than enough info. 

 

I'll have a look at the Shelter - I think at the AUD $300 mark, there's a few nice mid-entry level carts.

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2 minutes ago, Rawshack said:

The 'Grado Hum' is a long running issue with a number of carts across the range. I obviously won't link to other sites/forums, but a quick google search should give more than enough info. 

 

I'll have a look at the Shelter - I think at the AUD $300 mark, there's a few nice mid-entry level carts.

I wasn't aware of the Grado hum issue, but I'll have a look if for no other reason other than to see what they're blaming such an issue on. 

 

Yep, if you're in the market at that $300 - $400 range, the Shelter is well worth a look.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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3 minutes ago, cheekyboy said:

Yep, if you're in the market at that $300 - $400 range, the Shelter is well worth a look.

Agree 100%.

 

I have a 201 on my less used, secondary TT and it comprehensively outclasses both Ortofon Blue and red. IMO it is the best MM cart under $500 and you would need to go to an Ortofon 2M Bronze ( RRP 599 ) to better it.

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I am not sure why a Shelter 201 with an ordinary bonded elliptical stylus would be preferable to an AT VM95ML with nude microline stylus though.

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1 minute ago, aussievintage said:

I am not sure why a Shelter 201 with an ordinary bonded elliptical stylus would be preferable to an AT VM95ML with nude microline stylus though.

That's an interesting point. Doing some research on the Shelter and there's a suggestion that it's a Sumiko Pearl with some bells and whisltes.

 

However, it does seem to pull decent reviews

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26 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

I am not sure why a Shelter 201 with an ordinary bonded elliptical stylus would be preferable to an AT VM95ML with nude microline stylus though.

This preference and my recommendation of the Shelter 201 to @Rawshack is subjective of course, but I never compared it directly to an AT VM95ML or any other cartridge for that matter. As a matter of fact, I did include AT as a manufacturer to look at in my first post here.

 

I did hear the Shelter 201 many times though, up against an Ortofon 2M Black and I thought the Shelter was every bit as dynamic and resolving as the 2M Black. This of course is also subjective, but I'm afraid that is the best you're going to get from anyone here anyway.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Edited by cheekyboy

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Maybe I've just been lucky though I've never had hum issues across the 6 turntables I've run.

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Well,  even though it's my own listing,  this would absolutely destroy what you're currently running:

 

 

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Thanks for everyone who's replied

 

Right now, I am leaning toward the 2M Blue, for no other reason that I used to have the red and liked it and it has solid, universal praise

 

When I fit, do I need to worry about spacers? I can align and set the tracking force, but not sure about overhang....

 

Any tips - or redirects to other threads - gratefully accepted.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Rawshack said:

Thanks for everyone who's replied

 

Right now, I am leaning toward the 2M Blue, for no other reason that I used to have the red and liked it and it has solid, universal praise

 

When I fit, do I need to worry about spacers? I can align and set the tracking force, but not sure about overhang....

 

Any tips - or redirects to other threads - gratefully accepted.

 

 

The overhang is inherent in the alignment of a cartridge and you say you're able to align the cartridge. What protractor are you using?

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Edited by cheekyboy

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2 minutes ago, cheekyboy said:

The overhang is inherent in your alignment and you say you're able to align the cartridge. What protractor are you using?

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

I'm using the Ortofon protractor. When I say I'm able to align the cartridge, I should clarify and say that on a rudimentary basis getting the two points correctly aligned.

 

Perhaps the better question would have been 'what else do I need to consider when fitting the cart?'

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4 minutes ago, Rawshack said:

I'm using the Ortofon protractor. When I say I'm able to align the cartridge, I should clarify and say that on a rudimentary basis getting the two points correctly aligned.

 

Perhaps the better question would have been 'what else do I need to consider when fitting the cart?'

If you get your two null points correct on the Ortofon protractor, depending on the curve it allows for [which is?] the overhang then should be correct. The overhang is the difference between the pivot to spindle distance and the pivot to stylus distance [effective length].

 

Drop me a PM and I'm happy to give you any additional information you might need.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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3 hours ago, cheekyboy said:

If you get your two null points correct on the Ortofon protractor, depending on the curve it allows for [which is?] the overhang then should be correct. The overhang is the difference between the pivot to spindle distance and the pivot to stylus distance [effective length].

 

Drop me a PM and I'm happy to give you any additional information you might need.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Thanks Keith, I appreciate your help. 

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