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Nick1000

First foray into MC - Rega Ania.

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Would welcome some advice on MC cartridges and what to expect when compared to a MM.  

 

My current setup is Rega P3 with Garrott Brother P77i, Primaluna HP and Lehman Black Cube phono preamp.

 

My research is steering me towards the Rega Ania.

 

Cheers

 

Nick

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Don't do it.

 

I had a Rega RP8 with Apheta 2 and it was awful. totally missing that vinyl magic. I ended up replacing the Apheta 2 with an AT95e which was way more musical even if not as detailed.  Not to mention the dubious quality control, the original factory mounted Apheta started miss-tracking after 20hrs on inspection the bottom had come away and was rubbing on the LP. Rega's fix was to upgrade me to an Apheta 2 for $2k.

 

I now use a Stanton 881s MM and it outperformed the Apheta 2 by a country mile.

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2 hours ago, Nick1000 said:

Would welcome some advice on MC cartridges and what to expect when compared to a MM.  

 

My current setup is Rega P3 with Garrott Brother P77i, Primaluna HP and Lehman Black Cube phono preamp.

 

My research is steering me towards the Rega Ania.

 

Cheers

 

Nick

 

Garrett P771 is a great cart.  I would agree with @Warren Jones ... the Ania is not a great cart.  :)

 

Taking the plunge into a "reasonably priced" MC is not an easy choice.  Ask someone like @MattyW.

 

Andy

 

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A MC isnt necessarily gonna be better then a MM on a Planar 3. I'd keep the P77.

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Posted (edited)

I've run quite a few MC's under the $1,600 mark. Finding some moving iron carts to be somewhat more natural at a far lower price point Particularly vintage Empire carts.

 

That said I've an Empire EDR9 that set me back $700 + $600 for new suspension and nude FG2 tip. I'm expecting that to be the finest I'll have used though time will tell.

 

Looking forward to recieving my Aksa Paris head amp as it will allow me to try low output moving iron carts carts. SUT are not suitable for such carts.

 

Really though I find its mostly about synergy between the cart and phono stage.  A cart that sounds poor with one phono stage can be spectacular with another and vice versa.

 

The Garrott Bros P87 is one of the better moving coils I've tried though doesn't quite do it for me with my current phono stage.  Mr Abbas has a preference for vintage moving iron and moving magnet carts so I believe that's why this phono stage seems to tell better with them.

Edited by MattyW

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Just took a look at the price of a Garrot P77i. For roughly the same price you can buy an AT33EV. A lot of ATs had/have a reputation of being a bit bright but the higher priced don't suffer from this.

 

I was nervous about buying an MC - variable production, lots of detail but light on emotion and natural warmth. Read a lot of users reviews and saw a great price for one in the USA. The exchange rate then was good around £1=USD1.70. I got a friend of mine in Florida to buy it for me and he posted it with a false description (I'll always take a chance). It arrived safely to me in Spain which is where I was living then. Spanish Customs are usually a bit lazy so no 20% import duties.

 

AT have a reputation for producing at the top end some really good MCs which compete with products 2-3 times the price. This cartridge is just a touch on the warm and dark side with great detail, timbre and depth right across the frequency range. Surface noise - what surface noise. Don't under estimate how important a feature this is. I can't fault the 33EV at all. 

 

The next model the ART 9 was something I was going to move up to - just more of the same BUT with the 9 there have been instances with  cantilever mis-alignment which stayed my hand. I have never heard of the same problems with  the 33EV. 

 

I use it on a medium mass arm that comes with a KD 990 deck. By fitting a much lighter h/shell and screws this brings down the mass. Definitely worth  you considering this one.

 

 

 

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have a read of reviews on the Ortofon Quintet Blue or Bronze MC, i went from a 2M bronze MM to a Quintet Blue MC, very happy with outcome

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Mmm, sometimes carts are very subjective, you just need to try them out. BTW P77i is a very good cart.

Changing to MC doesn't mean it will be give you better sound.

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Heck, it's how the cart matches with your phono stage.  My AT ART9 sounded incredible with a Hashimoto HM-7 SUT and Valab LCR-1 Mk2 phono stage. Doesn't match well with the Abbas phono at all. My Empire 1000ZE/X sounds better with it.

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11 hours ago, dwbasement said:

Mmm, sometimes carts are very subjective, you just need to try them out. BTW P77i is a very good cart.

Changing to MC doesn't mean it will be give you better sound.

 

I agree, a good MM is an amazing performer. I did a square wave test on my Stanton 881s almost perfect square wave I challenge any MC to do better. MM having larger coil inductance are more susceptible to phono-pre loading. Resistance and Capacitance loading needs to be correct. The scope trace below CH1 (yellow) is 330pf loading and CH2 is 33pf loading. The 881s needs 275pf.

 

The sound from the cartridge loaded at 33pf would be very bright and at 330pf is a little dull, 275pf is sweet.

P_20200511_091222.jpg

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Thanks all for the feedback and insight and will take my time on research and where possible listening.  The Garrott Brothers p77i has been a great cartridge, with good synergy and something I will keep and also highly recommend to others.

 

The desire to move to MC was to see what else is out there; change things up and what explore incremental improvements I could make.

 

Cheers

 

Nick

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If you are keen to dip your toe in the water, you could do worse than getting an Audio Technica OC-9 (the microcline stylus profile is well priced), or the Audio technica AT33-PTG (II). Whilst there are lots of higher end carts out there, the quality control is good, and you get a fair bit of what MC carts are about. They will work well on your arm from a resonance perspective, rather than some of the high compliance NOS carts that are out there which might not. Decibel hifi carries at least the OC9 series. 

 

Justin

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On 18/05/2020 at 11:21 AM, Nick1000 said:

 

The desire to move to MC was to see what else is out there; change things up and what explore incremental improvements I could make.

You definitely should explore and see what different experiences are available - the joy of trying new cartridges!  

 

 As others in this thread have said,  an MC is not necessarily better than an MM,  especially compared to the higher end MMs. 

 

That said there MCs I have heard which provide a lovely audio experience,  and many,  including myself,  have found that some MCs provide a quality of sound that is different to MMs and worth hearing for yourself.  

 

As @Juzbear says,  there are a few relatively inexpensive LOMCs from Audio Technica that are well reviewed, and are safe options.  

 

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Look at the Hana carts    

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Chill3 said:

Look at the Hana carts    

I found modded Denon DL103's were more dynamic and toe tapping and gave up nothing in terms of detail. Namely a new tapered diamond coated hollow aluminum cantilever and nude shibata tip + wood body. I will forever have a 103 in my collection.

 

What price range are you looking at? I've a low hours Garrotized (by the original Bros) Fidelity Research MC201 if you want that? I had it inspected by Joseph Long in the US and plenty of life in the tip. It has a nude stereohedron. That will be genuinely better than a Hana EL at least.

Edited by MattyW

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This has been an interesting read....

I went from an RP1 with carbon mm cartridge, to an RP40 with Elys mm cartridge

Them moved to my current RP8 with Ania mc cartridge 

Admittedly this cartridge came with the turntable as part of a package, but I really enjoy it and it was a big step up from the elys mm cartridge 

It is paired with the aria phono stage so maybe some synergy there??

But maybe I need to try some other mc cartridge based on some of the posts here

Good luck Nick1000 on whichever way you decide to go 

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I went from using a Garrott P77i to a Dynavector DV-20X2. Both were really nice carts but the Dynavector was far superior to the Garrott.

 

Both were superior to any Rega cart I have heard.

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My horizons have been lifted with the many recommendations - thanks all.

 

@rantan how would you describe the difference between the Dynavector 20x0 and P77i - and were you running the high or low output cart.

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Nick1000 said:

 

 

@rantan how would you describe the difference between the Dynavector 20x0 and P77i - and were you running the high or low output cart.

 

 

 

 

 

I am still using the Dyna. It is only 6 months old and is the high output version.

 

As to the differences between the DV and the Garrott, the DV is far more agile, open and detailed and just draws you in to what is playing.

The Garrott is still a lovely cart for the price and better than most of sub $1K carts out there, but has a slightly too warm and diffuse sound( only by way of comparison )

 

What I really love about the DV is that it has all the detail, texture and agility, without slapping you in the face and making you wince. Not an easy feat in an affordable cart.

It also helped a lot that I purchased it at a very favourable price (i.e near wholesale )

 

Notwithstanding the above, I would heartily recommend the Garrott to anybody if they were looking for a non fussy, musical cart under $1K.

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