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 Post subject: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:31 pm
Posts: 961
Location: Victoria, BC, CA
Hello Gang. Just reporting on my newly mounted Nagaoka MP-30 (today). I bought it used from an esteemed CAM member. It is in good condition, and sounding very nice indeed. A couple of years ago I had an MP-11 that came with my Thorens 160 when acquired, and while quite good for an entry cartridge, I found it to be a little too lifeless in my system. Since, I've had a Shelter 201 (really quite good), as well as two Shure efforts, those being the M95HE and most recently the Shure M97XE. I enjoyed the attributes offered by the Shures, however I felt that the 97 was a bit too cozy and rolled off with my Sugden.

The Nagaoka is another story altogether, as I suppose it should be given that it listed at 2-3X the price of the others. The sound is very smooth, easy, and quite refined top to bottom, with a particularly nice top end. The presentation is stress free. Surface noise is WAY down. I have an original Argo label 1958 Amhad Jamal, Live at the Pershing, which has A LOT of surface noise with any other cartridge I've owned. The surface noise with the Nagaoka is about 10-20% of the others. I assume that the stylus is digging deeper into new groove territory, providing for a much more silent and black background. Records sound quite different - just much better. It's as much about what the cartridge is NOT doing to the music, as much as what it is doing. I haven't run the compliance numbers yet, but it's mounted on a Linn Basik which has an effective mass of 10g. I've set the tracking force at 1.78g to start, and will fiddle and fine tune over the next few days (Nagaoka states 1.30 - 1.80g). I think the numbers must be in range however, as it's making some pretty nice music with the Linn.

Any other Nagaoka MP-30 fans out there? Any advice on fine tuning? Would like to hear any other Nagaoka stories too. Happy spinning to all!


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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:57 am
Posts: 315
Location: Whitby, ON, CA
Had one, loved it. Only reason I don't still have it is I ended up with a Sound-Smith Boheme.


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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 431
Location: winnipeg, MB, CA
I have the 300 whick I believe is essentially a newer version of the same thing. Love it, probably the favorite of the three I am using. The other two are Grado gold and orotofon om20.


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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:43 am
Posts: 842
Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

Always wanted to try one. Thanks for the report.

Cheers,
David Neice

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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 2:42 pm
Posts: 849
Location: Gatineau, QC, CA
I recently bought a MP30 from a Cam member and I do like it , in fact I just purchased the JN500 stylus for it which is different but not sure I like it as much as the JN-30 stylus .I will need to put some more hours on it , but the MP30 is very nice . I think I still prefer the Grado 8MZ cart over the Nag though .


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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:20 am
Posts: 4386
Location: London, ON, CA
I had an MP-30 given to my by a friend. I don't usually like Moving Magnet cartridges, but this Nagaoka is great. This one is in a cheapie system in my home office (through a Rega Fono MM preamp), and I listen to it quite a bit. I also have a Denon DL-160 HOMC cartridge and a Stanton 881S that I use on this turntable, but I like the MP-30 better.


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1978 Rickenbacker 4001, 2010 Gibson Thunderbird, and Dean Fretless Basses;
1987 Guild Nightbird, 2000 Taylor 310KCE, and Godin 5th Avenue Guitars.

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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:10 pm
Posts: 3048
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I don't have an Mp-30 but am running an Mp-11 on a Rega plannar 3/rb 300 arm combo.
Am running it through a Music Hall phono pre and for a budgeted table/arm/cart and pre it sounds pretty darn good.
I have been told the Mp-11 is the way to go with this arm but would very much like to step up the ladder in the Nagaoka family.
I also own a Denon Dl-110/ Benz micro MC20 E2-h and an Audio Technica AT-3F occ mc.

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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:38 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:28 am
Posts: 50
Location: Longueuil, QC, CA
i also have a MP-30, i replaced the stylus with the JN-P300 for the MP-300, i can report that it work wonderfully well, i bougth it on Ebay for 360$ cad, i will probably stick with that cartridge for a long time as it sound wonderful on my Thorens 125 with Jelco 750e


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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:18 am
Posts: 6373
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Don't own one but love that series. Not sure but I think above the 20 got the better cantilever (boron?) which made a huge difference in dynamics without wrecking the beautiful tone.

BTW some really nice looking tables from messrs Quad and Cook. Quad, could you please share the make?


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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:20 am
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Location: London, ON, CA
banerjba wrote:
Don't own one but love that series. Not sure but I think above the 20 got the better cantilever (boron?) which made a huge difference in dynamics without wrecking the beautiful tone.

BTW some really nice looking tables from messrs Quad and Cook. Quad, could you please share the make?


Sure ... It is a yard sale Pioneer PL-41 that needed a belt and fair bit of TLC. I replaced the disintegrated platter bearing thrust pad with a Delrin part from eBay, and installed a new belt. The tonearm is a Denon unit that I got on a trade with Corby. The cable is from the Linn Ittock that is installed on my LP-12.


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1978 Rickenbacker 4001, 2010 Gibson Thunderbird, and Dean Fretless Basses;
1987 Guild Nightbird, 2000 Taylor 310KCE, and Godin 5th Avenue Guitars.

If you can use one of those newfangled Internets, you can post photos in your damn classified ads. :roll:
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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:31 pm
Posts: 961
Location: Victoria, BC, CA
Indeed, the MP-30 is a very nice cartridge. But ... after a week, and perhaps 10 hours of critical listening, I believe I will be going back to the Shelter 201. The Shelter does not have the refinement of the Nagaoka, nor the extended and sweet top, but I have to admit that I prefer the bouncier, more lively and dynamic presentation. This is more of an observation and preference that is geared toward system synergy as a whole. In the right system, I am certain that the Nagaoka would offer a more clear window into the music, but I am finding that my system needs the more robust and jolly injection that the Shelter offers up. The Celestion SL6s can be very tough customers, and do require quite a dynamic source to stage well. The Shelter works well with the Sugden, Celestion and Thorens/Linn combo, so this is very much a synergy thing going on. Ultimately, I am more emotionally involved in the music with the Shelter mounted, so mounted it must be. It's strange that any piece of equipment can offer more detail, transparency, air, extension, etc etc, but the "lessor" piece can sound more musical and toe tapping in a given system. Such is the case.


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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:39 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
cyrus wrote:
Indeed, the MP-30 is a very nice cartridge. But ... after a week, and perhaps 10 hours of critical listening, I believe I will be going back to the Shelter 201. The Shelter does not have the refinement of the Nagaoka, nor the extended and sweet top, but I have to admit that I prefer the bouncier, more lively and dynamic presentation. This is more of an observation and preference that is geared toward system synergy as a whole. In the right system, I am certain that the Nagaoka would offer a more clear window into the music, but I am finding that my system needs the more robust and jolly injection that the Shelter offers up. The Celestion SL6s can be very tough customers, and do require quite a dynamic source to stage well. The Shelter works well with the Sugden, Celestion and Thorens/Linn combo, so this is very much a synergy thing going on. Ultimately, I am more emotionally involved in the music with the Shelter mounted, so mounted it must be. It's strange that any piece of equipment can offer more detail, transparency, air, extension, etc etc, but the "lessor" piece can sound more musical and toe tapping in a given system. Such is the case.


Interesting and matches my experience with the cheaper siblings. Since the Shelter 201 is related to the Sumiko Peal (and has been around since the 1970s branded as Coral and Andante), I find this series more dynamic for sure than the Nagaoka but the Nag is more refined.


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 Post subject: Re: Nagaoka MP-30
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:31 pm
Posts: 961
Location: Victoria, BC, CA
Agreed banerjba. The Nag is certainly more refined, and sounds more hifi perhaps. My favourite recordings used as reference, are live, small venue original pressings from the late 50's and early 60's such as Amhad Jamal, Thelonious Monk, Brubeck, Evans, Oscar Peterson, etc. I find that my system can really transport to the venue if all the pieces are in place. It's really fussy (perhaps all of our systems are), and a seemingly small change can really throw off the ability to create that "essence" and ambiance of the live room. I need "that" I have found, more than air or extension etc. I can probably have both by spending a lot more, but alas, budgets prevail. The Shelter captures that essence, and also does an admirable job of presenting the more typical descriptors of sound reproduction. There are some other vintage designs that I am interested in trying at some point ... perhaps a Stanton 681eee?


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