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 Post subject: Economy MM Cart Question
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:59 pm 
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Location: Markham, ON, CA
I am once again looking to plumb the collective regarding replacement cartridges. My friend just got the news that, for the second time, his cleaning lady has destroyed his cartridge....and he has asked me to see what is a decent budget cart for him. I have asked him to verify tonearm make/model, but as he is traveling, he doesn't have access to his receipts or his deck.

What I do know is that this is a 2-year old mid-range Marantz turntable with OEM tonearm. The current cart was a Rega Elyse. I am looking for a MM cart with an equivalent compliance rating...(assuming that the Elyse is appropriate for his existing tonearm). For me, I found his Rega thready and thin-sounding. But there are a number of weaknesses in his setup (like amp, cables, speakers and room treatments).

I am looking for a MM cart that is a decent performer; he has a budget of about $300 and what I don't want to do is get him the wrong cart and end up owning it myself....currently I have two decks, one a P6 with Origin Live 250 and a Dynavector 10X5. The other deck is another Origin Live 250 with Cardas wiring and a Hana SL on a Thorens 150Mk2. And I love them both.....I will have zero use for an inexpensive MM cart.

Is there a chart somewhere in the ether that allows folks to compare relative compliance specs, etc so I can figure some of this stuff myself? OR, recommendations are appreciated.

Oh ya, I have STRONGLY suggested he purchase a TT cover...perhaps in cast iron. :lol:

Thanks, Tom :)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:57 pm 
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Not sure which model but the Marantz table I am thinking of was a tarted up Clearaudio (I own a Concept). In that case, I would stay in the Clearaudio or Audio Technica family. The Concept MM is under $300. While based on the AT95e, it sounds nothing alike. The AT100/120/440 family works well on the Clearaudio arm and are under $300.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:18 pm 
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I don't think you can go wrong with a Denon DL-110 homc.
Last time i checked they could be had for 299. $

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:39 am 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
Try the vinylengine.com cartridge database

https://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_database.php


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:54 am 
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Location: Fairport Beach (in Pickering), ON, CA
Your friend may want to try one of these:

http://stereosquares.com

http://www.decksaver.com/covers/turntable-covers

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Collecting vintage tube Pilot (Pilotone) HiFi gear.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:09 am 
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After owning an Elys. There is so much out there that will better it for that much money or less.

Denon DL-110 would be up there.

So would a 2M Blue or perhaps even a 2M Bronze (on the used market).

The 2M would be a little louder as they are MM, the 110 would need a little extra volume, as its HOMC.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:38 am 
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cleaning ladies = dustcovers+painters tape.

that's my thoughts on that one.

the painters tape (sign #2) holding the turntable dustcover (sign #1) shut......is a good clue to 'back off'.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:17 am 
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Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

If banerjba is right about the Marantz table being a tarted up Clearaudio then follow his advice. If the Marantz is a lesser model then try a Sumiko Pearl (not the black pearl). The thinness in the Elyse you heard is likely down to the OEM arm. The Sumiko Pearl will correct this with more body. For $300 he can buy two of them and he will have some future insurance against his heavy handed house-keeper.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:32 am 
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Location: Milton, ON, CA
What about a grace F9 ??


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:34 am 
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analogluvr wrote:
What about a grace F9 ??
Good choice, but the OP would be hard pressed to find one with a decent stylus for $300. Replacements are both rare and expensive.

My vote goes to a Nagaoka MP-110. Good tonal balance leaning towards warm and sweet, and a current design with an excellent upgrade path.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:18 am 
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ripblade wrote:
analogluvr wrote:
What about a grace F9 ??
Good choice, but the OP would be hard pressed to find one with a decent stylus for $300. Replacements are both rare and expensive.

My vote goes to a Nagaoka MP-110. Good tonal balance leaning towards warm and sweet, and a current design with an excellent upgrade path.


Yup Nag's are nice sounding carts .


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:31 am 
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Location: Somewhere North of Caledonia, ON, CA
ripblade wrote:
analogluvr wrote:
What about a grace F9 ??
Good choice, but the OP would be hard pressed to find one with a decent stylus for $300. Replacements are both rare and expensive.

My vote goes to a Nagaoka MP-110. Good tonal balance leaning towards warm and sweet, and a current design with an excellent upgrade path.

+2 Great budget cartridge!!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:47 pm 
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buybye88 wrote:
Hi,

If banerjba is right about the Marantz table being a tarted up Clearaudio then follow his advice. If the Marantz is a lesser model then try a Sumiko Pearl (not the black pearl). The thinness in the Elyse you heard is likely down to the OEM arm. The Sumiko Pearl will correct this with more body. For $300 he can buy two of them and he will have some future insurance against his heavy handed house-keeper.

Cheers,
David Neice


Great suggestion David. Glenn's suggestion of the Nagaoka 110 is also good and both have good tone but the Sumiko is a bit more dynamic and full sounding. Proof that these 1970s vintage designs still have a lot to offer in terms of affordable music making.

The other obvious choice if the table is fact based on the Clearaudio is the AT95e itself. It has excellent tone but not as full or dynamic as the Sumiko or Nagaoka. However being a slightly newer design (early 1980s), it does offer slightly better detail retrieval. Not as good as an Ortofon OM10 or 2MRed but decent. Oh, and the AT95e is US$50. The Nevada-based LP Gear makes all sorts of alternative tips for it. I own the yellow (actually the old Linn Basik) and the dark green one (which sounds like my old Linn K5). Old Rusty has a great thread on the white bodied Shibata version.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:52 am 
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Ya man! A year later & the AT95SA is still going strong...
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=44378
8)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:57 am 
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banerjba wrote:
Great suggestion David. Glenn's suggestion of the Nagaoka 110 is also good and both have good tone but the Sumiko is a bit more dynamic and full sounding. Proof that these 1970s vintage designs still have a lot to offer in terms of affordable music making.

I like dynamic and full. Looks like I'm going to get to try one of these as I just one this one for the princely sum of $30, shipped.

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... dium=email

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