How about a used, hi output, Dynavector 20X. Great cart for the money. I like the sound so much I would be tempted to say get the entry level, 10X5 Dynavector. I imagine the old amp has an MM input so the HO version would be the way to go unless you can get the separate Caras Phono to give MC type gain.
An idea, the amp has both MM and MC inputs, 2 different loads for MC and 3 for MM.
Get a slightly used cartridge, such as dynavector 17d2 or 23rs, Benz Glider, Clearaudio virtuoso or Maestro, or Ortofon 2m Black. While the Dyna 10x5 is a good cartridge for $500, it does not compare to these, which are over $1000 retail but can be found with less than 200 hours, which is nothing. A stylus can easily last 1500 hours and then be retipped. Dont be afraid of used cartridges, they are a bargain and I have yet to purchase one and find that it didnt work or was damaged.
The few Benz Gliders I've heard were excellent.Thanks.
I would do it a little different. Instead of spending it all on a new cart, I would get a combo. For a cart I would look at something like a DV 10x5 or a Shelter 201. Use the rest and get a phono pre from Cambridge, MF, Pro Ject etc.. The reason I would do that instead is upgrading the phono pre may actually be a bigger upgrade than the cart.
The A-1000 was Yamahas top intergrated when vinyl was King,I know ,fact certain, its better than at least the Cambridge and Project , in fact IMHO it sounds better than the Slee I use.
The Project Debut is not a bad turntable - for the money. But it is not a great tt. In my experience an average cartridge on a great tt beats a great cartridge on an average tt any day.
So examine your sound quality and financial priorities.
$ 400 with a decent cart is a fantastic deal for a TT that is not great or bad but is very good.
My experience is the opposite of yours.
For that setup I'd go only as high as an Ortofon 2M Blue or Bronze before upgrading the table. While a little bit of a gamble, you could go the used route (100-400 hours) and buy a better cart, if you're planning on upgrading the table later (soonish).
Don't even think about an MC with the Debut's stock metal platter; it will attract the MC's magnet and could crush the cantilever. You'll need the acrylic platter if you wish to play with MC carts, and your phono stage will need adequate gain & loading options.
Also -- I've played with a Debut Carbon, and could feel the motor's rumble causing vibration at the headshell. Not confidence inspiring. It's a nice enough entry-level package, but choose another table if you wish to scale the cartridge food chain beyond the 2M Blue/Bronze.
With such good results from the Ortofon why look for something different?
Different is what you are going to get.
Better may not be in the dna of that table/arm.
You are getting more than you could have dreamed with that table. Rather than squeeze every last ounce of refinement why not move on to a better setup.
Better cartridges are going to be choked from their best performances by the limitations of the Project setup.
"Don't even think about an MC with the Debut's stock metal platter; it will attract the MC's magnet and could crush the cantilever. You'll need the acrylic platter if you wish to play with MC carts, and your phono stage will need adequate gain & loading options."
Very interesting point. Would that apply to both high and low output MC's?
It depends on the size/strength of the magnet and its location, which is a matter of the cartridge's design more than high vs. low output. The Ortofon Kontrapunkt & Cadenza lines have their magnets positioned very low (relative to the stylus) and are unusable with the stock platter. The Benz Gliders all use a huge magnet, whether L M or H output, but then it's also located further away (vertically) from the stylus tip.
To be honest, you can probably get away with it on some MC models, but I'd think it likely there is at least some effect, and I wouldn't use the combination. The fewer things attracted to your cartridge that you keep around it, the better!
Thanks one and all for the good advice on what is probaly the worlds best forum for same.
I used my usual way of siteing a TT which is on a a 4" Mapleshade block sitting on Isoblocks with the TT itself on Mapleshade heavyweight brass cones.Perhaps its just a loss of touch in my old fingers, but I must say I feel no vibrations on the headshell at all.Music Hall Cork mat.
My decision is to order a Soundsmith Carmen ($600), truthfully because I was addicted to ADC moving-iron carts back in the days before CD. If no improvement on the debut carbon, I'll just put it on my TT and get her a Ortofon Blue stylus.
I would like to know the thought process behind putting a $600- cartridge on a $350- turntable. Seems an odd allocation of funds, then again, if money is no object perhaps you feel this is an ideal arrangement?
Do you know something the rest of us doesn't?
Perhaps, at almost 80 I know you are easier on yourself when you take chances on your hunches.Kind of Zenny .