Adcom HC E II
I had one of these back in the late eighties and wanted to relive my youth so I picked up a NOS and put it on my new build, hot rod 150. I found it to be a very good performer and actually preferred it over other budget cartridges, e.g. Grado platinum, BPS II and maybe slightly better than a Denon 110, which I
Ike a lot and was screaming deal when you could buy them for $90 a few years ago. However, it did not dethrone a modded Denon103. Until, my friends, I change the loading from 47k to 1000 ohms.
Doing so really allowed this cartridge to strut its stuff given it better balance, depth and dimension. It went from a cartridge that was a fine budget MC to one that is very good. Now it presents with more control and drive. It engages you and allows your to focus more on the performance. It went from, "Oh, that's nice" to "Wow, listen to that".
Now, it does not have the fine degree of resolution that my better Benz have but it has a lot for very little.