additional processing and customs charges on goldring 1006 or nagaoka mp150


Im considering purchasing the goldring 1006 or nagaoka mp150 on ebay.  Both indicate additional international processing and custom charges.  Does anyone know about  what this additional cost maybe?  Also any thoughts on both of these cartridges.  Looking to purchase for my pioneer plx1000.  My understanding is that the ortofon 2m blue is nice option as well but on my table could be a real pain to mount.

Appreciate your thoughts.
salc
Absolutely no problem to mount any cartridge on your turntable/headshell since you will have a dedicated overhang gauge with your pioneer turntable for pioneer tonearm, it will take 5 minutes to set up your cart in the headshell correctly with that plastic overhang gauge. You don't need anything else and any special knowlenge. Custom charge depends on the custom regulation in your country. 

Thge better cartridges would be Ortofon M20 FL Super (under $200) or Fidelity-Research FR-5E  (under $150).

Another killer cartridge is Stanton 881s and 881s MKII from the 80s, read this article about it.   
LP gear sells both of those brands without those charges!
https://www.lpgear.com/
In my experience there are rarely any custom charges imposed in the US for personal items imported from abroad.
@yogiboy

LP gear sells both of those brands without those charges!

The charges are on the custom conrol on arrival, not by the shop on departure.

I’ve never heard about import tax in the USA, but there is always import tax in Europe for example. The shops just tying to say they are not responsible for any custom charges, that’s it.
I have bought stuff from Japan, China, Canada, Britain, Germany, Lithuania, Argentina, India ... without ANY custom charges! Regarding your TT: I too have a recently acquired Pioneer PLX1000. I use a Denon 103R mc cartridge on it. Way better than any MM cartridge! The PLX/Denon is competitive with multi-kilobuck gear!
@roberjerman

I use a Denon 103R mc cartridge on it. Way better than any MM cartridge!

Have you tried all MM cartridges to make such statement for a cheap MC with a conical tip and alluminum cantilever? Even DL-107 MM cartridge is much better than DL-103 MC, and BTW your low compliance DL-103 is a total mismatch with the tonearm of PLX1000 (you can measure the cartridge/tonearm resonance frequency if you don’t believe). DL-103 must be used on high mass tonearms only. If you use a conical tip then you don’t even know what’s on the records, or you may like rolled off frequency on both ends, if that’s your sound then it’s fine, but it does not makes your average MC any better. It’s never too late to learn a bit about different profiles of the styli, different materials for cantilevers etc ... to understand the progress and know-how in cartridge design appeared in the 70s and 80s. Or you can ignore it if you’re happy with your oldschool Denon cartridge designed in 60s for radio broadcast. You may also like 78rpm records, but it does not makes them better than MicroGroove 33rpm LPs. The difference between your conical Denon and a proper MM cartridge is huge! But you may never tried a good MM yourself.
United States has some of the lowest duty rates in the world. Consumer electronics is less than 3%. I never got charged for anything under $500, or so. But did get charged for items closer to $1000 and above. For example, there was a fee of $100 on a $5000 audio purchase. You have nothing to worry about. The world surely takes advantage of this. 

Speaking of MC cartridges. Some people do prefer them and it's fine. But just note, no MC cartridge sounds like tape. If you want that master tape sound, it has to be MM/MI. 

The best cartridges built today are Ortofon 2M Black, Audio Technica VM760SLC, and Nagaoka MP-500. 

There's nothing wrong with aluminum pipe cantilevers. Some of the best cartridges ever made used aluminum pipes. I sonically prefer them to boron rods. Rods always add coloration that's not on the original tape. Same applies for ruby, sapphire, diamond, etc. 

Boron pipes are the best. But they might as well be unobtainium today. Resonance character of a pipe gets the sound right IMO. 


You guys are great, appreciate all your input.  I did contact LP gear and they suggested the Technica VM750 and Vessel A35V and never commented on the Nagaoka or goldring I was interested in.  It seems distributors will sell what they have in stock.  Anyhow.
Price wise Im leaning toward to Nagaoka MP-150 , goldring 1006 ($250-350) for my pioneer plx1000 , had considered the Ortofon 2m blue but was told its a bear to mount on my table.  But Im open to suggestions and would appreciate any other experience with either or perhaps  consider one not too much more costly.  As all these responses have noted there a many elements that one needs to take into account.  For example was thinking of the Soundsmith Otello which is an MI cart and luckily didn't proceed because its output is too low for the MM on my preamp even though its commented as a high output .  My preamp MM requires min 3mv/45k ohm and the MC requires low output and low impedence 0.2mV/2-100 ohm.  thanks again in advance.
PLX1000 is a nearly identical copy of Technics SL-1200MKII. I could mount the 2M Blue on it blindfolded.

Screws go right into the threaded Ortofon body. With Nagaoka, you’ll have to mess with nuts.

For a quick and dirty job, use the provided protractor to set overhang. Cartridge should remain straight in the headshell.

Sticking with the big boys like Ortofon and Audio Technica is a very good idea.
Do you know what the mass of that tonearm is? It’s not listed on the specs. You will need to know that before choosing a cartridge . You want arm and cartridge compatibility!
could not find the spec either.  I called pioneer and they indicated it was a medium mass.  May try again.  Didn't really tell me much thought
Effective mass is similar to Technics, 12g or so. It's medium mass. It will work with any of the mentioned cartridges in this thread. 
The Grado Gold would be a good match with a 12 gram arm. It is within your budget!
https://www.needledoctor.com/analog/analog-components/Phono-Cartridges/brand/Grado-Labs
@invictus005 

12g does not work well for low compliance cartridges, you need 20-30g effective mass to be optimal for DL-103, Ortofon SPU and many other low compliance carts. 

Pioneer made for professional market, the company itself is DJ oriented nowadays, all their products are for DJs/Clubs. This is their niche and nothing else. If they were Technics they could make P-10 Exclussive again, but Hi-End is not their interest anymore. Pioneer is the leader on the mass market for clubs/djs, but mostly with their CDJ players and mixers, not with their vinyl turntables, professionals still use Technics. 

The best material for the cantilever in my opinion is the Beryllium (not available today) and this is one of the reasons those vintage cartridges with Beryllium cantilevers are so special. It was not a problem to use Hollow Boron Pipe for giant company line JVC Victor back in the days, but their choise was a Beryllium for the very best cartridges ever made, such as Victor X-1 and X-1II.  

And let me add one of the best cartridge made today - The Garrott Brothers (Dynamic Coil MM) P-77i from Australia. 

However, the vintage carts from the 80s are still better choice. This is the case when you pay very reasonable price for lightly used and perfectly working cartridges from the era when MM was a king (not the MC). Some of them utilized technology and materials that are not available today in MM design anymore (Tapered Boron Pipes or Beryllium cantilevers, patented generators like Moving Flux for example).

Some of the high priced new mm cartridges today doesn't have a Nude Diamond, they are tipped. There is no competition between MM designers anymore.

And some new " Coreless straight-flux cartridge " high-end MM cartridge from Japan (posted recently by Jonathan Carr in our MM thread) cost $8000 ? This is something new: http://topwing.jp/RedSparrow-en.html 
I’m not so sure about beryllium rods being better than boron pipes. Audio Technica took a different approach, ML150 used a beryllium rod and higher end models such as ML170 and ML180 used boron pipes.

Very few cartridges used beryllium cantilevers as they are incredibly toxic during manufacturing.

Most of these cartridges are very difficult to find in good working condition and are expensive. Best for OP to get either a modern Ortofon MM or modern Audio Technica MM.

Current MMs may not have boron pipe or beryllium cantilevers, but nude stylus profiles and motors are state of the art.

BTW, Ortofon 2M range is of the moving iron type. 


Grace, Pioneer, Audio-Technica, Victor used beryllium cantilevers in their top of the line cartridges, then it was prohibited and Boron became the top choice. I’m not trying to say that beryllium is better than Boron, but Beryllium is definitely better than Alluminum or Titanium.

Density (gr/cm): 1.84 Beryllium / 2.69 Aluminum / 4.54 Titanium

Young Modulus (kg/mm): 28,000 Beryllium / 7,400 Aluminum / 11,000 Titanium

Velocity Of Sound Propagation (m/sec): 12,600 Beryllium / 6,420 Aluminum / 5,990 Titanium

Most of these cartridges are very difficult to find in good working condition and are expensive. Best for OP to get either a modern Ortofon MM or modern Audio Technica MM.

Yes, but i have spare in perfect condition, not only me, but many audiogon user have them. For example the Audio-Technica AT20SLa is about 350 euro with shipping. This is amazing high compliance cartridge. If you think the modern AT is better just read this: https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=100109
AT-Ml170 is also available along with NOS Victor X-1 if anyone interested, just PM me. Time machine in action! 

Different engineers and cartridge designers are working in the companies like Audio-Technica, people who designed cartridges in the 70s are retired, new people are woking on the new cartridges. The situation on the high-end market today is way different than in the 70s/80s. New cartridges are not always better, sometimes it’s compromise, especially when we’re talking about Moving Magnet cartridges, the trend today is MC, not MM.
Speed of sound in beryllium and boron is very similar. 

But boron could be grown around a rod and made into an extremely thin, incredibly stiff, and light pipe. 

All beryllium cantilevers that I'm aware of are rods. 

I've heard both and prefer pipes. 
@chakster                                                        My cartridge of choice for many years was a Fidelity Research FR1-mk3F (line-contact stylus, aluminum cantilever, silver coils). Used in a Lustre GST-1 arm mounted on an Ariston RD11S TT with a Hiraoka mat. Tonearm cable was Verion Traxial and SUT was a Verion P. So I know what GOOD sound is!
@chakster                                                          I own quite a few MM and MI cartridges. Empire, Stanton, ADC, Grado, B&O ... The best being the NOS Shure V15 mkV.          And I have over a dozen vintage TT's: Empire, RekoKut, Lenco, Garrard, Thorens, B&O, Linn Sondek, Technics 1200, Denon, Rabco, Marantz Linear, Sony, Yamaha, Revox, VPI, AR ...                  The Pioneer PLX1000 was a recent acquisition along with the Denon 103R.    
@chakster                                                        I also have over a dozen MC cartridges on hand: Denons, Coral, Sony, Supex, Dynavector ... 
analogueseduction.net in the UK. I bought my Goldring 1042 there.
There is quite a bit of unwarranted conjecture on this thread.

Last year I had the pleasure of listening to the same exact album on LP and R2R.

If I recall correctly, the tape deck was a Sonorous Audio ATR 10 RTR, turntable was a Doehmann Helix 1 with Schroder CB 9CB tonearm, cartridge was an Etna (low-output MC), phono stage was by Wadax, and speakers were Tidal Audio's Akira.

Despite that the cartridge was not an MM or MI, the sound of the two formats was exceedingly similar, with the LP perhaps being at the level of a first-generation dub of the tape (if that).

Also, I know a number of well-known album producers and musicians who use Lyra's and other MC cartridges for both their personal listening pleasure as well as evaluating test pressings of upcoming albums.

Neither of the above would be possible if MC cartridges were incapable of sounding like tape (contrary to invictus005's assertions).


Regarding rod and pipe cantilevers, each category can facilitate different construction techniques or shapes, and having a range of options can be useful for cartridge designers (in the context of specific cartridge designs). However, the distinction between rod and pipe cantilevers is by itself largely meaningless.


Boron didn't become popular because beryllium was phased out - they coexisted for years, and during that period the cartridge designer was free to choose whichever one he felt best suited the design that he was developing.

I prototyped with beryllium a few times in the 1980s, but never totally warmed up to the sound. Around the same period I also prototyped with boron, but again with inconclusive results. And ruby / sapphire. And diamond etc.
In the end, for our early cantilevers I settled on a whisker-reinforced aluminum alloy (in rod rather than pipe form).

However, the whiskered aluminum worked best with a coaxial 3-way damper arrangement, which was time-consuming to adjust and sometimes drifted (or was whacked) out of alignment in the field.

Therefore, in the mid-1990s we put more effort into formulating rubber compounds for dampers, and the success of this allowed us to change our cantilevers from whiskered aluminum to boron rod.


One of the keys to a cartridge's sonic personality is the matching of dampers to cantilever - some dampers that work exceedingly well with boron are less good with aluminum or beryllium, some dampers are more oriented to sapphire / diamond cantilevers, yet other dampers are all-rounders that work tolerably well across a range of cantilever shapes and materials (but these may not nail the sound as well as a specifically dialled-in damper(s).

In most MC cartridges the damper is sandwiched / enclosed between the coils and the rear yoke (center yoke in some cases), therefore most third-party MC retips will either not replace the damper, or if they do, it will not have the original formulation / shape.

The Audio-Technica V-M MM cartridge dampers are also of this type.

In most MM / MI cartridges, however, the damper surrounds the cantilever, and is enclosed within replaceable stylus assembly. Therefore, when you replace the stylus of an MM with a product from a third-party retipper (Swing, JICO etc.), you will be getting a new stylus, cantilever and dampers, and presumably the damper will have been chosen to complement the replacement cantilever choice.


Regarding the Top Wing Red Sparrow, I've written a little more about it at the following link:
https://www.audionirvana.org/forum/the-audio-vault/analog-playback/cartridges/76017-interesting-new-...

kind regards, jonathan
@roberjerman

then you should try a decent MM/MI cartridges like Grace F-14 LC-OFC with Boron/Micro Ridge, Grace LEVEL II, Stanton 981 with Stereohedron or Stanton WOS, Grado Signature XTZ, Pioneer PC-1000 MKII, AT-ML180 OCC, Glanz MFG-61 , Victor X-1 and X-1II ... most of them sounds even better with 100k Ohm loading instead of standard 47k Ohm.

Everything depends on particular model of the cartridge, not just the brands. I have all those, but lower models from the same brads were not as good as their higher top of the line models.

However, if you like conical DENON DL-103 more than anything else then you’re not the one who prefer detailed, airy sound. Those oldschool cartridges sounds superior with proper diamonds like modern Replicant-100, i’ve tried various SPU, but the one with Replicant-100 (SPU Royal G MKII) is the only good SPU in my opinion, those conical SPU are terrible like the 103.

I have not tried the FR-1mk3F, but i own the Fidelity-Research FR-7f which is superior and definitely the best FR cart ever made (along with Fz version). I use it on Lustre GST-801 tonearm btw. On Luxman PD-444.

I don’t understand why you’re underrate MM cartridges, especially if your reference is DL-103 MC!?

I like all MM from the list above much better than my MC of any kind at any price up to $5000. I hate conical styli, they does not extract musical information from the record groove right, the inferior oldschool midrange sound - this is all about conical. This is the reason people refurbishing their stock DL-103 with LineContact and Ruby cantilevers.

I would never recommend an MC cartridge for begginer and my advice is to avoid everything with Conical/Spherical stylus tip. Record wear factor is also much higher with conical profiles and high tracking force of the low compliance cartridges is also very bad. And finally very few modern tonearms are designed for low compliance carts, it must the the arm with very high effective moving mass to work right with DL-103 or SPU etc 

I just don’t understand what’s the hype about those DENON DL-103 despite the fact they are very cheap among the MC carts on the market.
Speed of sound in beryllium and boron is very similar.

But boron could be grown around a rod and made into an extremely thin, incredibly stiff, and light pipe.

All beryllium cantilevers that I’m aware of are rods.

I’ve heard both and prefer pipes.


Yes, by the late 80’s into the very early 90’s... it had been decided in the general sense, by all involved, by manufacturers and buyers of said cartridges, that hollow boron tubes for cartridge cantilevers..was the ’ne plus ultra’ of materials for making the best phono cartridges.

Everything else was not as good a combination of mass, damping, resonance, and frequency of resonance. By the very existence of that particular attribute in the best cartridges, it was, by fiat and overwhelming example...declared ’king’.

We’ve slowly been going backward ever since, regarding mainstream use. Or course, quite a few more cartridges were made back then, and costs were lower and so on. So now, the hollow boron tubes are pretty well extinct and we’ve got inferior materials for the mid to high priced cartridges and then aluminum for the bottom, as per normal. Only in the extreme high end, nearly moving into 6 figures for a price, do we finally get back into better or newer with extreme aims in quality. Things like diamond are attempting to happen. Of course, I’m no expert in this but the lay of the ground does tend to look a lot like this particular recipe/mix.
@jcarr
Thanks for your comment, Jonathan
It’s always nice to have an inside from the industry leaders


Last year I had the pleasure of listening to the same exact album on LP and R2R.

If I recall correctly, the tape deck was a Sonorous Audio ATR 10 RTR, turntable was a Doehmann Helix 1 with Schroder CB 9CB tonearm, cartridge was an Etna (low-output MC), phono stage was by Wadax, and speakers were Tidal Audio’s Akira.

Despite that the cartridge was not an MM or MI, the sound of the two formats was exceedingly similar, with the LP perhaps being at the level of a first-generation dub of the tape (if that).

Also, I know a number of well-known album producers and musicians who use Lyra’s and other MC cartridges for both their personal listening pleasure as well as evaluating test pressings of upcoming albums.

Neither of the above would be possible if MC cartridges were incapable of sounding like tape (contrary to invictus005’s assertions).

I often quote this TAS article to show the people what was a choice (of monitoring cartridges) for mastering engineers like Doug Sax, Kavi Alexander and others. J.Tammblyn Henderson reports on a listening session comparing digital master tape, analogue master tape, direct-to-disc lacquer and the "live" mike feed; the report consists of a long conversation among J. Boyk, Keith Johnson, Doug Sax, and JTH himself. " What cartridge could have the "lowest distortion of all," "uncanny" resolution, better than master tapes?". The choice was an MM cartridges: Audio-Technica AT-ML170, Technics EPC-100c mk4, Stanton 881s mkII. Well it was in the 80s or early 90s, maybe we have better MC cartridges today, but the price for new MC cartridges is 10 times as much, compared to those vintage MM from this article. There is a comments about MC from that era below the article.


Boron didn’t become popular because beryllium was phased out - they coexisted for years, and during that period the cartridge designer was free to choose whichever one he felt best suited the design that he was developing.

I prototyped with beryllium a few times in the 1980s, but never totally warmed up to the sound. Around the same period I also prototyped with boron, but again with inconclusive results. And ruby / sapphire. And diamond etc.
In the end, for our early cantilevers I settled on a whisker-reinforced aluminum alloy (in rod rather than pipe form).

However, the whiskered aluminum worked best with a coaxial 3-way damper arrangement, which was time-consuming to adjust and sometimes drifted (or was whacked) out of alignment in the field.

Therefore, in the mid-1990s we put more effort into formulating rubber compounds for dampers, and the success of this allowed us to change our cantilevers from whiskered aluminum to boron rod.

Very interesting, but it’s a choice of designer. The unique beryllium cantilever that comes to my mind is the one we can see on Victor X-1 or X-1II MM cartridges. The shape of these cantilever is not like anything else. For some reason JVC Victor never used Boron on their top of the line models from the 70s/80s and i believe it was a choice of the designer of those particular carts. They are excellent MM cartridges. One step backward was X-1IIE with Titanium cantilever according to manual (some people think it was Beryllium). It’s dark color, so i’m not sure.

One of the keys to a cartridge’s sonic personality is the matching of dampers to cantilever - some dampers that work exceedingly well with boron are less good with aluminum or beryllium, some dampers are more oriented to sapphire / diamond cantilevers, yet other dampers are all-rounders that work tolerably well across a range of cantilever shapes and materials (but these may not nail the sound as well as a specifically dialled-in damper(s).

I don’t know of any other manufacturer, except for the Grace, who released all kinds of cantilevers for their MM cartridges. I’ve been collecting them over the years, one day i will compare them on my F-14 and on Level II cartridges. The aluminum was good, but Boron Pipe, Ruby and even Ceramic is what i’d like to compare, they are still sealed. The advantage of the MM cart is the ability to change styli/cantilever combo to find the best sounding combination on the same generator/cartridge.

I wonder what do you think about Ceramic cantilevers?

Thanks

Hi Chakster: Many audio designers are also audiophiles, and whether they subjectively like the outcome of a particular design choice will inevitably affect whether that design choice finds its way into the final product (or not). So yes, these choices very much involve the preferences of the individual designer, and/or the brand. Some of these preferences may be objective, but some may be subjective.

Likewise for mastering engineers / record producers. On the occasions that I visited Keith Johnson, he was using Spectral MC cartridges (which I designed), and I know that Tam Henderson was a Lyra cartridge user, even after we stopped working with Spectral.
Doug Sax was more oriented towards MM cartridges, AFAIR.

Although I’ve designed MM cartridges, for various reasons they never went into production. Kavi Alexander has been pushing us to make an MM / MI cartridge, so I may get around to doing this eventually (grin).

I’m aware of the Victor X-1, and I also know why they chose that particular shape for the cantilever (this is because I had the same exact insight, but wasn’t aware that anyone had made such a thing until I saw the X-1). But studying the X-1 cantilever and how it was made suggests that it couldn’t have been an easy or straightforward task, and probably resulted in a rather high rate or rejected parts and greater wastage (of a toxic material - lol). I would guess that is a key reason why it didn’t survive into later models.
That, and the fact that the clearance between cartridge body and LP will be lessened, which could make the cartridge more difficult to use and consequently less popular among potential customers.

It is true that in the first part of the 1970s JVC focused on MMs, but after JVC launched its first MC cartridge, the MC-1 direct-scan design in 1977, they focused on this family as their flagship range.

http://20cheaddatebase.web.fc2.com/needie/NDVICTOR/MC-1.html

These JVCs are the spiritual ancestors to the modern Audio Technics ART-1000.

As you point out, most of this family used beryllium cantilevers, although duralumin was also employed.

On the other hand, we must not forget that other big manufacturers such as Technics / Panasonic largely shied away from beryllium in favor of boron, likewise for Denon. So again, different designers, different decisions.

Regarding ceramic, there was a time in the early 1980s when it was one of the flavors of the day, but that trend didn’t last, which suggests that it wasn’t the easiest material to make good sound with.

On a technical level, ceramic tends to be extremely high-Q with very little internal lossiness, and it isn’t particularly light, therefore it wouldn’t be the first material that most cartridge designers would reach for (smile). If you were to use it, you may find that you need an additional method of damping (above and beyond the normal cartridge dampers). Constrained layer damping, or tuned mass damping, or something like that.

kind regards, jonathan
@jcarr 

It is true that in the first part of the 1970s JVC focused on MMs, but after JVC launched its first MC cartridge, the MC-1 direct-scan design in 1977, they focused on this family as their flagship range.

http://20cheaddatebase.web.fc2.com/needie/NDVICTOR/MC-1.html

These JVCs are the spiritual ancestors to the modern Audio Technics ART-1000.

As you point out, most of this family used beryllium cantilevers, although duralumin was also employed.

Right, and the Victor L-1000 was the best one with printed coil right above the diamond, but most of them have a very short life. I don't know if it's easy to fix those cartridges (maybe you know better), but most of them have a problem with one channel or with both channels even if they are looks mint. The price for a used Victor L-1000 dramatically increased after M.Fremer visited Audio-Technica factory in Japan and they said on video what was their inspiration to make AT ART-1000. I wish i could find working Victor MC L-1000 or someone who can fix a non working samples. 

There's just simply nothing better than boron for cantilever material. Japanese got it right. Boron is only 20% denser than beryllium, but boron is 50%+ stiffer.

Beryllium cantilevers only come in a rod form, whereas boron can be made into a pipe. Pipes are potentially lighter and pipes can be made with a wider diameter increasing stiffness even further.

Propagation of sound in both boron and beryllium is similar. 

Aluminum and aluminum alloy pipes are standard. They propagate sound faster than any other less exotic metals such as steel, copper, titanium, etc. Aluminum has low density and can be made into a wide diameter pipe resulting in very high stiffness. Ortofon 2M Black does just that. 

I would imagine aluminum alloyed rods to sound terrible... But I don't think I've ever heard a cartridge with one.

Carbon fiber cantilevers sound very bad to my ears. So do ruby and sapphire. 



@invictus005

Beryllium cantilevers only come in a rod form, whereas boron can be made into a pipe. Pipes are potentially lighter and pipes can be made with a wider diameter increasing stiffness even further.

No, check the Pioneer PC-1000 MKII MM cartridge, it was top of the line model made by Pioneer for their Exclussive turntables, this cartridge comes with BERYLLIUM PIPE cantilever: http://audio-database.com/PIONEER-EXCLUSIVE/etc/pc-1000ii-e.html I got two samples of this great cartridge on hands, it’s a stellar performer!

Here you will see this cartridge on Pioneer Exclussive P-3 turntable, the price for this turntable was 600 000 Yen in 1981 http://audio-database.com/PIONEER-EXCLUSIVE/player/p3-e.html ... And it was more expensive than Technics SL1000mk3 (SP10mk3 with EPA-100MKII in Obsidian Plinth) available for 500 000 Yen in 1982.  

Boron is fine, but always much more expensive than beryllium when it comes to vintage cartridges.



Just because several manufacturers used beryllium for their top models, it doesn't mean that boron is not the ultimate cantilever material. 

BTW, some of your mentioned beryllium cartridges make wonderful sound. 

Boron, beryllium, aluminum... There were a lot of great MM cartridges during that decade. 
 Buy the Pioneer turntable local at a guitar center or other music store because of the loose bearing issues with the arm so you can return it easily.
As other people have said whoever is telling you any cart is hard to install on a DJ turntable is an idiot.  with a removable headshell and overhang gauge that the table comes with you can take your time and easily setup the cart.
Plus vendors like needledoctor and others sell the Ortofon 2m Blue with the SH-4 headshell already mounted.  
later if you want to really improve the table get a KAB silicon tonearm damper.  Amazing improvement in tightening up the bass and dealing with arm resonances.  Several vendors sell the nagaoka mp150 mounted to a headshell pre-wired also.  I was considering that same cart for Technics SL1200G i am looking at.
Hi Chakster: While the MC-L1000 was certainly the most extreme of the range, that is not necessarily the same thing as musical enjoyment.

I partly agree with the following author, that many listeners would probably consider the MC-L10 to be better balanced, less merciless, and more musically enjoyable.
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww013.upp.so-n...

A MC-L1000 can malfunction or fail for a variety of reasons. Some problems cannot be corrected. The coil lead-out wires are flexed each and every time the cartridge is cued into an LP, and over time they can fatigue and break.The printed coils can develop internal cracks (perhaps due to the constant impacts transmitted into them from the stylus directly below), but there is some evidence that certain stylus cleaning liquids can migrate into the coils and cause oxidation, which will eventually break the coil traces.

However, the MC-L1000’s pole pieces are very close to the LP, and the gap between the pole pieces is very narrow. The proximity of the pole pieces to the LP, combined with the powerful magnetic field will efficiently "suck up" any ferrous-containing particles that are on the LP, and the narrowness of the gap means that once such particles collect in the gap, they will stay there. Since the gap is also where the printed coil resides, a build-up of debris here will gradually hamper movement of the coil, and eventually bring it to a complete halt.

If an MC-L1000 in such condition is taken apart and the gap carefully cleaned, there is a reasonable chance that it can be brought back to normal operating condition.

See the following page for more details.
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fkuzutetu.cside3...
 Regarding coreless  flux cartridges I have a fidelity research MC 201 that I believe has such an arrangement. As well as an astatic Mf100. Are they pretty much the same as that newer red  Sparrow?   They are both fantastic performers.