You can probably get a Scout, Dynavector P-75 and a Dynavector DV20 low output. That setup will do everything well, and you don't have to worry about a mismatch with the cart and phono pre.
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Whatever turntable you decide on, I'd suggest passing on the idea of a Goldring 1042. Despite the decent reviews, I found it an underwhelming average at best sort of cartridge when used in either a VPI Scout or with a Rega arm on an Acoustic Signature turntable. Nothing bad about it, but nothing very inspiring or exceptional either. I figure they must get paired with turntable "out the door and ready to use" packages because Goldring sells them at a good price in bulk to turntable manufacturers. I'd go with Dynavector or Ortofon cartridges myself. If you mean to avoid "tweaking various bits" by only choosing a turntable with a pre-mounted cartridge, you're really limiting your options.
Thanks for the advice. By avoiding tweaking various bits I mean getting back to what I was doing 20 years ago. That was buying something then not being satisfied with it so I'd buy a different turntable mat. Wasn't sure about that so I'd buy a set of rubber feet. Then a friend said put the mat back but change the stylus. Better, so I changed the balance weight on the arm and put on a Mitchell Engineering weight, etc. etc.
In the end it sounded OK but I had no Idea what bit was having what effect.
I've found a shop in Berlin, Germany where I can listen to whatever I want and he will guarantee to set it up in the shop with me and ship it to Spain ready to go.
I'm not fixed on the G1042 it's just that most people I've spoken to are pretty sure it will do the job for me but I'm very open minded about the cartridge.
I am however pretty much swaying towards the Nottingham Analogue deck.
So if anyone has/had a Nottingham deck especially the Interstate junior I'd love to hear from you.
Just to expand on my last post.........
I'm thinking of going with the Nottingham Analogue Interstate Junior with the Nottingham tone arm.
I've been given the option of numerous cartridges but I don't know a( what their sound signature is like and b)How will they work in the Nottingham if I like the sound clean and detailed?
If anyone has opinions on any of these please feel free to share. Thanks very much by the ay the advice is helpful.
So, in no particular order my options are
Benz Micro MC-Gold
Ortofon Quintet Blue
Clearaudio Concept MC
Clearaudio Performer v2
Denon DL 103R
Grado Reference Platinum 1
Grado Statement Sonata 1
Ortofon 2M Black
Sumiko Blue Point EVO III
Rob, I know what you mean about the endless quest for the last tweak that will give you that last bit of something you feel you're lacking. I think it's part of the audiophile disease complex :-)
In my experience, one can read all the reviews available on a cartridge but that only goes so far in telling you whether one is right for you and your setup (unfortunately.) Taste in cartridges is as unique to the individual listener as taste in music, wine, or significant others. It's been my experience from being an analog fan for forty years or so that one has to resign themselves to learning to install cartridges themselves and be prepared to try a few before hitting on the right one.
That said, you've got a list that is all over the place as far as characteristics. You list a mix of high and low output cartridges. Do you already have a phono preamp and is it as capable a performer for a cartridge with .4mv as 5 mv.? As you no doubt know, the capabilities of the phono preamp are a huge part of the total performance of an analog rig.
It's funny that you mention the phono preamp. I currently use a Pro-ject Phono SE II to run the Ortofon 520. I know its capable of running MC but I'm not sure how well. Originally I had planned to just go with a Clear audio MM and then upgrade the power supply. However, the more I've thought about the cartridge choice (after more research and these threads)
I thought it might be better to get the right cartridge and forgo the power supply in lieu of a better phono amp. I don't have the budget to go crazy but I thought maybe a €400 Cartridge with an upgrade to a Graham Slee preamp. However, I'm not sure which would give me the better option.
See what you've made me do, I'm talking tweaking again.....
Sorry about that, it's so easy to goad the affliction isn't it. I don't have any personal experience with your phono preamp, but I did buy and sell several phono preamps before I found the one I use now. A few of the ones that came and went were highly reviewed but were just "mehhh" to my ears in my system. I will say that I think a good general rule is that you usually get a better bang for your buck with a great phono preamp and a "lesser" cartridge than the other way around. Hang in there, you'll eventually get where you want to go (although it can be aggravating at times.) Another good moderate price phono preamp to keep an eye out for is a Heed Quasar. Not well known but worthy of consideration along with the Graham Slee products.