I had issues with Grado's Reference cartridge with my SME 309. Every time I would play one of those 45 rpm LPs, the first minute or two were unlistenable. I replaced the Grado with an Ortofon Cadenza Bronze and it was much better. Now I'm using a Lyra Kleos and love the combination. No distortion with either the Cadenza or the Kleos.
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