BEST cartridge money can buy?

i know the best, depends on this or that. still the cartridge best able to remove all there is in those grooves with the most accurate, cleanest sound possible. the cartidge that all other should be compared too. the reference of references. the one that has never been bettered? the cartridge one lusts after? if you must base on a system fine but i preferr the one that no matter what tt, stage or any other item down the chain can not be bettered? if you have multiple ties top 3 or 5 in desending order. please by expereance and actual listening knowledge.

My current "best" is my koetsu Blue lace, but having owned them solely from the mid-80's onwards (black, rosewood, onyx, 2*urushi black and finally this one) but I'm not saying it is the best cartridge, having never deviated from this line. I'm sure there are many of equal ability but cannot comment.

Buy ehat's best for you, not what someone else may advocate!

Good luck
Dear Koegz: Money ( big money/alone. ) can't buy the best cartridge because the cartridge quality performance IMHO does not depend on money but in cartridge design and execution of that design and with almost the same importance the quality of the tonearm where the cartridge will be matched.

If your phono stage can handle the " humble " MM alternative then IMHO here are some cartridges that in my experiences can't be beat it for no other cartridges ( MC/MM. ):

Audio Technica ATML180-OCC, Signet TK-10MLMK2, Audio Technica AT-20SS, Grace F9-Ruby, Ortofon M20FL-Super, there are other ones but if you can find one of these it will be worth ( and inexpensive ) to test/try in your audio system, I'm sure you will be really happy to discover a whole new audio world that you even can't imagine to.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Very good to see another who likes the Signet TK-10, I like(d) it so much I had one of them van den Hul tipped. I always wanted to try varying capacitor loads with it. I have a love-hate relationship with the Koetsus. I had my Urishi for sale but then pulled it after a sale fell through. I've had ProIVs and Rosie Siggis but the older I get the more detail I desire. Of course, next year I'l feel just the opposite. I find that cartridges are like women...

"Best of" thread are senseless and seldom show any form of unanimity.

You'll receive dozens of answers each with its' own merits.
Rauliruegas, you the man. Three turntables, nine tonearms, and a bunch of nice cartridges. Can't say I have ever seen anything like that.
This type of question comes up all too often. I'm glad to see Raul and Audiofeil comment so I'm not the lone curmudgeon!

Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla, Fords or Chevys (MB or BMW), blonds or redheads??? If might be nice for such a simple standard but since we are individuals, having different standards, perceptions, experiences, etc. means that identifying any single best audio component is impossible, not withstanding claims on the cover of Stereophile. 8^)
best is a bad word to belongs on magazine covers where no one will take it seriously.

for years i enjoyed the vdH Colibri.....i owned 6 different Colibri's. i felt it was more detailed and energetic than any other cartridge i had heard. i still feel that way. when everything is ideal it has that magical connection. but my tastes evolved and i have found that the Colibri seems too is transcendant on the perfect Lp; but has too much high end energy for many Lps (and many listeners). it requires perfect set-up.

for a small group of Lps it might be hard to beat.

so to find the ideal cartridge involves finding the best compromise. or it involves multiple tt's, arms, and cartridges (which is my current direction).

currently i like the Lyra Olympos as an ideal all around performer among cartridges i have listened to in my system. but it cannot equal the Colibri on certain Lps.

so which is better? who can say? even in my own limited experience i cannot pick out a 'best'.

there are many cartridges out there which i have not heard so i would not have any idea of which would be my favorite.
I can't answer that, because the priority from everyone is different.
I want (not prefer) a true reproduction of the real thing, the Living presence in front of the Listener. I few carts can do it, most have other strengths. I don't listen to records from 2000+ which were mainly digitally mastered nor to current reissues. I use for example Classic Records 1. batch, 180gr LSC, Originals or old Deccas for my rating. With the right cartridge, in the right System I can count the rows in an Orchestra, the musicians have a physical body and the Listener has a view into the presentation like the microphones have.
Well, one of those which impressed me, is the last fidelity Research Cartridge from their famous FR-7f series, the fz.
It does not work with modern Arms but I am working to find something similar which can do it with a Phantom II Arm...a tough task .-)
I recently heard the Koetsu Coralstone cart that I thought was fantastic, but from shootouts that were done with a few of the the top carts (posted in Vinyl Asylum) well over a year ago, the Strain Gauge came out on top in listener preferences, and 1 listener thought it was a close second place.

I chose to go with that system and then even represent them as a dealer, so take it for what it's worth.

The Strain Gauge supposedly has the lightest moving mass of any cart, and therefore can more accurately trace the LP grooves. And the fact that you can replace the styli in a few seconds, and have backups on hand and multiple stylus profiles for your best and somewhat beat up LP's makes it the "best choice" for me.

Some people don't want to give up their beloved phono stages, and that 's understandable, since the Strain Gauge comes with it's own phono stage that can act as a line stage as well.