Best MC Cartridge $300.00 or less

Decided to try a Moving Coil phone cartridge. Turntable is a Harmon Kardon T 60 and pre amp id Threshold FET 2. Any suggestions?
If low-output try Ortofon MC-25FL or Audio-Technica OC-9 (exeptional) if High-output Sumiko "blue point special"
AT-OC9, Denon 103, especially 103D if you can find one. Both are competitive with carts over $1K IMO.
i like my ortofon mc-25fl, also. i also liked my sumiko blue-point; never heard the *special*, but i wood imagine it's even better. i've heard nice things about the a-t oc9, but have no 1st-hand experience. i'm currently awaiting receipt of a 50-hr-old dynavector karat 17, retail $750, i paid <1/3rd that. we'll see if it's worthwhile buying a used cartridge...
Sumiko Blue Point Special
Dynavector 10x4 MK.II blows away all the other carts listed. I believe MSRP is $350 but shopping around should yield a price close to your limit. This cart is high output, 2.0 mv, so should work fine with either mm or mc stage. Always check for compatibility, though.
I liked my Sumiko BPS enough to buy a lot of vinyl, after hearing it. I then went to the Glider, and now the Lo4. I doubt the Dynavector "blows away" the BPS, but I haven't heard the Dynavector. If you wanna hear "blown away", you need to spend more IMO.
>> I doubt the Dynavector "blows away" the BPS, but I haven't heard the Dynavector. << The Dyna 10x4 is indeed a *much* better sounding cart than the BPS [in all honesty it doesn't take much] - it's a better tracker, it's presentation is less smeared and a hell of a lot smoother without the spittiness of the Sumiko. Mr.Eber, don't you think it would help to audition the products, about which you opine, before pronouncing judgment? That said, a relatively stiff 'coil isn't going to sound its best coupled to the T-60's arm; I'd recommend either a Shure V15, A-T ML-150 or a Goldring 1042. Best Wishes, Felix
How many hours did you put on the BPS, and how long did you own the Dynavector, mr. "opine"? "Fear"?
In that price range, the original 103S by Denon. You can still find them in original sealed condition.
Mr.Eber, I've had a variety of BRS in my system, at all stages of their life; same goes for the 10x4 [the original and the mkII]. BTW, the QC and sonic consistency of BPS was quite poor. I worked in the hi-fi business, 'till a few years ago, and as a result was able to audition and live with quite a few products. I don't own either cartridge; I've used Lyras for the last four years or so. Now that I've answered your question, perhaps you can reply to mine. I just read your reference to the Phonomena phono stage and it's ability to upstage any competing product under $1K, a claim similar to your comments on the BPS and the Dyna. As I understand it you haven't even heard the Dyna and have not compared the Phonomena to similar components. My questions are simple: do you know since you have nothing to back up either claim? 2. do you know what the original poster's TT, for which you recommended the BPS, even looks like? Best Wishes, Felix
How do I know that you are even telling the truth, firstly? I've compared the Phonomena to the latest version of the Black Cube, and the Phonomena was much more accurate, more musical, more dynamic, far had less ss "false edge", and was far better able to fine tune the capacitance and resistance loading...besides the gain. Frankly, I resent dealers (or "claimed former dealers" honking that they've heard it all before "in their store". THERE'S NO WAY YOU'VE HEARD THE PHONOMENA YEARS AGO, BECUAE IT HASN'T BEEN OUT THAT LONG. And claims like that don't mean jack anyhow, becuase no dealer's store I have visited, or heard of, had a set-up that was resolved enough to make adequate comparisons of ANY component, AND NEITHER HAS ANYONE ELSE I'VE KNOWN OR BEEN ACQUAINTED WITH (visited a dealer where even their best "demo rooms" were "up to suff").........................What makes you think you have heard a phono stage that is a better value than the Phonomena? If you think you have, then prove it to me verbally right here, rather than relying on your pompous attitude. Prove that there is a phono stage that represents a better value in the $600 range than the Phonomena, right now.
Mr.Felix! I also recommended the "PBS"! However, PBS maybe not better than Dnavector, and maybe IS? Also,on t 60' arm the headshell holes aren't long enough to allow proper overhang adjustment on some cartridges: like Shure V 15 you also recommended??Regards! Dragan
Mr.Eber, please try not to be rude just because you've been caught with your hand in your pants. I'm a newbie on this board, most of my audio on-line time is spent on RAO and AA's vinyl forum, so I know you just as well as you know me. Given the nature of this medium, if we can't trust each other to be honest than there's no point to even attempt to exchange ideas. But this isn't about me, is it now? Clearly you have not heard the Dyna and yet see no problem with proclaiming that PBS is a better cartridge, just as you've compared the Phonomena to a single competing product yet have no difficulty calling it the best under $1K. There are ludicrous claims, made because you obviously own the products, as you have absolutely no comparative basis for your comments. You also may want to read my post again; I never said that I heard the Phonomena, in fact I have not. I also never said that I auditioned the products of which I speak in a store setting, making it rather clear that they were auditioned in my own system. You may want to read other folks' comments more carefully, Mr.Eber, and refrain from putting words into people's mouths. Oddly enough, even if I had compared the Dyna to a BPS in a store system, I'd have one leg up on you since you've *never heard* the cartridge. I'm still interested in hearing your replies to my questions, ones you rather conveniently chose to avoid broaching in lieu of an insipid personal attack. How do you know the BPS is a better sounding cartridge than the Dyna if you haven't compared them? How do you know the Phonomena is the best sounding phono stage under $1K, if you've only compared it to the BC? TIA; I look forward to your well thought out and on-point response. Best Wishes, Felix
Hi Dragan. I've been lurking here for about a week and having a little time on my hands I read some of the older, vinyl related posts. I'm not trying to advocate which cart is best, clearly there's something to be said for personal preference, but Mr.Eber's comment struck a nerve with me; there's enough confusion in our hobby without a need for public claims made without even having heard the product in question. You may be right about the T-60 arm; IIRC, it has a very short effective length. I mounted a lower grade Shure an a T-60 once, but I simply can't recall if the arm was modified by the owner or not. Best Wishes, Felix
You have no leg up on me, and I'm still waiting to hear what's better than the Phonomena. It is you who is being quite rude, also. You might want to be careful. And no, I have no reason to believe you anyway. Sorry, no offense.
Mr.Eber. Unlike you I have a problem discussing products I have not heard. Considering that I have never auditioned the Phonomena, as those who read and understand English already knew from my previous comments, I don't have an opinion one way or another. Now see how easy that was, Mr.Eber? All you had to do was make a recommendation to the original poster, but chose to discuss a cartridge you've never even heard and are now doing your best to weasel out of the situation instead of simply admitting to your error. Clearly you've been caught making unsubstantiated claims and have avoided every attempt I've made to clarify the matter. I've asked you several questions and you've ignored them all; eventhough, I respond to your comments directly and on point. Worse, you have made every attempt possible to obfuscate the issue at hand by playing Cat and Mouse games and doing your best to run away from your own words - so much for your credibility, sir. Sheesh, Mr.Eber, you don't even seem to have the basic ability to grasp the written word. I simply don't know what else there is to say, Mr.Eber. From what I've read so far this isn't an isolated incident for you, and I certainly hope that you think long and hard about modifying your posting style to not include opinions on components you've never heard, and perhaps have never even seen outside of a picture in a magazine. You may ask yourself what others can possibly gain by your comments, seeing how they have virtually no basis in personal experience, or is looking at your name on a screen this important to you? Perhaps when someone asks for an opinion, based on pure speculation, of a component a respondent has never heard, you could once again post a similar message. Until then you may want you stick to products you have actually had your hands on, as few as there may be. BTW, what is it that I should be careful of, Mr.Eber? Best Wishes, Felix
Mr eber, Was warning Felix to "be careful" a threat? I sincerely hope not. I too have been lurking around these boards for a while, and to be perfectly honest, I've found you to be a boorish lout. Your lack of knowledge, combined with a shouting, opinionated style, makes you too dangerous a creature to be passing out advice to people looking for help. I have zero tolerance for a bottom feeder such as yourself, so be a good boy now carl, and take a bit of time away from this forum to at least brush up on your manners, we'll start on your audio education after you return.... John
For what its worth I have had the original Bluepoint and the BBS in my system. My current cartridge is the Dynavector 10X4, and yes it does blow away the BBS in every regard. After a long run of upgrades in my system, I couldn't come up with the extra scratch for the Benz Glider so I got the Dyna. I have been surprised at how good that cartridge is. It has won quite a few shoot outs at various mags. (Not that it matters). Also a great phono stage is the EAR 834P, which is a tubed phono stage by Tim de Paravicini. New it costs $900. I find it much better than the phono stage in my Audible Illusions Modulus 3A. Between my Basis 1400 the Dynavector and the EAR my Vinyl collection has grown considerably. Although I think there is a Benz Glider in my future... Best-Gary
Hi Gary. I've compared the Glider [both the HO and the LO versions] to the 10x4 and other than the tonality of the carts [the Glider having a warmer, less focused presentation], the differences in sound quality are not as great as the price spread might imply. The Benz beats the Dyna in terms of soundstage depth, but the Dyno is a faster, more detailed sounding transducer with tighter, deeper bass response and a greater sense of clarity. I don't know about you, but I prefer to make big jumps when upgrading. With that in mind, you may want to consider a Lyra Lydian Beta or a Transfiguration Spirit, if you're comfortable with a tonal balance similar to the 10x4, or a Dyna XX-1 or a Benz LO4 [the Dyna being more refined of the two] for a more lush, albeit less precise and focused, depiction of the recorded event. All four offer sizable gains in resolution compared to the 10x4 and the Glider. I used to run an EAR also, before I bought my Ayre a few years back, and had very good luck with JAN 5751s. They're very inexpensive and even if you don't like the resulting change in sound, they're kinda fun to play with [G]. Best Wishes, Felix
Mean while back at the ranch. Maybe I will just stick to the Grado Platinum.
Felix-Thanks for the feedback. I think i'll be keeping my Dyna for a while. How do you like you Ayre preamp, I currently have an Ayre V3 amp which I love. Anything I put in it's place just doesn't sound as right to me. A truly under rated company. All the best-Gary
there's been lotsa good comments on the dyna 10X4; i'm looking forward to trying out the dyna karat 17 that's on its way. any comments as to what i might expect, compared to my ortofon mc-25fl, from someone that's heard 'em? thanks, doug
That was my last cart. (25fl)I think you should inform us your findings? Good luck!
Gary, I absolutely *love* the K-1. I ordered mine after having a demo home for just two days, and haven't looked back since. Other than my SC-Vs, the Ayre is the only component in my system I've never even considered replacing. Best Wishes, Felix
felix, is your k1 the latest *x* version? if not, are ya tinkin' about upgrading it? thanx, doug
Hi Doug. My K-1 is a little over three years old, and yea, I've been kinda thinking about the upgrade. I'm just so satisfied with the product that I'm afraid to spoil a good thing. Have you heard anything about the "x" version? Best Wishes, Felix
hi felix, i've only heard what ayre had to say - as it's off-topic of this thread, i forwarded it directly to you... doug
To "fear" and "Dls": Any help I have been able to afford anyone through this forum is VERY DEFINITELY NOT DANGEROUS TO A SOLITARY SOUL. And John, What'll you do if I don't go away? Nothing, that's what! (I'm in 2000 now, apparently you want to hold on to 1999. Why not join the rest of us?) I was discussing the Phonomena, and this guy who laughingly thinks he should be "feared" says I shouldn't talk about what I don't know about. All I said was, I DOUBT (read that again, you blowhard...I'm free to doubt, at least as much or more than you are free to do so...) that the Dynavector "blows away" the BPS............................And you know what, I still DOUBT it, my demented acquaintence! You both might want to take a few lessons in audio and manners yourselves (make sure the teacher can hear, and is polite, it takes hold THIS time). Might I suggest bootcamp in Afghanistan? I hear their mortars are very musical....Keep it on audio, or you'll both be gone from here sooner or later. And those same "best wishes" to you both...
Mr.Eber, I find it rather ironic to read you telling folks to keep this discussion on audio, yet seeing nothing but a plethora of grade school insults in your comments. You even went so far as to test your personal skills as a mindreader, and extrapolated the hidden meanings in folks' e-mail addys for everyone's amusement. Bravo! You see, Mr.Eber, having an opinion is fine and dandy, but when you start attacking other for having an opinion which differs from yours, as I've seen you do in multiple threads, only to find out that you haven't even heard the products being discussed, makes one what to probe a little deeper. Clearly this is something you do not handle well, no wonder since your claims seem to be based on personal ownership of a given component, and choose to resort to childish insults, laughable threats and absurd allegations that you toss into the wind without even attempting to provide a shred of proof [be it empirical or anecdotal] to support your position. That, Mr.Eber, is terribly disingenuous and highly questionable. Clearly your persona has not weathered this experience well, and I congratulate you from taking a little time off from this forum to gather yourself. Please consider your actions and how they reflect on an opinion which you obviously want to be taken seriously. Best Wishes, Felix
Carl is THE MOST interesting person, on the Audiogon! He is informative and "passionate", and that is what differ's him from the most Audio-entusiasts! I would say that he brings the heated disscusions to the already boring subject of audio! Let's be realistic! Who cares, what this speakers sound like or this cable...or any other stupid "gadget"! But interaction amongst the hobbist is what counts! And Carl brought, and some "dance" and new "blood" to it! And if you cannot take it...join the Atlantic Monthly disccusions, with other "stiff-necks" and other "card-board" cut-outs! Regards! Dragan
Right on Eldragon! Well said.At least I can understand what the hell you mean.I'm not impressed with big word blow hards.The people that continue to attack Carl are just bored trouble makers.Get a life or a better stereo and start to enjoy some tunes.