Budget MC Cartridge and Synergy

Hi all, I am interested in discussion on Low output cartridges, .3-.6mv output, that are priced up to $500.00.
Some of the usual suspects are Audio Technica OC9MLII, Denon 103,Denon 103R,Grado Statement Sonata, Benz Micro MC Gold,Ortofon HMC30. Let us know your favourites, what types of systems they worked best with be it Horns, Tubes, Solid State. The phono stage and settings that worked the best with them. The more detail the better we can learn. If there are some disapointments let us know about that as well. If you don't think any are good enouph and that it is worth it to pay for a higher priced model let us know and what you suggest. I personally have a Moon LP5.3 phono, a Thorens TD160HD with RB250 and technoweight, modded Technics M5G, run through a tube integrated(GF RITA-880) with Klipsch Cornwall III Speakers. I am wanting to figure out which of these cartridges might have the best synergy with my system (with the Thorens)and/or if I should be looking at something that cost more. look forward to your opinions. Thanks
You should add the AT33EV to your list.

For virtually every cartridge of any type, the most important synergy is compatibility with the tonearm forst and the deck second. After that, obviously, I would look at the the phono stage, SUT or head amp. For myself, I probably wouldn't worry about anything downstream of that.
The Denon 103 series is not a good match for the Rega or Technics arms at around 9 grams effective mass for the Rega and, well, much less for the Technics, however the Zu versions add enough mass to get you in the ball park.

The best match and sound, to my taste, would be the Dynavector 20XL. Second would be the Ortofon Rondo series, which were designed on the Rega arms, or even the Denon 301.
I never really understood compliance, high? low? effective mass? I have always put a cartridge on that seems to be well thought of and seen how it goes. So my understanding Virdian, is that you are saying the Denon 103 carts are physically too lite to sound good on the Technics and Rega arms? This is confusing since I have seen users liking the Denon on both the Technics and Rega Arm. Maybe adding a heavier headshell on the Technics makes a difference( LP gear, sumiko). If someone can explain this it would be great.
I am using Denon DL103 with Rega RB600 arm on Rega P25 with Graham Slee AMP3+SPU-1 phonostage with very very good results. Denon is my go-to artidge, you can find it for $150, so you have $350 already to invest to step-up like Bobs SUT and instantly enjoy superb combination for $500 mentioned.

It may seem that Denon does not go well with medium mass arms like Rega, but thats the fault of wrong look up to specified numbers (compliance, etc). Make a reaserch in forums and you find all that info. Actually it is compatible with medium mass arms. (But it supppose to work even better on heavier arms).
Hello Jamol,

Don't forget to add the Denon DL 304 at your list!
I have this cart. and trust me it's still a great audio product.

My cent!
No, I am not saying that the Denon 103 series cartridges are too light to sound good in the Rega and Technics arms. "Good" is a subjective term, and many uses these cartridges with these arms and find the resulting sound "good". What I am saying is that the primary resonance is too high in these arms and bass response is not optimized, which is a bit more scientific than "good". If you listen to a 103 in an arm with under 10 grams effective mass, and one over 15 grams effective mass, you will hear for yourself the fully developed bass, free of the primary resonance in the later.