When I had this arm, I had great success with the Grado Reference/Reference in it. It will be happier with a cartridges with medium to lower compliance cantilever assemblies.
And, here's a link to another recent thread on this topic:http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1102123364
Denon 103, whichever version you fancy. Sean
I'm using a Lyra with no problem.Call Bruce and ask him.
I use a koetsu rosewood, and have also used a denon 103d,shelter 501 as well as the grado statement. All of them work very well in the et-2.
I have used an ET2/high pressure manifold/Wisa pump for years, mounted on a VPI HW19 Mk4. Cartridges that I have used with it have been: Grado 8 series, Grado TLZ, VDH MC10, VDH MC1, Shure Vmr, AT OC9, AT 170???, Carnegie 1, Decca London (!!), Koetsu Black, and Monster AG1000 and Monster AG2000.
The best performance was with the Monster cartridges, the 2000 in particular. The combination of ET2/Monster was a very popular one, at one time; and recommended by many dealers. One of the key issues seems to be the ET2's preference for a low compliance cartridge, as recommended by Thigpen himself. The Grados and others (except the Decca) all worked and sounded fine as well, with the expected sonic differences; but as far as trackability, they all worked acceptably. Keep in mind that I have the table on a wall mounted shelf , and the Grados are known to do the "Grado dance" in that arm when the table is susceptible to floor vibrations/footsteps etc.
Given that the ZYX cartridges are made by the same maker of the old Monsters, you might want to look at that line of cartridges. I am currently in need of a replacement cartridge for my aging Monster, and would be interested in what you come up with. Please keep us posted.
Dear Alanpiga: **** " It will be happier with a cartridges with medium to lower compliance cantilever assemblies. " ****
What Rushton is telling you with this statement is that your tonearm can handle almost any of today cartridges.
So, what cartridge can you choose?. It depends of your budget and the kind of music that you like.
There are many good cartridges out there, my advise for some: Shelther 90X, Sumiko Celebration, Transfiguration Spirit 3, Ortofon Kontrapuntk B, Clearaudio Discovery, Allaerts Boron, Dynavector XV-1. All these cartridges can " make " real music and I'm sure that at least one of them it will be on your budget.
Regards and enjoy the music.
The lower the compliance of the cartridge, the more suitable it will be for use with this arm. If using the damping trough with the ET II, this increases the range of varying compliances that you can use, but i would still stick with a low to medium compliance design for best results. Medium-high to high compliance designs should be avoided like the plague with this arm due to the mass involved and the resonant frequencies that will result.
As a side note, i suggested the Denon 103 as it has excellent bass and transient response, which will be quite noticeable with full-range type speakers. One can tailor the high frequency response of the cartridge to suit their listening preferences via adjusting cartridge loading in the phono stage. On top of that, this is an inexpensive cartridge that works very well. Familiarizing yourself with the use of this arm without having to worry about damaging a mega-dollar cartridge can make listening to music a lot more relaxing.
If you wanted to spend more money, you might want to look into the ZYX cartridge line that Frogman mentions. These cartridges will work very well both mechanically and sonically in an arm & audio system like yours. Some of the more expensive Lyra designs are also very nice sounding, but they are also on the leaner side as compared to the Denon's and ZYX's. I've no experience with the Shelter's, but from what i've read, they might be a very suitable candidate also. Sean
I ordered the Denon DL-103R cartridge based on your advice, folks, thank you, sincerely.
I really don't want to spend a lot of money in this and I am happy to "hear" that technically it won't be a mismatch.
Just what I needed to hear!!!!!
And I will feel peace of mind to be able to return the borrowed cart.
I am amazed at the quick and interesting responses from Audiogoners.
Good for you Alan. I would recommend experimenting with cartridge loading once you get the Denon installed. There seems to be a general consensus as to where this cartridge tends to work and sound best in terms of a loading range, but this will vary with personal preference and system response characteristics.
Out of curiosity, where did you order it from? Sean
I ordered the DL-103R from Action Accessories in Linden, New Jersey. It will take 14 days to get here they told me. I read somewhere about a place called phonophono with excellent prices but I believe it is in Europe.
As far as cartridge loading, I have not even opened the Cotter step up transformer to familiarize with the inwards of it therefore I have no idea how to change the loading. I understand in general that it is done by changing a resistor with one of a different value and I read somewhere that the DL-103R worked well into a Cotter transformer with an impedance of 40 ohms, which is interesting because I believe that the internal impedance of the DL-103R is 14 ohms and I read also that when a low output cartridge is driven with a step-up transformer the loading in the transformer should match the internal loading of the cartridge, and, I know, it is a starting point, not necesarily the best solutiuon.
This is my first low output cartridge. So in practice I am completely new to this.
I have hesitated to add a follow-up to my earlier comments, as you have already ordered your cartridge, and I am sure you will be pleased with your choice. The Denon is a great choice for your arm.
My comment, and perhaps Sean or others can chime in on this, concerns the issue of output voltage of the cartridge and how THAT affects the overall sonics. In your case, I am sure you will have more than sufficient gain, since you are using the Cotter transformer. However, something you might want to consider is what I have experienced IN MY SYSTEM. I have generally preferred using a higher output cartridge when my phono stage was of the lower gain type, as opposed to using a step-up device. I have used Electrocompaniet, Counterpoint, and Koetsu step-up devices in the past. My experience has been that using something like a Grado or higher-output MC gave ME a more natural sound as opposed to adding the extra electronics and cabling of the step-up to the signal of an ostensibly better quality low-output MC. The same way that, even with my high gain preamp (Melos), in some ways, sometimes the best sound is achieved by using the lower gain setting with a higher gain cartridge. The music is less electronic sounding even if I give up a little bit in detail retrieval. This has nothing to do with arm/cartridge compatibility. Of course, as with most things, this is all relative. In your system the results may be different, and at some point the advantages of a really great (and expensive) cartridge (assuming it is compatible with your arm) will supersede the "losses" of using more preamp (or step-up) gain. Might be worth experimenting with a higher gain cartridge as well as with as your Denon at some point.
Just food for thought, and good luck and enjoy your ET-2/Denon. Great arm. Make sure that the bearing tube is ABSOLUTELY clean, and if you are feeling ambitious, clean the capillaries in the housing. I found that the sound was deteriorating over time, and I traced it (with Thigpen's help) to clogged capillaries. A bit of a pain, but worth the effort.
Good luck and keep us posted.