Cartridge for Empire 698 turntable

I just acquired an Empire 698 turntable in great condition. Would appreciate suggestions as to the cartridge that would best fit this table. Please keep it under $500. Thank you in advance.
One of the best cartridge matches for the 698 is the Empire 4000 DI, DII, or DIII cartridges. Many 698's came equipped with the 4000 DII when sold new. The only difference between the three versions is the compliance of the cantilever suspension, the DI being lowest compliance, the DIII being the highest compliance, and the DII in between. All three have the same lightweight cantilever and a very high quality Shibata-like diamond profile (called the "3 Dimensional" stylus by Empire).

NOS examples come up for sale from time to time in the $200 - $300 range. Try posting a "wanted" ad here on Agon.

All three versions will work great with your 698, but the DII and DIII are preferred. Just make sure that the stylus is a genuine OEM Empire 4000D stylus, having the correct housing color and Empire markings for that version. All non-OEM and aftermarket styli are grossly inferior in sound quality compared to the genuine OEM styli. However, aftermarket replacement stylus providers like Astatic and Transcriber often packaged genuine OEM Empire styli in their own packaging, so don't shy away from those, given that the housing has the correct Empire color and markings (EMPIRE embossed and painted gold on the stylus guard) and the packaging says something like "A Genuine Empire Scientific product" or similar.

Good luck.

Ortofon 2M red will outperform NOS Empire cartridge with ease.
Czarivey, and you know that, how?

Having owned a 2M Black for about 6 months, I kinda doubt it.
I second your doubts, Dopogue. Plus, the Ortofon 2M Red only mounts from the top so it will not work with the 698 headshell anyway as it only accepts cartridges that mount from the bottom.

Sharpshooters should get the facts straight before pulling the trigger on such posts ;).

Hah you might not know that there's a detachable plastic portion of headshell on the original arm. Once you detach you can mount ANY cartridge. Hope your doubts and illiteracy are cleared.
Thanks, everyone, for the great suggestions. I'll definitety want to try the Empire 4000, just a matter of finding an NOS one!

I feel certain that you will be impressed with the 4000D on your 698. Good luck with your search for one. It is worth it.

Czarivey - I have owned a 698 (with an Empire 4000DIII mounted) for years, so I am quite aware that is has a removable headshell. I am also aware, despite my illiteracy, that the headshell has a Lexan fingerlift permanently attached to the top that makes it impossible to mount a cartridge from the top.

I have seen people us a Denon DL-103 in that arm with great results...

Back in the day, the Empire 698, was the most beautiful turntable available. Since I lusted for it, I still don't know why I didn't buy it, I even had the Empire 2000 Z cartridge.

Good luck on that cartridge.
Empire Z was to die for
Will a Grado Green cartridge fit on my empire 698 . 
Empire eventually became Benz