Cartridge opinions: New stylus, or new cart?

I have a Technics SL1210 M5G that has several aftermarket tweaks to make it into a clean, clear, expansive-sounding TT with low noise floor (fluid damper, tonearm wrap, sorbothane mat, brass cones/Vibrapods, heavy butcher block platform, LPGear ZuPreme headshell).

For the last 4 years I've been using and enjoying an Audio Technica AT150MLX. I have a little upgrade money available and am contemplating a new cartridge if I'd get an appreciable improvement. The replacement stylus for the AT150MLX is $225, which would get me nearly halfway to some interesting contenders: The ones I'm thinking about are the Grado Statement Sonata1, Soundsmith Carmen (wood-bodied version of the SMMC3), Audio Technica AT33EV, Denon DL-304 or Denon DL-S1. The DL-S1 is normally $949, but I can get one in the price range of the others mentioned.

The output of the cartridge is not a big factor for me as I have a Jolida JD9A, which has three gain levels, two output levels, and a comprehensive array of DIP switches to optimize capacitance for MM/MI carts and resistance for LOMC carts.

Right now I'm leaning toward the AT33EV as JR has an attractive price and user reviews cite its combination of MC speed and airiness combined with a little warmth and bass extension reminiscent of the Grado Statement Sonata. I definitely don't want thin and edgy, nor do I want overly warm and syrupy. I want full-bodied rendition with dynamics, retrieval of hall ambience, and hall and well-traced hall ambience and instrument resonance decay.
Johnny, a little off topic, but those cartridges have a wide range of compliances. Do you think that they will all work to maximum performance on the Technics arm?
Good question, Viridian. The stock effective mass of the Technics arm is 12g, the same as an RB300/301. To hit that 12g, Technics uses a 7.5g headshell. Try finding one that light on the aftermarket. I have a 12g Sumiko headshell and a 14g LPGear ZuPreme. These raise the effective mass to 16.5 and 18.5g respectively, or 17 and 19 when you count the cartridge mounting hardware. The 12g mass arm works well with compliances of 20-30 and the 12-14g headshells extend the range to carts with compliance ranges of 10-15. I also have the KAB fluid damper, which *significantly* lowers the amplitude of the cart/tonearm resonance, whatever that pitch may be.

So far I've been able to mount anything from a 30-compliance Shure M97xE to my current 10-compliance AT150MLX and have them hit a resonant peak of 10-11 Hz.
Thanks Johnny, I don't think that I was very clear at all and I appologize for the lack of clarity. I was not speaking necessarily of primary resonance.

Adding mass at the headshell certainly can bring the primary resonance of the moving system into the desireable range, no question. IMHO from practical experience, this is one of the least critical issues in tonearm/cartridge performance.

The problem with adding mass at the headshell is that, if the tube of the arm is of lower mass, secondary resonances and bending modes can develop pretty quickly. This being exacerbated by the low compliance of the cartridge putting much greater amounts of energy into the arm. Think of a thin walled bell here. Which is why I asked if you thought that you would achieve maximum performance, rather than functionality. If low compliance cartridges do cause these issues, the AT150 would seem to be the best choice.

If they don't, I really like the DL-S1, but have only heard it in arms with effective mass over 20G, though many report good results with arms of lower mass. Happy listening.
If you are considering a 33EV, have you also considered a 33PTG? Still available on eBay from some Japanese and Hong Kong dealers ($490 or so from 2juki). The PTG takes the AT-33 to another level of performance. It's a reasonably good match to the effective mass of your existing arm.
Bpoletti: Thanks for reminding me about the 33PTG. I notice that it has a MicroLine stylus and boron cantilever, a combo I've grown fond of on my AT150MLX. I also notice that it can be had for $489 shipped. I was tempted by JR's $450 shipped for the 33EV. I'd gladly pay another $39 to get a MicroLine and boron.

Viridian: I wasn't aware of the complications of how effective mass is reached, but it makes sense to me. However, I've wrapped the Technics' lightweight tonearm with Teflon pipe thread tape and it made a notable difference in reducing midrange glare. Add the fluid damper and the arm should be reasonably damped. Maybe not ideal for every cart, but better. The AT150MLX I've been using the past 4 years has the same compliance rating and nearly the same cartridge weight (within 2 g) of the 33EV and 33PTG. I'm sort of getting excited to hear what the 33PTG's response would do to treble resolution, given that its response is more than an octave higher than the AT150MLX. It also is spec'd for tighter channel separation.
There are a lot of comments on vinylasylum related to the 33PTG that might be useful.
Dear Jhonnyb53: If you want to follow AT maybe your best shot could be the new ANV ( anniversary ) model.

Now, this one IMHO is a better performer that what you own and better performer than almost all the cartridges named here:

on the LOMC side I like a lot the Denon DL-S1. This is not a cartridge for every phono stage you will need a very high gain unit with very low noise and that be an active high gain not a passive one.

IMHO other top alternatives are the Goldring G800 and the Clearaudio Virtuoso ( re-tipped. ) or you can always try for " penauts " the AT-95SA ( you could be surprised on its quality performance level in its original status. ) that you can improve through re.tip with Axel.

Anyway , that's my experiences about. You have almost endless alternatives.

Regards and enjoy the music,