Cartridge Opinions - Sorry

Yeah, another dumb "what's your opinion on these cartridges" thread. Back in the late 80's we had dealers where you could listen to the stuff.

So anyhow I have a Linn LP12 with Ittok arm and a 30 year old Audioquest B200L cartridge. I'm running it through the phono stage of a Jeff Rowland Coherence One into a Spectral DMA90 through a set of Kef R300's.

I prefer a little more laid back sound (err on the side of forgiving instead of fatiguing) but I like a lot of upper end detail, precise soundstaging, air, etc.

So far I'm considering an Ortofon Quintet S Black, Hana SL or a Benz wood - something at or below the $1k level.

I'd love to hear any opinions, suggestions, and experiences with those cartridges or others in the price range. I could possibly go higher if there is something out there that really shines for less than $1,500.


Ag insider logo xs@2xklooker
Yes.  We disagree.
But I am starting a new trend here.  I am not going to say you have low level knowledge because of that.

And stylus is user replaceable.

About the modern day Audio Technica carts, I was ready to plunk down the money for the Audio Technica AT-ART9 Moving Coil Cartridge until I read here on agon (again chakster) that the stylus was not replaceable!
Needless to say that was quite a shock to an old head hifi guy like myself.

I resisted MC for 30 years, the non-replaceable stylus the second reason, the 'fear' of noise from needed pre-pre-amp signal strength boost the primary reason.

however, I met Bill, he is convincing, and I had improved my TT system sooo much, and I found some surprise money,

so I tried my first MC cartridge, AT33PTG/II, and needed a SUT step up transformer to get the .3mv signal high enough for my MM Phono input.

I'm very glad I spent the money, my prior favorite, MM Shure V15VxMR is now upstairs in my office.

It wasn't inexpensive, but I think worth it.
I just played Jose Feliciano, 10 to 23 album, MC cartridge is terrific, the last track, Hey Jude, 8 minutes, long guitar solo, never sounded better!

I've talked about it's separation,this time the tight channel balance, he is ROCK centered!
The OP asked about cartridge opinions & suggestions!