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
... there is a slight change in VTA with tracking error ...
Huh? The two angles are completely unrelated.
The current standard VTA seems to be 92 degrees.
Oh, no, you’re confusing VTA with Stylus Rake Angle.
VTA is typically around 20 degrees today.
The geometry of this is clearly defined by Risch & Maier, who wrote the seminal treatment of this:
"VTA is the angle between the surface of the record and the line described by the contact point of the stylus in the groove and the pivot point of the cantilever."
March, 1981 Audio, see it here on page 21.
Dear @cleeds  : Rigth you are.

Here is my suggestion for the OP.
I use the Zephyr MIMC☆ daily.  I LOVE it. Lately I have been on a vintage table kick. Bought some used carts too. I scored a high output VPI Zephyr used, mint! I would take that over any MM cart. $400 perfection! I have an Otello I bought new as a backup.  I would take that as a better choice than almost any sub $1000 cartridge. Really, it is that good for a $400 cartridge.