If the Ortofon Black is new, you need to give it at least 50 hours to break-in. I would even recommend close to 100 hours for optimum sound before you make any judgements.
Make sure you have it setup properly, i.e. VTF, VTA, etc.
the goldring does have a warm character, and the output would be fine with the rogue....that said, the ortofon is a fine cartridge too.
Mofimadness - I had it professionally set-up by the shop's owner, so I am going to make the assumption that it was done correctly. (hopefully anyway). He alluded to the difference in sound quality when I picked it up, without being overly specific, as he really wanted me to draw my own conclusions.
I tried to isolate it with some brass (Miles Davis), and sax (Coleman Hawkins). However, it really came out when I switched to an original copy of Stevie Ray Vaughn lp, playing the track "Lenny." The guitar's high notes instantly revealed the distortion point. Before then, I had never heard this on my Thiels.
Although the tube amp was warmed up for 30 minutes prior, things never changed for the next couple of hours. I never realized that cartridges needed a break-in time, so thanks for the heads up. I was beginning to wonder if I should have just gone with a pre-amp first.
Jaybo- You are 100% correct. The Goldring is much warmer, but the output was lacking to the point that I had to turn the volume to a minimum of 50 percent, just to "really hear" the music.
Thanks to both of you for your thoughts.
The radical cut stylus on the black is very, very sensitive to correct VTA, azimuth and horizontal alignment. Check these extremely carefully, check a second, then a third time. I bet that you can get it to sound much better. You may also want to play with tracking force and anti-skate, as well.
The Ortofon 2M Blue is a wonderful cartridge and sounds fuller and richer than the Black or Bronze which are both more detailed.
I agree with Viridian and would add that if the same guy who told you that you needed a different cartridge because of the output level being too low on the Goldring, has done the setup;I would recheck it.
Get a decent protractor and a digital scale(this can be bought online for less than $30.00[not made for audiophile use])and check it yourself.
This is the level of the hobby that requires your participation and is some of the most interesting parts.
I would also use a vernier caliper (cheap at harbour freight)and make changes to the VTA until you like what you hear. Make very small changes and record your caliper readings.
This is assuming that you can make VTA adjustments with your arm.
Keep rechecking the overhang after each VTA adjustment.
By engaging yourself and learning to set up the cartridge,you will have a much better understanding and will become a better listener.
You will find yourself going to other audiophile homes and wondering if their VTA is too high or too low as you listen.
Personally I like line contact/shibata styli.They are always more detailed and revealing.What Transnova is saying about the Blue having more body and sounding richer is probably due to hearing the Black with incorrect VTA. They are definitely more sensitive.
Sounds like you have a nice system,enjoy it.
Dear Brent: All the posts has very wise and mature advise on your thread subject, I only want to add some thoughts about:
first the Ortofon is a MM/MI cartridge that needs not only the right load impedance but the total capacitance value ( that the Eroica does not needs. ) too, changing these values help to tame the cartridge quality performance.
second, the Ortofon has almost the double output level and maybe the Rogue can't handle ( has no overload range ) the cartridge characteristics, this is very specific in transientes especialy on high frequencies and you heard/hear the overload of a phono stage like a distortion similar of what you have.
third, maybe the Eroica is a better match for your tonearm than the Ortofon but in this regard I really can't be sure, there is a posibility of that fact.
fourt, at 50% of the volume for your Eroica in the Rogue means that everything is ok. I agree that you re-check the Ortofon set up because that dealer/person seems to me is a little un-experienced.
All these thoughts does not mean that the Eroica is better than the Ortofon but that there are some problems with.
Regards and enjoy the music,
Really excellent guidance from everyone above.
I too question the dealer's knowledge. Your Eroica had plenty of output for any phono stage. Further, as Raul noted, the Ortofon's 8mv could actually cause input overload with some phono stages. That could explain the distortions you're hearing. So, however, could any of the other factors already noted, or any combination of several of them. Vinyl playback is not simple, it's just fun!
Emorrisiv's advice was spot on: you're approaching a level of equipment and appreciation where you and your music will benefit from learning to do these things yourself.
Sadly, the number of dealers who understand how to get the most from a vinyl rig is small and shrinking, because there's just no longer a market for it. Happily, many real experts are regular contributors to forums like this one. This makes learning and doing it yourself possible, and rewarding to many who take the plunge.
I am very grateful for all of your advice. As we speak, I am putting a few hours each day on the cartridge to give it time to break in. I am also studying up on how to make the adjustments to VTA, azimuth, etc. I never realized the importance of knowing how to make all of these adjustments myself; especially considering the lack of qualified professionals still practicing this lost art. I am glad that Music Hall took the time to write a detailed owners manual to discuss these issues.
Emorrisiv: Thanks for the heads up on the tools. I sort of got sticker shock after looking at Music Direct's catalog for cartridge set-up tools; which was the main reason I decided to have a my local repair shop do it. Does the size of the scale matter? I have a pretty accurate Pelouze Model SP5 that has a 6 inch wide surface. I believe this is actually a postal scale.
Raul: You mentioned "total capacitance value." If my cartridge specs load capacitance at a range of 150-300 pF, but the receiver specs at 150 pF, would being on the lower end of this scale have any effect? (FYI: The load resistance for both the cartridge and the amps internal phono stage are both spec'd as 47 kOhms). Furthermore, considering the amp only has about 25 hours on it, shouldn't the capacitors have more time on them to break in? (I read some place where a pre-amp needed a cd to be played for about 100 hours to give the capacitors time to break in).
Many thanks for all of your comments!
Brent it sounds like your scale should be alright. It needs to be accurate to at least two decimal points. Also, you will want to do your scale measurements beside the platter, not on it. Use a deck of cards to make the scale the same height as the platter,then take measurements.I would start on the high side of the recommended tracking force,and go from there.I would also get everything in the "ballpark" and let the cartridge break-in before fine tuning,otherwise you will have a moving target as it settles in.
I believe you can get a "Mint"brand protractor for about $100.00. They are custom made for your specific rig and are one of the best. If nothing else,download a protractor off the web,print it and then glue it to a piece of card stock.These can work just fine.Go slow and be careful.If you get scared, put the stylus guard on.
Pay attention to the VTA specs on your cartridge.The norm is about 20degrees,so there is a little rake to the stylus as it sits in the groove.Also, when you move the VTA the overhang will change,so re-check it.
In the long run you will gain a better understanding of how this stuff works and will also gain a better appreciation and enjoyment from the experience.
have fun,that's why we do this.
Dear Scott: Certainly that you today capacitance setting is around the cartridge specs because you have to add to those receiver spec of 150pf the cable capacitance.
In a MM/MI cartridges the capacitance makes a difference especially in the high frequency cartridge response, that's why is so important that the phono stage has capacitance value control/switch.
Regards and enjoy the music,