What is your table and setup? More context yields better results.
Your path sounds like mine. I would do a search on the forum for the Audio Technical ART-9. Those who own it (myself included) swear by it. I don't think I ever want another cartridge, even though I've owned cartridges that cost twice the price.
@masterplan it’s very personal and system dependant when you are asking for a cartridge recommendations, i don’t think the genre of music play any imporant role for the cartridge to reproduce what’s on the record. The most important is you and your personal preferences in sound. No one will tell you what is the best cartridge. No one can read what is the best cartridge based on reviews, only trying different types (MM, MI, MF or MC) in our own system is the answer. It’s a great experience and going this way you can discover that "your best cartridge" is not the most expensive cartridge, it will surprise you. It can be a cartridge made 30-40 years ago.
SHURE Ultra 500 sounds good everywhere, quote from David (dlaloum).
I couldn´t agree more, after nearly thirty years´ experience. Still reigns.
Masterplan - If you are happy with the sound of the Shelter 501 III - why not have Soundsmith retip it !
You could have it upgraded to the more advanced stylus profiles like the Shibata, Contact Line or O.C. Contact Line.
You’ll get more details than the elliptical profile provides while maintaining the current;"tone" of the Shelter.
You will need a very accurate protractor to setup the cartridge, like the Mint Tractor, but the investment is well worth it
Drawback - It can take about 6 weeks, but well worth the wait
I have a Denon DL103 and purchased the same cartridge from Soundsmith with the O.C. Contour Line stylus and the ruby cantilever for around $650 - the improvement was nothing short of amazing.
I’m now thinking of sending the old DL 103 cartridge for some of the same treatment to have as a spare (in case of accidents) Maybe I’ll try the Shibata profile with a boron cantilever, which I think might be a little more forgiving in setting up
Regards - Steve
Masterplan, I suspect that you would get far more bang for the buck by improving record cleaning first. Going from VPI 16.5 record cleaning to ultrasound was a bigger difference, for me, than going from high end MM to higher end Koetsu.
The added advantage of record cleaning is that you are likely to increase stylus life, because the grunge in the record groove tends to contain diamond dust. Or so I have read. YMMV
You can't go wrong with a Lyra cartridge. I have owned a Delos for several years and really enjoy its performance. The diamond/cantilever assembly is manufactured by a company in Japan that makes scanning electron microscope tungsten tips so they know how to work in the micro world. The Delos replaced a Benz Glider. Both have a Boron cantilever, but different diamond stylus. The Delos being a line contact, meaning the tip rides in the record groove at one small specific point. The only hic up is 'fuzzing' of the paper belly cover. Not a big deal.
What type of phone stage do you have and can you select various gain/loading points? What type of arm do you use? Loading and Gain and arm mass are very important when selecting high end MC cartridges. Give the people a call at 'the needle doctor', they can help you out.
u need to provide a lot more info to get helpful responses
system? in particular phono front end and amplification
Thanks for all the great responses! My system consists of a brand new VPI Scout II with the JMW 10 with anti skate and VTA, the aforementioned Shelter 501 III, VPI SDS, Simaudio Moon LP 5.3 phono stage, McIntosh MA6500 amp (I used to run a BAT vk30 to Cary CAD40m's and like this much more for my musical taste), and Mark & Daniel Apollo II speakers. Everything is powered through the PS Audio Power Plant 3 via Audioquest NRG-2's, 72v (upgraded) Audioquest Columbia RCAs and Audioquest Gibraltar Speaker cables. Everything is well-isolated on spiked custom made 3" hard maple butcher blocks...and I do have a VPI record cleaner which I use religiously. I love the way it all sounds now but, as it goes with our kind, I'm always looking for a little more. Thanks again for the great input!
Seriously, judging by your system you have the funds to get whatever you like and the expertise to know what that is. You may always wonder it if you don't try a Lyra. Like that girl/guy you were in love with before you met your spouse.
Very happy Lyra Delos user here with similar music playing, I can absolutely recommend this cartridge in case it fits your tonearm.
I use the Lyra Delos on a Rega P9 and feel no need to try other cartridges, happy where I am.
Lyra Delos is awesome. I am just installing one on a new Technics SL-1200G Table for a customer.
I have a Lyra Delos on my Prime/10" 3D tonearm.... love it. Prior to it I had an Ortofon Cadenza Bronze (now want to sell). The Bronze is great but very warm in my current full tube setup (LM 518 and Chinook phono). The Lyra Delos is just right... airier and more transparent overall. When I want a "meatier" sound I put on my Ortofon 2M Bronze :)
Thanks for the input! I'm pretty sold on the Delos now. I’ll keep checking back for more mini reviews or other suggestions. Thanks again everyone!!!!