Cartridge Recommendations

I have a VPI Scout with a ZU/Denon DL103 mc cartridge. I am getting a new preamp that doesn't have provisions for a low output mc cartridge. I want to replace the cartridge with either a high output mc cartridge or a moving iron/magnet cartridge for less than 500.00 retail (new). I like the sound of my present cartridge as it plays all my old records well and rock sounds great with it.

Keeping all this in mind, I am open to suggestions to a cartridge that will work well with the JMW9 arm.

Why not just add a SUT to your current setup? Bob's Devices or a Silvercore are around $500 or so. I also have a Zu Audio/Denon 103 on one of my tables and that's what I would do. I really like mine also.
Dynavector 10X5.
I agree with the SUT.
I second the SUT suggestion. The Zu Denon 103R I have is crazy good. I say keep the Zu 103. By the way, I also have a Dynavector XX2MKII (a $1900 cartridge), and the 103R ate it for lunch.
I have the entry level SoundSmith MI cart that I never got around to selling. Add to my user name and shoot me an e-mail if you are interested.
price range. I have the 2M Black and love it with the Sutherland Hubble. It has lots of detail.
The SUT idea is a valid one. It's a pitty the Ortofon M-20 fl super is no longer available on eBay NOS. For $179 this cartridge holds it's own against offerings costing thousands more(I have many LOMCs). If you see one for sale, don't hesitate. It's a MI and I would think it would work great with the 9" VPI arm. William Thakker does still have the NOS replacement styli on eBay. I just bought two so I can use this cartridge for years to come. Provided you could find a cartridge, for your $500 budget you could easily buy the cartridge and a couple replacement styli and be set for years and probably have enough left for some great vinyl.
Bob's Devices responded to my email. He only has 1 SUT available for under 500.00 and it only offers 10db of gain. It won't be enough for my setup. I would have to run the volume control on the preamp way up near 3 o clock.
I am thinking of a Soundsmith Otello or a Dynavector 10 X 5 cartridge. Anyone have experience with either?
I use the soundsmith Carmen and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Mike from VPI mentioned using iit on a Scout in a recent post as well. I currently have it on my Classic. .
The Bob's Devices SUT is a 1:10 stepup. That will stepup your Zu/Denon 103 from .3mv to 3mv. It is listed with 20db of gain, not 10. That should be more than enough. Link is below:

I would look for a used Silvercore "1 to 10" SUT. They retail for around $650, so a used one should be in your price range.

IMHO, the (2) carts you list above are not as good as what you have.
Agree with the SUT suggestion (Bob's Devices)if you like the Denon.
Dynevector 20X H but yes used a super cartridge if you can get one at you price. They were just made for (VPI) and Scouts in particular maybe someone has a demo or something.
I bought a Denon AU-320 SUT off of Audiogon for under 300.00 today. After reading everyones opinions, I decided this would be the way to go. The built in output cable also saves me money on yet another cable. I will report back once I have used it in my system for a couple of weeks. I am under the impression that the 40 ohm setting would be best. Any comments pro or con?


I have both a Denon AU-300 and a Denon AU-320 in my collection. I didn't recommend either because your budget was more than these sell for. The AU-320 will work just fine. I really do think the Bob's Device SUT and/or the Silvercore SUT are better sounding, but are more money. You should be fine.