try a Dynavector SUP-200 step-up with the 20x2L. boom goes the dynamite!
29 responses Add your response
I think no one can tell you what you really need, i have more than 20 rare MM/MC vintage cartridges and still curious about the others that i have not tried yet. It’s an illusion that you can have one perfect cartridge! Tryin’ different carts is a part of the hobby, but let me say it again that you will get much more bang for the bucks if you will check vintage cartridges. People will always advice you the same modern cartridges based on reviews, some of them you have already tried, but seems like you’re not happy about them. Trust your own ears, no one can hear your system from the internet to advice you something. Try top of the line vintage cartridges instead! There are plenty of them available from Grace, Audio-Technica, JVC Victor, Precept, Signet, Azden, Garrott, Glanz, Astatic, Technics and many more. You can’t go wrong with any of them if you will check for top models, then you can make your own decision by listening music in your own system with your own records @avanti1960
The world of amazing cartridges is much bigger than those modern models comming from today's manufacturers. Most of them are inferior and more expensive compared to the old ones (imo).
thanks to all responses so far, i'll try to make it easier.
looking for a cartridge with similar "voicing" and frequency balance as the Ortofon 2M black but with a more refined sound.
For any that have heard the 2M black and moved on to a similar but better cartridge I would appreciate responses.
Do Ortofon cartridges tend to have similar voicing?
As for budget I would prefer if the sound I am looking for could be found in the Ortofon Quintet black or Cadenza Red as opposed to the Lyra Delos. Thanks again.
Avanti1960- you have 3 highly rated carts.No one will have a correct answer for you. I would just stay in your budget and try more carts.
Everyone's perception of performance is different. No one has your exact setup and room conditions.
Your phono stage I assume, is the best you can afford? If not, you haven't heard what the ART 9 or the others, are capable of.
Do Ortofon cartridges tend to have similar voicing?Of course not.
They made so many totally different cartridges and 2M is on the lower side (imo). Ortofon MC2000 was very unique high compliance MC and it is still cheaper than your art-9.
If you want a decent MM from Ortofon try to find the vintage M20FL Super under $250 or even cheaper. That was a gian killer, it was much cheaper long time ago, but so many people were exited about it when it was $100 cartridge, many feedbacks are right here on audiogon.
The recommendation for the Ortofon Cadenza Red is a good one.
Alternatively you could look for a Candenza Black if the phono
stage has a higher gain.
Blue and Bronce might not be exactly what you want. The Blue is
extremly dynamic and the Bronce is neither fish nor fowl, which
means the Black is better in all aspects.
I do not know if NOS Ortofons are available in your area. If yes
an Ortofon Vero or an Ortofon MC 30 Supreme could be exactly
what you want.
What tonearm do you have ?
I'm sure you've researched Vinyl Engine for tonearm compliance .
I bought a turntable with a Grado from the 80's a TZ ,
I have moved up to a Gold then to a Reference Sonata and now
have a Reference Master 1 , Fantastic and highly recommended ,
each move up was worth it ,
but one thing I had to do ( which I should have done with the Sonata )
is add some mass to my Rega RB300 tonearm .
I used rubber O-rings and added over 2.5 grams .
I was planning on switching to Soundsmith but they need a higher compliance tonearm and I didn't want to take a chance .
The Avanti was a beautiful car.
AT ART9 nice but too thick. What a peculiar yet very interesting comment as it has been considered pretty much as perfect MC on various forums so far ! Save money and buy a vintage MM like SHURE ULTRA 400, AT-ML170/OCC, Acutex M320 STRIII (the best of Acutex truly) to name just a few, actually you can get several for the price of a new (MM) cartridge. Good luck...
I wanted to throw one more suggestion out, and that is a Shure m95he. $200 bucks at lp gear nos. clean head to toe, rich with a strong bass with out sounding muddling or lopping off the top end. Sure my Empires and Grados are a bit smoother with a wider soundstage but the Shure is not harsh and really grooves.
all the best
I've got about 50 hours on my Soundsmith MIMC Zephyr and concur with ninetynine 100%. The cartridge disappears. I liken it to listening to a master tape. Fremer refers to it as "freedom from mechanical artifacts". Peter Lederman's explains why in his Youtube videos. One of his primary design goals is to minimize stylus jitter. Needless to say you need to get azimuth, VTA and VTF dialed in. My test for resolution is to listen for the vocal inflections of background singers or double tracked vocals, and the Zephyr is way ahead of my prior cartridge, a Lyra Delos, which I liked well enough to replace when I snapped the cantilever off my first one. That being said, the second Delos was 4 years old at the time of the comparison, so that has to be taken into consideration. TT / tonearm is VPI TNT / ET 2.5.