Hoping you analog gurus will have some ideas for me. The cartridge in use now is a Clearaudio Maestro V2 moving magnet. I have never had a low output moving coil cartridge and am now ready to try one.
Listed below are the table and arm and then a few of my sound preferences.
Table is a Linn LP12 that is highly upgraded with Stack Audio parts which are all from the first generation "Ultimate" tier except the sub-chassis is the second generation Alto. The bearing is a Karosel. The power supply is the on board Vinyl Passion Revolution. Power cord is an adapted Zu Mission w/ a Furutech FI-11 copper plug.
Tonearm is an Audio Origami PU 7 w/ hardwired Cardas wire and DIN connector.
Phono stage is a Manley Chinook
Preamp is an Aesthetix Calypso Eclipse (top tier of the Calypso line up)
Sound preferences -- Since I have the hearing condition known as Hyperacusis, I am extremely sensitive to any brightness, leanness, harshness, shrillness, etc., etc. (to my ear, any form of silver in the cabling adds leanness). That sensitivity is only one of it's characteristics by the way. So, I want to minimize brightness, minimize analytical sound and don't want a forward mid-range. In addition, I am one of those that is very sensitive to absolute polarity so, I easily hear airiness, spaciousness, dimensionality, etc. I guess it is fair to say that I have some part of one foot on the analytical side since I also love detail.
How much should I spend on a new cartridge? Do I need to double the cost of my current cart? At what dollar amount would you say is the upper limit for my table and tonearm? I have noticed that one prominent poster here is running a Koetsu Rosewood Signature on his high spec, LP12/Ekos setup. Might that be overspending in my case? I have been peeking at the choices in the $2K to $3K area (the Clearaudio Maestro V2 was $1100 at the time of purchase).. The one MC cart that I have a little familiarity with is a Hana ML that is on a friend's VPI table but, it is all new and came with the Audioquest Angel all silver interconnect. It is far from broken in (meaning all of it, table, cable and cart). It is just now starting to shed a bit of the extreme leanness that I have been hearing from that setup. The other most prominent characteristic I'm hearing so far is a high degree of detail. It's way too soon to really know what the Hana sound is. I have seen somewhere in these forums that the Sumiko carts are made by Excel who also make the Hana carts so, might they have a similar sound?
I would be pleased to get some cartridge suggestions here and yes, I know that I have opened the door to be told to throw away the Linn. To each, his own I say.