Carts on JMW 9 Signature


I was curious what cartridges are successfully being used on the JMW 9 Signature. I have gone through many posts and it looks like there are many carts that are incompatible. I am particularly concerned with high amplitude/frequency distortion and IGD. Thank you.
I had great luck with the Dynavector DV20XL cartridge. I also used a Shure V15 cartridge and a Grado Gold. All were very compatible. If you are looking for the perfect match, try the Soundsmith that is made specifically for the VPI turntable.
Best thing I've used so far is the AT 0C9MLII. The Dyna 20X series works well but for the money the AT is hard to beat. Be careful with the Soundsmith--you need a medium to high compliance cartridge with the JMW9 and the Zypher is a low compliance cartridge. The other Soundsmith's (Aida, Boheme, or even The Voice can be ordered in a medium or high compliance versions which might be better than the Zypher.
I think the general recommendation is that the cartridge weighs more than 7 grams and has a compliance factor higher than 10.
Dynavectors and Lyras seem to be pretty popular choices. I've been using a Sumiko Blackbird and I've been very happy with the sound.
I have the DV that Stereo5 mentions. I'm very happy with it. I would also consider Shelter and Lyra. Both of those are excellent as well.
The Shelter and Lyra work better on the 10" arms, mainly because of the increased mass of the arm. I have considered the 20x, but I was looking for something a step above it. Thank you.
Benz carts also mate very well with VPI
Jmcgrogan-I have been considering the Blackbird, can you compare it to any other carts? It seems to have fallen out of favor (not many people talking about it lately), what do you think?
The Blackbird is a very nice cartridge for what it is, a relatively inexpensive, high output MC cartridge. Is it the best cartridge that I've owned? No way. I have owned cartridges like ZYX UNIverse, Dynavector XV-1s, Koetsu Rosewood Signature, Lyra Helikon, Transfiguration Phoenix, etc.

Due to the economy, I have downsized significantly. My current system cost is roughly 20% of my previous system. However, I am always pretty amazed at how close the sound comes to the more expensive rig. Maybe all of the "huge improvements" I was noticing over the years weren't so "huge" after all.

Anyway, high output cartridges are supposed to sound noticeably slower, I can't say this about the Blackbird. It is quick and agile. Airy and extended through the highs, the bass is tight and tuneful. The bass is not as powerful or punchy as some of the Dynavectors I've owned, or the ZYX 4-D, but then you can't have it all in this price range. In my new system configuartion I was somewhat limited do to using a VAC preamp with a built in MM phono stage. So low output MC's and their high price tags were not a consideration.

So for what it is, a modestly priced, high output MC, it is very good indeed. I have a feeling the reason that it has lost popularity is two-fold. First of all, it has been in circulation for almost a decade now, with no Mk II or Mk II revisions. Audiophiles like their revisions, just look around. Secondly, the price went from $750 to $1099 about two years ago. That is almost a 50% price increase. I'm not saying that it is not worth it, it is still highly competitive at the $1100 price range sonically, but it will take the market a little while to adjust to the 50% increase in price.....especially without a Mk II or Signature tag to apply to it.

That is the way the market works. FWIW, I saw one listed on Audiogon a week or so ago and it sold in one day at $600.
I sincerely appreciate your input, I simply want to find something that "works". Thank you.
No problem, I'm not pushing the Blackbird, but if you search, you will find a lot of Blackbird owners also are Scout owners, so it does work on a VPI table/arm.
As will many of the Dynavectors and Lyras that are also very popular with VPI tables.
Try to avoid cartridges under 7 grams in weight and with a compliance lower than 10 and you should be good to go.

Have fun picking one out.
I have already had some bad luck, thank you for the input.
What 'bad luck' have you had? Have you had trouble setting a cartridge up on this arm? What kind of issues are you having?
I have tried a Grado Sonata and Shelter 501 on my 9 sig, while 95% of the time they both sounded incredible, I could never get rid of IGD and mistracking at high amplitude/frequency peaks. I used a Mint and OCD'ed on alignment and tracking force to no avail. So, VPI agrees that these carts are not compatible with the 9" arms due to less mass, but are fine with the 10" arms. I would just like to find something that "works".
Well the Grado weighs less than 7 grams, and the Shelter has a compliance lower than 10, so yes, you could expect some problems with these cartridges.
That's why the rule of thumb with VPI tonearms is weight of 7 grams or more and compliance of 10 or more.
I am using a JMW 9t arm and a Van den Hull MC 10 cartridge with great success. The MC 10 weighs 8.2 gms and the compliance is 20. It is a low output MC. It sounds fantastic and there is no tracking problem.
I am a VPI dealer and had good luck with AT 33 EVs and Denon 304s. Dynavector is recommended by VPI. J&R has had the 33EV for as low as $400; a good buy to me. My friend is currently running one in his Graham Phantom to give his Koetsu Vermillion a break and while not regarding the 33 as its equal is pleased with its sound.
Thank you, I now have something to think about.