Congratulations! Two things that would help in making recommendations: What types of carts can your phono amp/stage handle (mm, homc, lomc) and what types of music do you listen to?
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How about the Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood at $875? An ebony version is what Clearaudio fitted to the ebony Unify tonearm for the Clearaudio-sourced Marantz turntable.
The reviews I've read of the Marantz TT15 S-1 indicate that it is a well-integrated and synergistic package at its asking price.
Given that this is an MM cartridge with medium (3.5mV) output, it should match well with a wide variety of phono stages.
thank you, i am very excited to get it up and running...
as for equipment and materials:
i have a clearaudio basic phono preamp. It can handle lomc to mm, i dont know how low, it lists as having an 800ohm input load for MC, i honestly dont know how low a cartridge it could power, but it seems like it could manage quite a wide range. as for music... I listen to jazz, mostly later "free-er" jazz, late coltrane ayler and pharoah sanders. david bowie, radiohead, my bloody valentine, sonic youth, the velvet underground, arcade fire, bjork, beck, black sabbath, mahler, janceck, bartok, glass, stravinsky, so quite a range of music as well. I'm most looking for neutrality I dont want anything overly warmed I dont mind analytical sound If i can hear things i've never heard before that's what gets me going, i get gooey enough over that, i dont need a cartridge to goo it up for me. That's why i went the clearaudio direction their known for extreme detail and pulling everything out of the recording that's there and not translating much of anything, and, i'm cool with that. My amp and speakers are known for being perhaps a little bass heavy so i dont need help there, I've been pleased with the Blue point, but i sense something missing in the mids, seems a little muddy at times i'd like to blow open the sound stage and hear the windings of metal strings on guitar and the rosin wafting off the cello sections bows.
if you have it check out the first track on marc ribot's prosthetic cubans, if it were only available on vinyl, 'cuz being able to bring his guitar on the first track into my listening space would be the moment of self destruction. If there is a cartridge that bring that can bring that out of say the black keys or seer off of whitch's first album, i'd die a happy man.
thanks for any input
I have seen so much discussion of the Dynavector 20X-H that I am about to give it a try. It has a 2.5 mv output so it will work with your mm setting. The low output version has a .25 mv output. I can use either and am trying to decide which way to go. I am using a Denon DL-304, but its .18 mv output would probably be to low for you.
I just remembered seeing a post that said that the Dyna was a little bass heavy so it might not be the best match for you after all. Though that is just one persons opnion.
Here are a few sites that will help you decide which cartridge is a good match with your arm & pre. As far as sound if you cannot go hear one all you can do is run a lot of searches on sites like this and google for the cart you are interested in and get a feel for it by what people are saying.
I've been enjoying the virtuoso for a few months now. The unify arm is so sensitive to outside vibrations that i ended up building a wall mount for the TT and have been so pleased with the results. The virtuoso is great it has impressed me and my friends time and time again. I recently replaced the basic with an EAR 834p and have been blown away yet again. The cartridge is great at putting the performers right there in front of you and the differences that can be heard in between this analog set-up and my digital components are amazing. I would highly recommend the virtuoso. Though I havent done much comparing as I've been so pleased. I am awaiting the arrival of a Concerto. I dont know what to expect, I hope it's earth shattering but I'm trying to get my expectations too high.
A Cearaudio Virtuoso (Ebony) Wood Cartridge came with my Marantz 15TT. When the tonearm proved to be defective I was sent a new TT. The cartridge is Black and Silver, unlike the ebony black I originally purchased. I have noticed a sound difference. The Ebony seemed clearer. But then again the tonearm proved to be defective. I do not know if the "Ebony" should always be all black. Does anyone?