Thank you, everyone. Really interesting thoughts, great food for thought. Lewm, Concerning the VPI vs. Linn, you're right, I'm sure. Personally, I prefer the more flattering to the analytical. I still listen to Charlie Parker records that were recorded with a wire spool recorder from the men's room-anything that flatters those recordings is just dandy with me... I've been a professional musician for a bit more than 40 years now, and I like to get to the music, ascribing to the Ellingtonian philosophy that there are two kinds of music-good and bad. That applies to engineers as well, unfortunately. One engineer in particular comes to mind...he had the remarkable good fortune to record some of the best jazz players the world will ever hear, and his engineering skill was, well, to be generous, very, very marginal. "Criminal" hits closer to the mark without overstatement. So I'll take a bit of flattery with playback, because in spite of the ghastly recording quality of those records I still want to hear what those guys played. This guy is also responsible for the necessity that any preamp I own MUST have a "mono" button.
The real irony with him is that he NEVER got any better!!!
I digress-let me put my main question this way-considering what I have right now, what cartridges do you all like? As I said in my first post, I'm a "flat earther"-Naim through and through: 82, 2-Hicaps & NAPSC, 2-135's and a 250 biamping SBL's through a Naxo. Old stuff in good shape, nothing too fancy. Works pretty good, though. Thanks again, everybody. Sorry I went off about...well, you probably know who I was ranting about.