Both are great matches for the JMW 9 arm from VPI are are popular choices. I own the Karat and considered the Blackbird when I purchased it.
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The Karat is a fast, detailed and dynamic cartridge that to my ears is really pretty neutral across the frequency range. I would definitely not put it in the lush and warm sounding category. No problems with tracking and all the soundstaging and imaging tricks are there too. It leaves me wondering what improvement the XX2 would/could possibly make!?
The only Sumiko cart I have experience with is a Blue Point Special (latest version). It was a good cartridge for the money which is why I considered the Blackbird. The BPS got a little edgy when the volume went up and seemed to lose its hold on the music when things got complex.
Dlwask mentioned the need to add some mass to the headshell and suggests it is not the easiest cartridge to setup, which is one concern of mine considering I'll be setting up my first analog setup. From what I've read, the two cartridges seem pretty close. Harry seems to prefer the Blackbird slightly more (and since he carries dynavector, that's seems something to pay attention to) unless I was using a Dynavector phonostage. But some have reported a certain level of brightness with the Blackbird up high.
Which phono stage are you using? You need to consider the low output of the Karat. I'm using a Lehmann Cube SE and the Karats 0.23mV is probably near the limits of that phono stage testing its noise floor (which is really good) and gain stages. The Blackbird is 2.5mV I think which really opens up your options.
The Dyna is easy to set up. I had to get a different counter weight, but that's no problem. VPI carries it.
They are both good cartridges, so either way you'll be happy, but after my Dyna wears out, I'll buy another one. There's nothing at the price range I'd rather have that I've heard anyway.
I'm using a Rogue Audio SS phono stage.