07-15-09: EddieboYes. You can start with one of the Denon high
How about a spin to the question, can a moving coil setup be had for a
budget price? Of course this is without consideration of a possible MC
processor required. Though nonetheless, any suggestions?
output MCs, the DL-110 at $140 or DL-160 at $180. Their output is usually
high enough to be able to use an MM phono stage. Other HOMC carts include
the various Sumiko Blue Points and the Blackbird, ranging from about $300 to
You can get some good lower cost low output MCs that would require either
a transformer or an MC phono stage. Examples include the Denon DL-103,
DL-301 II, and Audio Technica OC-9. All come in at around $300 or less. In
many cases, an outboard phono stage with MC channel (e.g., Cambridge
640P, Parasound ZPhono, Music Hall PA 1.2, Musical Fidelity V-LPS, or NAD
PP2) will get you satisfactory results without spending too much money.
After considering many of those options about a year ago, I instead went for
the Audio Technica AT150MLX moving magnet cartridge with 4mV output,
and couldn't be more pleased. After over a year of playing it a lot, I have no
inclination to swap it out. It's fast, neurtral, extended, dynamic, and lets the
music shine through without noticeable coloration. In fact, it supplanted a
Denon DL-160, and nice though that was, the AT150MLX performs at a much
higher level in every significant way.