Good cartridge for a Sony PS-LX5 with original headshell

I'd like to upgrade my system with a new cartridge, MM or MC, for my Sony PS-LX5 TT with the original headshell without overspending for this TT? I realize there is a point of no return as far as improving the sound, I just don't know where that is. Currently has well used Grado lower grade cartridge. System is MAC recapped c26, well maintained MAC 2100 and Polk Lsim 707 speakers. Thanks for any advice. Chuck


I have the Grado Sonata in my cartridge collection. I prefer mc cartridges instead. Those require a step-up device or a high-gain phono stage. The Denon 103R (~$340) is another fine budget choice, but not a good match with the phono stage gain of the C26.

I had a look at the PS-LX5. That's a lightweight arm! It will work best with a high-compliance cartridge like a Grado, Shure or Stanton.

Thanks! For the life of me, I cannot find a Sonata. The Sonata 1 is $600. Grado has a new wooden Timbre Opus3 that looks like it gets good reviews from multiple folks and is $275, which is in my budget ($300 tops.) I'm thinking about making the plunge.

I believe your arm has a usable cartridge weight range between 7,5-11,5 gr (including headshell). Whatever cartridge you choose make sure it has high compliance and is light, approx. or below 7 grams. Like, Audio Technica VM540ML, Goldring 2200, Ortofon 2Mblue, Grado Gold or Silver.

So, the Opus3 is 8gr, the headshell is 5.2gr = 13.2. 2 gr over. The counter weight is in place. If I increase that weight just slightly, would that work or should I just try and find another cartridge in my price range, about $300? If so, what other recommendations are out there?