Just bought Planar - 25 with out cartdtridge and was thinking about the GRADO SONATA($500.) but since I can't audition everything I would like some thoughts or sugestions on cartridges in the under $800. range?
If you like classical or acoustic music and natural warmth, can't do any better. Some other cartridges are more "exciting" or "detailed." Usually they have a tipped up high end or sound rougher, like the Regas. But all sub $800 ones I've heard are less neutral and musical than the Grado. I use one after having gone through a dozen other cartridges, some pricier than the Grado.
I have owned a Sonata for about a year now,Previously the Platinum.This cartridge was on a Rega 25 with a RB900 arm,Excellent combination! Sold the 25 about a month ago for a Planar 9.It was a deal I could'nt pass up.Have heard the Statement but its too much money.Definetly dont overlook the sonata.
The Platinum and sonata are not wimps when it comes to ROCK.B.S. they are ony good for classical or acoustic! Theyboth are as neutral as youll get for the price or even higher.The bass on these beats all similar priced ones.Even when I was shopping around mal order I was told these Grados are great rock P.U.s You want a nice classical or acoustic cart? get a Benz gold.r if its rock GO GRADO!!
Grados are good, but tend to hum in some setups..Make
sure your setup will not hum with a Grado..very annoying.
Funperson,have you personally heard a Grado hum? Please tell how it was annoying.Alan,do a search of Grado and read a couple posts about the Grado "hum" This has been covered before and all I will say is it is not an issue.With a 1.5mv output it wont exist.If your willing to spend a bit more the Grado Master is killer! They list for $800 but I'm sure you could talk Audio Advisor out of one for $700.Try Sound City also,when I got my Grado they beat Audio Advisors lowest price by 10% Be sure to ask for Joe,he is the only decent sales associate there.
Wow,I just noticed how old this thread is.Alan,if your still around let us know what you went with.
The Rega Exact is a great match with the 25, although definitely not as "cool" as the Grado's as far as hifi geeks are concerned. I think it is more tonally accurate than the Grado and the setup is a snap. A very fun combo.
All Rega cartridges are one trick ponys. They rock well. Bass is overblown, sucked out mids, and a high end that'll make you wish your speakers rolled off at 5K. The Grado is far more versatile and musical. The low output version wii cause no hum problems. The Rega cartridges are as overpriced as a Linn small feat!
While I think longplate overstates the issue the Rega Super Eylys I used was not the equal of the Grado.Hum is only a problem in a few setups and can be contained by adding a sheet of Mu-metal under the mat.Grado's rock!!!