Have a U-Turn turntable with Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. Upgrade cartridge or turntable???

I have a basic U-Turn Orbit turntable with Ortofon 2M Red cartridge that was included. The Ortofon cartridge is good but is sounding worn; and, therefore am considering a Denon 110 high output MC cartridge which will work with this table. . The table sounds good, but at high volume, I can hear a old level hum, and build quality is just OK.  I am thinking of upgrading to a Music Hall's "Classic" turntable with its "Spirit" cartridge at $599.00 ( which is their in house spike  I never seen reviews about this table and cartridge combo )  This is just my initial consideration and far from final;, but, I  will gladly consider any recommendations in the same price range in the $500-$600 price range.

Thank you, and stay healthy and stay home


Dump the Orbit in a heartbeat. Music Hall are decent from my listening, Rega or Fluance are better choices. You can get a Fluance RT-84/85 w/ortofon Red MM for 499.00 USD

@chakster: I too wonder why the push against certain types of cartridges. Not all of us have an unlimited amount of funds so we get the best we can with what we have.

I have a Stanton 981 HZS cartridge that came with a JVC turntable I bought. It didn’t sound that great, but I think the stylus was worn and of course, an original replacement is also unobtanium.

You will find so many super positive feedbacks about Stanton 981s right here on audiogon from our Mexican or American users in the famous MM thread. For example @lewm is one who enjoyed it as far as i know. I’ve been using low impedance (low output) model of this cartridge. My favorite Stanton is SC-100 WOS (collector’s series 100). My Stanton cartridges are NOS or like new, so i can’t comment on worn cartridges.

I too wonder why the push against certain types of cartridges. Not all of us have an unlimited amount of funds so we get the best we can with what we have.

@jcipale Only honest opinion here.
" We get the best we can with what we have " - this is exactly what i've been doing for the last 7 years. I've learned that "the best" is NOT expensive (and not the latest), but cartridge design and stylus tip is important, it's about sound, high fidelity. I think i explained so many times why one $350 vintage cartridge is better than most of the modern MM cartridges for the same price. You're comparing bonded spherical or elliptical styli with nude line contact type, but the price is the same, so what you would get ? If you could compare in your system there wouldn't be any doubt what is better, especially if the price is the same or very close.   

Thank you to all who have responded.  Let me just add a few facts related to my table and cartridge. 

I have a Moon LP-110 phono stage which sounds very good as far as I can hear  through Ortofon 2M Red. The Moon stage has various settings for both MM/MC so I am not concerned about dialing it in. The Ortofon 2M Red has an output of  5.0 MV whereas the Denon 110 is 1.6MV  I never had to change the settings when I plugged in the U-Turn table  

  I like The Music Hall  "Classic" with Spirit cartridge offered by Music Direct. I like its look and its lift and turn off function at the end of play. However, I think Music Hall is one of those companies that promises more than it can deliver. As one responder noted, there are better cartridges than the included  MH's "Spirit"  which could be a dog or just OK.  Nevertheless, I don't want to just settle for it because it is included 

Lastly, My vinyl interest and use is less than average, and I have a very modest collection of LP's so I don't necessarily want to spend $1000 plus for a new table, but will check a few more tables in the $500-$600. range. BTW, I did own a Rega table the P-24-3 about 15 years ago which came with Rega's Elys spike. The combo sounded very good, but I did  not like that you needed a adapter from Rega to use other cartridges, In addition, the anti-skate control operated  like a toy and built like one.




You only live once. Soon, you'll have lots of records and will always be buying and selling mediocre budget tables and losing on the transactions. Save up and get a Technics SL-1500C and Nag MP150.