help please. i need opinions of high output carts

i've just switched from a rogue 99 to a marantz model 7 preamp. love the marantz, but my low-output grado statement (4.5 mv on mine) needs replacing with higher output. table is a vpi aries (which i also love); amp is david berning designed audionics of oregon ba150; speakers good old kef 105.2's although i switch to bozak rhapsodies when i need to move more air. any suggestions? i've been recommended a benz micro h2, a van der hul mc2, and a dynavector 20xh. sounds to me like the 1st 2 may be in a higher league but i have no way to really know. HELP!
Hmmm- don't recall offhand the outputs of the three you are contemplating, but the 4.5 mV on the Grado you already have is most definately high output. Doubtful that the any of the other three you mention have significantly higher output. What do you have for a phono pre??

I agree. 4.5 mv is definitely not low output. You may have a real hard time finding a good quality cartridge that produces measurably higher levels than that.

Are you running the 7 tube or transistor version ??? Sean
If your talking about the top of the line grado statement the original had an output of 0.8mv and the current version is 0.5mv. There is a "statement" series which covers the entire price range all having an output of 0.5mv. The "reference" series has outputs of 4.8mv.

The 0.5mv output needs a phono section gain of 55-60db to work well, usually found in phono sections with moving coil inputs. I suspect you have a moving magnet phono section which usally have gains in the 40db range and require a cart. output of 1.5mv or higher.

The 4.8mv output you mention is one of, if not the highest, gain available. Most "high output" moving coil cart.'s have gains in the 2-2.5 range. There are lots of nice high output cartridges available. Let us know what your actual phono section/cartridge situation is and will go from there.
...agree ...same her...are you sure you have a low output Grado? The low outputs are the Statement line. The statements run at .04-.05 mv I believe.
ouch! i promise to go into intensive typing rehab asap. my statement is .45 mv not 4.5 (of course). sorry to waste people's time like that, but please give me your thoughts now that i've made mine a bit clearer.
i got my statement from john grado directly in july 2001. it is john who told me it actually tested closer to .45 then .5. at that point they were not in full production with the .5 mv output statement. the other point i should have made was that i cannot spend as much this time, and can't go above $1800 or so. i'd be happy to get the dynavector 20xh(which is "only" around $500) if i heard that experience had shown people that it really is in the same league as the others. in fact i am concerned that my budget will leave me with sound that does not approach that of the statement even with the benz micro h2 or the van der hul mc2. that said, i have never heard any great carts besides the grado. i moved up in their line without making comparisons to others because i liked the sound enough, and once i had one grado cart the trade-up policy encouraged me to stay within the grado line. so i do not even know how my grado statement sounds compared to other carts. of course i'm hoping that there will be benefits to switching and that my concern is unwarrented. can anyone tell me what to expect? btw my phono stage is in the marantz model 7, which is all tube (12ax7 telefunkens).
I've never heard a Grado, but the Benz Gliders come in three different output might want to check them out.
The Marantz 7 is designed for MM carts, and you love the Grado house sound. Seems to me you should just invest in the regular output Grado Reference of your choice instead of looking for an HO MC. If you can trade-in or sell your present LO Statement for what it's worth you might be able to stay at or near top-of-the-line and not go over budget.
Zaikesman, you hit the nail on the head, so to speak. I agree. I've also been told that MM's, as a general rule, are more forgiving of tiny mis-alignnment errors than MC's. Happy Tunes!
The Decca London is 5mv.

It sounds like you love the marantz and would like to keep the grado statement. This is probably the best idea as the statement is pretty high up on the analog food chain and IMHO, going to be hard to top with a high output cartridge. There are better cartridges but all are low output moving coils. The grado reference 4.8mv version or the benz m2, while they have suffient output for the marantz 7, they are not the sonic equal of the statement.

I do have a solution. What you need is additional gain, and the way to accomplish this is with a stepup transformer.
Now, these can get very expensive, but there is a very nice one from EAR called the MC3 which is reasonably priced at $995. This is different from an outboard phono preamp as the stepup transformer doesn't have a RIAA network, which you don't need, as you already have the RIAA network in your existing phono section. You can get more info at the EAR USA web site as well as a list of dealers. If you do decide to go this route, this is one time I would strongly reccomend that you purchase it thru a dealer who will help you set it up and optimize/integrate it into your system.