Help with Cartridge choice


Fellow audiophiles, my first time posting here and I will appreciate your help in choosing the right cartridge as part of my broader journey to put together an end game system. My upgrade path may not be very logical because it is opportunistic.

I use an old Pro-Ject Perspective turntable from early 2000s with the 9" aluminium arm (not the carbon one). I will make a significant upgrade in next couple of years but thats what i have for now.

I recently bought a Zesto Andros II phono stage to match my Zesto Leto 1.2 pre.

For now I am trying to upgrade from my Ortofon Bronze (MM) cartridge to something finer. Based on my research I am considering Hana ML ($1200). I have to stay below $1500. I have never used a MC or LOMC and not very analog savvy, and will appreciate any and all recommendations. 

Thank you!

musicmatters1206

@artemus_5 - thank you, you already answered part of my question, which was about compatibility. One part of that is th ephonostage, which seems good here, the other is the tonearm mass, which i am not sure how to go about....

 

Taking a wild punt at your present situation, It seems to me,  there is a desire to experience a Cartridge, and it is quite important to you as there is a wish to get the best from your Phonostage for the foreseeable future.

I would not spend big on a Cartridge at present, if a Cartridge requires replacing by all means seek out a new Cartridge out. A prudent choice at this stage will allow you to experience a MC Cartridge for the next few years, that can offer to you the impression a valuable upgrade has been made. If it is a very much enjoyed Cartridge and used regularly, it might be well on its way to needing to be replaced when your next phase of acquisitions materialize.

When making the provision for the funds to replace the TT > Tonearm,  pencil in a allowance for a Cartridge of choice and there is time on your side to make that investigation and decision about the Cartridges on your shortlist. 

I don't usually recommend a Brand, but recently, I have been seeing Vinyl Enthusiasts move onto the SKY ANALOGUE (SA) range of MC's, and more recently, I have seen their entry level model, Supersede the use of a Hana MC's in another  systems.  

The ( SA ) entry level will not break the bank and leave change to go into the kitty for future plans if the Hana is not chosen. 

I'm not sure what the effective mass is for that tonearm, so I'm not sure if these are a good match, but two MC carts I've been really loving lately are the AT33Sa and the VAS Ebony 103.

If I understand you correctly you are planning on upgrading the cartridge first, then the turntable. I would reverse that. Turntable first.

 

I have been lucky with cartridges after my first budget ones. But it has required an enormous amount of research. For me, the starting point has been the sound of my existing cartridge… was it natural enough, detailed enough, tonal balance? If my existing one is bordering on too much detail (so it is bringing in too much surface noice)… or too warm with not enough detail… then this points to a direction… or if it is perfect, then higher level cartridge with the same characteristic. It also must be appropriate for your tone arm.

 

So, as a starting point, read every professional review on your existing cartridge, and then on cartridges in your price range. You have to carefully evaluate the nuances of the sound description and of the equipment being used by the reviewer… it’s not easy. But, the right cartridge is not an absolute, it can be different for every user and associated collection of equipment.

One Stop Shopping

 

 

Terrific 7 layer Plinth

quartz locked direct drive TT81 spinner,

JVC-Victor Long 7082 Tonearm, VTA on the Fly (counterweight rubber gasket is in great shape, Eugene sent me separate photos),

includes headshell/cartridge/new stylus;

includes 120/100v transformer

includes DIN cable

Includes AT auto-lift accessory, I love mine.

...........................................

get a spare headshell for your existing cartridge if not worn out. 

potential to add a second tonearm in the future

note: price is CAD, and I bet he would accept a lower offer.

I wrote Eugene because a friend almost bought this,

Total weight approx. 65lbs .

Box size 27" x 24" x 14" . (double boxed)

Shipping via Express UPS 2 days delivery - approx. $120 .