If you can run a low output MC I would recommend a Dynavector 17D2 MkII Karat. In my opinion this is a very good cartridge for the money. In the Dynavector line I think its where the sound starts getting really good and is a noticeable improvement over the 20XL. Its a dynamic and neutral cartridge.
I agree with the recommendation on the 17D2 MkII Karat; you might also try the Sumiko Blackbird but don't spend your life savings on a cartridge. The JMW-9 limits what you can use.
At the $800 price point, there are several good recommendations above. However, if I were going to buy an $800 cartridge today (assuming MSRP), the choice would be a simple one: Shelter 501 Mk2. Really outstanding performance for the money.
The Shelter 501 is a nice cartridge but not particularly well suited to unipivot tonearms and the JMW-9 is no exception. The Sumikos, Shures, Dynavectors, Benz Micros, and Cartridge Man Music Maker 3 are all better matches.
Depends on the unipivot in question as to whether the Shelter 501MkII is a good match, though I've never heard one on a 9. Lots of good audiofeil cartidges to choose from, Cobra. Maybe try the Shure and see what you like or don't regarding its performance and go from there in terms of seeking suggestions.
Dear 93 cobra: The Dlwask Dynavector 17D2 MK2 recomendation is a very good one ( better quality sound that your Shure ).
My advise is for the Dynavector or the Sumiko Blackbird.
Regards and enjoy the music.
It is important to match the catridge to the phono preamp as well as the table. It may be worth while to call a reputable dealer and ask advice based on table, preamp, speaker, listening preference, astrological sign, etc. If you read the interview in the last issue of hi-fi+ with the owner of van den Hull you may get some food for esoteric thought.
93cobra - what sort of music do you listen to and what do you like when you know you're hearing really good sound?
The Dyanvector 17D2 is a fantastic cartridge although it leans towards detail and precision rather than impact and excitement. Some owners have commented on its lack of bass energy/impact.
The best cart recommendation for you depends on whether you want smooth, detailed or slam!
4yanx is correct on the Shure. The Shure V15 (whatever it's nomenclature is now) and Denon 103 series represent the best "values" in lower price phono cartridges IMO.
You really have to know what you are doing. A lot depends on your arm and your preamp stage. Some cartridges are too light and don't balance well in some arms, and more importantly some are too heavy. The counterweight should be as close to the pivot as possible. Some cartridges need the arm to be raised, some arms cannot be raised enough to accomodate the tall profile, whereas some are very short. Shimming is not a good thing - resonances almost always happen. Preamps that advertise they can accomodate low output cartridges may also contribute noise and other junk that you don't want. I found that a higher output cartridge of lesser quality sounds better than a "better" cartridge with a lower output which makes the preamp work harder.
WOW.... That is a lot of info to take in....
To answer Flyingred's question. I'm looking for detail and precision. I listen to all typs of music..
To answer bignerd100's question...
The phone stage is the one that came with my classe cp 60..
Thanks for all of the great help.......
Don't forget Grado the Master would be an excellent choice.
Flyingred, with proper phono stage gain matching and set up (VTA/VTF etc..) the 17D2 should perform just fine in bass engery and impact. Perhaps comments you heard in this area were from users with improper set up or phono stage matching? I admit to having to experiment a lot with the JMW9 arm/17D2 set up to get it where I am today. But as a result I think I now better understand its abilities and how set up changes impact the sound.
I do agree that the 17D2 is leaning towards detail and precision, thus my initial comments on it being a dynamic and neutral cart.
93cobra, does your classe have ~60 dB of gain for its phono stage? If so, that and your preference for detail and precision make the 17D2 a strong candidate.
I have a Clearaudio Aurum Beta S on mine and I love it.
I'd try a Benz Glider. It comes in 3 different outputs and you can match that to your phono stage. However the Shure is a classic and is probably the best MM made. It won't sound as good as a Glider or Sumiko Blackbird, but you already own it !
Best of luck,
Dlwask I agree 100% - any cartridge's performance is influenced by the arm, table and the accuracy of set up.
93cobra I would suggest the 17D2 has the potential to be ideal for you. It's design concept (short diamond cantilever) is original allowing it to faithfully retrieve information from the groove.
I think that if you buy one you could then have a lot of fun working with the other variables to tune in the sound you want.
Look into a Lyra Dorian.
I heard one on a Scout w/ JMW 9 at Brooks Berdan's store a month ago and it sounded damn good. Granted, Brooks is famous for squeezing the best possible performance out an overall system, so there were probably several other factors in the sound.
That setup sure sounded smooth and detailed. Of course, he had a Hovland HP-100 tube preamp and Rogue Zeus amp downstream - that's an awful lot of tubes. The Dorian might sound a little more lean in your SS setup.
Anyway, for $800 it might be worth looking into.
I have to disagree with Mustang - the 501 is a great unipivot cartridge. Almost every table I have heard it on has a unipivot arm. It is heavy though, but most everyone knows to stay away from cheap unipivots anyway.