High output MC cartridges?

Hello All,

Has anyone compiled a list or can refer me to a source of high output MC cartridges? Or are you aware of several of these type cartridges that are reasonably priced? I am interested in getting a feel for what is available these days along with your opinions.

I have recently acquired (not fully broken in) a Denon DL-160 and listening to some recordings, I am dazzled at how wide and deep its soundstage is. The price is certainly tangible for most but I would like to experiment with other cartridges.

I know the absolute purists will tell me to use a low output MC cartridge with a capable phono stage or step-up transformer but as always, disposable income is the issue.

Thanks and regards,

Any of the Grado prestige carts should fill your needs.
Go to needledoctor dot com
I also second just browsing through Needledoctor.com - they generally include snippets of reviews or links to sites like Stereophile.

The Grado Prestige line is great (I have a Green myself) but they're moving iron carts, not HO MCs - the Reference series are also MI cartridges, but are available in high output and low output versions.

Currently I'm debating between stepping up to the Grado Gold, the Grado Platinum, or the Sumiko Blue Point No.2. Any other recommendations for MM/HO MC cartridges in the $200-300 price range? I've been really happy with my Grado so far, which leads me to think maybe I should just stick with them.
Patrick_odonnell and Foster8699,

Thanks for the replies. I have a Grado Gold and it is quite pleasant to listen to. Very engaging and musical. It doesn't disappoint, however, the Denon is just seems bigger or perhaps larger than life as some have said. On some recordings it is absolutely stunning.

I just finished listening to Aqualung - Jethro Tull, Classic Records 200g release (very expensive here in AU) and I am blown away. With the Denon, the air sort of felt like it was crackling. Ok, enough superlatives.

Ontjesr, thanks as well. I will have a look at needledoctor.com for cartridge comparisons.


There are several highly regarded HOMCs, including the Sumiko Blue Point Special #2 ($299), BPS EVO III ($399), plus the next model up, the Sumiko Blackbird ($799), Dynavector 10x5 and 20X, the Benz Micro MC20E2, which is roughly in the DL-160 price range, and the Micro Silver at $375.
ZYX ! I have a R100H that I am very happy with!Used to have the less expensive R20 that was also very good!Both cart had very low groove noise,,
I would love to hear a ZYX Bloom H but I'm afraid it probably won't be the budget this year.
for a major upgrade, still mm, the AT150x

I own the Zyx Bloom, and while it comes in both a high and low output version, even the high isn't very high; roughly .7mv on the common scale. It still requires a fair amount of gain to be at it's best.

03-12-08: Jaybo
for a major upgrade, still mm, the AT150x
I'm running a Denon DL-160 on a Technics SL1210 M5G w/fluid damper. What sorts of improvements would the AT 150MLX bring to my setup?

Given that my preamp accepts MM or LOMC, which would be more desirable--the 150MLX or the OC9?
superior bass control...bigger stage,possibly sweeter midrange....it comes really close in preformance to the london/deccas and music makers.....
Personally I wouldn't sweat the choice between MM and MC. Just pick something in your budget that suits you and your equipment. The Acoustic Sounds catalogue has a nice table for comparison of specs. Try to get clear about what your parameters are, as in how low low an output you can run and still get the gain you volume you want given your listening habits, the sensitivity of your speakers, gain of your preamp, etc.. You may find that an output of .8mV@5cm/sec is plenty. Also bear in mind that the reference for output level varies and is often not published. A little research is in order and can make all the difference if it is on the edge.
sorry for the confused writing. I've got a bad head cold. I'll go to bed.