How good are grado cartridges

Any thoughts on the grado sonata? I will be mounting on a VPI super scoutmaster
Do a Google search for "Grado dance", just to find out if this problem occurs on JMW tonearms. If it does, forget it. If it doesn't then there's no obvious mis-match and they should make music together, assuming a compatible phono stage.

Beyond that, the question "How good is X" has as many answers as there are listeners. Unless you're Socrates of course.

Seriously, what does "good" mean? Is my "good" the same as your "good"?

Help us out. Share what you're looking for, what you're hoping to hear, what would make you happy, what would leave you dissatisfied. Those who've heard Grado's could then sense whether a Grado would be compatible with you, as well as your tonearm.
As to Doug's question, the VPI JMW9 arm is not immune to a bit of the "Grado Wiggle." I had a Reference Sonata in my Scout for a year or so and it was a nice, pleasant cartridge. On perhaps two or three of my many hundreds of lp's, the stylus would have trouble tracing highly modulated passages. It was always the crescendos of classical music lp's on the inner grooves which caused mistracking. You can find a myriad of professional reviews online and they are all generally accurate in summing up the strengths and weaknesses of the Grado line. Whether or not they are your cup of tea, who knows? Anyone who issues edicts as to the ultimate "good" or "bad" without knowing about your objectives and tastes isn't giving meaningful advice, only vacuous opinion.
Yes indeed the other threads asking for an opinion about anything is an opinion. This in fact is true of professional reviews/evaluations as well.
How would any person know the true or even kind of true answer? Nevertheless, I read these opinions from the minds of persons who, don't know they don't know, and is only the random spew coming from a vacuous mind.
In fact we really should follow the phrase I started to use 30 years ago not here of course.
The best XXxxx in the one you like the best.
We could then elimnate all threads which don't ask for a non verified fact. Such as what cartridge(s) do you own. With anything non objective removed from the answer. And with a strong warning that the answer may be incorrect . Such as I own a Koestu blue eyed tiger, when the person actually has the least expensive Audio Technica one cartridge fits all model.
I think another way of looking at this kind of question is, does product XXX represent a good value or match for the system in question, hopefully based on past experience. I actually ran a Grado Sonato on a VPI HNW Mk II a few years back. Overall it's a good cartridge for the money, but it's not going to maximize the the potential of the Scoutmaster. If cost is a limiting factor, it might not be a bad place to start.
Not enough compliance for my taste. Try the Audio Technica AT 150MLX, a great cartridge on the JMW arm. I use with the Scoutmaster/JMW-Nordost wiring and the resolution is impressive. On this table/arm, the AT is very impressive...fragile needle if you are not attentive. Jallen
I was looking in the $600-$1000 range. I had a Shelter 501 MkII on it for a year before the cartridge failed. Axiss refused to warranty it so I won't deal with them anymore. One of the best sounding cartidges for the money. I had a Benz ruby II which sounded a bit thin and lacked dynamics. A bit overpriced but aren't they all. The dealer recommended the grado sonata but it seems I should go a different direction.
Snook2, if you could move to the wood bodied Grado Reference Reference ($1500 retail), that would be a nice improvement from the Shelter 501 MkII in respect to reproducing the natural timbre of acoustic instruments and tonal quality through the midrange. The Shelter may still be quicker and more detailed.

The Grado Sonata is a very nice cartridge as an alternative, but would probably not offer you a satisifying improvement over the Shelter 501 MkII. Although the Sonata has a lovely midrange and tonal balance, you are likely to find you've given up too much in resolution and quickness compared to what you were experiencing with the 501. The Shelter 501 is a good value and a very nice match in the VPI Scoutmaster tonearm -- very difficult to match, let alone beat, at its price point.
I second Rushton's advice, just adding I would opt for the Statement Reference version (.5mV outptut) or the VPI voltage Reference (1.5mV output). I have had a BenzL2, a Shelter 501, now a Celebration v2. I have a good friends Grado VPI output Reference (1.5mV) on a supervised! loan LOL; that is his back up to his Dyna xv-1s, and it is all the Celebration v2 is and then some for me! Now set up seems to be very audible (more so then with the Celebration), VTA, VTF,antiskate (less the better with the Grado), azimuth - assuming you have good cart setup tools(wally tools here), tractors and VTF scale... that curved Grado cantilever is a bit harder to line up than the straight cantilever's of my previous LOmC's with the WallyTractor. Just a little bit off alignment,or overdamped VTF and antiskate, or VTA, and you loose some excitement/vividness the Grado can give(or get too much bass!). I am SO shocked by the Grado holding its own, and then some, I am asking how good the Statement Statement is!

The Celebration does seem to layer better, more depth?,it is definitely a more forward cart; but the Grado digs more info out, tracks way better, way better bass and more fleshed out midbass (the Celebration's weakest atribute IMHO). Big Symphonic works illustrate these differences the most. The Celebration might be more exciting, but the Grado might sound more like the real thing for me. The Celebration you see into the recorded event more. With the Grado, you see through or see-around the players more (which can be overwhelming, challenging, and exhausting with Big Symphonies - as you are in for the ride!). Meat on dem bones!

Basically, The Shelter bettered the Benz here(just a shorter lifespan for me - same as snook2), then the Celebration was a leep forward from the Shelter, and the cheaper Grado Reference seems to at least be on par with the Celebration. (on my Rega, and Basis arms; and my friends SME 12" arm).

I don't plan to move from my Celebration anytime soon, but the Grado Statement Statement might be next for me!