How to Sample Cartridges in My Own System?

I currently have a Clearaudio Maestro II. I want to add an MC cartridge and my budget is about $6k. Is there a way to audition cartridges in my own system? provides a service to allow customers to try out different cables in your own system. But how does one sample and compare different cartridges? Listening in a dealer's room and system tells me little about how the cartridge will sound in my system.

What if I want to hear how a London Reference or Benz Micro LP-S sound? Two very different cartridge, I know, but at the price of these there should be a way to try them out before committing.
You get to buy it then if your not happy you have to sell it used then get a new cartridge, this is why experience with a lot of different cartridges is highly rewarding...and a little costly. Example...Bought a Maestro V2 Ebony and thought it too laid back and warm for my system .Sold it , lost a couple hundred (learned a lot) then purchased a LOMC Dynavector. (which I love)

Matt M
Try Miyajima from
"The only hi-end phono cartridges available on a trial basis-in your own system"

7 day money back on trial and withing your budget !

Ask for Miyajima Madake and tell us about your experience  :))

Actually I have a Miyajima Zero on my mono turntable. Great cartridge.

I get the impression that mattmiller's experience is fairly typical.

How do the folks here decide what cartridge to buy?
I’m buyin’ them used (but not 6k units), but i’m pretty strict with the grading when i’m looking for used cartridges, actually never had a problems with used, but once i had a problem with brand new cartridge! The only way to decide which cartridge is really good in my system is to try it in my system on my tonearms. I think it’s great experience, but the desire to try many cartridges is dangerous for the pocket, so i have to sell some cartridges to try more different carts. I think it’s a part of the hobby.
Having a subscription to a couple hard copy magazines (they are cheap) is a good way of seeing what a lot of brands are doing plus there are the reviews which I take with a big grain of salt. Also, If you see something well reviewed and talked about with high praise from several different sources it is wise to check it out.