I want to try a MM

Hi there.

My vinyl system consists of a Nottingham Mentor/space Arm/Transfiguration Esprit.

I'm in the mood for som changes, so I was thinking of trading in my Esprit for a Grado Ref or a Cartridge Man MM MK III. You see, I'm trying to get a bit more warmth in my system. So what do you think? Is it something worth trying?

I have used a Grado Ref on my Scout in my second system. It will certainly add warmth. In addition, it has outstanding presence and detail throughout the midrange. Definately worth trying, and highly underrated in my opinion. That said, I prefer the 103r in my main rig for it greater extension and drive. All things in audio seem to be trade offs.
You should also consider the Shelter 501 and the ClearAudio Virtuoso Wood. Both offer excellent performance for the money. I have a Grado Reference in my analog system, and altho' their tonal characteristics are a bit different (the Grado sounds warmer), I think it's almost a dead heat between the Grado and the Shelter 501 (which sells for $400 less)

Probably should have been a bit more precise. I do not have a step up. So I need a high output type of cart. But if I put this aside, the Shelter really looks interesting.

Without step-up, go Grado. I have had them to great effect. I hope they are not underrated, because if you can use them, they are great. But they are not universally compatible. I certainly second the ClearAudio Wood! I am using that now. So leave Shelter aside, I think.
Dear Theo: The Sumiko Blakbird can be a very good option, too. This is a high output cartridge.

Regards and enjoy the music.

Aceto: What kind of Grados have you tried, and can you tell me something about how they sound compared to the Wood?

Shure V15 Type V MR. Best damn MM made and they are being discontinued