JWM10 with TNT Cartridge help PLEASE

I just recently bought a VPI TNT with JWM 10 tonearm and I need advice on what cartridge to purchase? Sumiko Celebration or Benz Micro L2 or M2. Please anyone with knowledge in this field will be greatly helpfull.
I'm thrilled with the Benz L2 on my JMW 9 (I also use the isolator).

To my ear, it sounds a lot better than the Shelter 501 mk 2 it replaces.
You have gotten an excellent front end, one good enough to merit a top cartridge. Two cartridges that should be on your "short list" are the Grado Signature and the Shelter 901.
500 people or so will probably write and tell you not to put the 901 0n the jmw10. FWIW, I did (Aries 2 & jmw10)and I enjoyed the combo (and will again if my 2nd arm wand ever gets here).
A popular and less costly way to go for your set up is the Dynavector 20xh or xl, I had this combo (the xh) and it was really very good for the money. If I was smart I could have stayed with it and been happy.
Above is all IMHO & I know didly about the two cartridges you mentioned.
Jeff's recommendation of the Dyna 20X is a good one IMO.I haven't met a Dyna that my former JMW10 didnt like.

Im also however, one of those 500 or so folks that would advise (not necessarily tell you) not to use the Shelter on the JMW.As there are folks using them who find them to sound good to their ears.

Im rather old school and think its important to look at the arm/cart compliance match closely before you mate them with eachother.( Thanks Dad, TWL and Dougdeacon) My reasoning comes from learning the hard way after mounting a expensive Lyra Helikon ( and paying stupid retail for it!!) on the JMW10 with my Aries table. I could never get it to sound fleshed out and kept waiting for it to "break in" and wondering why it sounded so lean and bright for over 150 hours before finally deciding to resell it and loose close to half its value. It all comes down to the proper match to at least hear the best from the cart.It will at least tell you what the true sound of the cart is like to help you decide if you like it or not..

Choose a cart that is of higher compliance Cu's to go on the JMW and you'll be much happier in the end. 12-15 Cu or higher

Of those you listed..the Benz models are good as well as the even better sounding Sumiko Celebration. Blackbird, GRado Sonata or any of the wood bodies..and my personal favorite, the line of ZYX carts. R100 Fuji is killer on that arm.

IMO look past the Koetsu's and Lyra's, Denons, as well as the Shelters. They are great sounding carts to be sure..but you'll not get the best out of them on the JMW-10 The newer JMW 9 Sign may well be much better at accepting the lower Cu designs though..Ken
I'm very happy w/ZYX Airy3 on my TNT6-HR w/JMW12.6 arm. If you try a ZYX, I'd recommend getting the silver base for added mass. Kehut's comments make great sense to me. Cheers,

Kehut - Am not a champion of ignoring compliance, am curious though. A lot of times system matching doesn't work out & for a lot of different reasons. Also you are not the first to find a Lyra Helikon to sound a little lean for their ear on their system. Is there a reason to conclude that the lean sound on your system was definetly a compliance issue?
If you have this type of compliance mismatch, is a lean sound the typical sonic flaw or are there other telltales to listen for?
Hi Jeff,

Its true that system matching involves more than cart/ tonearm matching..poor sound can result from any one or combo of factors such as not having a level platform which is so very important with the VPI JMW or any unipivot more so than gimbal or fixed bearing types. Another contributing factor would be under or overdamping of the cart,improper VTF, VTA,Overhang, and lateral Azimuth or tilt of the arm skewed to tilt from true perpendicular

All the above would be concidered fundimental basic parameters we do to set up the cart...so assuming everything is aligned, recommended VTF is set and the parameters are correct..The one factor that cannot be fixed is having a low complianace( very stiff) suspension trying to track in a groove on an arm that is prone or tends by its nature to want to move with the groove tracing itself!

Its like having a stiff suspension car speeding down a bumpy road, and trying to keep contact with the road at all times...same idea with the cart stylus..it cant do its job of tracing the groove perfectly because the the suspension's too stiff and in an arm that wont allow it to keep from crashing into the side walls of the groove..

Now the resulting sound that is heard from all this is typically a bright, thin upper mids and highs and lightweight bass response. Highs tend to sound spitty as well. Sometimes increasing the VTF or downforce can help make it sound a bit less lean..but the problem is still the mismatch and the result is poor sound and accelerated record wear.
This is very much my experience with how this type of mismatch sounds. Hope this helps..

Dougdeacon.. TWL.. or 4Yanks.. if your out there please feel free to add some thoughts here..
Kehut - Have been thinking about your note above.
The Helicon is spec'd at "Compliance: Approx. 12 x 10 x (1/1000000) / dyne at 100 Hz" , haven't found spec's yet on what would be ideal for a jmw10, but I thought the Lyra's spec's were middle of the road & it should tend to be forgiving for most arms?
Other thing, I stold the following from audio asylum;
"Compliance figures given for cartridges don't always tell the whole story. They are usually dynamic compliance at 100Hz, which may have little similarity to compliance at 10Hz resonance. For example, I have a Denon DL-301II, which is specified by Denon to have 13 mm/N compliance at 100Hz. However, this cartridge actually has a static compliance of 35 mm/N and a compliance at resonance of about 26 mm/N. It is really a high compliance moving coil, as is the DL-S1."
Which kind of mirrors a gut feel that a single compliance number was maybe an oversimplification.
Still haven't come to comfortable terms on the issue, my gut tells me that some notes I read about woofer pumping being a potential compliance issue (and sometimes fixable by adding mass to the headshell and rebalancing) might also be on track (no pun intended).
Best Regards


I would tend to agree with you on that single number of dynamic compliance as being perhaps a broad generalization or simplification in absolute terms as the only issue of compatability. But, certainly not one to be ignored as you stated previously.

Intersting to note that indeed the Helikon's Dyn compliance figure of 12 puts it in the area of acceptability and middle ground for use on the JMW...Lyra also recommends mounting the Helikon in a rigid, fixed bearing or linear tracking type tonearm of med. mass. This perhaps lends to suggestion that UniP's are not welcome players for this cart...A sentiment I tend to believe and as others have attested to...

Anyway..I sold my Aries/JMW to return to the more conventional designs once again as there has been much activity on that front and no shortage of many great arms nowadays to try out!..Thanks and happy listening!
Dear radrog: The Sumiko Celebration is a top pmusic performer and at its price a " bargain ": highly recomended over the Benz, ZYX or Shelther.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Kehut - Interesting (or maybe not, but anyway I thought it was), took a gander at VPI's website today. They now offer a 3 gram weight for use with low compliance/low mass cartridges. Whether or not it would make a great difference I have no idea but the price was only $15.00.
Thank You Raul. Finally some one answered my question. It seems everyone turned my thread into there thread. I value your opinion greatly.

Thanks Roger

Sorry to be one of the hi-Jackers on your thread. My apologies if that was the case. Keep in mind though, that sometimes you can pick up some valuable info in these discussions, even if it seems irrelevant to your current question. In fact I did answer your question directly regarding the Celebration as a better sounding cart and a good choice over the Benz that you listed. Good luck with your rig! :-)