Micro Acoustics vs Grace F-9 MM's

Okay, any of you 80's analog "geezers" (like myself..) had an opportunity to compare the likes of the the re-known Grace F-9E, Ruby, or L, to the Micro Acoustic 2002 or 3002 ceramic MM's.

I have the MA 3002 and its a very enjoyable cart! A lot like the early Shures IMO.

We are so many years removed from the technology of that time of course, and Im not looking to replace my newer reference gear, but was curious of these two fine MM's in comparison to sound.

Dear Ken: I own the F-9, the Ruby, the MA 2002e and its big " brother the MA 630.

I don't have ( yet ) opportunity to hear the 2002e ( I have many cartridges: around 80-90. ) but the MA 630 is something especial and way better than the F9 and with a different presentation than the Ruby but I can say at the same quality performance level.
In this thread you can read something on the Ruby performance:

I agree with you that all these " old " cartridges are very fine. The Grace cartridges and the MA 630 are IMHO better than the " early " Shure's. I will try to find some time to test the MA 2002e that for what I know/read somewhere is a very fine cartridge too.

Regards and enjoy the music,
I have, like Rauliruegas, all the mentioned cartridges. My opinion is the Ruby sounds best. It is running in a Sony x800 linear tracking table. I also have a Shure V, but I give the edge to the Ruby. Well worth a listen. Ruby's have gotten pricey recently, going for over $500. My main table is a VPI Aries I running a Clearaudio Victory H. It does have the edge over the Ruby.
I am also on the Grace F9E side of the street, but will take it one notch above. If you send the Grace into SoundSmith and have their $250.00 retip service done, this new cartridge will compete with any MM out there and IMHO be the best. I've owned hundreds of cartridges over the years and really prefer to listen to the Grace above all else.

I sold both the Micro Acoustics and Grace line of cartridges in my store, back in the 80's and always sold way more of the Grace's than the Micro Acoustics, for whatever that's worth.
Many thanks guys for posting the info...Raul,Thank you Sir... I read your assessment of the various MC and MM's you've listened to in different arms. Very well done. It gives a more fair telling of their virtues that way indeed.

Mofi- I have a F9E on the way and may just contact Peter at SS for his re-tip service after a brief listen at least. Plan for a long wait is what I hear ;-)

I have owned the Clearaudio Maestro recently, and can give it some comparison while still fresh in my mind. I have a suspicion I will really enjoy the Grace!
My electret-condenser Micro Acoustics MA630 gives totally different level performance that all my other magnetic cartridges. Very fast and zero overhead.
Just mounted and aligned the F9-E last night...really nice cart for sure.

Hey, Siniy123, interested in selling the MA630??
a great cartridge which i compared to the linearity of the sonus blues (a real comliment). i would LOVE to have another.

i have an f9e and when it goes, i will likely have soundsmith give it the ruby treatment.
i was referring to the 2002e. but there certainly is NOTHING wrong with the grace.

i wish ma had remained in business but i could say the same for grace and peter pritchards ADC.
Dear Tommy: +++++ " i will likely have soundsmith give it the ruby treatment. " +++++

like any good cartridge its quality performance comes ( between other things ) IMHO for the achieved designer goals through the designer cartridge voicing a " ruby treatment " is something different and IMHO does not makes that a F9e could performs like the original F9 Ruby.

Regards and enjoy the music,
How would these cartridges compare to a Grado Reference Sonata. Sorry in advance for being off topic. Bob
How would these cartridges compare to a Grado Reference Sonata.

Bob -- I have used an F9E Ruby for many years (which I'll probably have re-tipped by Soundsmith in the near future), and I recently purchased a high output Reference Sonata.

I haven't had time yet to evaluate the Grado with any thoroughness, but my initial impression is that the two cartridges are surprisingly similar.

To put that into context, I'll mention that my listening is mainly to classical music, and both cartridges are/were used on a 1980's SOTA Sapphire turntable with Magnepan Unitrac tonearm, both of which still work like new :).


-- Al
Thanks for making the comparison!

To the rest of the group how difficult is it to find an example of the MA 630?
really hard: I looked for 1.5 years or so. But then I knew where to get NOS stylus from. Now I all sources I aware of are depleted.