MP150 or MP200


I am currently using a Nagaoka MP110 cartridge and want to upgrade . I really like the Nagaoka sound and was considering staying with the Nagaoka sound . My question is will I get a considerable upgrade in sound going to the next level cartridge which would be the MP150 which would be a 329.00 investment or in order to get that big upgrade I would have to go to the MP200 which would put me almost at the 500.00 mark .
mcmvmx
Depends on the rest of your system. If it’s low budget, you may only notice a small improvement. Rather than making small incremental changes, save longer and upgrade your table. Then add the MP500.
Project 1 expression2 with modifications and speed control . elekit tube preamp upgraded and modified using Jan 12AT7 with SS phono stage connected to Mccormack DNA125 amp 
 All interconnects , speaker cable and and power cable are JPS Labs superconductor connected to Richard Gray power station . Speaker are Magnepan MG12 with external upgraded crossovers . Digital duties are carried by a Opera Audio Turandot CD Player 

You can change the stylus, not a cartridge
Get better nagaoka stylus
My system sounds ok . There is a video on youtube where they swap the stylus and it doesn"t seem to make much of a difference . Nagaoka states that in it of its cartridges the generator system is updated like better windings , purer metal and it seems that the cantilever assembly has been tuned for its particular generator . That would mean that one particular stylus and cantilever assembly will sound great with the cartridge its intended to but will degrade the sound if you changed it to another cartridge in its lineup . Another problem with Nagaoka is their pricing strategy.
 They went up in price some time ago and are expensive . I have the MP110 which cost me 132.00 . If I which to buy the next up in line , the MP150 I would have to shell out over 350.00 ! And the next one up would be the MP200 at almost 500.00 . And then there is the 300 and 500 which is 1grand !
You MP110 is entry level model with bonded elliptical diamond and aluminum cantilever.

Higher model like MP200 comes with NUDE (not bonded) diamond and Boron cantilever. One of the reason the price is much higher. 

Never use youtube as reference in cartridge comparison tests. 

As you said you want to stay with Nagaoka, so you could investigate which compatible stylus you could buy instead of a new cartridge. If you have cash for MP200 go for it. 

In my opinion you can easily find a better high compliance MM cartridge like SONY XL50 with Boron Pipe cantilever, but you want to stay with Nagaoka. 

$500-700 for a great MM cartridge is fair price. 




The MP-150 and the MP-200 share cartridge types.
Not saying it’s the way to go unless you are trying to keep spending increments low, but I bought the 150 for about $347 and a year or so later, picked up the JN-P200 (MP-200 replacement stylus) for $169 from a eBay Nagaoka dealer in Japan.
The MP-200 cartridge can be had for around $450-$500... so yes I paid a little more, but not much.
Note that the MP-500 Stylus is not compatible with the MP-150 or 200 cartridge, so the incremental upgrading stops with the 200. The JN-P200 stylus is not compatible with the MP-110 cartidge either.
I liked the MP-150 a lot and did notice an obvious improvement with JN-P200 stylus on my (budget system in this neighborhood) system. Better detail in percussion, brushes, stringed instrument fingerings, etc. Bass tightened up slightly... a little less "boom" and better detail as well.
My (phono) system: Technics SL-1610, Pro-ject Tube Box S2 phono stage, Emotiva pre-amp, Morrow interconnects and ZuAudio Libtec speaker cables feeding Magnepan 1.6 speakers.
I enjoyed making and hearing improvements and now I have a 1 year old, spare MP-150 stylus in case I do the unthinkable and damage the somewhat more delicate boron cantelever on the JN-P200 stylus.

I would go with the MP-200 with the boron cantilever and elliptical stylus over the MP-150.   I purchased one a couple months ago to replace a Grado that came with my new VPI Cliffwood TT and LOVED it. Great balance across the spectrum. Then I came upon some unexpected cash that enabled me to upgrade to the MP-500 which has upgraded electronics and line contact stylus. If you are definitely interested in the MP-200, contact me and I will give you a really good deal.
Chakster, whether the Sony or the Nagaoka cartridge would be better would depend on the tonearm. For medium to high mass arms the Nagaoka would be the better choice. If you had a really light arm then perhaps the Sony might be better. The Nagaoka has many fine reviews. I have not seen one on the Sony.
Sony XL-50 on its dedicated headshell is much better cartridge than Nagaoka MP-200.
It is one of those cartridges that can be found today for reasonable price.
If you have not seen a review for Sony I am not surprised, the XL-50 and XL-70 were the best MM cartridges Sony Sound Tec Corp. ever made (in the 80’s). At that time SONY was pretty serious about analog (cartridges, turntables, tonearms).

SONY established Sony Sound Tec Corporation to produce phono cartridges. Not every equipment manufacturer can make a phono cartridge, but the Sony Sound Tec Corp. combining all the passion and knowledge has released some very interesting models in the early 80’s. The XL-50 is one of two finest Moving Magnet cartridges from SONY. Very special features are as follows: The Joint-less delta-type core; Boron Pipe cantilever and nude Super Elliptical Diamond; A screw holds the stylus holder firmly in place; Distortion caused by flex is virtually eliminated; Cup-shaped damper and tension wire! This lightweight and high compliance cartridge is designed for low mass tonearms. Loading recommended by the manufacturer is from 47k Ohm to 100k Ohm. Cartridge output is 2.0 mV. Frequency response is pretty wide: 10Hz - 50000Hz! The price for XL-50 was ¥25000 in 1981. Boron Pipe cantilever is nothing but a grown crystal of Pure Boron into a pipe configuration (wow). A tip mounting hole made using a laser beam. This technology is no longer available, instead of ultra lightweight PIPE configuration you can get only heavier Boron ROD configuration from cantilever manufacturers nowadays. Boron PIPE is associated ONLY with vintage High-End cartridges (MM or MC). I have two samples of SONY XL-50 and this is an excellent MM cartridge with exotic cantilever!

Nagaoka branded Jeweltone in Japan and all new models are just a versions of the very old design from the 70’s. Jeweltone MP-50 is Nagaoka MP-500. An old Jeweltone/Nagaoka MP-20 is new Nagaoka MP-200. Nothing new here @mijostyn


The mass of my Project 1 expression 2 carbon fiber tonearm is around 8.6 grams which I understand is on the medium side . The specs on the compliance of the Nagaoka MP110 puts it a little on the low side for a moving magnet cartridge . After over 50 hours of breakin sometimes I was having a little dryness with upfront sound on some recordings in the uppermidrange . Put some blutack on the headshell to see if the uppermidrange forwardness was caused by compliance problems between cartridge and tonearm .
The forwardness was subdued greatly up to the point where its not a problem anymore . 
I like the MP110 very much . It's a very coherent and controlled sound that hardly ever irritates . Its bass is not the most powerful or tight but is in line with the sound spectrum of the cartridge . It doesn't jump out at you but its there when you want to hear whats going on down there .
Come to think of it this would describe the sound of the cartridge as a whole .
Now what is it that I don't like about its sonics on my turntable that has prompt me to upgrade ?
Its lacking of low level detail . It seems that it is so smooth that in its intent of always sounding smooth it took away a bit to much information . Bare in mind I am not talking about dynamics . It is nicely dynamic . For the price its a very.musical cartridge but its musicality comes at the expense of a lack of uppermid and high frequency information . Does the MP150 give me whats missing in the MP110 or in order to get it must the move be towards the MP200 ?
Nags are WAY overpriced for what you get, AND what you hear.

You need to expand your horizons.

For THAT kind of money, you can select many vintage carts and original styli (multiple!) that will absolutely TROUNCE the Nags, ALL of them!
Wolfie62 would you share a few of those combos that you’ve tried and recommend? I’m looking to explore some different vintage carts. 
Apart from the Nagaoka for which I agree went overboard when they changed their pricing I' ve been considering Denon DL 110 , DL 301 2 , Grado Opus 3 new timbre series , Audio Technica New OCL series , Vessel cartridges Ortofon Quintet red .
Peter Lederman, of SoundSmith has stated in his videos, that the suspensions in cartridges have limited lives, whether they are in use, or brand new..sitting in a box for years...decades.. in a warehouse. The suspension gets stiffer over time, degrading the sound quality.
Are these vintage cartridges being recommended immune from that issue?
Yes, obviously his business rebuilds cartridges and manufactures new ones, but Peter KNOWS cartridge technology.
Just asking, since many forum members know way more than I do about cartridges.
Is he referring to moving cross cartridges or does that extend to mm, mc and in the case of Nagaoka.. mp (moving permaloy)?
You know when someone mentioned vintage cartridges I thought of the same thing and up to where I know all cartridges must have some type of suspension as what then supports the cantilever .

Case in point , the mentioned Sony cartridge , when I investigated it goes all the way back to the 70s . I personally would never buy a cartridge that has been sitting on a shelf for 5 decades no less !
The mass of my Project 1 expression 2 carbon fiber tonearm is around 8.6 grams which I understand is on the medium side .


It’s pretty light for a modern world of tonearms

I like the MP110 very much . It’s a very coherent and controlled sound that hardly ever irritates . Its bass is not the most powerful or tight but is in line with the sound spectrum of the cartridge .

Look at the specs, this is entry level cartridge, the diamond is not even "nude", it’s bonded diamond - do you know what does it mean? If you like Nagaoka do yourself a favor and upgrade to the higher model (or find a much better cartridge for the same money). Nagaoka is not even a perfect match for your tonearm I believe, you could check with Hi-Fi Test LP for tonearm/cartridge resonance frequency.

The reason why you like MP110 is probably lack of experience with other MM cartridges.

But do not afraid to buy a better cartridge, each Nagaoka model is step up, for more money you will get "nude" diamond and boron cantilever, for even more you can get a better stylus profile instead of elliptical.






You know when someone mentioned vintage cartridges I thought of the same thing and up to where I know all cartridges must have some type of suspension as what then supports the cantilever .

Case in point , the mentioned Sony cartridge , when I investigated it goes all the way back to the 70s . I personally would never buy a cartridge that has been sitting on a shelf for 5 decades no less !

We have so many members on this forum (including myself) who’re using vintage cartridges (MM or MC) along with very expensive modern cartridges. If you think that buying a new $5000 MC cartridges you are free of suspension problems then you’re wrong and it’s primarily depend on material used by a cartridge designer. If you think that "all modern" is better than could you please explain me why people are using an old drivers in their speakers, a very old nos tubes in their new high-end amps, vintage turntables paired with modern high-end equipment ?

The best MM cartridges designed in the 70s/80s because it was a hey day of MM technology. Nowadays most of the people have no idea what is a phono cartridge, but for some reason you think that modern MM are any better?

Using over 60 reference class vintage MM/MI cartridges from the 70s/80s I have’t seen more than 2-3 samples with dried or softened rubber suspension. When there is a problem with suspension, a cartridge body lay down on the record in 20 seconds with recommended tracking force (this is very easy to check before buying, and every honest seller will do that for you). If you can’t see this problem then suspension is fine. The rest is a fairy tale to scare people and force then to buy modern junk for higher price. A used audio market is pretty strong and always will be strong (Lightly used or NOS is a matter of luck) @mcmvmx

I tried various samples of SONY XL-50 and never seen this model with softened rubber suspension.  


Late to the party but I have both the mp110 and the mp150.
The 150 is an audible improvement over the 110.
However I bought mine way before the big price hikes so not sure as I now would say it is the way to go.
I have heard the 200 is quite a bit better than the 150 and obviously the 500 is the grail but at what price now!
Pre price rise I would have said it was a no brainer but at $500 for the mp200 there is a LOT of competition.

Maybe look at comparable priced AT carts or Hana.

mcmvmx, You are right. Your arm is to light for the Nagaoka as it stand but, you can add mass to the tonearm. There are head shell weights and special screws of various masses. I always have to tune my arm a little to get it just right. I feel the same way you do. I would never by an old cartridge. I've used many of them back in the day and there is nothing special there. Modern cartridges are better in every way. Materials science has advanced dramatically since the 70s and 80s. 
The Ortofon 2M series has a much higher compliance. The Clearaudio MMs a little lower so you would have to add a little weight. Another cartridge that gets very little air play in the States in the Goldring 1012 GX
It is a high compliance, high output MM with a Gyger II stylus. Perfect for your arm. 
but for some reason you think that modern MM are any better?

Where did I say that ? I never said that . I said that cartridge suspensions can change over the years . Thats it 
 Nothing more . Plus I know MM cartridges as I have been an avid audiophile for almost 50 years . All my favorite equipment are old timers as Dalquisht DQ 10 , Spica TC 50 , DCM time windows . Mac 225 , Dynaco 416 with capacitance supply . Linn LP12 , Systemdek x2 , Heybrook Turntable , AGI preamp and many more . Don't jump to conclusion and read carefully my friend . Plus I stand by my original argument . It's true,  cartridge suspension hardness can change over the years . Even temperture changes on a new cartridge can change its performance on a day to day basis .
It’s true, cartridge suspension hardness can change over the years . Even temperture changes on a new cartridge can change its performance on a day to day basis .

Nothing wrong with suspension inside any cartridge from my collection of the best vintage MM at the moment, please explain how it is possible if you think it must degraded in time? They are performing better than brand new cartridges. Many more people on audiogon have seen and heard exactly the same thing, those great MM are just better made than most of the new cartridges. And they can sound better if you know which one to buy (which exact model).

Also if everything is so bad with 30 y.o. suspension that why people are buying those cartridges for very high prices for an old design?

Each time I read something like "don’t buy any vintage MM because the suspension is dried or softened" I know it’s false at least in 99% cases, bought so many of them and (as I said) the worst are Technics MM - this is where the suspension is always dead and a cart is a low-rider and it’s so easy to check before buying, just play one side of the LP.

Anyway, this is just my own experience and I bought all those great cartridges in the past 7 years, not in the 70’s. I am using them right now.  

You can buy modern replacement styli for vintage cartridges that use modern synthetic rubbers that will last for decades out side. Styli back from the day are probably bad by now. Not only that but quality control was pretty poor back then. I frequently had to go through two or three cartridges to find one with a straight cantilever and a stylus pointed in the right direction. But the bodies are just copper coils so there is no reason they could not last forever. But, today we have better materials and magnets plus we have CAD. The Goldfinger used CAD to position its 12 magnets correctly. I personally see no reason to visit the past. Modern cartridges are better if you can afford them and I can.
I have been reading Chaks posts for YEARS on vintage MM carts and tried quite a few out myself mostly based on his glowing testimony.
Unfortunately I cannot say that any truly lit my fire, most did indeed work just fine although I did have one ADC cart collapse the suspension within a week of purchase ( sent back via eBay for full refund so no big deal).

Not a single one of them could get close to any of my good MC carts, not one. Think Koetsu Black Goldline, Scheu Analog SL, Ortofon Cadenza Black. Even the Ortofon 2M Black was a lot better to my ears.

Now maybe Chak does own some stellar examples I have not tried and I wish him all the best and hope he sincerely enjoys them but for myself there will be no more vintage MM experiments, just sold the last of them this morning!
@uberwalts the ADC is Raul’s favorite, not mine. You gave up pretty quick. In fact the ADC Astrion that Raul liked long time ago was the worst cartridge I even heard. 

Now please tell me do you own or owned any of my top-10 MM that I love and use for a long time against $5000 LOMC

AT-ML180
AT-ML170
Stanton CS-100 WOS
Pickering XSV/5000 or XLZ/7500
Grace LEVEL II BR/MR
Grace F14 Excellent
Grace F14 with Beryllium cantilever
Grado Signature XTZ

As far as i know you never owned any of them, correct me if I’m wrong.

My Favorite MC cartridges are:

Miyajima Kansui
Miyabi MCA
Miyabi Standard
Ikeda 9c III
FR-7fz

Seriously, If you want a stellar MM you (or anyone else) could ask me, not some idiots who's selling defective or worn/broken items cheaper. I only buy perfect samples or NOS samples for my collection. 




You can buy modern replacement styli for vintage cartridges that use modern synthetic rubbers that will last for decades out side. Styli back from the day are probably bad by now. Not only that but quality control was pretty poor back then.

@mijostin you can’t buy modern replacement for most of the best MM cartridges from the past because those type of cantilevers are NOT available anymore. But NOS originals are still available (but rare). If all post about weakness of rubber is nothing buy a fantasy, I have practically tested so many vintage MM (the best ones, not crap).

Instead you’re talking about rubber parts, do you think it’s more important ?

After years of contributing on this forum I have posted thousands of pictures and articles, but people like you ignoring everything and continue to post nonsense.

-Ever heard about Boron PIPE or Beryllium PIPE cantilevers ?

-Ever tried a ceramic cantilevers (also pipe) ?

-Sapphire or Ruby that are completely different from what SoundSmith can offer today ?

-Gold-Plated Beryllium maybe?

-Even aluminum cantilevers from Japan is not what you can buy today.

You will never find any of those great exotic cantilevers today, no matter how much you can pay, even on $20 000 MC you will never find a Beryllium anymore (production of this material was restricted long time ago), no more Boron Pipe (too expensive to made) ...

Quality control was MUCH higher and those cartridges made in JAPAN !
This country was way ahead of USA or Europe in technology.

This is the reason why the best MM are from JAPAN and they are extraordinary good even today because of the quality control and very high competition between the giants of the industry.

Even cartridge design (visually) was much better than all those ugly looking modern cartridges. Headshell integrated carts like this one is superior design and engineering. I can't post all of them here now, but there are so many amazing cartridges made in analog era, not in digital era. 








Chak
Do not take things so personally.
Did you not see the line in my post where I said you likely had some stellar carts I had not tried?
And I am really happy they work out for you so well.
Please share the same sentiments for those among us where they do not work out as well.
Thanks and stay safe
I'm pretty sure we are going overboard on the subject of new vs vintage in the context of phono cartridges . There is always a middle ground where we can all be happy .

I remember my first true highend cartridge , a Supex 901+ . It was a high output Moving Coil cartridge which sounded wounderful 
 Even today when you see them being sold at ebay , audiogon or USaudiomart they don't have to wait for long to be sold but they sell for quite a bit of money . And they are vintage . I bought mine at 1979 , cost me 225.00 at that time . Had it connected to the phonostage of a Audionics by Oregon BT2 phonostage and that into a pair of Dynaco Mark 6 mono block power amps .

What I am trying to say is when a piece of equipment is good , it is good , period . Take a well performing pair of Dalquist DQ10 speaker and I'm pretty sure they can stand their ground against any modern speaker design with the latest and greatest computer animated design 

So don't disregard something just because it was design 20 or 30 years ago . Same thing applies to vintage cartridges . I remember Harry Pearson of the Absolute Sound use to say that the midrange of the ADC MM cartridges is the best he has heard in his life . Apply the same to the midrange of the Marantz 8B tube amp
I'm kinda a newbie here but I have the mp-200 and I loved it... until I discovered the world of MC carts.  If you're looking for more detail and refinement, save up and go for a HOMC.  Maybe a Hana S or lower end Dynavector.  I really dug the balanced and warm way the mp-200 presented the music but in terms of detail and realism, there's no contest.  To be fair, the MC cart I got to replace the Nag was around $700 but it was worth it!  On another topic the tracking ability of a Shibata or Microline stylus is way better, especially if you listen to classical music with it's large dynamic shifts.  Of course you can get an MM with said styli but I'd make the jump to a decent MC.
As far as I remember, an MP200 has a boron cantilever, which pushes it up to a much better product classification. It is worth the extra.
I’ve also been using the MP150 for some time and holding for a bit saving up for a new one. My arm is Jelco 750 and phonostage is RCM Sensor 2... was thinking of upgrading to MP500 but would greatly appreciate any recommendations around $1k. Soundsmith Carmen 2 and Hana El also on my list.

* I’m not familiar with Grace but I do know Larry Levan used them at the legendary Paradise Garage with Infinity Black Widow arm, can’t remember the model, a friend told me once, probably would have been a really sturdy cantilever. (I listen to a lot of music from that era).
As I have said previously the mp150 is an excellent cartridge but at present prices not sure it is THAT much better than the mp110, both of which I own and know very well.
The mp200 would likely be the next step up from the mp110 imho if not for the fairly recent price hikes .
As has been established there is a lot of competition at the $500 mark whether you go vintage or new mm/mi or even mc.

Best of luck OP, it is a tough choice at that price range but if you really like the house Nag sound then maybe the mp200 would be the right call.
YMMV
* I’m not familiar with Grace but I do know Larry Levan used them at the legendary Paradise Garage with Infinity Black Widow arm, can’t remember the model, a friend told me once, probably would have been a really sturdy cantilever. (I listen to a lot of music from that era).


No @au_lait , your friend was wrong. 
At the Paradise Garage you can only identify Stanton cartridges on Infinity Black Widow tonearms. It was American standard at that time! So you can see on this image that Larry using them. I think it was 681 series, here is more about this model.

Grace is a Japanese cartridge and for America it was an exotic. But both brads supplied phono cartridges for professional studios, radio and disco. A cantilever on all professional models is aluminum, Stanton never used any other type of cantilever (only aluminum on all models, except sapphire coated aluminum on his latest signature CS100 WOS). Grace made disco cartridges with Beryllyum cantilever and it's a huge advantage over aluminum, but for higher price! 
Grace made disco cartridges with Beryllyum cantilever and it's a huge advantage over aluminum, but for higher price! Strange that they would use beryllyium as it is a very brittle element for disco use .
Post removed 
@chakster I got that info personally from DJ Harvey via Francois K (who was in the booth every week)... and here is Larry himself talking about Grace carts:

“I’m going to get two more turntables so that as the night goes on, I can upgrade the sound. So I use cheap cartridges in the beginning and upgrade – I have $150 Grace cartridges which I’m really into but you can’t backcue with them. At five AM you’d say ‘what is that?’ because a record should sound as good as a tape.”

https://www.djtimspins.com/larry-levan-interview/?cn-reloaded=1
For the record... Grace Disco stylus has nothing to do with DJs. It was marketed to audiophiles. It is a high quality nude diamond. I assume the name comes from the fact that it is spherical. The F9D, which I own, has a recommended tracking force of 1.2 g, the same as other Grace F9 models (F9P has a significantly higher VTF because it was meant to be used in heavy professional arms, i.e. radio stations). the F9D is a very good sounding cartridge.
I'd try and snag a Shure m97xe, if you can find one. It's a great mm cartridge with styling cues from the shure v15, with the drop down stabilizer brush. To me it's a great sounding mm cartridge. 
Well guys . I took a desicion and sent my broken Ortofon Salsa Moving Coil Cartridge to soundsmith to be recantilevered . It will have a shappire cantilever with lasercut nude line contact stylus for 300 bucks 
 Not bad and I really liked the way it sounded in my system with its aluminum cantilever so I assume that with a shappire camtilever it'll sound even better . My MP 110 will be relegated to second hand duties . Plus the rebuilt will have 1 year warrantee . Not bad , not bad at all 
 Anybody have experience dealing with soundsmith ?
I got that info personally from DJ Harvey via Francois K (who was in the booth every week)... and here is Larry himself talking about Grace carts:

“I’m going to get two more turntables so that as the night goes on, I can upgrade the sound. So I use cheap cartridges in the beginning and upgrade – I have $150 Grace cartridges which I’m really into but you can’t backcue with them. At five AM you’d say ‘what is that?’ because a record should sound as good as a tape.”

@au_lait Thanks for the link, very nice! It could be Grace F8 or F9 then, but as you can see on the actual images from the DJ booth at P.G. there are only Stanton cartridges in use. But I’m glad to read than Larry was familiar with Grace, maybe he’s been using them later when Thorens were replaced with Technics turntables? I have nearly all best Grace models in my collection with too many NOS styli, I love this brand!

BTW I have never seen DJ Harvey or Francois K with some nice cartridges in use, like most of the DJs they are using average modern DJ cartridges (nothing special). And Francois K is digital now (not even vinyl).

For the record... Grace Disco stylus has nothing to do with DJs. It was marketed to audiophiles. It is a high quality nude diamond. I assume the name comes from the fact that it is spherical.

@fsellet Grace DISCO was made for Radio and DJs, there is no other meaning for term "disco" when it comes to the cartridges, they are for professional use, remember radio djs ? Even top of the line Grace model such as LEVEL II had a "disco" version with Beryllium cantilever. This is a truly High-End Disco cartridge, not like today’s cheap DJ cartridges with bonded styli, but Grace is from another era, quality was very important for DJs back then.


The F9D, which I own, has a recommended tracking force of 1.2 g, the same as other Grace F9 models (F9P has a significantly higher VTF because it was meant to be used in heavy professional arms, i.e. radio stations). the F9D is a very good sounding cartridge.

The best in F9 series are RS9F and RS9U styli (Shibata type and line Contact type).

Even RS9 Ruby has an elliptical tip just like RS9E stylus.

The High-End styli starts with F12 and F14 models and this is where you can find exotic types like Ceramic Cantilever, Boron, Beryllium, Sapphire, Ruby ... and finally MicroRidge diamonds. I have them all in my collection. Grace LEVEL II series is not compatible with F9, F12 and F14, but LEVEL II is my favorite series (same type of styli/cantilevers available for LEVEL II).

I don’t like spherical diamonds, the life span is too short, but they are very cheap and for professional needs they are OK, but not for critical listening (imo).





From the F9 manual:

"Grace deems the F9D a playback standard and recommends it with pride to music lovers, audio enthusiasts and professional users."
" The F9P satisfies the extraordinary demands made by professionals, while bringing the F9F quality"

Q.E.D.
OP.
I have a Soundsmith Bohemme cartridge. $1200 retail. I used It for several years. Recently got a Nag MP-200 for $385. In my system, the Nag blew away the Soundsmith. YMMV.
@fsellet

 From the F9 manual: "Grace deems the F9D a playback standard and recommends it with pride to music lovers, audio enthusiasts and professional users."" The F9P satisfies the extraordinary demands made by professionals, while bringing the F9F quality"

The "D" and "P" styli are conical and can't reproduce extended frequency range as "F" (shibata type or line contact type) invented for quadraphonic records (Discrete-4). 

So the "P" can't bring the quality of "F", the rest in marketing. 

F9F frequency response: 10 - 60 000 Hz
F9P  frequency response: 20 - 20 000 Hz


All those cartridges are from the 70's.

In the 80's Grace made much better cartridges and even their "disco" models were high-end (with beryllium cantilevers). 







I love PJ Harvey! Chak, I have been at this since 1965 and I have used most of those cartridges. Certainly the better ones as mentioned in reviews of the times. I have seen web sites where you can order replacement styli for antique cartridges. But, I am going to side with Uberwaltz on this one. Forgetting about MC cartridges there is no antique MM cartridge that can hold a candle to a Clearaudio Charisma in terms of build quality, tracking and sound quality. Some Japanese companies make fabulous cartridges, others just so so. Clearaudio makes consistently fine cartridges with build quality as good as any of the Jap companies as does Ortofon. Making generalizations is usually a mistake. 
I’m well late to this party, but wanted to share that I successfully added an MP500 (J-NP500) stylus to an MP150 body with excellent results, even though it’s not the recommended upgrade for the MP150. The resulting sound was a nice upgrade over the MP150 cart and stylus. In fairness, I haven’t tried the MP200 stylus, so can’t comment on those differences, but the J-NP500 stylus can definitely be added to the MP150/MP200 body.

The MP150H (nude elliptical on a tapered aluminum cantilever) was ~ $311, and had excellent midrange texture, spacious soundstage, and outstanding separation. Mostly very impressive. The treble had excellent air and detail, but slightly more emphasis on sibilance than I was used to with my AT-VM95SH nude shibata. The MP500 (superfine line contact diamond on a boron cantilever) tamed that slight emphasis nicely, and then some, retaining many of the attributes of the MP150 and enhancing others. The addition of the MP500 stylus cost ~ $256, so it wasn’t an inexpensive venture, but it allowed me progress incrementally, and also saved some cash in the long run vs buying the MP500 outright, which often retails in the $700 and $800 range now. I’m sure it’s not exactly the same as an MP500, but the resulting sound is very pleasing IMHO.

My understanding is that the MP100/MP110, MP150/MP200, and MP300/MP500 share the same bodies, and only differ by stylus. It’s worth noting that the MP200 and MP300 allegedly have essentially the same nude elliptical diamond on a boron cantilever, but their coils differ slightly. If that’s true, and the MP200 and MP300 stylus is the same, then it’s logical that the MP500 stylus would work well with the MP200 body also, as well as on the MP150 body. If you have an MP150 or MP200, a J-NP 500 stylus will work just fine.