i used to have that table and i started with the goldring eroica but replaced it with a dynavector (i think dv10x 5 ). I thought the dynavector was significantly better
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I have loved my MMF 7.1 for several years and don't feel the need to change. The Eroica is a fine cartridge. I routinely check the speed by strobe disc and it is always perfect. The clamp works well. I believe it is a great intro into vinyl for a very good price. I believe it is more important to choose a great phono pre-amp and that it is more important than the platter and as important as the cartridge. I have tried several and have settled on the Graham Slee Era Gold V. Many like the PS Audio. I think it takes as much money for the phono stage as the TT, in my case each about $1000. So, $2000 for TT, cartridge, and phono stage. Lots of opinions out there, this is just one, and I spin more silver discs than vinyl ones but my vinyl setup outshines my digital setup by a wide margin. Have fun and enjoy the music!
I bought a used MMF-7 (not the 7.1 w/ the carbon arm) about a year ago as my first entry into vinyl. I got it for $650 here, and it was the best thing I did in a long time. I then replaced the Grado Green that was on it with an AT150MLX (again found here for $200) and it is just lovely. I like the previous advise about a good quality phono-pre. That is probably as important as the TT.
One other piece of advise I would add. Get a digital force gage (either here or ebay for not more than $55), download alignment protractors from vinylengine or vinylasylum and learn how to use them, and finally, invest in a good RCM like a Nitty Gritty or VPI.
As always, JMHO YMMV
I have owned an MMF-7 for a couple years. The first thing I did was buy a Herbies TT mat, nice sound quality improvement. Then I got rid of the Eroica HO cart and put on a slightly used Benz Glider HO. That wasn't just a subtle difference, it was dramatic. That's when I finally started to really enjoy what vinyl's all about. Next was adding the Project Speed Box mK II. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have electronically controlled speed. IMO a must have on any TT. And changing 33.3 to 45 RPM at touch of button is sweet. This was another significant upgrade. Just a week ago I received a Rogue Stealth phono pre, Magnum version. Once again a giant leap in sound quality. So I would recommend not getting the Eroica and put on a cart that works with your phono stage. A Benz Glider HO (2.5 mV) will work with MM phono stage and you won't need to change the stock counterweight. Then upgrade as funds come available to you.
I've been using a mmf-7 with the Pro-Ject 9 aluminum arm for over four years and haven't gotten the upgrade bug yet. (I actually have two mmf-7 'tables.) I did upgrade cartridges though. The Eroica isn't a bad cartridge and if you can get one included for less than $200 it might be worth it. Depends on whether you've got the extra cash to buy a separate cartridge that's equal to or better than the Eroica/2400 and what your phono stage (preamp) can accomodate. I now run low output moving coil cartridges (my preference) but keep the Eroica around as a spare/emergency cartridge.
I agree with Ehaller about the Herbie's mat; it improved overall dynamics and tonal balance and reduced surface noise with my setup. I wasn't quite as impressed with the Speed Box; it may or may not make a big difference. If you have good clean power you may not notice a dramatic improvement, but it is a nice addition.
I also agree with the others about a good phono preamp. It will make a big difference if your current phono stage is on the lower end of the spectrum. And like Tgrisham and Ehaller, I eventually spent about the same price for a phono stage as I paid for the turntable. I started out with a Jolida JD9 and still use it, but the Rogue Stealth is my preferred phono preamp.
The mmf-7.1 with the new carbon arm seems like a good deal compared with other turntables in its price class.
Agree with Ehaller and Tketcham . . . I have virtually the same set up. MMF-7 is a pretty good turntable for the money. The arm is the only weak link. The herbie's mat is a great upgrade. The speedbox is a great upgrade as well - made a positive, audible difference in my system, and it's really convenient if you spin anything at 45 rpm. I am also using a stealth phono preamp, it beat out a jolida JD9A by a good margin in my system as well. I'm running a dynavector 10x5 and pretty happy with the sound. MMF-7.1 is probably a little bit better with the carbon fiber arm tube, but the basic arm mechanics look pretty (or completely) similar so I wouldn't spend the extra money. A used MMF-7 is a good value. Haven't listened to any goldring cartridges so I can't comment.
Thank you for your feedback. I went ahead and ordered a Music Hall 7.1 w/ the Goldring 2400 (better deal than the combo w/the Eroica) and a Herbie's mat..that should be a good starting point. As far as the pre, I'm using a Belles 28A so it has a built-in phono section. A friend of mine used the Belles with his Nottingham table w/ satisfactory results...though I didn't grill him on specifics. I am most curious about the cartridge, as the Dynavector 10X5 has been mentioned here as well as by some folks I spoke with at a very reputable analog store here in Minneapolis. I already have a Gingko Cloud platform, and I see from an Analog Focus article in the March issue of Absolute Sound, the platform, if weighted correctly, seems to be an added plus. Thanks again!
I am skeptical about using a speed box with the 7.1 In my experience using a strobe disc the speed was absolutely perfect with no visible or audible variation. I even asked Music Direct about using the speed box and he said he would be happy to sell me one but that the speed was so constant on the 7.1 that he thought it wasn't worth the money. Instead spend it on buying records!
I think you'll really enjoy your new turntable and the Goldring 2400. The Pro-Ject arm's biggest flaw I think is the tonearm mounting post design. It's not a very good fit and subject to misalignment (off-vertical) when you adjust height for SRA. As for cartridges, I've been running a Dynavector DV-20XL cartridge for the past year and it sounds great with the mmf-7. It was a lot of money (for me) to spend on a cartridge but it was worth it. It does involve changing out the stock counterweight for a heavyweight (120g) counterweight, available at http://www.musicdirect.com/product/73925.
I found specs for the Belles 28A and noticed that it has settings for a moving coil cartridge (including variable adjustments in impedance/resistance loading, nice!) but the gain doesn't look right; 26 dB of gain isn't much, unless they figure you'd be using a step-up transformer/headamp with it. I run my 20XL with 50 dB of gain and it seems to perform best with resistance loadings below 100 Ohms. (Based on my experience and numerous threads about this cartridge.) I run mine at 70 Ohms now (started out at 44 Ohms) and it sounds very nice.
I haven't heard the Dynavector 10x5 so can't compare the two, but if you can wait to upgrade cartridges and you can accomodate a LOMC with 0.3 mV of output and 100 or less Ohms resistance, then the extra $300 to get a 20XL might be something to consider. I'd just play the Goldring 2400 for a while and get to know the sound of your system with the new 'table and cartridge. Then you'll have a better idea of what you like and dislike about the 2400 for comparison with other cartridges.
PS: Another LOMC cartridge to consider is the AT33PTG, which I also like a lot, but I'll note a couple cautions: Namely, it's not a U.S.A. warranted product and it has a tiny stylus that is not easy to see for alignment. That aside, it's a great cartridge for the money.
I'm just registered to share my expirience. I've just changed preinstalled Goldring Eroica H cartridge and enjoy my MMF 7.1 table after a year of non-listening (because of very disgusting sound)
I must say that Goldring Eroica H preinstalled cartridge has no sound at all, when it is compared to Sumiko Blue Point Special Evo III. It's absolutely gorgeous cartridge!!!. Fantastic sound. It took me about 1 hour to replace cartridges.
I wrote a little instruction here (to help the beginners):
I. Leads are very hard to pull off.
II You should retighten leads before get them on the new cartridge, but be carefull with wires! Wire colors from tonearm match pin colors on Sumiko cartridge.
III When you will take off Eroica, it's nuts tend to stick to the cartridge (because of the magnet) - in case if you would think you've lost them.
I need to say that Sumiko cartridge doesn't require any nuts - it has threads in installation plate.
Also I must add that Sumiko cartridge doesn't have a cap, but belive me - it's not very important thing.
IV You should use protractor from tonearm (supplied with turntable) to align the cartridge and digital scale to adjust tracking weight (2,0g) Also you will need to set up VTA - this can be tricky. You should look in the bottom round groove behind tonearm. You will find there two holes with hex screws inside, but to get in there you will need an Allen hex key with shortened end (supplied with turntable). It's made like this because holes are the same level as a bottom line of the groove (for some unknown reason). You should put on your mat and vinyl disk of typical thickness. Then you should set a level of tonearm spindle so printed horizontal line will be parallel to vinyl (not bottom line, because it's conical). When you will finish, tighten the screws (without excess force).
V Last thing - set impedance to 47kOhms and capacitance to 200pF - this parameter is very crucial, otherwise you will get high-pitched squeal sound.
VI Don't forget to put back antiscate weight and ENJOY!!