You must have read Stereophile's review. If you did, and if you believe the reviewer, you must get rid of the supplied cartridge.
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I'm running a Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood on my 7.1 and it sounds fantastic. What's your budget? What are you using for a phono stage? If your setup supports low output MC carts, the Hana SL is a great value.
I'm wondering if anyone has found any upgrades for the feet. On the 7.1 at least, the motor is so close to the foot on the front left that it seems impossible to put a bigger heavier set of feet on, which I think would help with isolation.
Big Greg my phono preamp is a Vincent PHO 8. Not high dollar but very good for the money and yes I've wondered about the feet myself. I'm going to try 2 different isolation devices. One a Delrin platform a friend gave me and another is an acrylic platform that has rubber feet. It's very good for the money and listed for over $200 new. I can't think of the name right now. My budget is approximately $800 or less.
Same question every week from different users of cheap belt drive turntables.
Some killer cartridges for your Music Hall:
Stanton 881s mkII or 980
Pickering XSV-3000 or 4500
Victor X-1IIe or X-1II
Audio-Technica AT-ML-150 OCC or AT-ML170
Grace F-9 or F14
Garrott P77 or P77i
Audio-Technics AT15SL or AT20SLa
*How much are you willing to spend on a cartridge ?
Thank you Chakster for taking the time to recommend some cartridges. I realize the 7.3 isn't a VPI or a substantial turntable build wise however, I don't need a TT of that build quality right now. The Music Hall hits a sweet spot in their line-up and my budget for the moment.
Thank you very much noromance. Those cartridges hit within my budget. I just want to have some fun with vinyl and enjoy my limited vinyl collection. My main source is a LUMIN and a T+A DAC 8.
Those cartridges hit within my budget. I just want to have some fun with vinyl and enjoy my limited vinyl collection.
@samzx12 Let me add this link again, the article is very interesting, not new, but still valuable to learn MM vs MC subject. It's about MM that sounds like Mastertape, people who made such statement are professional mastering/cutting engineers. You can't go wrong with Stanton or Audio-Technica models from that article.
There is a nice Graphite Mat produced by 47 Labs in Japan, it's lightweight and fine for belt drive turntables. They call it "The Mat" and it's the latest incarnation of the famous Boston Audio Mat (you will find tons of reviews).
The ringmat, the original one if it can be had, otherwise the 200 model is a great upgrade. Ringmat has long been used/recommended with this table. The eroica h or lx are two cheaper alternate goldring cartridges that go well with the arm. In fact the original mmf-7 came with the eroica h, still available new. I would also get rid of the interconnects and go with a low capacitance set from Graham slee, or atlas cables, and maybe even rothwell the river.....this table is picky about what it sits on, the feet it comes with are fine. You need to experiment with some sort of surface to rest it on, maybe a slab of granite, or even a thick butcher block made of maple or walnut. I sold off my original mmf-7, wish I had not....its a great quiet table which responds well to cartridge changes. It is honestly Roy Hall’s masterpiece. The 9 and 11, with 3 and 4 plinths becomes redundant. Michael Fremer even commented on this, saying that the 7 is the "Sweet spot" in the Music Hall line up.
The cartridge the table comes with is a fine cartridge, the 2m bronze. That’s what Roy Hall thinks anyhow...he responded in kind to that review on stereophile defending the cartridge choice. Michael Fremer also thinks highly of the 2m bronze, as he mentions on Anolog Planet that yes, in inferior set ups, it may be deemed to sound aweful...but in a great system it could sound great. He also mentioned that pairing it with a good tubed phono stage may make someone smitten.
Getting back to a nice mat option that will minimize static and improve overall sound, I’d recommend taking a look at the auditorium 23 standard mat @ 95 dollars. They make one called the hommage, but that one is more than twice the price. The aforementioned A23 standard mat has woven striations on one surface, the one that contacts the LP. My thinking, in reading about the history of the ringmat design, is that the striations on the A23 mat may help dissipate energy and resonances by allowing a bit of air between the record bottom and the mat. Lastly, for support, I’d recommend a butcher block acoustics platform. They offer them with brass threaded inserts to accommodate a variety of feet, which can also be purchased from them. In setting up the mmf-7, you want to make sure the motor housing is dead center within the round cut out. This will ensure proper belt tension and accurate speed. Just a note, If using the ringmat record support mat, they do not recommend using a clamp or weight of any kind. Lastly, I’ve also read whereas one user/owner utilized a ground wire, attaching it to one of the bearing housing screws beneath the table. He then attached the other end to either the ground post of TT or to the center screw of the wall outlet plate. This was done in an attempt to minimize static, for which acrylic platters are notorious. He claims to have had success with this method.
Oh, One more thing I swear! The music hall connect phono cable are said to be a great upgrade over the provided cables.
"I don't need a TT of that build quality right now. The Music Hall hits a sweet spot in their line-up and my budget for the moment."
Don't cheapen yourself! The mmf-7.3 can stand up to turntables 2 and 3 times the price! It is a wonderfully designed table and can handle cartridges way way beyond the 2m bronze, although the 2m bronze is no slouch! I own this table in the walnut finish (I dislike black due to fingerprints and dust). I would be in no hurry to replace the 2m bronze as I believe the reviewer is deaf. Roy Hall posted a great rebuttal to his review, defending his choice of the cartridge. If you team the 2m bronze with a Tubed phono stage such as the pro-ject tube box ds2 or the Tavish Design the classic, I think you might be smitten.
"Same question every week from different users of cheap belt drive turntables."
Ok smart azz...the mmf-7.3 costs just as much as your beloved and much over rated dj, not to mention fugly, technics. Just because it is direct drive does not in any way make it sound any better than a well designed belt drive. The motor beneath the platter is not the optimum way to do things....the noise goes right into the stylus. The 7.3 is a well thought out design with the motor outside the plinth and opposite the tonearm...similar to revolver. Go talk to Roy Hall about your DD....the technics has an inferior tonearm and way less isolation from vibrations if any.
Ok smart azz...the mmf-7.3 costs just as much as your beloved and much over rated dj, not to mention fugly, technics.
My turntables are Luxman PD-444 (two of them), Victor TT-101 and Denon DP-80 if you didn’t get it yet.
I sold my beloved Technics long time ago, it wasn’t the SL1200 series you are referring too !!! Actually only one tonearm cost $5000
I recommend new and cheaper Technics for those who wish to buy a great “made in Japan” turntable under $1000 (or under $1700) !
There is NOTHING better at this price on the market today since Technics returned with $4k SL1200GAE and intoduced SP10R and then made SL1200G, GR (for $1700) and Mk7 (for $900)... all with super powerful and precise/stable coreless direct drive motor and great (fully adjustable) tonearms with detachable headshell!
At certain age it’s too hard to understand (or too late to discover) something you never tried before and won’t try today.
But my posts about Technics addressed to other people, not to you with your overpriced belt drive toys and almost zero knowledge about Japanese direct drive turntables and tonearms.
A person who associate Technics only with DJ turntables is know nothing c.....t
Music Hall for the money is a very good turntable. Well thought out design but is no match for a VPI or something similar in my opinion. A dealer who is a vinyl head said Roy Halls tables are poop and you have to spend $4k or more to get really good sound from vinyl. He knew Roy Hall and told him that to his face lol. Personally I don’t think his tables are poop but designed around a price point. Plain and simple but they do outperform a lot of tables below approximately $3K. I enjoyed mine but moved on to a VPI Classic and a Dynavector 20x2L. No comparison. I never tried a MC cartridge on the 7.3 but I’m sure it would have raised the sound quality quite a bit.
That table isn't really designed to be "upgraded". It's a decent table and will respond well to cartridge upgrades, but you'll never get what a cartridge is fully capable of delivering on that table. You can do some tweaks to isolate it better if needed - platforms, isolation pucks, etc., but it's not worth putting a lot of money into. It's a very decent plug and play table, but that's what it is.
The turntable is your foundation. If it's not up to the task, putting a better cartridge on it won't allow you to realize the potential of that cartridge. As far as I know, you can't upgrade that tonearm, and if you could, it wouldn't be worth it. The motor is what it is. It's nice that it's isolated, but it may not be spot on for speed unless you have it in the right spot. Have you ever tested the speed?
You're better off saving the money you'd spend on tweaks for a better table with a better plinth, motor, bearings, tonearm, wiring, etc. That all matters.
I had a 7.1 and it was a decent table, but not in the same league as my VPI Classic 2 or Acoustic Signature Wow XL (which of course cost a lot more). I've owned more affordable turntables that were better than the 7.1 including my Technics SL1200 MK2 (with a few tweaks) and JVC QL-Y66F, both of which I picked up for around $500 each.
The guy who put down the SL1200 and claimed the 7.3 is better, is certainly entitled to his opinion, but having owned both (well, close - the 7.1 and 7.3 are pretty much the same), I disagree. I still have the SL 1200 MK2 in my main system (out of 6 tables I own) and no longer own the MMF 7.1, if that tells you anything.