Was recently at a Nagaoka dealer, and they told me the 200 was the sweet spot, but the 500 is very good. I'm not familiar with MM's, but I have theories based on what I have heard from others. Perhaps the MM's (in general) are a little less revealing than MC's. This may be a blessing with average to poor sounding LP's. I have heard very good things about the Clearaudio Maestro. The dealer also mentioned Nagaoka excels on traditional S-shaped arms such as Jelco, Ortofon, SME.... I did hear a Rega MM that day, and it was pretty darned good for $100. Not sure of the model, but I believe entry level. Though I'm a bit out of touch, my guess is I would prefer a good MM over any digital.
Not gonna mention fjn's slur on MM cartridges. God help any product that sounds good; it will be accused of masking faults. But anyway, how is it that the MP200 would be superior to the MP500? As I understand it, the 500 is more expensive and with superior features to the 200. Could it be that this particular dealer had 200s to sell? Naaaah.
Of course, I could be misinformed in my sarcasm. Sometimes a less expensive product entry in the line-up of a particular maker will indeed sound better than its more expensive sibling. I just checked LPGear; the 200 is less than half the cost of the 500. So it would behoove you to know if fjn's dealer is talking through his hat, or not.
Raul used to like the ancestor of the MP500, the MP50, quite a bit. That's all I have to go on, besides a great love and appreciation for what MM and MI cartridges can do. My cartridge bias has reversed; I now think that it's a rare MC cartridge that can meaningfully beat out the best of the MMs and MIs, of which there are many choices. Dollar for dollar, there's no contest.
That's why I use Goldring 1042 MM for now and don't consider any MC lower than Lyra Delos. But I thought that Nagaoka 500 could be a meaningful step up from the Goldring.
Nottingham Spacedeck/Spacearm, AcousTech phono stage. Not going to upgrade right away, this is for the future.
I could have explained that more carefully. I believe there is a 100, 200, 300, and 500 series. I was surprised they carried Nagaoka, so I asked the sales guy what the sweet spot was. He said the 200 series. So just to be clear, he did not say the 200 was as good as the 500. What I got out of it was the 300 is marginally better than the 200, thus making the 200 the Sweet spot. The 500 is clearly the best of the current models.
I have the MP-500--a fine cart, tho I haven't listened to it lately. In terms of MMs, my current fave is a Shelter 201 w/SAS stylus. Signet TKLca is a top performer as well. I'd put the Nagaoka on a tier below that, along with the AT-50ANV.
You've inspired me to mount it now.
In terms of MMs, my current fave is a Shelter 201 w/SAS stylus. Signet TKLca is a top performer as well. I'd put the Nagaoka on a tier below that, along with the AT-50ANV.
Is that SAS stylus still available for the 201? Which stylus is it--the one for the Sumiko Pearl? Also, did you mean the AT150ANV?
Yes, it's the SAS-1. Just became available again, now with sapphire instead of boron cantilever. I bought it to fit the Arcam P-77, but it fits the 201 fine. Not sure about the Pearl.
And, yes, I did mean the 150ANV.
Maxson: Thanks for the info. How did you know the SAS-1 would fit the Shelter 201? I have an AT150MLX, which comes standard with the boron cantilever (like many Nagaokas) but the AT150ANV has a sapphire cantilever like the SAS-1. The boron replacement stylus for the AT150MLX runs about $258 but I notice that the Jico SAS-1 with sapphire cantilever is $211. Strikes me as a relatively good deal.
I picked up a Shelter 201 just to check it out and I'm pretty impressed. I take it that the SAS-1 replacement stylus noticeably elevates its performance?
Thanks in advance.
I didn't know in advance that it would fit the Shelter. I bought it for the P-77. Then I saw online it would fit the Shelter.
I've had the Shelter for quite awhile but hadn't mounted it recently. When I did I was really happy with how propulsive it was, even explosive. Putting the SAS on it made it much more refined and just as dynamic.
The boron cantilever SAS was around $150, so it used to be even more cost effective.
I have a few Nagaoka's. They have a signature sound and all of them sound more 'alike' than different from each other. If you have a Denon 103 MC, you will find that the Nagaoka's are their MM counterparts. They are laid back, with outstanding bottom end, beautiful midrange and clean clear highs.. Not a 'sparkling' sound, but one you can listen too day in and day out for hours on end.. Smooth and relaxed.
One of my daily drivers is an MP11 Boron. Listening to it now.
Norman, thank you. How much laidback? Goldring 1042 that I run with Nottingham Spacedeck/Spacearm is neither forward nor laidback, I'd say, it follows the recording. No sparkling highs either but very clear too.