I had the Nagaoka MP-500 in my system for about 6 months and found it to be fairly engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed my listening sessions during this period. Soundstage, imaging, etc. were pretty reasonable compared to other fairly high-end MC cartridges I have (Transfiguration Orpheus, Dynavector XV-1S), obviously at a fraction of the cost. The biggest differentiation was only a modest level of retreiving detail for the Nagaoka; again compared to other cartridges that excell in this area. I would recommend the cartridge for anyone wanting to have a MM experience.
that's quite interesting.Given the other cartridges you have,in comparing to the MP-500 that's saying alot.Having just (blindly without ever hearing) purchased an MP-500,and not being able to set it up yet,could you elaborate alittle more? what impedence are you running it 47k,100k etc, could you characterize it in tonality, midrange quality,spatial cues etc?I've actually spoke with another A'goner he concluded it compared VERY well to his Allaerts MC 1. Can this be anywhere near true?
Hickory, Don't let Raul hear you say this :-)
My friend has a Nagaoka MP 500 and he's brought it to another A'goner who has both the MP-50 and two Allaerts. My guess is we might be refering to the same person here and would be interesting to get their inputs but don't expect them to post as they are too busy enjoying themselves at a Lencophiles meet in UK at the moment.
Downunder, you baiting him.. ;)
I hope you Lencophile friends give me some hints here! ;p
Sorry for not getting back sooner. I used 47k for resistive loading (not able to easily set 100k on my phono stage.). The midrange was the most appealing segment of the frequency range which was great for vocals. Spatially, there was a bit less definition in localizing sound (e.g. from different vocalists or instruments compared to higher end MC cartridges. As others have described, there was an aesthetic appeal and a rounded warmth to the sound that gave a nice musical presentation. My electronics (Spectral pre and amp) are capable of retrieving very fine detail, which in the case of the Nagaoka MP-500 were just not brought out or as well resolved as with higher end cartridges.
I tend to rotate cartridges once or twice a year, for variety. (I just have a single arm, Vector 4 on Basis 2500 turntable). It may be another 2 years before I get back to the Nagoaka. As the next MM, I hope to install my Shure V15xMR which is currently at Soundsmith for retipping.
Just on the off chance someone might still be looking at this thread...
Any update on how the Shure V15VxMR went in retipped Soundsmith version?
You'll find that all the Nagaoka cartridges sound pretty much the same, at least I do. I have three. They are very engaging, and throw a wide believable sound stage. They remind me quite a bit of my Denon 103. Not nearly as fast or dynamic as most cartridges today... the basic design is nearly 40 years old.. but a very rewarding listening experience. Nagaoka's are probably my favorite cartridges. Try an MP 11 (MP110) if you don't want to invest in the 500 and see if you like it. You might be pleasantly surprised. The Boron models are the sweetest.
For a MM cart that has MC-like ability to extract ambience and low level detail, and isn't extinct like the Shure V15VxMR (but has a similar if not identical stylus cut), I very much favor the Audio Technica AT150MLX. This is in current production, costs less than even the Nagaoka, and is the spiritual successor of those highly regarded Signet carts from the golden age of vinyl.
Could you describe in some details how this Audio Technica sounds ? How good are the dynamics, bass, overall coherence etc.? Do you think it is generally speaking better than Goldring 1042?
Would appreciate your thoughts.
I have been running a MP500 for awhile now. My stage is fixed at 43db/47k/100pf. The cartridge has a nice midrange and plenty of detail. I found it more resolving than HOMC's in my set-up.
I too own an MP-500 it currently rides in an Origin Live Silver,I have to agree with Normansizemore, it is a very engaging cartridge that throws a wide believable soundstage that frequently extends well beyond the speakers boundaries.
Similar to Slowhead I run mine into a fixed stage as well,43db/47k and I'm getting phenomenal results.I am in the process of having my phonostage's MM section allow for variable loading, to see how much further this cartridge can improve.
when I purchased the 500 I wasn't expecting this level of refinement and transparency,as mentioned it's not the fastest nor most dynamic, it is truly an enjoyable cartridge.
Dear friends: Yes this Nagaoka cartridges are a lot better that any one of us could think ( before we bought it ) due that's a MM cartridge design with a very low price against top LOMC ones.
Yes, the cartridge loading options/alternatives are very important for the Nagaoka and other MM/MI cartridges can shows you at its best.
It is not only if we loaded at 47k or 100k the capacitance value is very important too and we have to look and test the cartridge with different capacitance values.
Regards and enjoy the music,