Moving Magnet or Coil? The Shure V15VxMR is nice for the price.
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I agree with Sugarbrie. For your listening taste and preamp, the Type V is unbeatable: high output (around 4-5 mV), replaceable stylus, low tracking force, 'four wheel drive', accurate and musical. You can get it for around $225 if you shop carefully.
I listen to all kinds of music and have a Monolithic Sound outboard phono stage, so I chose the Ortofon X5 high output MC (2 mV). Got it new in the box through member 2Juki and for $110 I don't think you could get anything better anywhwere:
You do not mention any line conditioner in your system. In mine, it is the single most important component. You really need a good power line conditioner that will help out the Adcom's phono stage noise floor. Jon Risch's power line conditioner design can be obtained in kit form for something like $98 from www.diycable.com/ You would have to spend $440 on a Tice A/V Solo to make any more spending worthwhile.
If I'd been the first person to respond to your thread, I would also have suggested the Shure V15VxMR. (One note: the Shure has an output of 3.0 mV, not 4-5 as noted above.) But, since I'm not the first, I'll add the other suggestion I would have made: one of the Grado cartridges that retail for $200-300. They have high output as well -- a bit more than the Shure -- and also offer good tracking.
A Stanton 881S that is dialed in and properly loaded will mop the floor with the Shure. The Stanton can be found for well under $200 brand new, making it the best buy in moving magnet cartridges on the market.
I will say that the newer Shure is a big step forward in comparison to their older ( and still highly respected and reviewed ) cartridges. If anyone is to buy a Shure cartridge and like it, i would HIGHLY suggest buying at least one replacement styli RIGHT AWAY. Shure has discontinued models in the past and stopped supplying replacement styli at the same time. Nothing like buying a product and then having NO factory support whatsoever. If you don't believe this, talk to the people that bought V15 Type IV's. Sean
I might have to try one of those too. I only have experience with the old V15 typeIII. I wasn't thrilled with the sound of those. I couldn't afford to repalace my $800 moving coil with anything comperable(remodeling the money pit)so I got a Grado Platnum(VPI version). Sound is nice but I can't get it to track it's way out of a wet paper bag! Any suggestions. I had to crank up the tracking force way beyond what they reccomend(over 2 grams)and any more antiskate sucks the life out of the thing. Any one out there tried a Clearaudio MM?
Maxgain and Carleton, Franks's suggestin of the Sumiko BPS is good, but I would actually recommend the non-special non-nude Blue Point, cheaper and tracks real well in a wide variety of arms. I think it's a good match for the Project and Maxgain - you don't say what arm you use.
I think the Blue Point is very nicely balanced sonically. Ive been listening to old records lately and they sound better than I remember them sounding with my old cartridges from years ago- Talisman, Dynavector 10x4, AKGP8ES, various Graces. I always thought the AKG was the best. Of course, my electronics and speakers are way better now.
W/re the Blue Point Special - I bought that originally but it had a bad channel imbalance, and it made me nervous thinking about damaging it, so I exchanged it for the Blue Point.
I have owned a Blue Point before. It would not be good in this application, as good trackability is very important for extracting relatively decent bass out of so-so pop music pressings.
I had to rig my Blue Point with an old Disctracker headshell damping device (made by Discwasher)I had in my toolbox. Otherwise bass response was really mediocre. Its musicality, however, was a totally different story...
Carleton, I'm sorry, your original post said you have a low output mc phono preamp. In that case, the best buy would be the AT OC9, $199 from Jerry Raskin or MusicDirect.
BTW, I have no problems with trackability with the Blue Point. Nor did Tony Cordesman, as I recall, mention any such problem when he reviewed it for TAS along with a bunch of other cartridges. Called it a best buy then, and it's been improved since. Maybe not a good match for your arm.
I'd have to agree with Sean's comments above about the Stanton vs. the Shure. Always liked the Stantons better in the old days. I had the impression that the Shure was a high compliance cartridge needing a low mass arm and the Sumiko tables have medium mass arms best suited to medium compliance cartridges.
Has anyone used the AT 440ML, $99 from AA and Jerry Raskin? Robert Greene and some other at TAS raved about the earlier AT170ML, discontinued, but AT says that the 440 is the same except for lacking the boron cantilever of the 170. If the 440 is even acceptable, at $99, that's a great buy. But mm and high output like the other cartriges mentioned above.
Or, OTH, maybe Carleton was saying the Adcom, which I think does not accomodate low output mc cartridges, can't handle a lo mc because he's trying to use a lo cartridge in a phono section designed for high output. I dont know the Denon.
I meant maybe the BP wasnt a good match for Psychic's arm. I think it would be a g>MyPmatch for the Project.