New cartridge $500 range

I have a Pro-Ject 2 Xperience turntable with a Sumiko Blue point #2 cartridge. It is time for a new cartridge. I’m thinking of switching to a MM cartridge. Is there something out there that would be a upgrade from the blue point in the $500 range. 

Rest of my system:
Emotiva XMC-1
Parasound 2125v2 for the front left and right speakers
AV123 Strata Mini front speakers
Pro-Ject Phono Box SE phono amp
Pro-Ject Speed Box S
Parasound Zphono USB phono amp (mostly for recording)
I also have an Emotiva UPA-700 to power my center and surround speakers.

I am thinking of a MM cartridge to get a little more gain, having to turn the volume way up kind of bothers me a little. I would be open to staying with the blue point or another MC cartridge. I would just like something that is easy to setup


Showing 2 responses by kennyc

hmmmmm replace cartridge or phono stage.

On one hand, upgrading a cartridge can lead to better parts: cantilever, coils, shell, diamond/stylus profile.  Just updating from the Blu Point#2's elliptical should offer significant improvements say in getting more information, better transients, fuller vocals, etc.

On the other hand, when amplifying the minute cartridge generated voltage multiple times over to get to line level, quality of parts as well as execution is also important.  One may expect better clarity, quieter background noise which leads to hearing more minute details.

Both offer sonic upgrades, but which one is best for you?

In high-end audio, many believe in the importance of the entire audio chain.  Also, many believe it's always best to address the weak link.  I too believe that your best bang for buck is to upgrade your phono stage rather than the cartridge.  That way you reduce being hampered by any future cartridge upgrades, especially if you run into a great offers like a half retail price new cartridge.