Newb on the loose


Have a ClearAudio Concept TT with ClearAudio Satisfy carbon arm with a Denon DL 110 attached. It's all plugged into a Jolida JD9 II phono pre. It sounds nice, but I think the table/arm are capable of better. And yes, I have tubes coming for the Jolida. Anyways, being somewhat unschooled as of today, I'm unsure of what to watch for as far as arm/cart/phono pre matching goes.
Would you gentlemen be so kind as to let me know what carts are compatible with my set up please. Prefer HOMC, but willing to try a quality MM as well. I don't want to purchase a step up transformer at this point, so that limits my options.
Anyone have any suggestions?? Something I can live with for a year or two before upgrading again. And please don't say Denon DL 110 please.

Thanks,
Shawn
shawnlh
How about you actually do some of the research yourself?

Here's a good resource for you to get you going in the right direction: http://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_database.php
Dynavector and Benz have some decent HOMC carts.
Why not a cartridge by Clearaudio?
Look like Chinese product but made in SERBIA ...........
Sorry for my comments, wrong tread
I spent at lease 5 hours on-line trying to figure out what carts will work with my rig. But some of the numbers and formulas I'm just not smart enough to grasp. That's why I asked for help.
And I have looked at the carts mentioned, but it seems the Jolida JD9 is limiting my options. I really don't want to have to purchase a step up transformer at this point.
One other question, can you "over cart" the table? I mean the Concept is a nice table, but would dropping a five thousand dollar cart really benefit? And yes I'm exaggerating, but you get the point.
Anyone have specific carts in mind that will work with the equipment (arm/phono-pre) I have? Say around the $1000.00-$1500.00 mark?
Shawn- according to the specs, there is either 85 or 95 dB of gain through the MC input. That's more then enough for an LOMC cart, which the specs verify, saying the LOMC input can handle carts w output as low as 0.25 mV. There are only a few carts that can't make 0.25 mV. To get more gain from an MC, you need more turns on the coil, which makes it heavier, which makes it less responsive, which negates the basic benefit of an MC cart. If you really don't want to use an LOMC for some other reason, I'd suggest consulting the long-running thread on MM and MI carts on this forum.
Thanks.
So If I were install the ClearAudio Concerto V2 on...link to specs....http://clearaudio.de/_assets/_pdf/manuals/cartridges/CA_MC%20V2_E+D.pdf

Then I would turn on switch #3 for gain, and then switch #1 and #8 for the impedance/loading correct? ...Link...http://www.musicdirect.com/documents/pdf/AJD9.pdf go to page 8.
The Concerto v.2 is what I would call medium output. I would try the MC high setting or medium on the gain (Switch 2) which is incorrectly called impedance in the manual. If you don't have enough gain, you can try switch 3 but you may get too much tube rush. Use Switch 2 (300 ohm) on the impedance switch.
Your tonearm has an effective mass of 9 grams( on the low side). Make sure the cartridge you decide to get is one of higher compliance. Just remember high compliance cartridge lower mass tonearm, low compliance cartridge higher mass tonearm.
Additional mass can be added to the arm to help stabilize a low compliance mc cart. The AT OC9/II LOMC will work on the arm. It has a higher compliance that other LOMC carts. IMO, the compliance is higher than stated. YMMV.
Shawn, the JD9 II isn't going to limit your choice of cartridges. It has more options than most phono preamps and the design appears to be especially suited to low output moving coil cartridges. I've run a few LOMC cartridges through the JD9 and the preamp did well with each of them.

What you need to consider is why you want to change cartridges in the first place. You say you want better but aren't clear on what you don't like about your current setup. Is it the tonal balance? Too much or too little bass or treble? Does your system sound overly bright, or dull and muddy? Are you looking for more detail and resolution?

And have you tried making some changes in your room acoustics? You can do a lot to improve the sound by making simple changes in wall or floor coverings or speaker placement. Plus, until you try swapping out the tubes in your JD9 you won't really know what you're looking for. I found that certain tubes could tame what I considered a bright-sounding setup and make listening to the same cartridge and preamp very enjoyable.

I'd hold off on buying another cartridge until you get to know the JD9 (and the rest of your system) better by doing some critical listening to learn what you're looking for. Then you can search for a cartridge that complements your system.

Regards,
Tom
+1 to Tketcham's post. Based on the OP's posts to date, recommending (or buying) different cartridges would be throwing the OP's money into the air without knowing what direction the wind is blowing.

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One other question, can you "over cart" the table? I mean the Concept is a nice table, but would dropping a five thousand dollar cart really benefit? And yes I'm exaggerating, but you get the point.
Good question. I'm unfamiliar with your table and tonearm, but the answer is likely to be, "yes". IME with many vinyl setups, the most productive use of dollars is to upgrade the table, phono stage and tonearm first, and the cartridge very much last. A better table, tonearm or phono stage will always pay sonic dividends. A better cartridge may not, depending on the rest of the system.

EXAMPLE:
I currently have two vinyl rigs (table + arm), both feeding the same (very high quality) phono stage. One rig retails for ~$1,000, the other for ~$12,000.

I also have two cartridges, a $200 MM and an $8,000 LOMC. Normally, the MM is on the cheaper rig and the LOMC is on the costlier rig. They both sound good for what they are. The costlier setup is better, amazing in fact, but the cheaper setup makes enjoyable, listenable, danceable music.

Occasionally, as when visitors seem to believe that dropping an umpti-thousand dollar cartridge on an entry level rig will produce miracles, I swap the cartridges around to demonstrate what can happen.

After demonstrating each rig with its normal cartridge, I switch the LOMC onto the cheap rig. They've just heard how marvelous it sounds, but the second it hits the groove on the cheap rig, everyone assumes that it's broken or that I've bungled the setup. It's not and I haven't. It's just that a superbly revealing LOMC displays all the warts and inadequacies of the cheap rig. It sounds like dreck.

Once they recover, I pop the MM onto the big rig to complete the demonstration. Nobody's expecting much, so they're invariably astonished when it sings waaaaay above its head. It sounds glorious, far better than it ever could on the cheap rig.

A cartridge needs a good foundation to perform its best. That foundation is provided by the table and tonearm, each of which can screw up the sound in more ways than anyone can count. The better the table and arm, the better any cartridge will sound. The sonic abilities of many inexpensive cartridges are far higher than most people have experienced because, let's face it, few people with $200 cartridges put them on $12,000 rigs. Yet it works surprisingly well.

Upgrade the foundation first and your money will never be wasted. OTOH, upgrading the superstructure on an inadequate foundation is often so.

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Therefore, +1 to Swampwalker's final point in his post above. The MM/MI thread he mentioned contains a wealth of info on less expensive cartridges that can, on the right rig, sound far better than most people expect.
"Upgrade the foundation first and your money will never be wasted. OTOH, upgrading the superstructure on an inadequate foundation is often so."

I believe Harry Belafonte said it best: "House built on a cheap foundation will not standÂ… Oh no!"
Thanks for the responses gentlemen. I appreciate your time and efforts, and some of my questions have been answered very well. I think I'm still going to experiment with carts just to see what they sound like as it's going to be sometime before I upgrade my equipment. I'll purchase used units so hopefully I can resell without taking a big hit. And it's nice to know that my current phono pre/tt arm can handle a wide variety of carts. My next TT purchase will be a ClearAudio Ovation and a Decware phono stage, but that is several months down the road.
Thanks again fellas.
Lew,

Harry B, Abraham L and I (if less eloquently) all borrowed from a prior source.
See Matthew 7:24, Mark 3:25 and Luke 6:48. ;-)