Ortofon 2M Black?


Alright guys... I realized just how long it had been since I updated or even logged into my profile... So my little 2 channel system has evolved...

My table is still a Technics SL-1200MKII... BUT... It has:
TimeStep EVO Power Supply
TimeStep EVO Bearing
Oyaide Platter Mat
Same weight
KAB Fluid Damper
Cardas arm rewire

My phono preamp is still fairly elementary but solid:
Schiit Mani

My Speakers are:
Koss CM1030's
Recapped and replaced all crossover components with top shelf items
Replaced Tweeters with new ones (knockoff's of the orginals)

My Amp:
Well a work in progress for now I am back to the Onkyo TX-8522 receiver
I have an older onkyo setup with a Grand Integra M508... But it is in the shop (AND WILL BE RETURNING SHORTLY)

So the question of it all:
I have been cartridge hunting and trading... I still have my shure m97xe with the JICO SAS... However, that stylus's suspension gave up the ghost and I am replacing it with a simple LP Gear Line Contact one because I seriously don't care for the sound of the cart... My wife's favorite to date is my older than dirt Grado Blue... For that reason I was looking at either the SoundSmith Otello or Carmen... However, after some facebook and research; I had several tell me to quit messing with idea of a ruby retip dynavector 10x5 or anything similar and just go Ortofon 2M Black and be happy... So that is what I am about to pull the trigger on... LP Gear has a really good deal on them... Having owning the SAS; I am REALLY familiar with setting correct VTA, Azimuth (it is manual and a bit of a pain on my table--but is easily measured with my Fozgometer), and of course the all important alignment... I really don't mind the exotic shapes and most of my albums are pristine and the few that aren't... Well then I still have the Grado... Well unless the cuts I am interested in are on the inner grooves... But don't get me started on that one.

Long story short; Do you guys think I am making a mistake with the Ortofon 2M Black, or is it a good idea?
bc5k
2m Black Kix A$$.  Yes buy it.  
Very nice cartridge. I have it on my VPI Scout 1.1.
There are better ...from Ortofon as well, but within the price range, there are not many better than the Black
http://www.lpgear.com/product/OR2MBLACKHDH.html

At this price I suppose I would be a fool not to... Right?  You guys think it is better than a SoundSmith Carmen?
I'm not keen on it. I think that for a MM it sounds thin and lacks midrange body. If you like this presentation or if the rest of your system is on the warm side it may be a good fit. Personally, I would go for the Clearaudio Maestro Wood but it's twice the price of the 2M Black.
In my system the Black is anything but thin. It is a great cartridge at its price point and even above its price point
Alan
Keep your better half happy and get a better Grado!
@bc5k - A little off-topic but I had Koss CM1030s that I bought back in the 1980s.  I still think they were great speakers that never got the traction they deserved.  I bet yours sound terrific with the updated components.  I sometimes wish I still had mine (although my wife might disagree!) Dick
So I want to keep myself happy and the Grados don’t do it... I myself think the Shure sounds nasal... She said she hears more separation of voices and instruments with the Grado vs the Shure... I am inclined to agree as I think it sounds critical yet brittle if that is even possible... So I still thinking I am rolling the dice with the black... If I do hate it... Ortofon and LP Gear are pretty gracious folks and it seems it should be able to unload it fairly easily...

@djohnson54 Yes my CM1030 sing very beautifully... I was honestly thinking of upgrading the tweets to Dayton Reference Silkies... But the peerless copies I got are almost an exact match to the originals... So I will leave them in tact... So yeah I spent over 300.00 on rebuilding the crossovers and the difference was NIGHT and DAY! So much so that I plan on updating the finish since they will be with me for a long time... I upgraded the ports to AeroPorts and wow that tightened things up and this summer they will be going to my favorite cabinet maker in town to have the finish fixed... He is sanding the Pecan and carefully refinishing them in a dark mocha... Also the gold inserts will be sandblasted and finished in black. I am recovering the grills and black fabric as well... Is it sacriledge? To some maybe... But acoustically there won’t be any difference and the wife will like the look much more...

:)
Well I took the plunge and bought it from goldprint audio on here and it was the BEST transaction I have ever had...  So am I sad?  HECK NO!!! Best cart I have owned to date!  The VTA, Azimuth, and all are dead on and it's still breaking in... Don't know how anything could even sound better; but I will keep posted when 100 hours are up.
Glad you followed the advice of the majority here. Great cartridge
I'm not keen on it. I think that for a MM it sounds thin and lacks midrange body.

Given that this statement runs counter to every user or professional review I've ever read about the 2M Black for several years now, and that the Shibata stylus is very demanding for alignment and SRA, I'm inclined to think this was a mismatch or setup issue.
I like AT150MLX over 2M black.
Try it and save $300

Given that this statement runs counter to every user or professional review I’ve ever read about the 2m Black

I’ve read the "thin" opinion many times.
Post removed 
I like AT150MLX over 2M black.
Try it and save $300
Since I already have the AT150MLX and just need a replacement stylus ($180) that’ll save me around $460 over a new Black. 

My AT150MLX stylus got bent (and I lost the right channel) last November and was thinking about going another direction, but while my DL-160 is pretty good, I'm missing the ways that the AT150MLX gets me closer to the music.

Well about 15 hours in I will say it sounds ANYTHING but thin!  I aligned it with an arc protractor specifically for my table from vinylengine...  I find that this particular alignment to be more pleasing than any other protractor I have used.  Of course I set my VTA easily with my Technics SL-1200... Got a Zupreme headshell and used my fozgometer and test record to set proper azimuth.  I will say that it sounds better than any other cart I have heard to date and the wife is HAPPY!!!  She loves it!!!

Also, in the meantime I bought a Line Contact stylus for my Shure M97xe with the broken JICO SAS... HOLY CRAP!!!  This LC stylus sounds 1000x better than the JICO!  NO JOKE!!!  It is on my office table (Fisher MT-6330) and I listen to it all day... Total different tonal quality; full spacious, and no longer nasal...  WOW!!!
Soundsmith and Grado cartridges are WORLDS apart from each other regarding the way they sound....not to say one is better than the other...just WAY different.
So I didn't go with the Soundsmith... I did go with the 2M black... I really wish I could have heard them side by side... However, with the deal I got on the 2M Black; that would have put me in the budget range of the Otello.  I really wanted to go Soundsmith and it was looking favorably when the 2M Black was at the price point of the Carmen because that is the one I wanted...  (ok I wanted something with the ruby cantilever LC stylus... but oh well... I would have settled for the Carmen), but when the shipped price of the 2M Black was magically under 600.00; I just ordered it... No regrets.