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I had an X3 for several years in a Linn Ittok. I found it a good tracker - never heard mistracking on any record I played - and was overall a good midclass cartridge. Just follow directions, no special setup necessary. I do use the HFN/RR test record to set up. At the time the other hioutput'coil choices were limited to the Dynavector 10X which was so bright it gave me a migraine - unlike recent production.
Thanks for the feedback. I recently bought a Technics SL-1200MK2 and am modifying it for high end use. Pretty much my choices w/in the midclass range come down to the Shure V15 V, the Ortofon X3/5 and the Audio Technica OC 9 low output MC. I have an excellent but old low output MC preamp which has a very narrow range (0.03-0.05 mV input voltage). I want to make a good choice. Thanks again.
Sedond, you're the man...That's the cartridge Kenny from Needledoctor told me to get for my Technics 1200/Biotronics low output MC preamp combo I have. Glad to know. Kenny says that for our TTs (he owns a 1200 also) the X3 and MC 25 MK II are the cartridges to own if you listen to all types of music. I'm getting there...just need a line livel preamp to match my dynamic, jumpy and high current Proton 50W dual mono amp. Any suggestions?
i am partial to melos preamps. but, if ya like buying brand-gnu, yure outta luck as they're no longer in biz. and, if yure not scared off yet, how about the fact that, after ~20 years of quality product, they finally went under cuz of poor service & quality-control at the end? still w/me? ;~)
all that said, i *still* tink ya can't beat the sound for the price, & if ya wanna splurge on their top-model, it will be competitive w/*any* linestage at *any* price. also, there's a company founded by a former melos engineer, (melos audio restorations) to service & upgrade the product, so these *can* still be fixed, if needed.
their best, most recent pre's, the ma333r & the music director, can be had for ~$1-$2k, depending on whether or not they're balanced/single-ended, and if they've been upgraded. these massive beasts have a separate power-supply as big as the main preamp, & are as good as it gets, imo. also, most have remote-control for wolume/balance. for ~$700-$1100, ewe can get the sha-gold reference, & maestro, similar to the top-line units, but no separate power-supply. these also have a world-class headfone amp, if yure into that. for <$500, ewe can find the sha-1, which is basically a simpler no-remote, only-3-input wersion of the sha-gold. older, but still excellent melos preamps, such as the ma-110 & ma-220 can be found, i believe for ~$500, or less.
good luck, doug s.
ps - i *love* salsa! ;~)