"High end" cartridge use on VPI SCOUT??

I listed a post earlier about what cartridge would be best used on a VPI SCOUT...I got to thinking...my preamp is a MCINTOSH MX-117 (vintage 1980) and my amp is a MCINTOSH MC-2205 (vintage 1978)....does the phono stage in the older gear justify or merit a "high end" cartridge like a BENZ MIRCO GLIDER, SUMUKO BLACKBIRD or a DYNAVECTOR 10x5??? Will I get my monies worth??? Your thoughts.
I am using a 10x5 which replaced a more expensive Clearaudio Virtuosos Wood, and it sounds fantastic while tracking better than the Clearaudio as well. I would not consider a sub $400 cartridge to be "high end" on a $1600 table, and the Scout in particular punches way above its weight. If your phono stage doesn't sound great, you can find some excellent ones in the $400-600 range, I am using a Graham Slee Era Gold V and it is superb.
Heard this table with the jmw9 arm + Shelter 501 Mk2 and GSP Era Gold V + Elevator Step up! Its a very good combo!!!!
don't worry about your mac phono stage unless you got off the deepend on a low output mc, which in all honesty is not a good idea. any name brand high output mc or mm will be fine. the mac phono stage old or new is one of the finest.

That is a good question. It is important not to overspend on one component compared to the value/performance level of related components. IME this is especially true of cartridges. A "too good" cartridge can easily expose the shortcomings of a table, arm or phono stage.

I'm not familiar with your MX-117 but I agree with Sbrtoy. None of the cartridges you listed is particularly "high end". Unless the Mac's phono stage is unexpectedly bad you would probably get your money's worth from any of them.

The 3 you mentioned are reasonably priced, solid performers, each with certain stengths, weaknesses and sonic characteristics. The Benz will be smooth, full-bodied and perhaps a bit relaxed or polite. The Dyna will be more dynamic, have a bit more top end extension and be a bit more forward or energetic. I haven't heard the Blackbird. Many people like it but I've also read several reports of inner groove tracking problems. I know two people who switched from Blackbirds to ZYX models and were very happy, though at higher price points than this.
I found the MM phono on my Mac 2200 a little on the warm and smooth side for two cartridges (Ortofon Kontra B and MC30 Supreme) and found substituting the GSP ERa V and ELevator opened out and energised the sound.

Currently I have a ZYX R100H on my JMW 12.5 arm on a TNT-6 HR which is a very clean even sound - not as racy as the Kontrapunkt but overall more neutral sounding and I'm very happy with it - bought it for US$800 in Thailand so it seems good bang for buck
Hi, Considerations to keep in mind, which I haven't seen mentioned in this thread, or the other, is that it is said that all moving coil cartridges with an output of 1.5mv or higher generally act like a moving magnet cartridge in regards to loading, and generally work great at 47k ohm loading, so you won't have any problems to deal with there.

What I haven't seen mentioned, is that gain for your pre-amp typically will generally like, and be best compatible with a cartridge that will have about a 3.5mv output. (where most MM cartridges fall)

With let's say something like a Glider (which I think the new ones are at about 2.0mv, or 2.2mv?), you might find that you'll have to crank the volume control more than what you'd like, to achieve likeable volume levels from your system. I'm pretty sure your Mac Pre doesn't have provision for user adjustable gain settings. (I myself own a Mac MX-130 which doesn't)

This will be a slight incovenience due to mismatch, and then one must always remember to be careful switching inputs on the pre-amp, as switching over to FM, or CD could be so loud, that accidental damage could occur to speakers.

Other options would be a top of the line MM offereing from Shure, Grado, Audio Technica.

Your system (Mac Pre, and Amp) can certainly utilize better front end hardware than what I previously mention, but the bottom line will be "how deep are your pockets"?

You will reach a igher level of sonic nirvana with a med-low MC Cartridge, and external Phono Stage, and one can easily spend another $3-5K in this area to achieve this nirvana.

In my own VPI-Mac based system, I graduated from the nice, and relatively inexpensive McCormack Micro Phono Drive, which can be gotten around $300 used (Which another A-gon member now owns) and bought a Sutherland PHD Phono Stage, a $3K new unit which I paid $2k used from a-gon.

The upgrades were readily apparent, and should be.

I've been out of the mix lately with many of the new high output MC's out there, but make sure you do check their rated output for compatibility. Hope this helps, Mark