sumiko pearl or ortofon 2m red

which is the better budget cartridge and why? both are about the same price.
best regards, sam
The Ortofon Red, which is a tipped ellipical diamond, is a better sounding cartridge to my ears. It also fits my Rega tonearm perfectly without any need to adjust the VTA.
I had a Pearl many years ago, on a Thorens 280 for a second system . . . it had a nice sound, but I wasn't happy with its tracking ability. I haven't specifically tried a 2M Red, but I've had some time with a 2M Blue . . . and have owned/installed a decent-sized pile of similar Ortofon MMs - these have been faster, more precise, and better tracking perfomance, and this is more to my taste.

You might also look at the Soundsmith entry-level MMs as well.
The Ortofon red does need a spacer.
in the 100 dollar or so price range, check out Shure too.
i once heard a pearl and it was so lackluster that i wouldnt waste time on it.

ortos otoh have always sounded like music to me.