Super Cheap Placeholder Cartridge

Hello Everyone! I'm currently saving for a high end cartridge, but.. the stylus fell out of my current cartridge (Grado Platinum 1.) I don't feel like sending it off to Grado to pay $250 for rebuilding, but I hate not being able to listen to my vinyl. Any recomendations on a $50-75 cartridge I can use while I save $$? (It's a VPI HW TT and a Lustre GST 801 Tonearm. Any help would be greatly appreciated! -Scotty
I'm guessing you know Needle Doctor? But just in case, see link below. Search under Budget Cartridges by price. I see a Sumiko Oyster for $75 bucks.
That's easy if you are a Grado fan like me. Get a Green1. They are $90 in Canada but I am sure they cost less in the US. The Black1 is good but the higher spec ones in each Grado Prestige series pair always sound better.

My favorite super elcheapo cartridges are the AT95 series or the Ortofon OM series Omega.

US company LP Gear sells the stock green body AT95e as well as a number of upgraded version with a better cantilvers and tips. The yellow and dark green versions sound better than the stock and are $35 and $60 respectively. Cleaner sounding than the Grados and track better but gives up a bit of the Grado detail and lush midrange.

The Omega is also sold as an OE cartridge with budget tables like the Pro-Ject Elemental and original Essential. Nice warm sound like the Grado though not as detailed and micro dynamics are weaker. It is a better tracker though. LP Gear also sells upgraded tips from Ortofon and their own versions.

I have used each of these cartridge families and variants for nearly thirty years and they are all excellent. Some orate so good, I have been disappointed with higher end cartridges that fail to get the basics right.
If you can spend just a little more, the Ortofon Red at $99
is a killer cartridge.

The Shure M97xE is really good also and can be found for
around your budget.
AT95e, I'm running mine now and to my ears, it is a more dynamic and refined cartridge than even the Shure 97. It needs to track at 2.0 grams though.
Dark Green AT95e up to $75.00 ($60.00)
Ortofon 2M Red up to $100.00 ($99.00)
I second the Shure M97xE. Hey, you never know, you may just decide to fatten your retirement account and skip high priced goods.
If you send the Grado to the Needle Doctor they will ship you a new Grado Platinum for $250. They don't rebuild them they just give you an exchange. The whole process only takes a few days.
Why don't you just stick on one of those Grado 8MZ stylus's from LP/Gear. You just may not want one of those expensive cartridges after hearing that upgrade! $100 and you will be amazed at the difference!
Sorry everyone. I though he had a Prestige, but I see now that he has the Platinum.
Thanks so much for the input everyone. I went with the AT95e since I hope to replace the Platinum in the next month or two. Got it installed today and I'm plenty happy with it for a short-term solution.

Thanks again!
Who knows? You may never miss the Platinum!
Happy listening!
Scott, that AT95e will improve over the next 20 hours or so, smooth out and begin punching some serious bass. Good choice!