TT and cartridge choice

I recently upgraded my audio system. I have:
- Klipsch ForteIV
- MA352 integrated amp
- Cambridge CX2 streamer
- Panamax power management 

I want to upgrade from my basic turntable running a 2M red and I am quite lost as to what would work best. I don’t love to fiddle too much with things after setup. My budget is $3500. I was thinking moving magnet but I am happy to be educated.

turntable and cartridge suggestions/advice welcome. I was considering the ProJect 6 Perspex SB 
I would pick a TT with a Tonearm with removable headshell.

then, a second headshell, this one allows azimuth adjustment

now you can keep your 2m red, and

try another cartridge in the new table, either the  factory supplied/mounted cartridge; or

an upgrade they will mount for you; or

separate cartridge (needs mounting with all alignments and settings).

no matter what table/arm/cartridge:

you need a few inexpensive tools and alignment skills to achieve the best results and avoid problems.

you don't like to fiddle, but can you set one up initially?
zeeeee83, as a non fiddler the last thing you have to have is a removable headshell.  I think the Pro Ject ^ s a great choice. I see them for 2500.00 leaving $1000 for a cartridge. In that price range You have MM cartridges from Audio Technica, Ortofon, Clearaudio and Goldring. The AT VM760SLC is a fine cartridge for that table as is the Ortofon 2M Black.
The Goldring 2500 is supposedly a dynamite moving iron cartridge. It has a tapered cantilever and a dynamite line contact stylus sort of like the Gyger S. The Soundsmith Carmen is the same price but not near as sophisticated. The equivalent Soundsmith cartridge would be The Voice which is a dynamite cartridge but at $3000 .00 it is out of your price range. The Goldring 2500 is an amazing value. It is the one I would get if I were looking for a cartridge in that price range.
A new turntable is always a special occasion . Enjoy!!
That Pro-Ject would be a very nice table. Another one you should take a look at in the same price range is the Music Hall MMF 9.3SE.
+1 for the Music Hall 9.3 - they put a lot of good design into this product, especially the arms - the plinth on the 9.3 SE is also very good.

  • music hall’s unique triple plinth construction
  • one-piece full carbon fiber tonearm
  • counterweight’s center of gravity is level with the stylus tip, is decoupled from the arm, and acts as a resonance damper
  • completely isolated/decoupled DC motor with 33 and 45 rpm speed controls located in the front left corner of the turntable, thus canceling any potential vibration from the motor/belt to the cartridge
  • motor sits on its own resonance damping puck
  • optional Goldring Eroica LX low-output moving-coil cartridge with Gyger II line contact stylus ($795 value)
  • the cartridge supplied is properly aligned and mounted
  • inverted ceramic main bearing for super quiet, fluid operation
  • non resonant, 1” thick acrylic platter
  • soft felt platter mat
  • high quality gold RCA connectors and detachable phono cable
  • adjustable tip toe feet with anti scratch cups
  • low noise fully manual belt drive design
  • built-in round spirit level for proper leveling
  • dust cover and 45 rpm adaptor included

You can get the 9.3 with the Goldring Eroica LX
- so try it first before spending money on another cartridge
- always trust your ears

If YOU like it that’s all that matters :-)

Regards - Steve
The Project Pespex is dull and needs more detail and transparency according to What HiFi. I would stay away. The Technics 1200GR (1210 in black) with an AT760SLC mentioned above would be a great table under budget and you’ll have mons left over for software.
I was also thinking about the Rega P6 with the 2M Black. I am hesitant to use a MC with my amp/preamp (MA352)
@zeeeee83 - I originally had a 1981 Rega Planar II with the glass platter, but was never satisfied with the sound.- the glass platter is particularly problematic - great for wow/flutter - lousy for sound quality

After 25 years of "investment" in tweaks and upgrades my TT is now finally sounding amazing.

But the only original parts left from the old Planar II is the lid and the on/off switch
- here are my upgrades...
Turntable Mod’s | My Audio Alchemy (

The Music Hall range has many/all of those tweaks built right into it, so I believe it is the better of the two brands.

You could save some oney and drop down to the Music Hall 7.3 with the Ortofon Black cartridge.- a great TT/cartridge  combo

If you decide to go with an MC cartridge I can highly recommend Simaudio MOON phono stages - they are beyond whisper quiet and can accomodate most of todays cartridges
- even the entry level Moon 110LP v2.
  • End-user adjustable gain settings for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges (40dB, 50dB, 54dB, 60dB, 66dB)

The 310LP is another level up from that and an extremely adept performer

Hope that helps

Regards - Steve

That Mac only has a mm phono section. The only mc that you can use is a high output one!

Technics 1200GR and Audio Technica AT740ml cartridge.

This will give you extra dough to get a separate phono stage. But see how it sounds with the Mac stage before moving to a separate phono stage. 

The Technics will be difficult to beat. Made in Japan...a drop of spindle oil every 20 years. The AT cart is right at the top of great MM carts.

MC carts are great when they don't hum. And the cantilevers are scary thin.

The Pro-Ject PerspeX SB with an Ortofon 2M Black is in my opinion one of the best combinations. I added the Pro-Ject Tube Box DS2 as well even though a preamp was not required and setup properly gives all the detail and a great 3D sound stage.

I’ve come to dismiss a lot the BS so called "audio experts" write in reviews. I thought the "Needs a touch more excitement and transparency" when talking about a clear turntable was pretty funny. His comments were more about the cartridge and the preamp than anything. I typically listen to what long term users have to say over any "audio expert". Most systems need burn in time to reach peak performance.

I also picked up a 2M Bronze stylus to swap out on less than great vinyl. It cuts down on the pops and cracks and harshness the Shibata stylus on the Black picks up.

I agree a swappable head would be nice but as with anything there are trade-offs in ease of use and sound quality. To me the swappable head just adds more things to introduce something to come between the music in the groves and the stylus. I’m actually researching an MC to try but taking my time as the 2M Black contrary to what some say is by far one of the best MM cartridges and most MC are just going to be a horizontal move...not better.