I've got an Aries 2 Extended with the JMS 12.7 arm, currently mounted with a Denon DL 103. I'm interested in getting a more capable phono cartridge, either MC or MM that would cost less than $1,000 new or used. I listen to classic rock, male and female vocals, jazz and classical music. My primary speakers are B&W 801 F's driven by several different tube or solid state pre-amplifier and amplifier combinations. I'd like a cartridge that throws a large soundstage and has a warmth and vibrancy to the presentation of the music. Any suggestions?
Get a Clearaudio Vertuoso Wood. Read the reviews. I have 2 arms for my Graham. The other one has a Micro Benz Ruby 3 mounted. The Vertuoso Wood spends 90% of the time in play on my Aries. It sound quite similar to the Ruby but it is more dianamic.
Davt: My preamps (Rogue 99 Magnum with high gain phono, Van Alstine w/step-up transformer and the venerable Carver C 4000t) can all handle cartridges with output in the 0.25mv range. Your recommendations sound good to me.
Why waste money. Try a Shure 97. I know, at $50 it cannot be great, but try it. It would make a great backup cartridge and will surprise you. Hey I have a Clearaudio $1800 running on an Aries, and the 97 gives it a run for the money.
Griffithds: I'll check out the Clearaudio Vertuoso Wood.
Buconero117: I mounted a Shure V15Mx, but it had a bad hum pickup problem that I couldn't remedy even though I thought that I had everything grounded. I've got a Shure HiTrack lying around that I could mount to see how it performs.
Large soundstage, warmth, and vibrant, and under $1,000; I don't think you can find one better than the Denon DL-103(R) that you are using. Other more expensive carts will give you different sounds but they may not be "better", IMHO.
If you can extend your budget to about $1500, the Lyra Delos would be a super cart!! For under $1000, the Shelter 501 MKII would be top picks. However, the difference between the lyra & the 501 is quite significant.