Upgrade from Rega Elys 2


I'm fairly new to the game - system includes a Rega P3, MoFi phono stage, Rega Brio, and Dynaudio Excite X18s. Essentially a desktop system. Looking for a possible upgrade from the Elys 2 cartridge that came as a package deal on the P3. Trying to stay around the $500 mark and wanting suggestions. Thanks. 
audiosavage1
Ortofon 2M Bronze you'll need to get a 2mm shim kit to adjust the VTA.
Needle Doctor has both.
The 2M Bronze is one I've looked at. I'm sure that there'll be upgrades to the system along the way. The hard part is staying in budget. I appreciate the advice. 
How do you like your music? Clear and airy with lots of detail or a little warmer?
Ortofon Bronze or Black for the former and Nagaoka MP500 for the latter.

My tastes lean more toward the warmer, but it depends on the instrument that's the most prominent and that I'd like to hear the most clearly. The black is within the upper stretches of the budget at this point. I'll look at the Nagaoka as well. 
Obvious choice , unless you get off playing all day with shim's", is Rega Exact, a fine honest cartridge .
If you like warm you should check out Grado!
@audiosavage1 - Can you switch to MC ?

If yes then you could try the Denon DL-103 or one of the many versions from people like soundsmith, or Zu - two companies that upgrade the standard 103 for even better performance.

If your phono stage does not have enough gain - try the Denon DL-110 

I've had Denon on my TT for several years - I had the Elys 2 for a very short while, but switched to the 103 and never looked for anything else

Regards - Steve
The MoFi allows for either MM or MC. I don't mind playing around with the shims if it would make a tremendous difference. Getting to play around with things to get the best out of them is half the fun of having an analog system. 
Thanks again for the advice. 
Hello,
I’ve had a 2M Black on my Rega for a awhile and loved it. It has tons of detail, great dynamics, and generates a robust signal that lowers the perceived noise floor. All in all, a fantastic cart.
Regards,
Oran
So here's the question:

Moving coil or moving magnet? Answering that question will (maybe) narrow down the choices. Also - shims to me aren't an issue (well - they might be - I've never dealt with them before - but I wouldn't mind fiddling with them). I just want compatibility with the tonearm / head I also told my wife that I'd be looking at a new cartridge and she didn't balk, so the search can move forward full speed ahead.
And I don't think that the Elys is bad - but I think the system is capable of quite a bit more and the source needle / cartridge is the easiest thing to change. 
Oranfoster,
On a Rega table, do all Ortofon 2M series cartridges require the same 2mm shim size? 
@audiosavage1 - Once I replaced the Elys 2 with the Denon DL103, I started thinking of the next mod’

I thought maybe adding a one piece harness - it may breath new life into my TT/cartridge.

Cost is around $450
- I started with this upgrade and it was pretty good - for a couple of years :-(

Then a friend told me about the Audiomods arm that comes with the one piece harness
http://www.audiomods.co.uk/

It uses a Rega Arm tube - but the similarities stop right there - the rest of the arm is completely re-designed/built to exacting standards!

I bought the Audiomods "Classic" arm (bead-blasted) and was extremely glad I did. It finally allowed me to hear what my cartridge was really capable of.

Great to look at, extremely high level of craftsmanship and superb abilities and performance is what makes this arm something of a "keeper"

Other Rega owners I know are extremely happy with their Audiomods.

If I had my time over again - I’d skip straight to the Audiomods. It made the most amazing difference to my analogue rig - even with an unmodified Denon DL103 on the end - add a shim, and you’ll be in heaven.

Like most people - I had a budget, so I went with the one piece harness. But hindsight being 20/20, it turns out the harness upgrade was a bit of a waste of funds.

Here’s my Audiomods are on the TT
http://image99.net/blog/files/f233eea773cbc47d311b80d32702da48-40.html

And here’s a worthwhile Denon DL103 Tweak - cost - $12.50

http://image99.net/blog/files/23c020f75290d3392577113371f4dc94-38.html

I now have a Denon DL103 modified by Soundsmith (with a shim) and it is superb - I haven’t even bothered looking for another cartridge.

Sorry for perhaps creating confusion, but being someone that was once in your very position - I thought I’d share one of my mistakes and a couple of my successes.

BTW - the Audiomods should also improve on the performance of your Elys 2

Damn me now - thank me later :-)..
WillieWonka - those are some tempting upgrades. After talking with my dealer (I live across the country from the folks I've been using but they've been stellar), I'm going to get the TT up and on the wall with a wall bracket / shelf, obtain an after-market cork or other mat (the felt is a freaking dust and static charge magnet), do some more isolation of the other equipment, think about power cable upgrades (TT and amp) and then look at either a new cartridge and/or tonearm set-up. I'm just getting into the mid-fi game and have kids to put through college, so although there's a lot of room to improve, the steps will have to be small / incremental. 
Could just buy a good TT to start with .
ericsch,
    I would only be sure about the 2M series. I shimmed my 303 arm with these little plumbing washers; even tested them with a micrometer to see if they had tight tolerances, which indeed they did to at least a ten-thousandth on an inch. I also sent my arm to Brit Audio and had the wiring upgraded. It was a great combo.
My thinking exactly. Upgrade the table and then move from there. Cartridge is the least important element, within reason, of table/arm/cartridge/phono set-up. I use $375 ( from the UK ) Goldring 1042 MM cartridge with Nottingham Spacedeck/Spacearm table and AcousTech phono and feel no need to upgrade the cartridge. I would upgrade the phono with a great tube unit if I could, though the AcousTech is very good.
As the P3 is brand new, I can't justify a complete replacement at the moment. The suggestions, however, are duly noted inna and schubert. 
I see. I would suggest then to stay with MM cartridge. Rega Exact would be a logical step up, Nagaoka 500 may be an excellent if expensive choice.
The Nottinghams are slick-looking and may be on the list of upgrades in the future. The problem is I'm in the central US, they're a UK company, and auditioning such a beauty would be near-impossible. 
As far as I know, there is only one distributor/dealer in the US - Hollywood Sound in Florida. I talked to Larry, the owner, a few times but don't know how he sells outside his area. He really likes Nottingham and strongly prefers MCs with them. Problem is that good MC are expensive and require better and quieter phono. I cannot justify paying, say, $1500 for top of the line Goldring MC or close to $2000 for Lyra Delos, as examples.
Pear Audio tables/arms could be worth considering as well, they are in fact very much based on Nottingham design. I have not auditioned them but heard high praise, especially of their top of the line set-up.
oranfoster, thanks for the info.

Audiosalvage, I have a Herbies Mat on my P3-24. Very happy with it and the price is reasonable.
 
Got it - thanks ericsch. Inna - I'll keep that in mind going forward. I have a feeling that, as much as I like to listen, this will have a snowball effect, but rolling uphill (as cost goes).