Upgrade from Sumiko Blue Point #2


 On the market for a cartridge. Considering Audio Technica.A little confused on the product line up difference between at33 and oc9 series. Anyone have experience with the new oc9x series vs oc9 iii. I would imagine e few in the new series would be an improvement but not all based on the fact price points they cover widely. Looking to upgrade the blue point no2 on my Pro Ject RPM5. Looking for a bit more inner detail, bigger soundstage and overall sq, don’t want to give up warmth. Rest of system is Pro Ject phono ds, Levinson 380s, Levinson 334 and the late 90s kef ref model threes. I noticed the original retail of the oc9 iii was over 1k at one point and seems to spec better in channel balance and separation. The at33 series seams to occupy similar price points are the voiced different? Thanks for any input. Upgrading my phono stage to Pro Ject RS also considering Ortofon Quintet bronze or Black.
yankee6000
Sticking with Audio Technica the best you can hope for is "a bit" more. It is AT however. A very technical as in the opposite of warm sounding line. You would probably be more likely to find what you're looking for in a Benz.
Not yet having heard the new OC9 line, my recommendation would be the AT33PTG/II.  To my eyes the 33-line has more warmth than the (old) OC9-line, while being just as detailed and refined.  Since you say you don't want to give up any warmth, the former would seem the better choice.
As far as Ortofon's Quintet series go, I would say the AT33PTG/II is at least the equal of the Black and superior to the Bronze, at lower cost than either.
In my opinion, any of those mentioned so far will outperform your Sumiko BPS. It might help if you explicitly state your budget for this purchase, but it's not rocket science in any case.
Figured I would try to keep it under 800 but if one of these cartridges in the 400-600 range will be a big improvement on my blue point no2 than thats ok as well. Now I am enjoying the sound with the Sumiko just figured it ain't going to last forever and it would be nice to try something different but at the same time a bit of an upgrade. I am not specifically looking for a warm sounding cartridge just don't want anything with less compared to the bp no2. Thanks for the feedback everyone.
Evey since I purchased the turntable in March I have been listening to records 15+ hours a week. So having more than one cartridge on hand with the ability to change it up back abd forth every few months just to keep the sound fresh would nice.
I run an Audio Technica VM750SH as a back up and it is both detailed and warm with good soundstaging. $400.
You were headed in the right direction yankee 6000. The Ortofon Quintet Black S is as much cartridge for the money as you will ever see. The other cartridge to consider in this price range is the Clearaudio Concept MC. The Ortofon is more neutral. The Clearaudio is brighter and perhaps more dynamic. Both are excellent trackers. They are both manufactured to a higher level of quality and sophistication than any of the Japanese cartridges in their price range. Look at the construction of the cantilever and the way the diamond is attached to it as well as the size of the diamond. 
But I almost guarantee that the Clearaudio is made in Japan.
Thanx lewm, I have had several Clearaudios and they all say made in Germany whether that is true or not. If you look at the construction my comment holds. The Japanese are very capable of building fantastic cartridges. I have several but we are talking about a specific price point. All you have to do is look at the diamond and the way it is fastened to the cantilever. The goal is to have the lowest effective mass possible. Crimping the end of an aluminum tube and shoving a big diamond through a hole in it is not the best way to the lowest effective mass. 
I've read average life of a stylus is 1000-1500 hours depending on how well you take care of it. Brushing after every side keeping records clean and not playing worn questionable condition records. Is this a pretty accurate estimate. Kinda effects what I am willing to spend. I do see a few deals on quintet bronze. Wondering if that would be a noticeable step up from my blue point no2.
I have had several Clearaudios and they all say made in Germany whether that is true or not.
There’s no need for the cartridge to be made in Germany even if it says so. It is enough that *something* has been done to the cartridge in Germany and the "Made in Germany" imprint is perfectly legitimate.

This kind of thing is entirely standard in pretty much every industry (fashion, horology, cars, whatever) and perfectly legal despite also being perfectly dishonest.
So there you are agrippa. Humans are dishonest especially when money is involved. Yankee6000 I still think the Ortofon Quintet Black S is worth the stretch but if you have to stay below $800 the AT33Sa is a very reasonable choice. You should be able to get way more than 1500 hours out of a stylus. I have never lost a cartridge due to stylus wear and I look at them routinely with a medical microscope. During the child years (20 years) I had the same cartridge a Sumiko Tallisman S. It finally died when one channel went out. A post mortem exam reveled that one of the wires from the right channel coil to the post had broken right at the coil. The stylus was in perfect shape. I go through a Projector bulb every three years at 2000 hours. I listen to way more music than I watch TV. So say I listen 4000 hours in three years and about 1/4 is vinyl vs digital. That means I had put around 6000 hours on one stylus. I think this is in keeping with what my audiophile friends get although now we all have several cartridges each. I think popular figures are lower because lower quality diamonds wear faster as will diamonds with smaller contact patches.The Tallisman had a Shibata Stylus on a Sapphire cantilever.
Point being that if you do a good job keeping things clean you amortize this investment over a longer period! 
For one thing, only a few companies in the world produce all the styli and cantilevers used anywhere, and none of those is in Germany, so far as I know.  But I was thinking of a specific instance where one Clearaudio model is a re-labeled Japanese cartridge, en bloc.  Sadly, I cannot recall which.  I'm sure some of the megabuck Clearaudio cartridges have a unique pedigree.
I wouldn't put money on it.  I read a post, an article or something of the kind (terrible memory, sorry) a good while back which went into great details as to where and by whom Clearaudio's cartridges are/were made.  Since my interest was lacklustre (I don't care for Clearaudio's cartridges at all) very little stuck, beyond the fact that many, most or all are/were indeed Japanese.
If I had to guess (which I don't, but I will) I'd say that Clearaudio's efforts likely extends to mounting the innards into the fancy bodies, which would be more than enough to allow a "Made in Germany" imprint to be added.
Yes, The styli and cantilevers are specified by the manufacturers and made by several companies many of them Japanese and perhaps Clearaudio cartridges are made in Japan just like all Lyra cartridges and we all know they suck:) Who cares. My comment was aimed at certain Japanese brands that in my opinion are made for profit and are not as good a value  in the $1000 price range as the Ortofon. I'll leave it to everyone to figure out who those brands are. I obviously have something against Japanese made cartridges because I own a Koetsu and a Lyra and love them both. I wish I had gotten a Transfiguration before the death of the designer/owner:(
Ok thanks for the feedback and information. I think I will be on the hunt for some some ortofon bronze and blacks. Also considering dynavetor 10x5 or 20x2. I hear they also are pretty good with soundstage detail and just a hint of sweetness. Don’t get too wrapped up in the Japan debate. Will be back to report on my purchase when it occurs. Thanks everyone.
So I found a deal on a Dynavector 20x2H like new never installed still in box under $700 so waiting for the seller to ship. Hopefully a nice upgrade. Will keep posted.
Yes the Dyna will be a very nice upgrade for you over the Bluepoint , enjoy that new cartridge and let us know once installed and broken in. Enjoy the music.
So the Dynavector has been in the system for a few weeks and approaching the 30 hour plus mark give or take. I will begin by saying my initial impressions with my initial loading were not good. I had my phono stage setup 40db gain ,47k imp and no capacitance added (basically the settings I has for my high output Sumiko blue no2. The sound had more defined and focused high frequencies but that's were the benefits ended. The stage sounded flat the presence sounded squeezed and "choked" was the word that kept on coming to mind. I decided to change the impedance to 1000ohms and kick the output to 50db of gain. That was a game changer. Now the sense of presence and dynamics actually became assets. The soundstage had much needed added depth and everything came together, Everything also had a bit more transparency (such an over used term but while I'm shooting every other audiophile term in the book out there what the hell). Basically the proverbial windex on the glass everything sound cleaner thing going on here. Now at the same time albums that had excess  sibilant highs are no longer an issue for the most part  when compared to the Sumiko.I do fell the Sumiko is probably no slouch in it's price range and even had some qualities I feel better the Dyna particularly a slightly wider stage and a bit more unleashed in the upper mids and highs.This sometimes comes across enjoyable,exiting and dynamic and other times can be a hindrance causing slight fatigue , The Dyna has better punch and deeper bass also gives less congestion with better distinction of the instruments on passages with complex amounts of tracks in the recording. Sometimes I feel the Sumiko has a nicer way of overall layering during vocal harmonies although the Dyna has better ability to define the individual backing singers from one another. The Dyna seams to deliver the music in delightfully distributed morsels in the manor a well seasoned chef puts a quality meal together. Tonearm set to 1.9 grams and VTA 8mm above the level height to attempt to achieve 92' stylus rake without digital microscope accounting that with a 9" arm 4mm of height = aprox 1' of rake. There goes it my very first review of an audio product. I just received a Pro Ject phono RS with aftermarket linear outboard power supply so off to give it a listen. Cheers
German ClearAudio generator is nothing but a cheap Japanese Audio-Technica, it’s been said in MM thread years ago.

A real Audio-Technica top models from the past are superior and even cheaper than modern ClearAudio.