VdHull MC-10

Wondering if I should drop $500 on a rebuild by AJ on a (gulp) 11 yr. old MC-10.
Nothing quite like setting up a friend's bottom of the line Music Hall w/ stock goldring cart, and actually getting excited by what you're hearing. Also added Marigo Audio Labs turntable "dots" system. Yes, it's dubious at the extremes, not very "refined", but it was disturbing to me just how uninvolving my VPI-SME309-MC10 was.
IMHO, I wouldn't do it. I'd get a new cartridge first.

#1 - The MC10 is reduced in price, and selling for about $900 brand new in the UK.

#2 - For less than half of the money you would spend on that rebuild, you could get a Denon DL103R, that will perform better, but has alot lower output, so your phono section gain would have to handle .27mv. Or you could get an Ortofon X5-MC that has about the same output as your VDH, and still sound as good for less money.

#3- For a little more money than you'd spend on the rebuild, you could get a Shelter 501, that will perform WAY better.

#4 - There are other cartridges like a Benz Glider, that give better value for the dollar than the VDH.

So, while the VDH is a nice cartridge, it can be bettered at around, or lower than, the price of the rebuild, so the value factor is not there with the VDH. For the price of a new MC10, you could get a new cartridge that is alot better for the money.

All of this IMHO.
The $500 rebuild takes the MC-10 to MC-10 Special config.
Well, Shasta, it's your call. I said what I think. Not all will agree with me. Nothing wrong with a VDH cartridge. I just think that the price/performance ratio can be bettered by other cartridges. If you really like the sound of the VDH, then $500 is not alot to get it back in good order. But if I had an SME 309, I'd be getting a Shelter 501 as fast as I could pick up the phone. If you are looking for "involving" the Shelter is just the ticket. In my opinion, the Shelter 501 beats out the top of the line VDH Black Beauty, as well as all of the rest of the line. If money is an issue, the Denon DL103R will perform as well or better than the MC-10 special, and it only costs $230. But, it has a very low output, so your phono stage will need to be able to handle a .27mv output. The Shelter 501 has .4mv, and the VDH has .65mv. While VDH may have a very famous name, it is not the "end-all" in cartridges. There are numerous cartridges that will do better for less money at any of their price points.