Vinyl woes / cartridge upgrade


There are many threads about dealing with the usual clicks and pops.  I have been reading them everywhere since starting into vinyl about a year ago (the most recent post by jay73 being somewhat typical of my experience).  I am trying out some of your very helpful recommendations.  Winter static very bad right now and it is obvious.  Even with a humidifier running 24/7 and careful cleaning, Zerostat, etc. most albums become fatiguing after the first couple of songs.  It seems like the static builds up as the record spins.  :-(

It has definitely been an up/down ride so far.  Once in a while (but not lately!) it just dials in and I get it.  I see what everyone is talking about with the sound.  Even with my modest rig - vintage Dual 1219 TT and Graham Slee Gram amp 2 - I get it.  Of course album condition plays a huge part.  Some good used finds and some that look good but sound bad.  Returned/exchanged 4 of the 10 brand new albums purchased (don't get me started).

So while working on cleaning/static solutions I am also considering upgrades.  I do like the Dual but possibly a new TT in the future.  For now I would like to get a new cartridge.  The current, and most likely original, is a Shure m93e.  Researched many threads and found some possible replacements to be Shure m97xe or v15.  These would be used I presume as Shure is out of the cartridge business.  Audio technica at440mla, Ortofon Red?  I think I prefer new.  Anybody with 1219 experience would like to share an opinion?  

I have about $300 into it so far between purchase and professional tune-up.  I figure I could drop another $100 - $200 to see what a new cartridge can do for me.  Not hi end, I know, but good enough for now.  Not sure that I want to dive deeper with a new TT, RCM, etc.

Thanks
pkatsuleas
I was skeptical about the Sweet Vinyl Sugercube SC-1 but since I could buy it from an online dealer with a good return policy I decided to give it a try.  I'll be damned but the thing does work as advertised.  It gets rid of static based clicks and pops although it doesn't do much for damaged grooves.  I don't notice any sound degradation although when you set the "processor" to the highest levels I do hear, with my ears at least, some compression starting to occur.  Sweet Vinyl recommends the processor levels to be set at 5, at that level I notice no degradation of the analog sound quality.  
 Audio technica at440mla, Ortofon Red? I think I prefer new. Anybody with 1219 experience would like to share an opinion?  

I have about $300 into it so far between purchase and professional tune-up. I figure I could drop another $100 - $200 to see what a new cartridge can do for me.

If you like new then it is no problem to buy vintage NOS (which is like new), right ? Audio-Technica is much better with Beryllium cantilevers, but this material is not available today, restricted for use for all manufacturers. Audio-Technica AT-ML150 OCC with Beryllium Cantilever and MicroLine stylus is something to look for. 

Ortofon M20FL Super with FineLine diamond is another great and cheap MM. 

Stanton 881s and Pickering XSV-3000 (both with Stereohedron styli) cartridges are superb too and you will hardly find anything better withing your price range.  

Turntable does not matter, the mass of the tonearm is important. Look for MM or MI the cartridges from the same era (70's/80s) for your vintage turntable. 


I was reading about that piece.  Very cool, glad it works for you.  If someone wanted to loan me one......
I would never add anything between a signal from your cartridge/phonostage and your amp. You don't even have a good cartridge yet, but already thinking about some strange devices designed for people with digital background, why? Analog playback is cartridge - phonostage - amp - speakers and nothing else in between. It was like that forever. Cartridge is one of the most important component, phono stage is very important too, if you don't have top quality cartridge and phonostage do not add any devices like Sweet Vinyl Sugercube SC-1 etc. Analog chain must be very simple and very short.

If you want unnatural clean sound then just use digital.   
The Grado Black 2 for 75 bucks would be a good fit!
https://www.lpgear.com/product/GRADBLK2STD.html