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i assume that the stanton and rega cartridges meet my definition of warm. i am not looking for detail. i am looking for euphonic coloration.
when i called music direct, a salesman recommended a $299 soundsmith cartridge. i have no experience with any of the cartridges suggested so far, but i thank you for your input.
Sumiko Pearl. With VTA set a little low, you'll get exactly the sound you describe, with excellent midrange resolution and solid tracking. With VTA set correctly the Pearl is warm-to-neutral--the treble roll-off is still there, but the mid-bass bump is reduced. When I say neutral I don't mean "bright" or "detailed"--I mean relaxed and musical, placing brass and wood and gut and human voices there in the room with you. I love the Pearl.
I just switched to the Pearl from the Shure M97XE. The Shure meets your "warm" requirements perfectly and tracks well, but build quality is poor. I bought two styli for it; both were badly misaligned. Also, the mounting block and cartridge body are two separate pieces _glued_ together--mine fell apart and had to be super-glued back together. My glue job held up better than Shure's. Now it lives in a drawer.
The Stanton 500 is wonderfully midrange-rich and involving but not the best tracker. I'd love to get one again to have as a backup cart.
I had the Soundsmith Otello for a brief period of time and thought it was a bit lifeless. Very flat, not much sparkle on the high end but not much warmth in the mid-bass either.
I'm actually looking for something similar and have heard folks talk about the Rega Elys 2 as a very musical cart with a little bump in the bass region.