What cartridge do I get now?

I think my Decca Mk vii is on its last legs -stylus looks shot and it's starting to jet even more jumpy. So I started listening on my LP12/Ittok/Ortofon MC3turbo and even though more colored than the 401, I was surprised with the extra detail. Maybe the Decca wasn't doing as well as I thought.
So I swapped it into the 401/Jelco 750L and the system sounds way better! tighter bass, more detail, wider and deeper sound stage and more air. The only concession is that the Decca has slightly cleaner more upright presentation, probably faster.

So where do I go from here? A Denon 103R with a Bob's Devices CineMag 1131 or a Dynavector 10x5 or Ortofon Black MM? Money's a little tight but I want to improve the sound of the rig, not merely replace the cartridge. I had thought of retipping a la J. Wright but TBH, I'm disappointed in the Decca now that I've heard the MC3 in the 401. If I go the Bob's SUT route, I can always move to other LOMCs in the future. I dig detail, timbre, color, nuance over loudness.
Audio Technica AT-150MLX
Thanks Wc65mustang. I'm a bit nervous of ATs as they have a reputation for being bright and sterile..? I guess I mentioned wanting to keep the budget down, but... maybe I need to step it up as the mid-life crisis has arrived and I don't see a Camero in my future. I'm not even sure id my set-up merits a higher end cartridge. I did really love the Decca but it'd a bit tough to live with. So, any other suggestions for a 12" Jelco 750 on a nice 401 into a Croft Micro and Eico 35s with Quad ESLs?
Send your Decca/London to John Wright for a rebuild with a Paratrace tip. You will be astonished how good it is. The Deccas prefer 33k loading according to John.

My Decca C4E is astonishingly good and i prefer it to my Allaerts MC1B. I posted a review elsewhere on the Decca and my TRON 7 phono stage.


Charlie, I spoke to John and am sending on the Decca tomorrow.
Mr. Croft also advises keeping the Decca.
Let's see how this plays out.
the Ortofon black.
JW will sort your Decca out. A Paratrace tip will make a big difference. If it’s fettled properly and matched with a decent arm and phono stage, it is a truly astonishing pick-up.

Ditto on the Ortofon Black. I have been an MC fan for years, with the Lyra Delos my current MC, but recently I added a MM rig and chose the Black becuase it sounds so much like an MC with that incredibly good tracking shibata stylus. The Ortofon Bronze might be a strong second contender for substantially less $$$.
I can't recommend the Denon 301 II highly enough. IMO, nothing comes close at anywhere near the price.
With your tube based system and Spendor/Quad speakers an upper level Audio Technica cartridge will bring added speed/detail/engagement. Another plus is very little coloration is added.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm sending the Decca for a Paratrace tip to John Wright in the UK. It's a $400+ job and will take a few weeks. I'll update this post with the results. If it doesn't cut it, I'll try one of the options suggested.
JW normally turns things round in a week. Let us know what you think.
OK, after some delays in the mail the refurbished Decca Super Gold came back with a new Paratrace stylus (and tie cord).
Under the magnifying glass, the diamond looks very fine and thin after the rock that was there before. JW says it was 75% worn but honestly, despite using a magic eraser, it was playing pretty badly. Maybe the cord had stretched with wear - it was after all 25+ years old.
Anyhow, JW didn't return the mounting screws which was a bit of a pain as all the ones I had were a little too long. I had to add a brass nut between the bolt and the top of the headshell so the screw didn't punch the top of the can. The extra weight meant moving the balance weight a little further back on the arm.
There is one particular track that I use as a test for detail. Famous Blue Raincoat by Leonard Cohen has some tinkling bells that are barely audible (they brought them forward in the mix for the remaster) at the start of the track. With the old Decca, they were barely audible. With the re-tip, they are crystal clear and hang in space. This is a good start! Julie Andrews "Before I Gaze At You Again" from Camelot on RCA 1960 is three dimensional with wonderful richness, a palpable presence in the room. This is a very dynamic recording but there was no evidence of sibilance or tracking error despite what Julie could throw at it. Interestingly, I really didn't pay much attention to set up. VTF 1.8gr, VTA -dunno tonearm is parallel to the record. SRA, no idea. Azimuth, looks fine by eye.
Next up, Loudon Wainwright "Hard Day on the Planet" from More Love Songs. This is a great recording with acoustic bass, finger clicking and piano, sax, xylophone adding a dynamic snap to the driving vocal. I'd call it post-jazz-blues! Great air and space around the instruments. I'm definitely noticing much better out of the speaker sound stage. Increased depth and layering and ... big and, despite an increase in surface noise, a way lower noise floor. The music is released from the groove like I've never heard before. Now, on the increased surface noise, it's not like before, it's a higher frequency and "faster" noise. Before the refurb, it was a broad spectrum "slower" noise -much more intrusive.
Talk Talk "Happiness is Easy" from The Colour of Spring is a great analogue recording from the 80s. You've heard people say "I'm listening to my records all over again"? I'm hearing stuff I've never heard before. This is not a review about how much more detailed the retipped cartridge is. It is about how the music, the interplay of musicians, the timbre of a bass, the aching pain in Janis Ian "At Seventeen" and Loudon Wainwright "Hosptial Lady" has been released from the recording. There is no coloration that I have yet to pick up on. Yes, it is a tiny bit bright and a little congested on dense material like the emsemble pieces on the 1966 RCA Victor recording of Show Boat. But it's only out of the box. Nevertheless, William Warfield's Ol' Man River is ear poppingly good. What a recording! The bass vocal is in the room and the acoustic goes well beyond the speakers. This cartridge is a significant upgrade. What of the Ortofon? Not in the same league.
Glad to hear you're pleased. You would have to spend a lot of money to beat a properly fettled Decca.