What cartridge on your VPI prime?


I own a VPI prime, I installed a denon 103 R and I had never change the cart due to lack of funds. Now I want to upgrade my analog ring to the same level of my digital.
I have been considering based on reviews.

1- ortofon quintet
2- charisma MC2
3-ortofon black
4-kiseki blue.
5- rega alpheta 2.

I would appreciate any inputs from your end about cartridge selection and phono associated currently I am using graham slee reflex M.
Kind regards and thank you.
mountainsong
I have a Classic Signature with the same arm, platter, bearing, and motor as the Prime.  I also have the Denon 103r which is good for the money but the 2m Black is fantastic with this arm/table. I am using the phono section of a Mcintosh C1000.   I have heard good things as well about the Quintet.  No experience with the other carts. 
Well, none right now. I just picked up my Prime on Friday, went to mount my Ortofon Cadenza Bronze and found that none of the mounting hardware will fit on the thicker headshell of the Prime. Hardware was fine on my Scout.
So I'm now waiting for new hardware to be delivered.

What is your budget? Maybe check out an Audio Technica ART9, they are getting a lot of love and seem to be reasonably priced.
Hey John if you want I'll trade you, the 2m Black with fit as is:).  Let us know how you like the Cadenza Bronze, it's on my radar.  
checkout the thread and consider the Audio Technica ART 9.
I have one on my VPI Classic.

You obviously have the gain enough for very low output, so the ART 7 will save you a few more bucks AND may offer a bit more performance over the ART 9, as its output voltage is lower.

Either choice, your unlikely to experience buyers remorse when you drop the needle on a favorite album.

Maybe THE best cost/performance LOMC @ $1k. I’m among many who have tried other carts in the 1K price point and beyond.
Users of uber carts say it is the the same class a 3K+ carts.

There’s a huge price gap in your cart considerations-Orto Black/Rega. If I had that latitude in cart purchase power, I would get the Kieseki PurpleHeart AND put a tubed phono stage on deck as a future upgrade.

Happy Listening.

I'm using the Ortofon Winfield...with smiles. 
I look at the Winfield but I don't see myself putting the smile anytime soon lol.
Kinda depends on what music you listen to .
I consider myself with a wider range in music taste than average. From Motown years to Adele. Classical, jazz, rock 80s, some R&B, Opera etc. That's why I need to take time to choose the cart since I don't own two tonearns or pocket for several cartridges. Realistic here.
Thank you 
Few have such broad tastes  song, I'd bop right over to ZU website  and get one of their modified Denon 103 's  if I was you .
I have a Soundsmith AIDA which is awesome....not cheap....but still WORTH every dime.....I have also heard the Sumiko Blackbird which also sounds real nice too. Any Cadenza or 2M Ortofon will work to great affect as well. Depending on your budget, I would also put the Soundsmith Carman on your shortlist too. All outstanding choices. I liked the Quintet series...but feel the step up into the Cadenza series worth the extra coin, especially if you are already considering the Quintet black...If going MM.....definately Soundsmith or Ortofon 2M series......I listen to light rock and modern jazz and running Cambridge 640p phono....hoping someday for a Manley Chinook or Zesto Andros....
Mountainsong....why would you say that....either you don't like to smile, or you never heard a Winfield. 

Indeed, the Winfield was a popular choice with cowboys. It sounded a cracking report. :)


An Ortofon Windfeld on the other hand is an excellent cartridge.... ;)

I do like to smile just can't afford that cartridge so why to waste time spoiling my journey. And I  don't listen to gear I can't buy for a simple reason. It Will not allowed me to enjoy what I own anymore.
Regards 

Just add this into the equation, the arm was designed and tested using an Ortofon Quintet Black plus many others.  The Q Black is a perfect combination, just let it break in and warm up and you will love it.  If you like rich and full and powerful get the VAS Nova, absolutely amazing and the cartridge I am using when customers come to listen.

HW
Thanks for chiming in HW!
Perhaps you could provide some more detail about the Prime line.
A friend told me that during a recent visit to your VPI site there was work being done on a Prime Signature turntable.
Any truth to this rumor? Any hints about the upgrades? Will the standard Prime be able to be upgraded to Signature status?

Cheers,
John
Just recently added an Ortofon Cadenza Bronze to my Prime. First cart was a Soundsmith VPI Zephyr that I moved over from my Scout. Zephyr was great, Cadenza Bronze is greater.
Mountainsong.....I just bought my Winfield for 3000 dollars....you can too if you check around. I needed to replace my Benz LPS...it was getting long in the tooth.....the Windfield is a viable replacement.  It needs careful setup..can sound very good to great depending how you install it.  It takes a L-O-N-G time to break in but is very interesting to hear it improve.  Recommended.
How is the VAS Nova sound related to the ortofon Quintet and Charisma MC2?
Guys I really appreciate the time you are putting into this discussion.
Regards 
adeep42, thanks for your post ! those were  two carts I'm considering .
VAS Nova? That thing looks like a black & silver Lyra Delos!
VPI has a list of suggested cartridge/table combos on their website.
Just look in the forums section, I believe.

I have the VPI Prime and have a Denon DL103r on the 3d arm. And I think it is sounds great. I am using a Vincent POH-8 phono preamp and running it into a Mcintosh preamp and out to some tube amps and some huge horn loaded speakers. I also tryed an Ortofon OM super 40 MM cartridge before the Denon, and it too sounded great. But I think the Denon had a llittle more detail in the midrange. I have also read that sending in the denon cartridge to be retiped with a better tip can make a big difference too. 
I use a Haniwa Cart with a matching Haniwa Phono EQ and my table is quite similar to yours. It is a VPI Super Scoutmaster but with a Prime Motor and prime 10inch 3D Printed Arm and the 3D Tonearm base and I had a custom made pair of ultra ohm ic cables and I'm pretty excited about it. Good luck with your choice! Get the best cart you can afford. Not the most expensive but the best quality which is usually the most expensive and it will make your table what it is.,
Anyone familiar with Charisma MC2 cartridge ?
Thanks 
I am very interested if anyone has heard the Charisma MC-2 particularly on a Prime. I am debating between this and a Lyra Delos. 
Can say i'm using an Ortofon MM Bronze currently which is very nice but recently upgraded to a Manley Chinook and am wanting to try out a MC cartridge so heard lots of good reviews for the Delos and Prime but the Charisma is intriguing.
Ortofon Quintet Black is a great buy I like it better than the Dyna 20x2L
Benz micro
Jmcgrogan....I just installed a Cadenza Bronze on my Prime today. I had a 2M Bronze on it and thought I could just use the same mounting screws....but no. Just like you they didn't work. All the screws by themselves were to short or to long. But I saw in the hardware bag a small spacer (larger than the washer) and used that...it worked just fine. Look in your bag and see if those are there. They screw on. Good luck. 


@ekimg, thanks for the tip, but my bag had different hardware. I had two sets of screws, both of which were too short, and no sets that were too long. I did wind up ordering the proper hardware, so I have the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze mounted now.

I also just picked up a Transfiguration Phoenix S today, that I will try sometime within the next couple of weeks.
My Prime dustcover just arrived today too!

Anyone else heard anything about VPI releasing a Prime Signature turntable?
Owners of the 3D arm should note that the arm is so good that although Denon, Audiotechnica, etc cartridges that perform in the top of their class, a really good cartridge will give that extra pleasure for years.  Top Lyras, Benz, Ortofon cartridges are the tops in every class.
Glad you got it installed. After installing it yesterday it sounded pretty good for my first install. But today it seems pretty "fuzzy."  I relooked at VTF (2.75) and played with VTA some and even changed loading (200, 100, and 50) but just doesn't seem clear?  Any thoughts?
First install? What protractor are you using? Feickert? MintLP?

I'm running mine at 2.4g VTF and a effective input impedance of 118 ohms into a Bob's Devices Cinemag 1131 SUT. I used a Feickert protractor and set it up using the Baerwald curve. It sounds pretty damn good to me.

Did you check your azimuth? Did you buy it new or used?

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/setting-up-a-phono-cartridge/
I used the VPI jig. I have a Mint ordered. Still sounding "fuzzy" so will continue to tweak today. I have it set at 100 ohms into a Manley Chinook and adjusted the azimuth various times?  Are you using anti-skate. I tend not to but I hooked that up and seemed to help but not alleviate the issue. Yea this is my first attempt so I have a lot to learn. Bought it here on Audiogon...used. Reported to have only about 10 hours use so could it be because it still needs break in?  Everything looked fine. 
Since my last visit here I have upgraded my system, the Vincent POH-8 has been sold and  went to a McIntosh c50 preamp that has built in MC and MM phono preamp sections that are adjustable. Then I purchased a 2nd 10" 3D arm for my VPI Prime and started comparing cartridges that I own. 1st I compared an Ortofon 2M Bronze to my Denon 103R. Both sounded great but I liked the sound of the 2M better. The 103R had good detail and nice sound stage, but everything was a little repressed, hidden I would say. The 2M is a more in your face type of sound. The sound stage is more open and higher Hz notes just seam to jump out at you more.  One clear difference is the bass. The bass on the 2M is clear and tight, and you can pick out the sound of the drum skin vibrating at the end of a strike. The 2M has great detail when it comes to bass drums.  
I have 4 cartridges that I play on my prime, Ortofon ( Super OM40,& 2M Bronze) Denon 103R, Audio Technica 33EV. They all sound great on my VPI Prime and the 3D arm. The problem is it takes an hour to swap out a cartridge on the prime. And after an hour most people have forgotten a lot of details, unless you are one of these super human reviews that can hear the difference in music from years ago.   So I purchased a 2nd 3D arm. Now it takes a minute to compare two different cartridges. What I have learned so far is I like the 2M bronze over the 103r because of better detail in bass notes, the 2M has sharp bass notes, 103r kinds of duller sound. The 2M is more dynamic in the higher HZ area snare drums, symbols, ect more pronounced, sound vibrates longer with the 2M. I guess punchier would describe the 2M to the 103r over all. I am listening with a McIntosh C-50 preamp and Prima Luna tube amps running into horn loaded Klipsch LaScalla type speakers.  The 2M also has a deeper and wider sound stage, but both are good, I give a nod to the 2M. The OM40 is great for the money but again and 2M outdoes it in the tighter base and punchier highs. The sound stage again wider and more dynamic. But on a lesser table, like the MMF 7.1 I had before the prime, all 3 of these cartridges were a toss up.