I am sure that best cartridge for your money is the Rega Elys in a moving magnet, Or spend a little more 850.00 and get a Benz Glider MC determine the output requirment to match the EAR
The Glider is much more open and revealing than the Rega's
also keep and eye on the AUdioGon for a used Lyra Lydian
I went from the glider to the lydian on my P25 and WOW
what a detailed revealing acurate sound
The EAR is a tube preamp. Tubes are noisier than transistors...I would look for something that has a higher output. Don't let prices decive you!
I agree with Psychicanimal. I use a Dynavector 17-D which is in your price range, and a beautiful sounding cart. on my P-25.
However, due to the low out-put (0.23mv) I have had trouble finding the right phono section. Most do not have enough gain to present the signal without background noise. I have gone from a Rega Fono (ss), to a Coph Nia (ss), to a Herron (tube) phono-pre, without being able to get away from a hum (tube) or a hiss (ss) in the background.
Today my Ear MC3 step-up arrived, and I hope I am done for awhile.
All in all, I would recommend a MC at/or above 0.5mv out-put. That opens up many more options for your phono-pre.
By the way, I can make you a deal on either the Rega or the Coph Nia, after you decide on the cart.
Good listening, Dave.
The Shelter 501 would be an excellent choice for sound quality. It retails at $800, but you may be able to find a dealer to discount it a little for you.
I think a tube phono unit is an excellent choice, particularly at the front end, because they are softer on the overload margins, and this results in better performance during clicks and pops. Also, it keeps the grain out, at least until it reaches the your SS preamp.
I recommend a Benz Glider MC also - However, what ever cartridge you decide to use DO NOT overlook inquiry into the issue of whether or not it matches your arm. You will need to talk to someone with expert knowledge of the details of your arm, the cartridge you want to use, and the formulae for determining whether or not they will match. The best cartridge and arm in the world won't work well unless properly matched. If you are using a Rega arm for example, just ask Rega or their dealer. By the way, I think the Benz will match.
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Rega Super Elys or Exact. If you're looking for a sure thing go for a Rega cartridge with that Rega table. They're very easy to mount, and don't require much in the way of adjusting. They also just lowered the price.
Having said that, I just noticed a New Lyra Lydian Beta for $650.00. That might me the one to go for in your price range. I've heard it on a LP12 and it was incredible. The best analog I've ever heard. Of course that could have been the $8000 worth of LP12 it was attached to.
Here is the link to the Lyra:
Hi. Grab a Dynavector DV20X-H (High Output) or X-L (Low output) MC cratridge for $400-$500 and your search will be over. No one who has heard a Dynavector in their system (unless there's a gross mis-match with their phono stage) has ever not wanted to keep it. They just make music. I am not a dealer. E-mail me if you want to discuss this privately,
Kontra B's can be had 500$ street, and I know of nothing better at that price, or a Benz Ruby 2 if you want to stretch can be had a street price of a kilo buck.
Despite other comments my opinion is the Glider is overpriced.
You might be able to find a Shelter 501 from a friendly dealer for $700. If you can't, wait, save the extra 100 clams, and buy the Shelter, then.
I agree with Egoss, Dynavector 20X-H. I have the original 10A, a 20 years old cartridge I put away because of my lacking set up skill. It sounds better than Shure V15-VMR and other set up with Linn LP12, very musical cartridge with very little weaknesses. When I set it up properly, I understand why people says LP sounds better than CD. It has that analog magic that digital can't compare. Try some old Decca or EMI, they sound full and wonderfully engaging. Remember to budget for record cleaner, VPI or Nitty Gritty. They clean up old records and keep new recrod in tip top sharp. Well worth the money!! Happy listening!!
I thank all of you for giving me some much needed information. I see that the Dynavector has been mentioned several times. Benz,Contra,Shelter,Rega and the Lyra Lydian have been given high marks too. This is exactly what I was looking for. I may very well end up with two cartridges !! That is after I recouperate from buying the first. Once again !!! Gon members have helped me through another tough situation. Thank-you !!
Note that Benz cart's, including the Glider, come in a choice of three output levels. You shouldn't need the high output level, but the medium could work better than the low for you. Also keep in mind that this model is 'naked' (doesn't have a conventional cartridge body assembly covering up the internal works), which means it lacks a stylus-guard, and is not shielded against RFI interference. I can't say whether any of these factors would be a detriment to you, but be aware that they exist. A plus is that the Glider, like some (but not all) of the others mentioned, has tapped mounting-bolt holes, meaning you don't have to futz around with tiny nuts and washers if you choose to mount it yourself - always a good thing, especially if you're new to the process.
Get a Shure V15Mxr whatever. It's the best sounding and most forgiving until you figure out what your tastes are.
I used to have a Glider 2 HO in my Linn Sondek Lingo. I live in an area which is notorious for RF interference and never had any RF problem. Naked is cool but you can't be brutal with it.
The Shure V15 suggestion is an interesting one too. I liked the one I had for several years in an earlier LP12. It doesn't need a fancy phono stage, is very easy to set up using the included jig, and has a clever stylus assembly that survived several encounters with children and cats. However I would a lot rather figure out what my tastes were using a Glider as reference.
I have heard great things about the Dynavector 20.
Tobias, I've lived near transmitters in two different locations, and had no problems in one, but some in the other. You can never tell, unfortunately. But I agree that it's a fine cartridge.