I am relatively new to returning to vinyl. I was lucky enough to purchase a Music Hall mmf-7 here on audiogon several months ago in great condition at a great price with a goldring eroica H installed. Unfortunately, I broke the cantilever a couple days ago and am already missing my daily vinyl "fix." Complicating matters (other than my obsessiveness) is the divergence of information I get from different sources. Salespeople at even the most rputable of sources seem to have their own agenda - N*********** pushes Ortofon, G**** pushed Benz, A**** A****** pushes clearaudio, etc giving me the feeling perhaps that the mark-up may be different at the different vendors - or perhaps I am just skeptical?
In any case, I am getting a headache trying to sort out my best options and look to you all, who have served me well thus far in my audio journey, to help navigate.
My current system:
Music Hall mmf-7
Jolida JD9 phono pre-amp (which I love)
Parasound Halo A21 power amp (occasionally switched out with my Jolida 302 tube integrated)
Snell b minor speakers (of which I have become quite fond)
Options thus far considered:
Trade in damaged Goldring Eroica for either another H or, more likely LX (either would be new - $288)
Repair Goldring through soundsmith ($150 - $350 depending upon repair/mod)
AT95E with a "Shibata" tip ($130) which I have heard will strongly resemble the clearaudio virtuoso (of course without the wood body) due to the fact that the virtuoso body is based upon the AT95 body.
Clearaudio virtuoso (around $450 used)
Benz line - I have looked at all from the Micro MC-20e2-L ($215) to the Glider-S ($600 factory rebuilt) The lower priced MC20e2 is intriguing not only because of its price but because of some of the wonderful reviews.
Currently, I am leaning toward the AT150MLX because of a couple raving (and seemingly objective) reviews and its impressive specs at the price point ($300 with boron cantilever and microline stylus)
I am willing to pay up to $600 or so - but see no reason to pay that much if there is not a significant bump in quality.
I listen to all music (except rap, "easy listening" or country) but primarily jazz and classical. A rich tone, clarity, dynamic range and a wide soundstage are thus important to me.
Thanks for your help!! I look forward to your responses,
A new "vinyl junkie".