Thats a great question, and one I’ve been unable to fully solve. My first thought would be the Ortofon SPU Royal N, direct in to your MC. If you want to try an MM, perhaps the Clearaudio Maestro, or one of the Nagaokas. I would ask Danny Labrecque (phonographe.ca), or Don Better, at you guessed it, Don Better Audio. I use a TSD15, but it will requite an SUT. I recommended the standard mounting Royal N, because I don’t believe you have the proper arm for an SPU.
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The Hana moving coil cartridges look promising. They make four models. Two have elliptical stylii available in high (2mV) and low (0.5mV) outputs and two with nude Shibata stylii available in the same two output levels. One thing a bit different about these is that they use alnico magnets, which are known for a warm, organically musical sound, whether in guitar pickups, loudspeakers, or other audio applications. Google for 'em and you'll find several favorable reviews. Herb Reichert at Stereophile really liked it on a turntable he was reviewing in the October 2016 issue.
Also, since you have a PLX-1000 which has very strong torque and a sort of insistent sense of tempo (or so I've read), you might want to swap in a wood headshell and a good turntable mat to relax the sound a bit. I just switched to a cherry wood headshell for my Audio Technica AT150Sa (Shibata stylus). The headshell comes with good hardware and excellent cartridge leads. It is only $35 available from Amazon and eBay.
It definitely warmed up the sound of my AT150Sa cartridge on my Technics SL1210 M5G direct drive turntable.
johnnyb- Herb likes everything (-: The Hana's are interesting, and don't break the bank. I know both of the dealers I mentioned have experience with a few cartridges carts beyond the usual suspects. I thought my Dyn 20X2-L sounded good direct in. But you may be on to something with the Hana's. I may explore those, or Nagaoka next. My V/R does not have the built in MC. Mine is special order, with two MM inputs. That's the reason I am thinking MM for a second cartridge.
salc- give Don B. a call. He has Lyra, Ortofon, and Dynavector, to name a few. Danny has Nagaoka, and Clearaudio.... Something interesting should come out of it for you.
jfn04: I know, Herb takes a different approach to reviewing, but I like certain aspects to his approach, such as judging a component or system by its ability to put you in touch with the music. Plus, he certainly doesn't stand alone in his praise for the Hana cartridges. It seems that the Hana SH (Shibata, 2mV output) could be a good match, and the cartridge's light weight should make for easy arm compatibility. I am concerned a bit about how low the body rides above the record surface, however.
I've been using an Audio Technica AT150MLX for eight years. Recently Audio Technica has discontinued the ATNMLX stylus (with boron cantilever) and now offers a nude Shibata on a tapered aluminum pipe cantilever. I just got one and plugged it into my AT150 cartridge, and really like the results--improved detail yet with a bit more relaxed presentation. But since I changed to the cherry wood headshell at the same time, I'm not sure which is doing what. But I'm too pleased with the combo to mess with it.
Depending on the OP's musical tastes, he might be really happy with the Shelter 201. I have one of those and like it a lot, too, especially for pop vocals (Sinatra, Bennett), chamber music (and solo cello is awesome) jazz, whether combo or big band, and even a lot of large scale orchestra.
It and the AT150Sa are close to the same USA price (if you find the right Audio Technica dealer). The Shelter has this great midrange; the AT has a good midrange too (esp. with the Shibata stylus) but with more air and inner detail. But you can get the Shelter for $167 direct from Japan dealers on eBay and Amazon. That price is such a no-brainer I think everybody should have one, at least as a backup.
thank you everyone for your comments. I've been rethinking the turntable. My thinking is my perhaps spending a little more an a used unit I can get something more in line with my system. I've come across a Rega RP6 for ~ $1000 thinking of that one at the moment. Switching cartridges can be a pain but I did hear the unit a while back and was quite impressed. Have not eliminate the Pioneer unit though. Any thoughts ?
thanks again in advance.