what should next upgrade to my analog system be?

I really like my analog system in general so am not looking for suggestions on a complete overhaul and replacing the Lenco idler wheel turntable that I own.

I am debating however whether to upgrade the arm or the cartridge. I bought the turntable used with an existing rega rb-700 arm and shelter 501mkII cartridge. The system really swings! The cartridge will probably need to be retipped in the coming 6 months so the thought occurred to upgrade to the shelter 7000. I was also thinking of perhaps changing the tonearm. I already rewired the tone arm with caras wiring. the turntable is isolated from the table already as well.

As for upgrading the tonearm on a jean natais plinth lenco table, I had heard previously that the Graham phantom b-44 is a good bet. What might I hear more or better going from the rega r700 to the graham. The bass is already deep and yet tight. The soundstage is wide. The sound is warm. Perhaps more midrange? vocals are already amazing. Is the graham with the shelter a good match? My preamp is the dartzeel phono+linestage. I am using a dartzeel amplifier.


Dear Mike: I will go for a change in phono cartridge. The tonearm is very decent oe and with the right cartridge you can improve your analog quality performance.

I think that you could go for the MM/MI alternative that is worth to try it but if you want to follow on the LOMC ones then the XV-1 can be a good choice.

Regards and enjoy the music,
It is "swinging" now so -don't break what don't need fixin.
Get a vpi sds and a digistrobe to keep your table spot on 33.3. If that doesn't kick it up a bit start saving...
If you like the current sound, have the shelter re-tipped and spend the money left (if any) on more vinyl.
Much more Detail and a taste of the real Thing:
Graham Phantom II
Question: How is your noise floor?
Is it acceptable to you, or do you crave a deeper, darker, blacker background?

I ask, because for a couple of years I used the Shelter 90X, (after having used a couple of Koetsu cartridges for a couple years), and while the Shelter had great frequency extension, better than either of the Koetsu cartridges, (especially in the bass response, where it is a real champ!), its noise floor was not as good as the Koetsu cartridges to be honest. (It was not bad mind you, just not great.) And, while I loved most everything about the Shelter, I found that I kept yearning for those deep, dark, black backgrounds that the Koetsu's had.

Eventually I ended up upgrading to the Dynavector XV-1S, (the same cartridge that Raul has already recommended), and I am now completely happy with my analog system. (Or as happy as any audiophile can be anyway.) It has great bass response, (either as good as the Shelter, or very nearly so), the mid-range, while not Koetsu lush, is still very, very nice, and the treble extension is better than the Shelter, as it is much more refined. The tonality is just perfect, IMHO. And, it soundstages and images incredibly well. And to top it off, it has those deep, dark, black backgrounds that I wanted so much! (For me it is the perfect cartridge, and one that I have no plans on ever upgrading from.)

As far as the tone arm is concerned, I went from a Rega RB900 to a Basis Vector M3, and it was a nice step up, (more resolving, better bass response, quieter, etc.). But to be honest, I feel the change from the Shelter 90X to the Dynavector XV-1S had more of an impact on my system's sound that the change in tone arms. (The upper end Rega arms (R600 and up) are pretty good, albeit with some limitations, such as a lack of VTA adjustment, and a slight lack of refinement. But over all, I felt they were a good value).

My two cents worth anyway.