Which cartridge do you use with the vpi classic?

I just recieved the classic and it totally improved the sound of my analog setup. This is one of the best buys in audio, it only took me half an hour to setup, maybe an hour total from opening the box to playing, this is great for those who just want to listen to great vinyl without the fuss.
I am using a denon 103r with incredible results, the phono stage is a JLTI, an audio experience preamp and sim w-5 amp with merlin speakers, one would think this is a million dollar system.
I highly recommend the classic.
Now would like to improve in the cartridge department.
I loved my Lyra Argo when I used it with the JLTI. The new Lyra Delos may be a
great option. The Argo replaced a Denon DL103R...after moving to the Argo I I
just couldn't stand listening to the DL103R anymore. The DL103R is good but
not anywhere near what the JLTI can do with a Lyra.
VPI recommends (and sells) both Dynavector and Grado carts. I use a Benz Ruby 3 with my VPI set up (not a classic though) and it is quite a performer and tracks very well.
I used a Dynavector 17D3 with a Sutherland Ph3D when I had my Scout and it was a GREAT match.
With my Aries 3 and 10.5i arm I use a Dynavector XX2 mkII with a Sutherland Hubble phono stage and am extremely pleased with the result. I'm using a gain setting of 55db and a 100ohm load.
I'm currently using a Benz ACE S HO through a Furutech AG-12 into the phono stage of a McIntosh MA6900. From my understanding most Benz carts mate well with VPI arms. I'm enjoying mine
You guys have to remember that VPI now makes their arms with Stainless Steel instead of aluminum. This increases mass a bit. My experience is with the aluminum arms in which Benz's and Dyna's where/are excellent matches but with a bit of damping. Those of you with the Stainless arms will probably require no damping. Shelters and Denons will benefit from the extra mass as well.
Tru dat Stringreen. Mine is aluminum and has about 3 drops of damping fluid.
I believe that the arm on my Classic is made of a combo of stainless and aluminum. Would you comment on this combination of materials and Benz carts.

Thanks, John
The Denon 103 series works fine on medium arm mass(14 and below) but is totally different animal in performance and sound when the effective tonearm mass is at 24 gms and above.

No wonder why some says the 103 series are just okay and nothing special. If you use a medium mass tonearm, uni pivot is the worse, then you heard the Denon 103 series, but you have not listen to it really. Yes, it is true that the compliance figure of the 103 was "calculated at
100 Hz instead of 10 Hz...etc. etc.". Just try it, if not read about it and you will see what I meant.

Now, if your plan is just to get by, then a medium mass arm is fine for the 103 series. It will absolutely work, but I promise you, you will find so many shortcomings on its sound later on.

Go to AA. Research and you will find your real answer there without buying the ticket to the upgrade merry go round. Over here, the best recommendation is always buy this, buy that, kind of stuff.
I have a Grado The Reference 1 Statement (low output) and I got this after trying several other very good cartidges. It's been exceptional.

I thought that the Classic still shipped with the aluminum arm unless you request the SS one? That's what VPI told me when I asked, has the changed?
I know I'll get knives and bullets aimed at when I say this, but here goes--this denon 103r is super.
I will add though that I still consider myself a newbie, I thought my previous table the highly modified tnt was awesome but the classic is a real cool cat!!!
Still wondering what cartridges will be found to match the classic/10.5i tonearm the best. I know many who responded have heard/owned the 10.5i arm but not neccessarily all have had the opportunity to hear it on the classic.
clearaudio stradivarius.. it kills,i have been a koetsu fan for years but the higher output gives me a 'blacker' background
Check out the Benz LPS....you'll need to contact VPI for the proper counterweight, however, its what Harry uses.
I use a dynavector xx2 Mk2 with a premium maxxed out k&k phono stage.
Sounds really good.
I've heard it with an AT OC9. Didn't hear any weaknesses. VPI Classic and the OC9 made a very good combination.
I started with a Classic 1, Phenomena II phono stage and Dynavector 20x2 cartridge. Great setup, but I wanted a little more lower frequencies. Upgraded the phono stage to a Avid Pulsus. Nice upgrade, lower frequencies and lower mid really came alive. I then went to the Classic 3. Noise floor dissapeared. First thing you notice is the BASS, more bass, tighter, then everything seems more musical, all frequencies. Sounds like you upgraded the cartridge, all the frequencies are effected. Also the highs seem less harsh. Recently I went to a XX2MKII and it really out shines the 20X2. Needs about 50 hours at least to break in. I am loading at 100 ohms and VTF at 1.87 grams. Azimuth adjusted to minimize crosstalk with a multi meter. I really like the XX2MKII. It just does everything better than the 20x2. Definitely worth the upgrade. On your classic 1 if you can swing it, and you want to go Dynavector, my vote goes for the XX2MKII.
Benz LPS. Can't imagine anything better.
This is a post from a another thread running asking for carty suggestions for the VPI JMW arm:

"The DV 20X2 is my backup carty. It's a nice carty, but my main carty is the Soundsmith VPI Zephyr. The Zephyr was jointly designed by Peter Ledermann and Harry Weisfeld. No surprise that it is extremely compatible with the Classic JMW wand. I think it sounds mutch better than the DV 20X2. I'm sure there are even better sounding carties out there, but the Zephyr is a low risk very good performer.

Stringreen is another VPI Classic owner who has said many times that the Benz LPS is a super performer: problem is that it's a $5K carty.

You might be able to pick up a preowned Zephyr on A'gon for $700. I did and it was a great buy. Brand new, the Zephyr costs $1K, unless you can find a dealer who discounts it.

Another nice fact about the Zephyr is that Peter Ledermann only charges $250 to retip it. Once retipped, it's as good as new.

Just another option. FWIW."
Amyone that sticks a $5k cartridge on a $2k deck with an average arm needs their head read or their ears cleaned out..
Dover...you clearly have no idea what you're talking about
Dover, what in your opinion is the "correct" price ratio between cartridge and table/arm?
What really bothers me ( I know it shouldn't) is that the VPI 10.5 or Classic arms (Valhalla)(they are really the same) have a reputation on this site of being "average" at best. In truth, every time this arm is professionally reviewed it gets high praise. I have compared it to the many arms of much higher price and prestige points, and although they may sound a bit different from each other using the same cartridge, they aren't better if both arms are properly set up.
Stringreen, don't fret. I own the Classic with the Classic 3 wand. I admit the unipivot system can be a little finicky, but with the right carty the damn thing sings. What's really going on here I think is that there's an undercurrent sense of insecurity that unless you spend your retirement savings on gear, you're wasting your time and settling on mid-fi.

Stringreen, I know you own and love the Vandy 5As. No problem there. Somehow, I wound up getting the Paradigm S8s (w/ Be tweeter). Wasn't even an informed decision. Just happened. As an aside, the top end Magico speakers also use a Be dome tweeter -- but guess what? Magico doesn't make the Be dome in house because it's a toxic material that's hard to work with. Try this -- Paradigm makes their own Be tweeters, dome and all. Why? Because they know how to!

Mark Mickelson and at least 4 or 5 other respected reviewers would stack the S8s up against speakers costing many multiples of the S8s. How can this be?? It's reaaly simple Econ 101. Paradigm owns its own super high tech testing center. They also make pretty much everything in-house except for the cabinets which are made in China. That means QC is top notch. And R&D and other fixed costs are spread over a huge product line. If you didn't take Econ 101 in college, you just won't get it.

And what does this have to do with the VPI Classic. The Classic is a darling in the high-end community. And if you can work your way around the set up peculiarities, the damn thing sings. Is it possible that a TT gizmo costing $20-25K sounds better? Who gives a sh*t. My VPI works great and I enjoy whatever I play on it.

Yeah, maybe one day I may spring for the Benz LPS, but not today. In the meantime, the Zephyr tracks like a champ and sounds almost as good as the Clearaudio Maestro -- which says alot!

Bottom line: I'd mount any carty I can afford on the Classic as long as it can be set up properly and it's compatible with my ARC PH-7 phono pre. The only hesitation is I'd need to pop some valium if I busted the cantilever on a $5K carty.

So, that my Sunday night long winded post that basically agrees with you.
Bifwynne et al - I own the Classic 1 and using a Benz Micro Glider that I took off my old SOTA Sapphire. If I had no cartridge, what would you recommend for someone on a limited budget (retired on a pension with a wife who collects jewelry like I collect lps and cds). Would it be that much of an improvement over the Glider?
I think an excellent choice is the Soundsmith Zephyr. Retail is $1000, but you pick up a used Zephyr for $7-800.
I have heard an Audio Technica OC9/II and it is VERY good. Might not be quite as refines as the super mega-buck carts, but it's close.
I use a dynavector xx2 Mk2 with my classic III.
Interesting to read how folks on this forum have multiple cartridges. I don't have the finances to experiment with cartridges and I'm hesistant to sell my Glider and buy a more expensive cartridge without some assurance that it will be a nice improvement; so I'm going to have to be satisfied with my Glider till until such time as it needs to be replaced.
I purchased a soundsmith boheme before the zephyr was developed. The boheme on the 10.5 jmw arm sounds great. If I were going to purchase a new cart today for my classic, I would be looking at the zephyr and a grado reference.
I have reconsidered my last statement. After reading several more threads, I have discovered there seems to be a hum problem with the grados when paired with the classic. Grados are un-shielded and this seems to cause feedback with the classics aluminum platter. I think I am going to purchase the zephyr. I have always wanted to try the zephyr to see how it sounds. Either way, there will be a boheme or a zephyr on the used market soon when I decide which I like best.