Does your phono stage have enough gain to support low output Moving Coil cartridges? Several on your list fall into this category which require additional gain from the phono input. If it does I'd suggest going with the Ortofon Quintet Blue as a good match for your arm and priorities. If you can only use a high output cartridge, then the Dynavector 10x5 would be my choice.
I respectively submit that you consider Shelter cartridges. Lively!
Without knowing what phono stage you are using its difficult to recommend any one cartridge. Value for money on your list the Denon DL 103R is an obvious choice. If I was to choose any single one it would be the Ortofon 2M Black
Thanks for the nudge, I really should have mentioned that I am currently using a Pro-ject Phono Box SE II which has dip switches to change from MM to Low output MC or High output MC.
After doing some research I quite like the idea of the Benz Micro Gold, or the 10x5. However, someone has suggested that the Goldring g1042 would work well. I have decided that the cartridge is the first choice and therefore priority and if I have to change phono amp to accommodate it so be it. I've already looked at a couple of Graham Slee units so its not a problem.
Does this change the thinking about which I should consider?
This might be useful.
"I have decided that the cartridge is the first choice and therefore priority and if I have to change phono amp to accommodate it so be it. "
Rob I think you have this backwards. If you're considering a new phono preamp, the time to buy it and get it in your system is before you buy a new cartridge. Otherwise, you are introducing multiple variables at the same time.
Surprisingly to me, no one has asked what is the effective mass of the Nottingham tonearm? That alone would be a major determinant of your choice of cartridges. Those on your list span the gamut from high to low compliance. (You want to mate a low compliance cartridge to a tonearm with high effective mass, and vice-versa. You may have to do some internet searching to determine the definitions of those terms, which are kind of muddy, I admit.) This is not necessarily a sine qua non (the rule can be broken on the odd occasion with success), but it is a good place to start.
The Nottingham Interspace tonearm has an effective mass of 11.25 grams. That happens to be the same as the Rega RB-250 for those that may have recommendations with that very popular arm.
I think that when you enter the arena of the "Effectual mass of a tonearm" and its effect on your choices for cartridges, you have clearly left the world of the true novice behind. They (me as well) will not know in all probability exactly what they are losing or gaining with choices so dictated.
I admit that I may wish to undertake an increased interest in such thing but have not gotten most of my analog gear back yet, if it ever comes.
I live in Southern Spain and the nearest Hi Fi shop is 100Km away so I've found a shop in Berlin, Germany who seems really helpful (I'm travelling to berlin later this year anyway). I have assumed that he will know the technical side of things and will provide me with 3 or 4 decent options based on my preferred sound characteristics.
This is their website for anyone who may be interested what they can offer. My question was to try to understand what his options will give me. http://www.phonophono.de/
I think you have got it absolutely right Mechans, Whilst I have an interest in the technicalities and effect of component change, I really just want to listen to my favourite music without worrying about how to squeeze the smallest difference/improvement out of it. I also don't have the money or storage space (or understanding wife for that matter)to be constantly changing components.
The reason my list is so exhaustive is that my phono amp will run MM, low output MC and High output MC so my choice really is unrestricted.Also, given that I've only previously had MM's, I thought I might try a MC, and possibly a low output as I believe from the research I've done they seem to be slightly more. However, I am open to whatever sound best on the turntable.
FWIW, with a tonearm effective mass of 11.25 gms, which is "medium", you have a wide variety of choices. According to theory, a typical high compliance/low output MC cartridge will work fine in that tonearm but probably not super optimally, which, as you say, you don't care about. The good thing about having a tonearm with a lower effective mass than optimum is that you can quite easily increase effective mass by adding a mass to the headshell. We all "just want to listen" to our favorite music.
Audio-Technica AT-33PTG/II 0.3mV MC Cartridge
I think the Ortofon Black would be superlative...that's what I would do.
In the least you could do what I did and use a medium to high output MC cart. I have a Dynevector 20XH and use a MM phono pre amp. I am sure you get the idea. I think the sound is quite good but the real feinschmeckers will say it doesn't do MC the way the other good MC cartridge do. Ignore these naysayers and consider using one. What is choice of Phono stage, obviously make sure the phono stage has the option for MM which what I put my MC cart through. I use a Graham Gram amp 2 SE which is MM only, if want the option of true low output MC you'll need to pick another phono stage.
The late Tom Fletcher, designer of the Nottingham turntables and tonearms, was not a fan of MC cartridges and designed his tonearms to use MM carts. Based on weight, these arms generally work best with cartridges on the higher side of the compliance slope - I recommend a cartridge with a compliance value of 14 or higher.
Having said that, I have successfully used many MC cartridges with my Nottingham arms over the years. Being unipivot arms, tracking is always an issue. I have had very good luck with the Ortofon MCs and the Grado Statement and Reference MI cartridges. Based on experience I suggest that you stay away from low compliance cartridges like the Denon DL-103 series, among others.
Nottingham cartridges were based on Goldring and they sounded excellent in Spacearm.
I would definitely go with Goldring 1042, at least to begin with.It's $360 cartridge, if you get it from the UK. Some people use it in much more expensive set-ups.
I am about to unpack my Spacedeck/Spacearm and that's exactly the cartridge I am going to mount.
I was also recommended Soundsmith Carmen. Maybe later.
My phono stage is Acoustech.
As I understand, better Nagaoka might work well too.
I used a relatively lower priced Goldring ?1012? or the 1042, which came with the earlier MMF-5s (currently in storage) which had a very different presentation to Dynevector I mentioned above. The !042 sound is vert cohesive and pretty, but not the best for very fine detailed sound that the MC Dynevector has. It may be your cup of tea, if you aren't a big fan of highly analytical sound.
1012 and 1042 are different level cartridges. Yes, many put Dynavector or Shelter in Spacearm and like the sound. A matter of taste. If I wanted to go with MC, I would probably try Lyra first.
Anyone has this set-up- Spacedeck/Spacearm/Lyra ?