This is just my opinion, but I would put that $1K towards a better phonostage if it was my money. Something like a used Simaudio LP5.3 would be a bigger improvement than adding a better cartridge with the Creek you are using now.
I've had the both phonostages.
The Ortofon Kontrapunkt is high compliance,and the Denon DL 103 is low compliance.One of these carts is likely unsuitable for your arm.
Agree with Tom hankins. Making the jump to LOMC without a suitable table, arm and (especially) phono stage is a classic error.
I currently own a $5K LOMC, a $2K LOMC and a $200 MM. Are the LOMC's better? Yes, but only in a suitably matched system.
It's fair to say my phono stage, table and arm are well above the level of yours. But if I dropped even one of them to the level of a Creek my LOMC's would become unsatisfactory. The MM would become the better sounding cartridge. I know because I've made that journey.
Unless money is no object and you plan on upgrading everything, the optimal bang-for-buck upgrade order is usually:
- Table first
- Phono stage a close second (but first if using an LOMC)
- Tonearm third
- Cartridge a very distant fourth
This is my experience but it certainly isn't my idea. Linn has been espousing this hierarchy for 30 years, because it works.
Thank you very much for the responses. I now see I have been putting the cartridge before the horse. As I am sticking with this TT for the time being, and the Rega 700 arm is what I've got to work with, I will look to upgrade the Phono stage next. As always very informative.
Dear Jhartbirdman : I agree with what Dougdeacon posted.
IMHO what you need to do is to take the MM/MI " road " with out change anything you own.
The MM/MI alternative is better that we could think and not easy to beat in the right environment.
Almost every MM/MI cartridge is below that 1K budget you have with a quality performance level that even easy LOMC cartridges in the 2K-3K price range.
These are some good alternatives you can try:
Regards and enjoy the music,
would either a Musical Surroundings Phenomenon 2 or a Jolida jd9a be respectable low cost phono preamps for use with a Benz glider low output cartridge? would one be better than the other? (i'm using a win strainguage w/transducer & good stylus on a j.a.michell hydraulic reference turntable w/fluid arm thru my line stage as my main cartridge but would like to try a quality mc on my other table w/a signet tk7e mm. mfa magus preamp w/mm phono stage, worked on by bill jones who helped assemble the moore/frankland luminessence line.)
Dear Kingmacaw: IMHO your MFA is a good phonolinepreamp as is your Signet cartridge ( that you can improve with a 9 model stylus replacement or with the lattest 7e stylus. There are over the net NOS sources for those Signet stylus replacement. ), a Benz Glider only can help for you spend money on a High gain phono stage but IMHO not with better quality performance.
Even you can choose one, two or more of the cartridges I posted/linked that could give you very good quality performance for so less/lower money than the Glider/MC phono stage.
You don't have to take my word for " sure ", please read what this person ( Halcro ) already experienced with those humble MM/MI cartridges against not only other MM/MI's but against top LOMC cartridges like the Universe or XV-1, these ones are around 4K big dollars against less than 200.00 in that MM cartridge ( and this is not one and only experience about, in the thread there are several ones " speaking " on the same subject: great quality performance from MM/MI analog source alternative. ):
Regards and enjoy the music,
I'm going to have to go against prevailing opinion here. It's always been my experience that the biggest differences in sound are made by the transducers (cartridges and speakers). This is not a fashionable opinion, but it's what I've found to be true. So I'd go with a cartridge before upgrading the preamp. I have no experience with any of the carts you mentioned, but can say that the Shelter 501 II that I recently bought is absolutely superb in every way that matters to me. And it's within your budget.
clearaudio maestro is a mm with qualities of a mc but less expensive
You asked, "would either a Musical Surroundings Phenomenon 2 or a Jolida jd9a be respectable low cost phono preamps for use with a Benz glider low output cartridge?"
I use a Musical Surroudnings Phenomena II phono stage with a Benz Ace S low output (.4mv) cartridge. I love this combination and highly recommend it.
The Phenomena II and Nova Phenomena are good for these catridges because of their adjustability. I found major differences in sound at different impedance settings. A pre-amp with suitable adjustibility will help you get the most out of your cartridge.
I found adjustable phono stages to be the worst compromise, especially with LOMC carts.
Look into Graham Slee line of products particularly "Reflex" phono amp.
Denon 103R or 304 would be my choice of carts.
Speakers are undoubtedly would be the next important choice.
i agree w/hesson 11 for differences in dynamics & coloration-speakers & cartridges are the biggest difference of influence. it's nice that it's much easier to audition speakers tho trying different cartridges especially in this digital age becomes extreeemly difficult. at the same time cartridges lend such a distinct sound some that might be great for some - simply grate the ears of other listeners.
However hesson, a great preamp, in my case tubed, is of Prime importance 1st for setting the depth of a soundstage & that 3d front-middle-back experience often lacking w/cd's a great preamp. i've found this sets up the overall musicality of the system - the music experience (here i refer to a system preamp not phono preamps of which i have no knowledge).
Simply get a HOMC. my new sumiko Blackbird sounds wonderful thru the phono section of my mfa! who needs a LOMC & the high cost of a true quality phono preamp? besides w/a HOMC you can still use the MM input for MM cartridges. sell your creek you won't ever worry about being w/o a paddle! take the money & buy a cartridge.