Which MM cartridge?

I'm looking to upgrade from my current Dynavector 10x5 MC cartridge and I'd like a high end MM to replace it. With help from A'goners I've been able to improve performance on my TT and now realize just how good the rig actually is.
I'm considering the Clearaudio Viruoso Wood, the Clearaudio Maestro Wood and the Music Maker 3.

Can anyone comment on their relative strengths/limitations or recommend one between them, or even an alternative. I'm looking to purchase used with less than 200 hours.
I will mount the cart on a Rega P25 TT.
Thanks in advance for the advice.
Garrott p77i, or AT150...a bit riskier and more expensive, Decca Maroon or Gold. All make you forget about cartridges.
Ortofon 2M black
Maestro Wood
I went from the 20X to the Virtuoso Wood and could not be happier.The Dynavector was a very good cartridge,but the Virtuoso (in my system) is simply outstanding.The presentation is more coherent and balanced.It lacks(nor adds)nothing!

I also like the Ortofon 2M cartridges.I think the Bronze is the "sweet spot" in the line-up.I use the 2M Blue on my Dual CS 5000 and am amazed at how good it is for the money!
Give the Nagaoka MP-500 a listen.
And make sure the cantilever assembly (the whole plug-in) can't move the faintest.
Dear Jgiacalo: IMHO the phono stage design was not the strongest McIntosh stage in designm, maybe yours is,

Saying that and before you spend 1K+ in a new cartridge my advise is that you go for one of these Ortofon's that are below 200.00 with a quality performance that IMHO you need 2-3 K to beat it.

If your phono stage is up to " job " then you already find what you are looking for and if not then you only spend 200.00 not over 1K:



Regards and enjoy the music,
I own both the Ortofon 2m black and the Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood. Both are Stereophile Class B. Well, for my taste (classical and some jazz) I prefer the Ortofon.
It's sound more vividly, fast and clear. I don't know if the output is the reason, the Ortofon is 5.5 mv and the Clearaudio is 3.5 mm. For me, the Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood (as all cartridge from Clearaudio) are overpriced.
Ortofon 2m black price is $669 and the Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood is $875.
Good Hunting.
On a previous turntable (Rega P3 with RB300) I went from a Dynavector 10x4Mk2 to a Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood to a Dynavector 20xH. My order of preference was 20xH>10x4Mk2>Virtuoso. Of course these things are subjective but I found something about the Virtuoso un-natural sounding and ultimately disappointing, especially for the price. The less expensive Dynavector cartridges were far superior in my opinion. In fact, I'd say that the 20xH is among the finest cartridges I've heard for less than $1500. IMO a "special" product that performs well above what its price range...
As an owner of an MP-50, I will second the Nagoaka suggestion. I haven't actually heard the 500, but it is speculated to be the same cartridge as the 50.

Mine is sounding great on a Well Tempered Reference feeding a Ray Sammuels Audio Nighthawk.
I recently picked up a used Grado Reference Sonata 1 and I like it better than any other MM cart I've heard, including the Ortofon 2Ms. Great value if you can find a good one used.
Clearaudio Maestro is very worthy.
Dear Gopher: Agree, the MP-50 is really good:


as the Clearaudio Maestro that Triode point out but both are higher in price than the Ortofon's.

Anyway, I think that now Jgiacalo has very good alternatives to pull the triger.

Regards and enjoy the music,