Who owns/owned a Fidelity Research FR1 MK3F & what is similar but better

To say that I love, love, love this cartridge is a gross understatement. In fact I love it so much I now own 2 - one I had rebuilt and one I just bought which is virtually unused.

The sweet tone of the music and the life like performance of both instruments and vocals is outstanding. The delivery of music is totally immersive and mesmerizing. Whilst the high frequencies are detailed yet silky smooth and the bass is low reaching but solid, it is the midrange where everything comes alive.

It is in this midrange zone that the voices of Nancy Wilson, Jacintha, Vanessa Fernandez, amongst others, become incredibly real, intoxicating and seductive. It is also in this range where trumpets, saxophones, snare drums, bass guitar & piano sound so palpable you feel like you can reach out and touch them.

To give the above statements some context I should point out that I have owned and / or demo'd some reasonably desirable cartridges such as Technics EPC-310MC, Audio Technica OC9 III, AT 32e II, AT 150 MLX, Denon 103 with aluminum body and soundsmith rebuild, Signet TK 100LC, Linn Adikt & Grado F1+, and I can honestly say that based on my taste, none of these cartridges come anywhere close to providing the sheer enjoyment I get from the Fidelity Research.

So what do I do now??? Have I reached vinyl nirvana???? In the short to medium term I say yes wholeheartedly and I am content to focus my $$$ on expanding my record collection with a massive smile on my face.

However, and there is always a "however", what happens when I am ready to consider going to the next level or I get that itch that we all get no matter how high up the food chain we get. What cartridge, (vintage preferably), would offer a similar sonic flavor but provide a little more of everything I love about this magical cart.

This request for information is purely out of curiosity at this stage as I have no desire to spend more $$$, but I am keen hear from those members who have owned the F version of this cartridge and find out what they did to take it to the next level. 

Thanks in advance for any observations y'all may have.

Indeed some mysteries remain. But they sound great, no mystery there!

Coincidentally I recently discovered that they shift another gear if you use them with a silver wired step up transformer. I acquired an Ortofon T-3000 for use with my MC5000 and MC7500 carts, but the FR7 also benefit greatly from using this device.

I had been on the lookout for FR's own silver wired SUT, but that's next to impossible to find. The Ortofon seems to be a great substitute. Recommended!

Coincidentally I recently discovered that they shift another gear if you use them with a silver wired step up transformer.

I've been using them with Luxman Toroidal Silver SUT 
But the recent discovery is Current Injection phono stage, it's so nice with FR-7fz 

Historical note, going back to Nandric's post of 04-25-2016 7:10am, regarding the FR1-Mk3 "F" compared to a plain F-less Mk3.

I have a review from circa 1980, possibly in HFN, stating that the FR1-Mk3 had a nasty treble peak, which Fidelity Research promptly fixed — and added "F" to mean "flat". According to the review, the peak was eliminated by adding a tiny tantalum cap inside the cartridge body.

I've seen photos of a nude Mk3F and couldn't see a cap added to the normal workings, even a tiny one, and there's not much room in there.

I have three of the Mk3F cartridges, all NOS, and I find they lack the last bit of transparency of my preferred MCs. That may be because they're NOS and have not "broken in"... or whatever a 40 year-old suspension does with adequate playing time.

This is why the most valuable FR LOMC cartridges today is only FR-7 series (no one never noticed any issue with its sealed suspension), but i must say the closest is PMC-3