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Cartridge required to reveal more detail from my vinyl

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dx052's picture
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I have a Thorens TD166MKII with a Rega RB250 arm and a AT110E Cartridge. Looking to find a cartridge that will bring the best out of my records and encourage me to play them more as I have quite a few to say the least. The current souund is okay but lacks a lot of clarity which I am after. I understand that the current cart is a budget one and don't mind spending up to £200 to get the sound I am after. I am also noticing that I am having to turn the volume on the amp quite high to produce decent levels of sound compared to say CDs etc.

Al ears's picture
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RE: Cartridge required to reveal more detail from my vinyl

Hi,

For your sort of money I would suggest the Grado Prestige Gold or Ortofon 2m Blue.

I am wondering why you use the Project phono box though as this could be a source of you volume problem, I thought the A400 (if memory serves me well) had a perfectly adequate phono stage built in. Have you tried connecting turntable direct to amp? Where,and why, are you plugging in the Phono box?

If there is a problem with the phono stage in amp then the Phono Box could do with being upgraded also if you are upgrading cartridge.

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dx052's picture
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RE: Cartridge required to reveal more detail from my vinyl

I had the phono stage going into the Line in on the A400 amplifier, reason being is that I thought/was told the phono stage in on the amp wasn't very good. Anyway took the phono stage out of the loop and plugged it directly into the amp, I would say it sound pretty much the same and a tad louder. Clearly the phono stage isn't great and the cart could do with improving. Will upgrade cart first I think then look at a decent Phono stage.

entrails's picture
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RE: Cartridge required to reveal more detail from my vinyl

I used the 2m blue for a couple of years with an Origin live modified 250 on a technics sl1200. I previously upgraded the cart from an Om20 on a project debut through a cambridge audio p640 phono stage. Henley Designs had recommended this as the best choice for my price point. I was very impressed by the 2m blue and noted its ability to dig out masses more detail from the grooves at a very affordable price. Also from a pragmatic point of view it is a very easy cart to mount on the rega arms if you don't have a handy helpful hifi outlet nearby.

 

Much as I enjoyed the 2m having moved on to a dynavector 10x5 I am more aware of its weaknesses now. Its ability to dig out detail is indiscriminate so if your vinyl is not in great shape it reveals this in quite a prominant unflattering fashion. I also found with the 2m quite hard to set tracking force and antiskating as both seemed to have a very small correct point and it was very easy to go past this in both areas, I assume this was down to its shape as not got this problem with the dynavector. Also the 2m series do all seem to kick out quite a high voltage output in comparison with other carts which wasn't a problem until I upgraded to an icon audio ps1 when at loud parts of music became so distorted coming out of the speakers it was alarming!

 

So very good value at your price point but best if your vinyl is in pretty good shape.

nopiano's picture
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RE: Cartridge required to reveal more detail from my vinyl

I would certainly second the models from Grado and Ortofon, though if you are fussy you may need to alter the arm height. Do not forget a newer Audio Technica though, if you want the same but better or indeed one of Rega's.  

 

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DIB
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RE: Cartridge required to reveal more detail from my vinyl

If you were considering the Grado Prestige Gold 1 then there is a very low useage (ie 10 hrs) 2nd hand one going  on The Art of Sound classifieds for £80 at the moment. You might not want to go the 2nd hand route but this one looks pretty good. Nothing to do with me BTW.

 

 

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Joined: 25 Jul 2011
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RE: Cartridge required to reveal more detail from my vinyl

Clearaudio. A mate who hasn't converted has one, and it is magic. Never heard a cartridge with that level of realism before.

Grado are nice, but, unless they've changed over the last decade, they're not the last word in detail.