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stephen_matthews_uk's picture
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Sub £100 cartridge
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No dealer demos cartridges any more and I'd been thinking of posting something like "is their actually a concensus you can't go wrong with an Orton 2M Red?" when I read this here "if you had done a quick reccy of the forum you might have seen their is little love for the cheapest Ortofon..."  which slightly contradicts this http://www.whathifi.com/ortofon/2m-red/review

So is there a forum favourite? Be fitted to a R250 on a PT One

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Ortofon 2M Red

We have the 2M Red in our Pro-Ject and it sounds very nice in combination with our other kit. When the stylus needs replacing we will probably upgrade with a 2M Blue stylus.

I can't think of any other cartridge sub GBP 100. I think you can't go wrong with it, if the arm is properly balanced and you set the right pressure.

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iMark wrote:

iMark wrote:

We have the 2M Red in our Pro-Ject and it sounds very nice in combination with our other kit. When the stylus needs replacing we will probably upgrade with a 2M Blue stylus.

I can't think of any other cartridge sub GBP 100. I think you can't go wrong with it, if the arm is properly balanced and you set the right pressure.

I can, there are quite a few. I think also that quite a few forumees would agree with me that the Nagaoka MP110 is a better all-round choice. Like all reviews they ultimately reflect one person's opinion. WHFSAV gave it 4 stars I however, would not. It all comes down to personal choice in the end as some people like the Ortofon sound (surprising the number of people that say we are happy with 2M Red but then say when they replace the stylus it will be with a 2M Blue). Personally I find it 'grates' after extended listening. Also the replacement stylus for it is cheaper than the one for 2M Red.

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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Upgraditis

Replacing the stylus on the 2M Red by the 2M Blue is just upgraditis. It's a simple upgrade because no remounting of a cartridge is involved.

Don't most of us suffer from upgraditis? Smile

 

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iMark wrote:

iMark wrote:

Replacing the stylus on the 2M Red by the 2M Blue is just upgraditis. It's a simple upgrade because no remounting of a cartridge is involved.

Don't most of us suffer from upgraditis? Smile

 

Yep. And if you have a 2M Red it kicks in pretty quickly.... laugh

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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The best cart under a £100

The best cart under a £100 IMO is the Nagaoka MP110 - for the money it is fantatstic and is far better than the 2M Red.

£79.95 on ebay from Divine-Audio

 

 

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The Grado cartridges are

The Grado cartridges are often overlooked these days, though their cans get many raves.  I've used their most modest, the Black1, though you would be able to go a couple of models further up in price for £100. Very musical though needs a decent arm. Rega standard is fine. Consider mail order from the US if you cannot get locally. 

Another sleeper is the Shure M97xe, which is a fave across the pond. Also well under a ton.  

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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nopiano wrote:

nopiano wrote:

The Grado cartridges are often overlooked these days, though their cans get many raves.  I've used their most modest, the Black1, though you would be able to go a couple of models further up in price for £100. Very musical though needs a decent arm. Rega standard is fine. Consider mail order from the US if you cannot get locally. 

Another sleeper is the Shure M97xe, which is a fave across the pond. Also well under a ton.  

Talking about sleepers, another classic I had and it is still a very nice cartridge is Goldring 2100, this is under £ 100 too. BTW, my actual main cartridge over a Pro-ject Debut Carbon is Ortofon Red and yes, I'm very happy about it, and no, I wont upgrade it with the blue stylus.

Writer and musician based in Roma, Italia - Pro-ject Debut Carbon 2M Red Technics SL-521 Goldring 2100 ION ITUSB NAD D3020 Rotel RA-12 Philips cd Dragonfly 1.2 Nakamichi 550 MA BX2 Dali Zensor 3 Grado SR80i Superlux HD668B Sennheiser HD201

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...and I think that series of

...and I think that series of Goldrings are made by Nagaoka, unlike the 1000 series.

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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I use an Ortofon Super 20

I use an Ortofon Super OM20 cartridge, and despite many other forum members telling me that my turntable deserved better, I've been blown away by it. Recently I've played albums that I know well, but hadn't played for some time, and I'm genuinely hearing instruments I've never heard before. I'm not saying it's all the cartridge, as I now have a new amp and speakers, but if the cartridge wasn't up to the job, I'd hear it.

Not sure if you can get one for less than a ton, but IMO, it's definitely worth considering. 

Lounge: Panasonic TX-P50GT50 / Yamaha RX-A2020 / Panasonic DMP-BDT110 / Dali Zensor 3 / Dali Zensor Vokal / Mordaunt Short MS20i Pearl Edition / Roksan Radius 5.2 / WDTV My Book Live / Seagate Expansion / Sky HD Box 

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+1 for the Nagaoka MP-110;

+1 for the Nagaoka MP-110; the 2M Red sounds clumsy and overly-bright or forward in comparison. The Nagaoka is tonally balanced if perhaps a little lacking in quality treble but, like all the best cartridges whatever their price, it sounds right. Good tracking but I've found that this cart does respond to changes in VTA more than most...it likes the arm to be as level as possible with the platter. Now I've embarrassed myself by sounding like an anorak, I'll get my coat. 

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thanks

and thanks, so a general nod towards the Nagaoka then on balance? I have fond memories of the Nagaoka MP10, except the reference to VTA sensitivity, as there's one thing not easily achieved on a Rega, sod's law. I was in hi-fi retail on the South Coast early 80's and we used a Rega 3 with R200 arm and pile of headshells to demo cartridges, oddly Grados, Ortofons and Nagaokas, only brand that seems to have fallen by the wayside is ADC*, shame, they were good, Dynavector even has a cart around £50 and that was stormer.

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Hi Stephen. I seem to

Hi Stephen. I seem to remember reading Roy Gandy dismissing the whole VTA issue with regard to Rega arms. It's not that critical tbh but I did notice a more airy and spacious sound when I adjusted the vta. Even before, the Nagaoka sounded lovely. Don't let that put you off; it's by far and away the best cart under £100. 

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VTA

If you want to adjust the arm height on a Rega turntable, you could try the Michell Engineering VTA adjuster for Rega turntables (at a bit less than £40). There's one for arms with 3-point fixings (such as the new RP range), and one for arms with 1-point fixings. Thinking about getting one for my RP3 to see what difference it can make.

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thescarletpronster wrote:

thescarletpronster wrote:

If you want to adjust the arm height on a Rega turntable, you could try the Michell Engineering VTA adjuster for Rega turntables (at a bit less than £40). There's one for arms with 3-point fixings (such as the new RP range), and one for arms with 1-point fixings. Thinking about getting one for my RP3 to see what difference it can make.

Whilst I agree that the Michell VTA adjuster is a very useful piece of kit (I had the single point version on my old Planar 3) it is only occasionally useful. If the OP's turntable has been set up for the 3M Red then a change to Nagaoka or indeed many other cartridges will not involve tweaking the VTA as these cartridges have very similar proportions, when it comes to actual depth of cartridge. I am not saying that playing around with VTA might deliver some benefits when it comes to sound quality as just about everyones hearing and preferences are different. I would say, unless you really are trying to fit a weird shaped cartridge, then it is not always necessary to adjust the VTA.

Feel free to play I say.

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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Don't know much about Regas

Don't know much about Regas but when it comes to Technics SL-1200 you don't want to miss Audiotechnica AT 95 E. It is incredible for something less than 25.

 

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