What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 29 Mar 2011, 4:11pm

Nagaoka MP300

Tested at £500
100100
5

With subtlety, timing and detail to satisfy the pickiest, the MP300 is a standout

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For

  • Rhythmically tight, fast paced, subtle, detailed

Against

  • Hard to align, lack of captive nuts

This cartridge is a showman at heart – just look at that shell.

It’s also the only cartridge here not to have captive nuts, so you’ll be working like a one-armed paper hanger trying to fit and align it, while the recessed stylus can
prove tricky to line up in use.

It’s easy to set up, though, thanks to its square shape.

Fast and thrilling
But who cares? The sound is driving and fast-paced. Tracking at 1.5g, there’s timing and rhythm here too, and the taut, snappy delivery is the best in this class.

Pace isn’t everything, though, so we were pleased to find plenty of subtlety and detail on tap.

The MP300 rests on its clear midrange, and its bass is taut and punchy. Treble is a touch thin, especially with lean-sounding kit, but it’s a minor thing. This is great.

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