Nagaoka MP300 review

Flashy it may look, and there's no denying it's difficult to fit, but Nagaoka's MP300 cartridge stands out at this price-point Tested at £666

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

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


  • +

    Rhythmically tight, fast paced, subtle, detailed


  • -

    Hard to align, lack of captive nuts

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

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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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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