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Recommend a good middle of the road cartridge?

 
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WildIowa



Joined: 06 Mar 2004
Posts: 490
Location: Henderson IA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:04 am    Post subject: Recommend a good middle of the road cartridge? Reply with quote

I gave my daughter and son in law a "vinyl" stereo set up including turntable, amp and speakers. Now I want to give them a good phono cartridge to complete the system. The turntable was from a friend and the cart was super high-end, maybe like $500, but the condition of the stylus was unknown. Plus, it appears the stylus is attached permanently, non-removeable...I suppose it could be reconditioned but who has the time etc...

So, can anyone give me a suggestion for decent replacement cartridge/stylus for this vinyl system? I seem to recall several mid-priced Shures that were considered to be very good in the old days....I don't really want to spend like $300 or $400 but not a total cheapie either. So, any thoughts, recommendations?? thanks...IA
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trentonleonard



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 1557
Location: West V

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a shure m92 it's good enough for me, I primarily listen to CDs though.
These ortofons get a lot of good reviews
https://www.amazon.com/Ortofon-2M-Red-Phono-Cartridge/dp/B000WMCEKK
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BluesmanDave



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2816
Location: Sacramento CA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on what they're planning to play, in part. On both my main turntables (work and home) I run a Shure SC35C, which was designed for the BBC as a broadcast cartridge originally. A note of caution on that one - you have to run it at 4-5 grams vertical tracking force (not a typo, I swear) which is beyond what most turntable arms' counterweights are capable of producing by themselves. If you run it at LESS than that, it can skip and damage records. I got a generic DJ headshell (a Stanton) that had weights that came with it, mounted a 3 gram weight, and adjusted the rest of the VTF with the counterweight. Despite the BIG VTF, It doesn't harm the records because of how the stylus is cut, has great bass response, and won't skip. Best part? The whole package cost me less than $100.

If I was you, by the way, I'd blow the 15 bucks on a tracking force scale. Much like with guitars, if you take a little time to actually set the thing up right, the results are MUCH better than if you just kinda wing it.

SC35C on Amazon
Stanton headshell on Amazon
Scale on Amazon

Also, print out one of these to get the cartridge lined up right. As I said, like with guitars, a good setup at the beginning makes all the difference.

Cartridge alignment protractor

Do you know what the original cartridge is? I'd be surprised to find a non-replaceable stylus on a high-end cartridge. Plus, if you don't want it, I have the time to fool around with old cartridges. Very Happy
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