What Cartridge(s) Is Everyone Using

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I am interested in what everyone is using and why. If you have more than one I would also be interested in the differences heard in your systems
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
8,571
38
38
Calgary, AB
I have used GRADO cartridges for many, many years. I like them because they are well-rounded and don't tend to provide prominance towards any specific freq. range. I have been using Grado Reference Platinum MI cartridges on both my Revolver Red and Nottingham Analogue Horizon SE TT's. I would like to experiment with MC cartridges that can give me that same kind of signature.

John
 

Wardsweb

Well-Known Member
May 8, 2010
410
54
375
64
San Antonio, TX
wardswebllc.com
I ran an Audio Note on my old Planar 3 but the high gain was very unforgiving. I went with a Benz Micro Glider for my Clearaudio Champion II and love it. I know I could do even better but would need to spend 2 to 3 times more.
 

vinylphilemag

WBF Founding Member
Apr 30, 2010
810
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328
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Kelowna, BC
www.vinylphilemag.com
My current cartridge is an original Lyra Parnassus. I bought it (together with my Forsell Air Reference TT) with funds from an insurance claim, and the reason why I bought it was because of its reputation as being an excellent yet neutral cartridge. I toyed with getting a Koetsu Rosewood Signature, but wanted something that was neutral.

I'm sure it's starting to show its age now, so a replacement cartridge is highest on my "new gear" list. I'm intrigued by the Air Tight PC-1 Supreme, the Lyra Titan i, and whatever cartridge Lyra are presumably working on to replace the Titan i. I'm also tempted by the Lyra Olympos... Mind you, all of these options are currently out of my reach ($$$), so I keep an open ear on the market!
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I'm intrigued by the Air Tight PC-1 Supreme, the Lyra Titan i,

I have heard both of these in a buddy's system. I was amazed at how much bass the Air Tight produced
 

naturephoto1

Member
May 24, 2010
820
2
16
Breinigsville, PA
www.nelridge.com
My current cartridge is a Soundsmith Strain Gauge with a required Soundsmith Strain Gauge Phono Preamp which in my case is a 410.

Rich,

I know that you aren't partial to the always lit blue of the Soundsmith Strain Gayge Cartridge, but if you are unaware, Peter Ledermann has come out with the SG 200 which is a simpler Phono Preamp with the same cartridge (it sounds exactly the same as the more expensive phono preamps) for $5500. That is for both the cartridge and the Phono Preamp.

Rich
 
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ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
6,775
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Boston, MA
Big fan of Dynavectors - extreme value for the money. Using an XX-2 MkII currently, would love an XV-1s.
 
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rblnr

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 3, 2010
2,079
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500
NYC/NJ
Use and love the XX2mkII, but haven't compared it to any more $$ cartridges. Will have three phono preamps to compare soon -- Klyne, Bel Canto, and Behold, should be interesting.
 

jadis

Well-Known Member
Apr 28, 2010
10,258
3,550
910
Manila, Philippines
I have used many cartridges in the past, among them Grado 8MR, Monster Alpha 2, Carnegie 1, and a nude Koetsu modified by Scantech. My cartridge journey stopped around 1998 when I got a Koetsu Black which was vintage mid-1980s. For eight more years I enjoyed at as it highlighted the genre that I have come to love - female vocals, acoustic instruments, and chamber music. Magically sweet to my ears, with pure emotion that I have not heard in my other past cartridges. In 2006, I bought myself a Koetsu Rosewood Signature that (imo) improved almost all musical parameters that my Black was capable of, and retained the luscious midrange that Koetsus are known for. One of these days, or years, I intent to get one of their 'stone bodies with platinum magnet' carts.
 

soundofvoid

WBF Founding Member
Apr 22, 2010
173
7
365
Athens/Greece
Started with Stanton MMs ,went to Grado Gold and Platinum,moved to the mc camp with Ortofon and finaly to VDH: MC1 Super,MCTwo,Frog,Condor gold and now on special order a Condor Silver with lighter body.
I really like VDHul.They are organic,detailed,musical,easy to set up (bar the Colibri),and there is a real step up in what you hear with every better model.Plus it is very cheap on retipping/service with regards to their initial cost!
That is excellent customer support!
 

MylesBAstor

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,229
38
575
New York City
Started with Stanton MMs ,went to Grado Gold and Platinum,moved to the mc camp with Ortofon and finaly to VDH: MC1 Super,MCTwo,Frog,Condor gold and now on special order a Condor Silver with lighter body.
I really like VDHul.They are organic,detailed,musical,easy to set up (bar the Colibri),and there is a real step up in what you hear with every better model.Plus it is very cheap on retipping/service with regards to their initial cost!
That is excellent customer support!

There's certainly a lot of good things to say about vdH cartridges-and AJ is a pleasure to deal with. I've always been impressed by their resolving power.

I'm curious as to what you didn't like about the Colibri?

My only gripe with the vdHs I've set up is that the cartridges azimuth eg mounting of stylus, seems to be off quite often. What I've had to do to get equal crosstalk on vdH cartridges often requires quite a cant to the tonearm :(
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
6,775
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Boston, MA
BTW, I still have a brand new Stanton 881S ca 1985 that I got as present, which I have never had a chance to install...
 

MylesBAstor

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,229
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575
New York City
BTW, I still have a brand new Stanton 881S ca 1985 that I got as present, which I have never had a chance to install...

How many audiophiles went through the 681EE or 881S phase???
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
10,539
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my current stable of cartridges include the Lyra Olympos SL, (2) Ortofon A90 MC's, an Allnic Verito 'Z', an Azden YM-P50VL and an Ortofon M20FL Super.

over the last 15 years i've also owned a Benz Glider, a Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, a Clearaudio Insider Gold, a number of vdH Colibri's including 3 different XCP's, an XWG, and an XPP; and a Dynavector XV-1s.

i suppose i aspire to try out in my system (someday) the Koetsu Coralstone and Coralstone Mono, the Air Tight PC-1 Supreme, and maybe the Soundsmith Sussaro. there are many other excellent cartridges out there which i also would enjoy hearing. it's a great time to be into vinyl with all the choices.

i'm also on the hunt for the right Mono cartridge (that does not retail for $15k) as i've assembled 300-400 vintage monural lps i want to hear optimally.

i'm not sure there is a 'best' cartridge. OTOH the best all around cartridge i have heard is the Lyra Olympos SL.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Mike

I am surprised that you parted with your vdH Colibri. I always thought it occupied a special place in your system. What prompted your decision?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
10,539
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Interesting; what does the SL suffix stand for? Perhaps I should be saving a bit harder for my Olympos...! :)

the Lyra Olympos SL is 'low output' .17mv. the normal Olympos is 'i think' .28mv. i've only heard the SL but i'm told the by a few people who have heard both that the SL sounds better, more nuanced and textured....fewer windings i'm told. obviously it needs a very good, low noise, high output, phono stage to sound it's best.

when you visit me you can hear it for yourself.
 

vinylphilemag

WBF Founding Member
Apr 30, 2010
810
0
328
54
Kelowna, BC
www.vinylphilemag.com
the Lyra Olympos SL is 'low output' .17mv. the normal Olympos is 'i think' .28mv. i've only heard the SL but i'm told the by a few people who have heard both that the SL sounds better, more nuanced and textured....fewer windings i'm told. obviously it needs a very good, low noise, high output, phono stage to sound it's best.

when you visit me you can hear it for yourself.

I'm very much looking forward to it! :) *Wipes drool from keyboard*
 

cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,966
771
550
Pleasanton, CA
Currently using the Allnic Verito Z revision w/ aluminum cantilever. Wonderful cartridge. Just like in real estate where it's "location, location, location", the Verito is "midrange, midrange, midrange" with bass and high end sparkle to boot.
 

joe1515

New Member
May 26, 2010
31
0
0
New York
I have used sumiko blue point #2 and I am currently using the Benz Micro glider S M. I really enjoy the benz micro.

Joe
 

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