I am interested to try a couple of MC cartridges, so seeking some collective wisdom and advice, and as recently a forum member kindly recommended the AT 33 PTG II. Has anyone compared or had personal experience with it or some others such as AT-OC9XML, AT-ART9? I am also interested in the Hana up to the M model? Others? How would you describe the differences?
You can see I am mostly looking at Audio Technica and this is because I like their MM cartridges, although I don’t necessarily expect their MCs to be completely similar? That said, has anyone compared e.g. the VM760SLC to any of the above? Would be open to other higher end MM cartridges recommendations as well.
Just for some background, the Rega MCs have not really worked for me (at least the Aphetas 1&2 that came with my Rega TTs) and this is probably part of why I have stayed with good MMs … which, of course, I might end up continuing to happily do so but thought to give the more “affordable” MCs another try. Especially with Naim introducing the NVC TT, which I am willing to consider as it did very well on a home demo (with MM) and it would partner nicely with my 222. All this with my Rega P8, which I am not intending to change.
Thanks all in advance.
It might be worth giving AV Forums a read over a coffee break, as Ed Selley has just published a collective review of all of the Vetere cartridges available, and it makes interesting reading. I’ve heard a few Vertere decks now, and very impressive they were on each occasion. A dem at the North West Audio show illustrated the improvements moving from the ‘lowly’ DG-1 and MM Sabre to the lofty SG-1 and MC Mystic (wow).
For clarity, it is Worth noting that Ed is a fan of the manufacturer and has bought his own Vertere MG-1, so I guess he’s predisposed to like them. He’s also a Naim-ite too.
A lot of Sumiko MM carts are reviewed with a Naim phono stage so that may be a consideration. But of course synrgy between cart and stage is one aspect. Synergy of cart and deck another. It’s a rare brand on the forum though. They’re a subsidiary of McIntosh. I mention purely because I have a couple on different decks and they work well, espicially on forward aounding decks like Technics, they can tame them a bit but you’re using a Rega.
When auditioning carts a dealer dem room with a removable headshell can make things easier otherwise you are basically going on a punt. But that also might mean auditioning on an unfamiliar deck.
Rather than ask for general MM/MC recommdations, switch the question to ask what people are putting on the same deck and phono stage as you. Otherwise most of the recommendations will be rolls of the dice.
I’ve not managed to ever have a very informative cartridge demo at a dealer to give me confidence, for reasons you mention and this is not even going into speakers and overall system.
Happy to see and learn from what people prefer around the options I am considering, and why?
Have you considered the Ortofon 2M Black?
I have the LVB version in my Rega P6.
I have definitely heard better cartridges, all MCs, but much more expensive and requiring step up transformer or a new phono stage. Just a thought
I did have it, just with my RP6 (so close TT setup), I thought a good combination (I had a rather different system in terms of phono/amps and speakers then). At the point of change it travelled with the TT to the next owner and I’ve never tried it since.
I never had an Apheta 1 or 2 but had a P8 with Apheta 3 (and now have a P10 with Apheta 3). I personally like the Apheta 3 very much - it’s quick, detailed and dynamic. Might be worth an audition on your P8 (this would also eliminate any doubts as to VTA or the need for spacers under the tonearm).
Hi, if memory serves right the earlier Apheta was with Avid (Pulsus) and the second I had with the Rega Aria
@llatpoh76 and @graham55 - yes, never tried the 760SLC and I know many have compared it favourably to other MM and MC too. I’ve had several versions similar to the 740ML (as they are so easily interchangeable) and now using the 150ANV with a 150Sa stylus.
I heard the Reaga Alpha v Hanna ML v Audionote IQ3. The Alpha had a lot energy and was exciting but soon got fatiguing and seemed the less resolving of the three. The Hana is smooth with a fully extended top end and great separation and air, back not exactly an exciting listen. it is a lot more refined that the Rega.