32, yes but snaps? You’d be better off with a hicap rather than the cost of servicing a snaps?
With an SME arm a museum is probably the best place for it!
I once had an SME 3009Mk2, a lovely piece of engineering and exquisitely finished. It was then billed as ‘The Best Pick-Up Arm in the World’. I believed it - I was about 16 at the time and had it on a Thorens TD160 with a Shure M95ED - the poor man’s V15MKIII.
Then along came Linn and Acos (with the Lustre arm - which Rega later adopted/adapted as their own) and spoilt it all.
The LP12 ws all about rigidity and lack of play so the SME with its knife-edge bearings didn’t fit the bill. Then again, the Arro, being a unipivot, wasn’t exactly rigid either but whenever I heard it I thought it sounded much nicer than the Ittok - even if it lacked some of the drive of the Linn arm. (somewhat curiously mirrored the difference between IBL’s and Kans I thought).
I thought a HiCap couldn’t be used with a 32? Mine is not (afaik) a 32.5.
If it can, all the better as I already have a HiCap I could use.
It’s not just compatibility with the arm, but also with the internal phono stage of the Nait 2. It was designed for the cartridges of its 1980s era and as a result more capracious nowadays - very high capacitance & headroom - than one would think for optimal results (don’t ask me how I know).
The Mission is somewhat comparable to the Jelco arm I’m running, so I feel safe to recommend indeed the Shure V15, the Supex, Nagaoka MP200, the Rega Exact even - all high capacitance carts but catering to different sound preferences. There is also a host of well-matching Ortofon cartridges: The OM or OM Super 20/30/40, the VM 520/530/540, and my nicest surprise of them all, the MC3-Turbo.
I don’t think it can utilise both rails ( unlike the 32.5) but the single rail output of the hicap is a definite improvement on single rail output of the snaps.
Thanks @Bruss. I’d assumed a HC was a no-go.
Just check the connections when you get the 32 serviced. You will need either a 4 pin din to the hicap, or if a particular year of 32 you may need a 4 pin to 5 pin din. I think Richard may know of the year or product serial numbers.
This is a really helpful post. Thanks for the recommendations
A few carts for me to look into!
Is there any way you could briefly speak of the differences you’ve encountered with these carts?
I’ll never be able to try all of them so any further info would be much appreciated.
Found this. I knew I’d seen something sometime.
I can sure give it a try! If you like acoustic/piano/jazz do try the Nagaoka. It’s absolutely brilliant and its only problem is it will also try to make rock sound like jazz.
I love the Rega Exact but it’s very low profile, so you would need to make sure you can lower the arm enough to accommodate that. It is a wonderful high output music maker boogie machine to my ears. The Shure and Supex are vintage and hard to find. For Ortofon the OM is analytical, the OM Super a bit more lively, the MC3-Turbo superb but hard to find.
To give you some idea look up on YouTube the song The Motels - Take the L with a cartridge comparison between the Nagaoka MP150 and an Ortofon MC3-Turbo. Knowing the Nagaoka well (the MP200 is way better though) it gave me a good preview of what to expect from the latter. You will be able to find more cartridge reviews there I’m sure, use good headphones.
If you’re unable to find a MC3-Turbo my second recommendation would be an Ortofon cartridge from the VM 500 II series. These are still available at a reasonable price at Thakker, most of the complete cart versions that is and definitely all of the styli. Basically they are the high-capacitance predecessors of the current 2M range, so 520 is Blue, 530 is Bronze, 540 is Black. If you like it you can always upgrade the stylus later. Works well on the vintage LP12/Nait2 combo.
Great, thanks for that! Very helpful indeed.
I managed to listen to that comparison with the Nag150 and the MC-3 Turbo and the difference was huge with the turbo sounding amazing. I’ll definitely have a look into that one as well as the other older Ortofons you mentioned.
Have you ever had any experience with the AT33PTG II? It seems to be popular also.
I love the Lingo but it will thin down the sound which is not ideal with Nait and Kans. The original PSU or Valhalla are a better match. Cant comment on the Hercules.
It is a (low output) moving coil (LOMC) cartridge so you would need an external MC phono stage, which opens up a host of other possibilities indeed.
There is something about the simplicity of plugging a moving magnet (MM) cartridge directly into the Nait2, though.
Btw the MC3 is called Turbo because it is a high-output MC (HOMC) with enough gain for a MM phono stage.
My experience as well, and the Hercules is comparable but to my ears better than the Valhalla. There are two new options now, the Minos and the VP Revolution. I’ve heard the latter and it is again somewhat better than the Hercules but still in more or less the same profile.
Myself I would choose the Minos simply because, like the Hercules, it has a traditional looking switch. Based on reviews I’ve read it’s more or less on par with the Revolution, so all three are valid options.
The newer options are Karousel-bearing compatible though, which is an upgrade that would help with a fuller sound. Personally I felt Cirkus/Hercules/Majik/Jelco/Ortofon was good enough for the Nait2.
It is only now with the XS3 that I can identify where it could be improved upon.
I purchased a sub £1000 LP12 (1980’s spec). Rega arm, AT cart, Valhalla and black bearing. All the turntable I’ll ever need! Just going to get it serviced……….some of the screws remain I think.
Lingo 1 appeared along the way and was one of the best second hand purchases.
I’ve been through the Linn speaker range from back in the day and still own a pair of Mk 2 Kans although not in daily use. A Nait is still an itch to scratch. The synergy in that set up is often waxed lyrical.
My thoughts are that an Ittok would be beneficial. The Kans were voiced with an Ittok so you would get great synergy especially in terms of clarity and dynamics. Also have your LP12 serviced by a reputable dealer such as Cymbiosis a full strip down and rebuild would give you a huge uplift in sound quality. The other major thing to look at is the power supply. I think the Hercules is tremendous value for money and will give you 33 and 45 rpm at the flick of a switch. After Hercules I guess the next step up would be Lingo 4 but that is quite expensive at near to 2k. Speak to Peter Swain to explore your options within your budget.
The better your LP12 is set up the better your music will sound through your Kans which are ruthlessly revealing of the source.
I have fond memories of a flatmate’s Supex-derived Rega R100 on his Trio DD at university. My own A&R P77 was similar. Both offer a big, warm sound and are often findable on ebay. Very likeable with the OP’s gear I would imagine.
Me too, years ago I had as a second deck a vintage Rega Planet turntable with the three rotating planets, R200 tonearm (Acos Lustre) and R100 cartridge (Supex).
There can’t be a more sexy looking turntable and it was nice with a clamshell Rega Brio and Kytes. This must have been the original Rega System One of its era.
Wish I’d kept it, but it was out of its league with the Nait 2. Also I didn’t want to become a collector at the time, just keep one stack that works best and not have like three systems (or ten by now).
There is or was now a pretty one on the auction site for something like £500, was again tempted…
Are we saying that we think the Rega R100 or the A&R P77 would be good in the OP’s Mission 774 arm? I think we are!
In theory (and in fond memory) yes, but with the caveat that they will be used / vintage and should be rebuilt or serviced / inspected for operation within specs.
Since that is usually done only with higher level MCs (see the Troika threads…) I recommended some older design carts that are both compatible and still available brand new.