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Thread: MM Cartridge less clinical sounding than a 2m black?

  1. #21
    Join Date: Mar 2015

    Location: Finland

    Posts: 200
    I'm Kai.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkless Electronics View Post
    2M Black is a really good MM cart IMHO. One of the best. It can work better with slightly non standard loading according to tests elsewhere on the web. About 33K and very low capacitance from memory makes for a flatter top end with no rise and then dip at high frequencies. I supplied a few Arkless 640P's with loading set like this for 2M's.
    That seems good advice, and some graphs here (though you need to be logged in there to actually see them..) http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/thread...charts.312499/ which seem to indicate low capacitance and 33k loading is the way to go for flat response. If it were me I'd try it with that kind of loading first before looking elsewhere. If your phono stage has no loading options for resistive loading, the easiest way to try is get a pair of 'y-plugs' or -cables, 2xjack to plug - insert the y-plugs to your phono stage inputs, then on each plug insert thet TT-cable + a special plug with 100k resistor across the signal and ground on the other jack, this will bring the loading down to 32k assuming your phono stage is standard 47k. Here's a better and more thorough explanation: http://daveyw.edsstuff.org/vinyl/loading/

  2. #22
    Join Date: Sep 2008

    Location: San Diego, CA

    Posts: 244
    I'm Dave.

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    If you're wanting something new and plug and play, I think you'll be happiest with the Nagaoka MP-500. I have to admit Dave's suggestion of the Rega Exact is interesting. When I've heard it at my local dealer I've thought it was a great sounding cart, very dynamic and musical. I've never heard one though that wasn't mounted to a Rega arm. It's pretty high output but your Firebottle can handle high output.

    The best prices on Nagaoka carts is normally here, I bought my MP-200 from him with no issues:
    http://www.audiokazu.com/#!price-list/c1gfn

    This looks like a great deal on the Exact:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rega-Exact...-/281781942228
    Current equipment: Cornscalas - Quicksilver Horn Monos - Technics 1210 M5G with Zu Denon 103R cartride and Haufe SUT.

  3. #23
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: glasgow

    Posts: 1,510
    I'm scott.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkless Electronics View Post
    2M Black is a really good MM cart IMHO. One of the best. It can work better with slightly non standard loading according to tests elsewhere on the web. About 33K and very low capacitance from memory makes for a flatter top end with no rise and then dip at high frequencies. I supplied a few Arkless 640P's with loading set like this for 2M's.
    Agree with Jez

    2M Black is a fab sounding cartridge but needs a good phono stage ideally with Adjustable loading ( like jezs 640p )
    also get the VTA dialled in as Shibatas need to be correctly set up

  4. #24
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: London

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    I'm Robert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytona600 View Post
    Agree with Jez

    2M Black is a fab sounding cartridge but needs a good phono stage ideally with Adjustable loading ( like jezs 640p )
    also get the VTA dialled in as Shibatas need to be correctly set up
    Amen and critical, if you really want to hear a 2MB express it's wonderful attributes and then know what all the fuss is about for yourself. It's a bit like wanting to really hear what a Denon DL 103 is about without applying the required ample / adequate headshell mass.

  5. #25
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: South Beds, UK

    Posts: 982
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petrat View Post
    I'd recommend the Audio Note IQ2 or 3.
    I had the IQ3 at the same time as a 2M Black, and kept the AN. Better tone, body, and integration, but still had all of the detail of the Black, without throwing it in your face in that clinical / etched way. Wish I still had it ... super mm cartridge.
    Exactly what I did

  6. #26
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: East Midlands

    Posts: 280
    I'm Hugh.

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    As suggested by several previous posters...Nagaoka or vintage Shure if you're looking for a more warm and musical, non-clinical sound.

  7. #27
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Near Saffron Walden, Essex

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    I'm Dave.

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    The Rega Exact is 255 in the UK.

  8. #28
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,315
    I'm James.

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    Popped the M55e with Jico SAS back on the VPI rig last night to check it out after a year off from using this combination.
    I remember this combo being rather special and wondered if it sounded as good still or was thinking if it through rose tinted specs/ears? Nope, the magic is still there! I painstakingly set the M55e up and was surprised it rather liked the VTA position I had used for the 2M. Don't forget this killer combination only cost me 180 to nail together and wow is it good.

    The Jico SAS stylus has the original boron pipe with micro ridge diamond profile and is tiny. Magnifying glass and best specs had to be used throughout the set up. Tracking 1.5g and overhang was set using the excellent VPI tool so I could get it bang on. I must admit the cantilever looks a bit odd in the M55e cartridge body but the fit is good although the overhang position is way different to a standard M55e stylus. Luckily I had no compliance issues so it suits a medium mass tonearm, the one I am using is the VPI 9t which is a unipivot and damped internally.

    Sound is sweet, detailed and portrays vocals and instruments superbly, as good as the 2M Black which is my usual daily runner. Bass is better defined and tighter than the 2M which is saying something but the overall sound is less clinical and there is much less surface and groove noise. The only area it looses out to the 2M is air and soundstage presence. I would say the 2M has more oomph but it probably has a higher output to the M55e.

    Considering the M55e cartridge is 40 years old this is quite amazing. I am going to run this cartridge for some time now and will pop in the NOS N55 stylus sometime to listen to how the original M55e should have sounded and will write up my thoughts, but in the meantime I am going enjoy this wonderful combination.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / Shure M55e + Jico SAS /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  9. #29
    Join Date: Apr 2013

    Location: Solihull, UK

    Posts: 299
    I'm Bob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ellensdad View Post
    Nagoaka MP500 then.
    Ben, the Nag MP 500 is a very, very accomplished cartridge. My experience of it was of a very forward sounding cart and a full on, party animal. Great tracker, good deep bass, plenty of sparkle that grabbed me from the start and made me think I'd finally found the cartridge I was going to live with.

    But ultimately another "careful what you wish for" moment. It was just too much for the long run and eventually bought by another member on here (jamie123, IIRC). It'd be interesting to know what others think.

    If you want a cart to liven up your system then this could be it. If your system already gives you plenty of drive and energy then the 500 may just push it over the edge. But it's all about synergy.

    I've tried quite a few cart's over the years, some running into the four figure cost bracket. And there's one I keep coming back to - the SAE 1000LT. A high output MC (2.5mV) that needs to be used with the MM input side of a phono.

    No longer made but Thakker seem to keep finding them from somewhere. https://www.thakker.eu/en/pickup/sae...tridge/a-5171/

    Cost new at just over 300 quid is a bit more than you want to pay but they do come up used from time to time.
    Last edited by bob4333; 13-01-2018 at 09:48.
    Source: Orbe SE / SME IV / SAE 1000LT (again) / AT33 PTG II
    Source: Leema Antilla IIs
    Source: AKAI GX-635D - Work in Progress

    Amplification: Icon Audio PS 3 Sig Phono + Audio Research LS27 + Musical Fidelity A5cr Power Amp
    Loudspeakers: ProAc Response D28
    Cables/stands: Mark Grant G1500HD + Linn K20
    Other bits: Okki Nokki keeping things clean

  10. #30
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

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    I'm David.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ellensdad View Post
    Three vintage options that fit your description:

    JVC Z1 w/ Jico SAS - The SAS brings out the absolute best of this cartridge. It combines speed and detail with a weight and richness that I just love. Oh, and the dynamics are startling. A body can usually be had for about $50.

    A&R P77 w/ Jico SAS - Great bass, sweet & weighty mids, nice highs. Very musical cartridge.

    Ortofon M20FL - Organic, organic, organic. Needs around 400pF to be at its best but its best is quite good.

    Search Audiogon Forums for these cartridges for lots of info and much better descriptions than I've given here.
    You lot certainly like your 'thumpers,' don't you

    Firstly, what on earth has been 'modified' in the Tron phono stage? Graham Tricker is a damned good valve product designer and the only criticism I could ever make is that his products are priced out of the UK market to sell in the far eastern markets where status is conferred by price tag, this depriving many of the pleasure of using said products. I'd seriously try something un-modified to confirm your feelings before wholesale cartridge changes. Taking the arm height down a tad may just be enough to subtly adjust the balance, or maybe even asking Graham what valves he suggests to do a similar thing?

    I have a M20FL Super/Cap210 and it ain't arf ripe compared to the more delicate M20E Super which uses the same body. I sold many P77's too and have two here with damaged cantilevers, one with an Mg outer body, but I can't play them. Definitely not a particularly clear sound by today's standards and with an hf suckout which is quite audible, but I believe ESCo still make original styli for them.

    Records made 'commercially' don't always have much bass weight cut into them as it takes up too much 'land' on the vinyl shortening playing time, the upper mids emphasised quite often in an attempt to get over older cartridge designs dulling it all. I'd try a different phono stage just to make sure though.
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
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