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Thread: Getting back into vinyl - advice needed

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: North Oxfordshire

    Posts: 26
    I'm Jonathan.

    Default Getting back into vinyl - advice needed

    I've made the decision rather than sell off all my old vinyl and original Roksan Xerxes with Tabriz, I'm going to keep it all and rediscover my music from my youth. I had the Xerxes serviced recently and had the deck lifted (common Xerxes problem).

    In the last year I've gone active with some Audiovector Si3 discreets which includes an analogue to digital converter. I've invested in a really good digital front end (SOTM SMS-200 Ultra and Mutec USB converter) and am curious how this will compare to vinyl now. I've just purchased a Rothwell Rialto and am not sure which cartridge to buy. My phono stage will be feeding my actives and therefore the analogue signal will be converted into digital.

    My budget for a MM cartridge initially is around £100-150. What have people tried and would recommend. At the moment I'm leaning toward a new Nagaoka MP 110 as I'm a bit reticent buying a second hand cartridge.

    Thanks

    Jonathan

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 3,010
    I'm Tom.

    Default

    Nagaoka is a good choice on that arm - hard to see past it on that budget.
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: North Oxfordshire

    Posts: 26
    I'm Jonathan.

    Default

    I'm not sure how much vinyl magic will be lost because of the digital conversion and therefore would a much better cartridge be a waste of time?

  4. #4
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 3,010
    I'm Tom.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by westsidejon View Post
    I'm not sure how much vinyl magic will be lost because of the digital conversion and therefore would a much better cartridge be a waste of time?
    Don't know about the specifics of this system but most ADC-DAC processing tends to be pretty transparent. If you want to up your budget the Tabriz will be happy with a much higher quality cartridge, the digital conversion is no reason to cut back in my opinion.
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: North Oxfordshire

    Posts: 26
    I'm Jonathan.

    Default

    what about upto £250 budget?

  6. #6
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 3,010
    I'm Tom.

    Default

    Tons of viable options:

    I'd probably go for an Audio Note IQ1 or Goldring 1042, but other options available include an Ortofon 2m Bronze, or if you prefer a Moving Coil cartridge, an Ortofon Quintet Red or Audio Technica AT-F7, either of which will work nicely with the Rialto on the MC setting.

    Many here would no doubt recommend the Denon DL-103 but there's a lot involved in getting the best out of it and personally I'm not the biggest fan.

    Having said that my personal preference would be for vintage cartridges, MM or MC, much more for the money but there is undoubtedly a degree of risk and some can be quirky in terms of output, compliance, or setup.
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 465
    I'm Svend.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by montesquieu View Post
    Tons of viable options:

    I'd probably go for an Audio Note IQ1 or Goldring 1042, but other options available include an Ortofon 2m Bronze, or if you prefer a Moving Coil cartridge, an Ortofon Quintet Red or Audio Technica AT-F7, either of which will work nicely with the Rialto on the MC setting.

    Many here would no doubt recommend the Denon DL-103 but there's a lot involved in getting the best out of it and personally I'm not the biggest fan.

    Having said that my personal preference would be for vintage cartridges, MM or MC, much more for the money but there is undoubtedly a degree of risk and some can be quirky in terms of output, compliance, or setup.
    +1 to the Goldring and 2M Bronze recommendation. I own both and they are both very, very good. Quite a different sound between the two. The Goldring is more dynamic, punchy, full-bodied...rounder more fluid sounding. The Bronze is more detailed and airy, sounds quicker and more agile, delicate....but still very musical. The Bronze is, I think, a bit more picky about tonearm matching -- I tried it on an RB300 (11.5g eff. mass) and liked it but wasn't wowed; then moved it to an R200 (16g eff. mass) and it really came alive - wonderful. The Goldring sounded terrific on the RB300, by the way, so will work well on a lighter arm.

    Hope this helps... Personal choice may come down to the type of music you listen to and which will suit that style the best.

    Svend

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2017

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 105
    I'm Clive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by westsidejon View Post
    I'm not sure how much vinyl magic will be lost because of the digital conversion and therefore would a much better cartridge be a waste of time?
    I assume you already have a cartridge running on the deck. Was it worn out or do you just fancy a change?

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: North Oxfordshire

    Posts: 26
    I'm Jonathan.

    Default

    Yes I have a very old AT 110e which needs replacing. I will mainly be listening to rock, punk and electro music if that influences cartridge recommendations.

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far.

    Jonathan

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 1,001
    I'm Russell.

    Default

    I ran a Grado Gold, which is exactly the same as the Grado Silver, and it rocked pretty well. Also Iíve heard very good things about the Sumiko Pearl. Iíve got a higher priced Sumiko that also rocks to my satisfaction. There are just tons of cartridges available in your range, the Ortofon 2M Red is highly acclaimed. And there are lots of used cartridges in your price range, because people start where you are, and upgrade soon after, putting a lot of barely used cartridges on the market. Perhaps you can find a $300 cart for $100 in the used market? I understand that cartridges are not something one likes to buy used, they are so easily damaged and hard to see if itís worn out. But if you find a respectable seller with good feedback, you should be fairly safe with a used cartridge.

    Russell

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