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Thread: MC for about 300 - Sae 1000e, DL-301, Eroica etc?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2015

    Location: Finland

    Posts: 229
    I'm Kai.

    Default MC for about 300 - Sae 1000e, DL-301, Eroica etc?

    In short, anyone heard both SAE 1000E and Denon DL-301, or preferably even owned both and which did you like better and why? What about Goldring Eroica LX where does it fit in?

    I really don't need a new cart but I kinda want one... so I figure my options are either to sell hifi stuff and surplus cartridges and go all in for something like Quintet Black or DV20X2-L or similar... or get something for ~ 300 or so which would hopefully be perhaps something between the Ortofon MC10 Supreme I have and love, and the smoothness and refinement of AT15Sa top-end vintage MM. The Supreme series doesn't seem all that popular, but I believe Rondos were based on the same generator more or less - at least the sound signature of the Red compared to MC10 Supreme seems very similar at least tonally.

    I can't have it all for that price (or maybe for any price) but what I would be looking at is decent dynamics and weight with a musical and smooth presentation. I'm using vintage Philips 12" fullranges in open baffles (with some helper tweeters), they work nice with Pye Mozart EL34 amp, but upper midrange shoutiness is not something I would want from a cartridge - neutral is fine and preferable, but if erring from neutral, rather to the side of warm than cool/shouty. I think DL-301mk2 or SAE 1000E might fit that and give something different to the Ortofon.

    Then there's retipping the MC10 Supreme, which if I'm lucky would keep all the good (awesome dynamics and weighty but not overblown bass, spot on midrange tonality, good 3D soundstage) and add a touch of refiniment and smoothness on the top-end - basically take it to QB level or higher for 3rd of the price... but it's always an unknown going for different cantilever and diamond...

    Or I could just come to my senses and enjoy what I have! But curiosity...

    Anyway all opinions especially on the carts mentioned in the title would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Nov 2018

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 17
    I'm Paul.

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    The Rondo Bronze can be picked up approx' 300.00.... In Japan they have won awards known as the Ortofon Wood and well admired whilst here, it's well just a Rondo.
    Only a company as big as Ortofon could put so much into a product/project with such a limited life span.
    Resin wood composite body urushi lacquered and a FG80 stylus... The coils are similar to that of the SPU Synergy and when mounted on the Ortofon Urushi wood headshell it sings... For easy money a taste of the high end beckons.... Yes a re-tip with a Paratrace could yield good results on the MC10 but I've enjoyed many a session with the Bronze and I've been there with the MC20 Supreme and no competition imo.
    EMT 930
    Garrard 301/3009 MK1
    Nagra BPS
    RJM PhonoClone
    Hashimoto HM-3
    Ortofon Cadenza Bronze/KontrapunktB/MC25FL
    Audioquest B200/AQ404
    Denon 103SA (Paratrace)
    PYE HF12 valve monoblocks
    Pass Labs Aleph 0s
    Turner B302
    Marantz 1060
    Ifi Pro iCan Linestage
    47 Labs 4707 Selector
    47 Labs wired Bourns passive
    Western Electric wired Bourns passive
    Western Electric Line Transformer
    Tannoy 15" custom

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2018

    Location: Grimsby

    Posts: 200
    I'm David.

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    Don't know if this would be of interest to you. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ORTOFON-M...N/143198285535

  4. #4
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Melbourne

    Posts: 201
    I'm Karl.

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    +1 for the rondo bronze. I had one that performed brilliantly with a Rega P6 then on the LP12. Paid 260 for mine brand new on ebay and it really isnt too far behind the Art 9 i now have. Its a real bargain .


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Linn Sondek LP12 ( Santos rosewood plinth ,Roksan Nima with Tiger Paw Skale and Yannis tonearm cable, Cirkus, Trampolin2, SSP12 inner platter, Tiger Paw tranquility, Vivid subchassis, Vinyl Passion thick top plate / Mose Hercules 2 gold power supply / Audio Technica ART 9 / Whest 2.2 phonostage / Croft 25RLS preamp with NOS RCA valves / Croft 7R monoblocks with NOS RCA valves/ Spendor SP2/3R2 / Chord cobra 3 interconnects / QED signature revelation speaker cable / Marantz CD DAC /Atacama Equinox rack

  5. #5
    Join Date: Mar 2015

    Location: Finland

    Posts: 229
    I'm Kai.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Miller View Post
    The Rondo Bronze can be picked up approx' 300.00.... In Japan they have won awards known as the Ortofon Wood and well admired whilst here, it's well just a Rondo.
    Only a company as big as Ortofon could put so much into a product/project with such a limited life span.
    Resin wood composite body urushi lacquered and a FG80 stylus... The coils are similar to that of the SPU Synergy and when mounted on the Ortofon Urushi wood headshell it sings... For easy money a taste of the high end beckons.... Yes a re-tip with a Paratrace could yield good results on the MC10 but I've enjoyed many a session with the Bronze and I've been there with the MC20 Supreme and no competition imo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbird View Post
    +1 for the rondo bronze. I had one that performed brilliantly with a Rega P6 then on the LP12. Paid 260 for mine brand new on ebay and it really isnt too far behind the Art 9 i now have. Its a real bargain .
    The Rondo range certainly has always interested me, since I like the MC10 Supreme a lot and I figure the Rondos are basically improved Supremes, though I see the Bronze seems to get aucurum coils etc. I haven't heard one in real life, but from all Rondo needledrops I've heard I certainly seem to recognize similarities in the sound signature. While needledrops are a far cry from properly hearing a cartridge, I've found generally a good one will do a decent enough job of communicating the basic sound a cart has.

    260 for a Bronze brand new is a steal! At that price I'll take two At the moment, the cheapest I found for a new one was about 600 and used market seems pretty dry. I guess 600 is not too bad all things considered, but I could get a Quintet Black for less. Whether or not that would beat the Rondo Bronze I have no idea, but really that's getting to about twice my preferred budget anyway...

    The Japanese certainly seem to appreciate all things Ortofon, way more so than over here.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2018

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 17
    I'm Paul.

    Default Rondo

    I would be patient as they do turn up (at least in the UK) and if you wish I will forward a CD recording of two jazz tracks recorded with the MC25FL, Bronze and the Kontrapunkt B from my Yamaha CDR.... Plus I may be able to source a Bronze....

    If interested just send me a message... I remember well when I was troubled over a particular step up transformer someone once sent me a Hashimoto from France to demo and I just paid the postage to return it and I was forever grateful.
    Last edited by Miller; 04-07-2019 at 15:07.
    EMT 930
    Garrard 301/3009 MK1
    Nagra BPS
    RJM PhonoClone
    Hashimoto HM-3
    Ortofon Cadenza Bronze/KontrapunktB/MC25FL
    Audioquest B200/AQ404
    Denon 103SA (Paratrace)
    PYE HF12 valve monoblocks
    Pass Labs Aleph 0s
    Turner B302
    Marantz 1060
    Ifi Pro iCan Linestage
    47 Labs 4707 Selector
    47 Labs wired Bourns passive
    Western Electric wired Bourns passive
    Western Electric Line Transformer
    Tannoy 15" custom

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2015

    Location: Finland

    Posts: 229
    I'm Kai.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Miller View Post
    I would be patient as they do turn up (at least in the UK) and if you wish I will forward a CD recording of two jazz tracks recorded with the MC25FL, Bronze and the Kontrapunkt B from my Yamaha CDR.... Plus I maybe able to source a Bronze....

    If interested just send me a message... I remember well when I was troubled over a particular step up transformer someone once sent me a Hashimoto from France to demo and I just paid the postage to return it and I was forever grateful.
    Thanks a lot, I really appreciate that and might take you up on that offer later.

    I'm in no great hurry, other than feeling the itch but I've managed to calm myself down now Having some other uses for money come up helped with that as well. The thing is I have many cartridges. Probably the wisest game plan would be to start selling them, since I think I have a pretty good idea what I'm looking for in a cartridge now. Most are NOS or very low hours. Nothing too fancy but some well regarded vintage units like a Glanz MFG-31E and Audio-Technica AT15Sa/20SLa + a few AT30E MC carts with NOS changeable styli. Even another NOS MC10 Supreme, but that one sadly has a cantilever that's pointing more to one side. In truth it works fine and there's no issues with it when taken into account when aligning the cartridge, but I wouldn't want to sell it. Summer is a great time to buy hifi, not sell anyway In any case, the music won't stop. As it is, I'm listening to Pickering XLZ-7500 low output MM cartridge with a conical DJ-stylus, sounds way better than it has any right to - I would love to hear this with a good stylus, but haven't got the guts to take a 200 euro gamble on a Jico Shibata and the originals are rare, expensive and probably more compliant that anywhere near optimal for my arm (FR-54).

    I've come to the conluclusion basically I want/need two cartridges, one good one and one good but cheap and easily and cheapily replaceable. Big part of the hobby for me is used/thrift store record finds, but I wouldn't want to use an expensive cartridge to listen to those for the first time, or for background listening like now. Instead I have like a dozen carts, I'm glad I've got to hear and own those, so I've seen what they are about, but they give me no joy from the cupboard. I'm thinking this Pickering with the DJ-styli would be perfect as a beater, it's very enjoyable and styli are like 20 a pop. Being low output is a plus for compability with MC setup. I think high-output/high-inductance MM cartridges are not for me. With some changes in my setup and speakers, I can enjoy them now, but I still find all of them have a certain kind of coloration that seems to stand between me and the music. Only carts I've heard without that have been either MC or otherwise low inductance. In truth I don't know if inductance is the real culprit, but it seems to be the common denominator. So that leaves me looking for that nice MC-cartridge (on a budget preferably). I used to be real happy with the MC10 Supreme, but the AT15Sa somewhat spoiled me and getting into fullrange speakers played it's part. In any case I think I need to give this some time, I really enjoy this hobby but it's a bit too easy to start obsessing about things. I also found a somewhat local dealer with nice demo room with some nice cartridges, I should probably pay a visit.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2015

    Location: Finland

    Posts: 229
    I'm Kai.

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    Well, in a somewhat unexpected turn of events I got a Transrotor Merlo Reference with supposedly lowish hours for a price I couldn't refuse. Info is sparse, but both the regular Merlo and the Reference are based on the Goldring Elite. I only had time to spun a couple sides today so all I can say it's clearly a high class pick up and a league up from anything I've had before.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 20,695
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    I have heard a Goldring Elite on friend's system and regard it as a very good cartridge indeed. Good luck with yours.
    Barry

  10. #10
    Join Date: Mar 2015

    Location: Finland

    Posts: 229
    I'm Kai.

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    Thanks Barry. This Transrotor badge-engineered version seems to have a different diamond, I think instead of FG, it's some kind of japan sourced line-contact. But I didn't find anything definitive to what exactly... they call it "harmonic". I'm not sure if Merlo and Merlo Reference even have the same stylus shape... according to specs on one retailer's site, regular Merlo has Microridge and Reference has "harmonic"... which according to one reviewer would be a 8x40m line contact, which frankly would seem a little odd, to have to pay 400 euros more to get a simpler diamond But who knows... anyway, I don't think it would fall too far from the regular Goldring Elite, AFAIK nothing about the internals has been changed.

    Spatially this cart is something else, the imaging is best I've heard in my system, from any source I think. It's really detailed as well, the two things combined made the jump from anything I've had before almost seem like I had switched formats... all this spatial information made me also to dig up my tweaked and modified TCC-750 phono stage, which believe it or not, also excels in presenting subtle positional cues in a coherent fashion. The end result is hifi fireworks of unprecendented proportions (at least in this household...) but now I've upset everything about my vinyl frontend For some reason I had forgot this hobby was like this... once you've got everything working together to give you music, you change a major piece and everything starts shifting around... luckily I'm too busy with other things to dwelve too much into the hifi stuff, for the past couple days I've just mostly listened to a lot of good music, ranging from jazz classics to classical to Hikashu to Yello to Yazoo to Cambodian rock from the 60s & 70s. The Cambodian recordings aren't exactly audiophile quality but the music is great. Now that's the great part of changing something major - it gives you an impetus to start digging through records. Lots of goosebumps.

    Setup is not yet optimized. I opted to go with the AT-MG10 magnesium headshell, in hindsight I wish I had mounted it on the 15g Technihard instead, because the cartridge is only about 5g by itself, together with the 10g headshell resonance frequency falls squarely at 10Hz - while this was even better for detail and spatial information, I also found the cart to sound occasionally a bit strident and exhibit other symptoms which told me it was wanting something a bit more to work against. I added about 6g weight to the headshell and it sounds more balanced and smoother now, but with no signs of too much mass. Also I'm starting to wonder if wood spacer was not an optimal choice with this cart. I need a spacer of something to have any leeway at all with SRA adjustment, but I'm thinking aluminum or graphite might work better with the Merlo R. I might experiment later.

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