For Someone Who Recently Exited Vinyl

MikeT.

Senior Member
I’m guessing the VTA delta from perfectly horizontal without spacer and shims was about 2.5mm.
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
Next cart, my AT33PTGii, will soon get a new stylus, line contact with boron cantilever.....rinse and repeat :roflmao:
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
Rinse and repeat with a Shibata or Microridge stylus :). Being comical you can probably play a DL-103 sideways :). It’s rather immune to many of the things that upset more aggressive stylus profiles.
I guess I’m lucky in a sense, that I like the overall balance and tonal characteristic of the DL103 and the 103R, along with the immunity from a difficult set up. I had a HANA EL and a DL103 at the same time and it was mostly a toss-up as to which got the most playing time. The HANA seemed to have a ever so slightly annoying high end at times, but the rest of the bandwidth was amazingly good. I did the Fozgometer set up with the HANA, even though it was elliptical I felt it deserved the additional tweaking.

I would love to find a cart in the <$500 range that delivers a sound blended of both the Denon and HANA characteristics.
Probably unlikely. I’ve read reviews and forum comments about the HANA SH and the Ortofon 2M Black which would lead me to believe one of them might fill the bill, but still slightly outside my ideal price range. Most of the used models of these carts always seem to have hundreds of hours on them so I’ve been skittish about buying, even though I’ve always thought a Shibata stylus might check all the boxes.

Is there any cart I’m missing in <$500 category? Unlikely I suppose. Of course, I’ve spent way more than my target price trying different carts, trying to be sensible. My stomach gets in a knot whenever I seriously consider dropping $1000 +/- on a phono cart. ;)
 
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JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I've never had any luck with elliptical carts. I did, in fact, like my DL-103 better than any of the elliptical ones I've had and I've had a lot. I could never get any of them to track without an edginess to them. The fine lines ones, I've found them to be much easier to live with. Which goes against a lot of what I've read so I don't know what I'm doing, or listening to, differently.

I like the OC-9ml2 in the sub $500 category but its not for everybody. And I much prefer the Ortofon Cadenza to it. Its just fuller, more 'there'. But its also like 5x the price when new so?
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
With the exit of the Denon DL103 to raise funds, I had to put “something” on my Rega RP3 so I purchased a Nagaoka MP110 and it’s resoundingly good! Closer to my Denon than I care to admit. Wonderful vocals, Drive on the low end but lacks a little on the very high end but very good. Piano and sax excellent.E06312F0-9EF6-4C23-A1EB-68DB30E45E10.jpeg
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
Snare drum and cymbals could be better but this car is TONS better than most of the Grado Prestige I’ve tried over the years.
 

ICTWoody

Junior Member
With the exit of the Denon DL103 to raise funds, I had to put “something” on my Rega RP3 so I purchased a Nagaoka MP110 and it’s resoundingly good! Closer to my Denon than I care to admit. Wonderful vocals, Drive on the low end but lacks a little on the very high end but very good. Piano and sax excellent.
Also, most will say the MP110 needs about 100hrs to fully come into it's own. So it might just keep getting better for a while.

- Woody
 

airdronian

Junior Member
I've thought about them Nagaokas on occasion but wonder about the compliance.

@MikeT your Rega's arm effective mass is about what - 11.5 g ?

@DC do you know the eff mass of your JMW-9 ?

Just think if the term was "effective official mass" then we could just refer to it as eff off mass. Catchy ! ;)
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
I've thought about them Nagaokas on occasion but wonder about the compliance.

@MikeT your Rega's arm effective mass is about what - 11.5 g ?

@DC do you know the eff mass of your JMW-9 ?

Just think if the term was "effective official mass" then we could just refer to it as eff off mass. Catchy ! ;)
@airdronian , somewhere, somehow the effective mass of the RB300 was discovered at 11.5g or so the legend goes. When the RB303 was introduced the main improvement touted was a thinner-walled arm tube and better bearings. So I’m thinking it’s around 11g now, give or take.
I had very good luck with the Denon 103/103R with low compliance so the Nagaoka low-ish compliance didn’t bother me.
 

DC

Active Member
I've thought about them Nagaokas on occasion but wonder about the compliance.

@MikeT your Rega's arm effective mass is about what - 11.5 g ?

@DC do you know the eff mass of your JMW-9 ?

Just think if the term was "effective official mass" then we could just refer to it as eff off mass. Catchy ! ;)
Actually, I don't know. One would think it's pretty easy to figure out, but it's murky. Asking at the VPI Forum, it's difficult to get a consistent answer (something around 8-10g is what I think it was?) as there are slightly different versions of this arm over the years. I use the Soundsmith "counter-intuitive" which add mass, too. And you have to adjust the Nagaoka compliance figure as it uses the supposedly Japanese-preferred 100Hz figure, instead of the more common 10Hz, or something like that - numerous arguments on Vinyl Engine forum.

The short version is that I think the JMW-9 that I have is on the heavier end of the medium-mass spectrum. And I recall that the MP-500 is on the lower end of the medium-compliance spectrum.

Some anecdotal evidence: The local friend from whom I bought the table had an upper-level Grado that seemed too compliant - wobbled and pumped the woofers like a mo-fo. He switched to a Soundsmith Zephyr (known to be lower compliance) and it was a better match, leading him to believe that the armwand effective mass was on the higher side. (Makes sense to me.) And my MP-500 seems to work better on this VPI arm than it did the Pro-Ject 9cc arm it was previously mounted to, known to be on the low end of the medium-mass spectrum. (Makes sense, too.) And lastly, after I mounted and aligned it, two test records resonance tests confirmed that this lands squarely in the preferred range ~10Hz or so.

Anyway, it sounds good.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
Ok, thanks fellas. My current arm is 10 g eff mass. The carts I've run are both measured @ 100 hz and have dynamic compliance either 9 (AT-OC9MLII) or 10 (Gold Note Vasari Gold). Getting an idea of where others are in this regard is helpful.
 
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JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I have no idea what the compliance is on the MP-500 but it works well on medium mass Japanese s-arms like that on my Yamaha YP-d8.
 
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