Audiokarma.org
Audiokarma Featured Sponsor

Go Back   AudioKarma.org Home Audio Stereo Discussion Forums > Turntables


We appreciate your help

in keeping this site going.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-06-2007, 07:19 PM
pvh1987's Avatar
pvh1987 pvh1987 is offline
AK Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 37
Question Best moving coil cartridge for less than $200

I recently bought a Rega P1 turntable (actually an Argon TT-1 but it is a copy of the P1) with an Ortofon OM5E moving magnet cartridge. It sounds like it has some problems tracking the inner grooves correctly -- I can hear some distortion in the higher frequencies that I don't hear when playing the outer grooves. Also, on some newer audiophile 180 g LP's I've noticed some distortion in the outer grooves as well.

So, I'm looking for a new cartridge. I am new in the turntable field so I have little idea what to look for. I asked some questions in a hifi store and he said that I should go for a moving coil pickup to get more detail and tighter bass.

I listen to hard rock but sometimes I like listening to normal rock and even pop now and then, if that's important when buying a new cartridge.

Where I live it seems like the only moving coil cartridge I can get for a relatively low price is the Denon DL-110 and Denon DL-160 which both is high output moving coil cartridges. Please comment on those if you know them but any ideas is welcome.

I would like to know which cheaper moving coil pickup you will recommend that tracks good, sound clear and tight -- also in the inner grooves -- for about $200 or less. It doesn't need to be a high output pickup because I have a NAD PP2 Phono Preamplifier that does both MM and MC.

Any recommendations and ideas are welcome
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-06-2007, 07:26 PM
Mr. Lin's Avatar
Mr. Lin Mr. Lin is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NJ/PA border
Posts: 14,748
Hi there and welcome to AK! This is the best place to be if you're really getting into turntables, the people here are wonderful.

One thing about your post immediately caught my attention, and that was the distortion issue you're having with all sort of records. I really think you have a setup issue here, and I highly recommend you stop playing records until you figure out what the problem is. They should not be distorting with a new cartridge, your alignment is probably off. The high frequency distortion at the inner grooves is particularly telling. Do you know how to properly align a cartridge? Did the P1 come with this cart. already installed?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-06-2007, 08:56 PM
mhardy6647's Avatar
mhardy6647 mhardy6647 is offline
AK Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: New England
Posts: 42,856
I don't know for sure, but I would think whichever variation Denon DL-103 fits the price range would be awfully satisfying.

FWIW, I don't care for the sound of the Sumiko Blue Point/Blue Point Special.


As already mentioned, correct alignment of the cartridge (in all three planes) is very important, as is correct VTF (vertical tracking force) and (ideally) VTA (vertical tracking angle).
__________________
Preamps need drive, not gain. - G. Kaufman
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-06-2007, 08:59 PM
Mr. Lin's Avatar
Mr. Lin Mr. Lin is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NJ/PA border
Posts: 14,748
Again, I'm really curious if you installed the cartridge or if it came that way. If the latter's the case, perhaps it got knocked out of alignment at some point. And like mhardy just pointed out, pay close attention to the vertical tracking force. The cartridge should have instructions with a recommended VTF, or you can look it up online, but probably best to stay within the range they recommend.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-06-2007, 09:06 PM
mhardy6647's Avatar
mhardy6647 mhardy6647 is offline
AK Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: New England
Posts: 42,856
Rule of Thumb: The high end of the VTF range is usually more "right", and more safe, than the low end.
__________________
Preamps need drive, not gain. - G. Kaufman
Reply With Quote
Audiokarma
  #6  
Old 09-06-2007, 09:15 PM
Sheddingskin's Avatar
Sheddingskin Sheddingskin is offline
AK Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Athens, Ohio
Posts: 235
I know nothing about them, but HiFi had an article about the new Benz MC 20E2 cartridge that goes for $199.
__________________
Brad
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-06-2007, 09:28 PM
the-real-mandak's Avatar
the-real-mandak the-real-mandak is offline
AK Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 3,448
Yes, check if the settings are correckt.

That said there is a world in difference from an Ortofon OM5E to a $200 MC cart. Manny seem to like the Dennon DN-103, but I will throw in the Audio-Technics AT-OC9 it seems to be on sale at the moment an ofers really good price/performance.
__________________
Watson CD7501 :-)
Main: Yamaha PX-3; PF-1000; Thorens TD-166MKII; T-85; CDX-993; C-2x; M-85; TDL RTL3II
Computer: Yamaha; TX-900; CDX-870; CX-1000; A100; White Van Speakers and SoundBlaster Live
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-06-2007, 09:30 PM
Tedrick's Avatar
Tedrick Tedrick is offline
Infinity-phile
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 6,189
First, welcome to AK.

Before plunking down money on a new cartridge, heed Mr. Lin's advice and check your set-up, especially cartridge alignment. That could explain some, if not most, of the distortion in the inner groves (and the outer grooves, too). Vertical tracking angle (VTA) could also be an issue. While you're at it, might as well check tracking force, too.
__________________
MAIN SYSTEM
VPI Aries I - Lyra Clavis - Sutherland PH3D
Music Hall Maverick - Forte Model 2 - Forte Model 6 - Infinity RS-IIb

OFFICE
VPI Classic - Lyra Delos - Dynavector P-75
Burson Soloist - AKG K702
Nakamichi TR-3A - KEF Ref 102
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-06-2007, 09:35 PM
rwortman rwortman is offline
AK Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: New Milford, CT USA
Posts: 492
First off I don't think any under 200 MC cartridge is going to necessarily track better than a MM cartridge in the same price range. An OM5 is a very inexpensive cartridge. An OM10 or 540 will sound and track better as will some Grado's, AT's and others in your price range. I had an Ortofon X5MC moving coil that tracked well and sounded pretty good but I am not sure it was any better than some of the MM cart's in the same price range.

Second I am not sure that you are hearing mistracking at all. Inner groove distortion is not just a playback phenomenon. It is a cutting problem as well. There is just not enough space to squeeze those high frequency groove undulations in there. Many audiophile labels stay well away from the label area for this reason. For a lot of LP's the inner grooves don't sound as good no matter what you play them with.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-06-2007, 09:39 PM
Mr. Lin's Avatar
Mr. Lin Mr. Lin is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NJ/PA border
Posts: 14,748
I don't think you can adjust the VTA on a P1, can you? I know with higher Rega models you can buy rings or something which allow for VTA adjustment. Seems crazy to me that $$$ tables don't have that option.

I frankly wasn't aware you could get a MC cart. for under $200. I thought my $380 Dynavector was pretty much the bottom price point for moving coil. But yes, you will hear tremendous difference, and I would bet you'll hear quite a huge difference if you get the setup straightened out, I'm almost certain that's what's going on. Keep us updated, I'm interested in knowing.
Reply With Quote
Audiokarma
  #11  
Old 09-06-2007, 10:08 PM
Mr. Lin's Avatar
Mr. Lin Mr. Lin is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NJ/PA border
Posts: 14,748
Aha! Something else just occurred to me. Are you using a preamp? If so, is it a good one? When I finally upgraded to a really nice table I had very annoying issues with distortion, similar to what you describe. In the end it turned out the poor-quality preamp I was using was at fault. After replacing that there was almost no distortion. Then I bought some nice interconnects to run between the preamp and receiver, and that completely eliminated all distortion. Just a thought.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-06-2007, 10:44 PM
clydeselsor's Avatar
clydeselsor clydeselsor is offline
AK Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: N.W. Indiana
Posts: 10,683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheddingskin View Post
I know nothing about them, but HiFi had an article about the new Benz MC 20E2 cartridge that goes for $199.
I had one and liked it more than the sumiko blue point that I had just before. I have to say that the high frequencies were really extended to the point that I thought that the sound was kind of cold. I have recently picked up Sure MM cart that I really like. It has a nice warm and detailed sound. I don't know about the cart that you using but it sounds like you need to get an alignment protractor. Especially if the stylus is elliptical in shape. A very common symptom of tangical tracking error is a distorted sound the closer the stylus gets to the end of a record. I have a db systems protractor that I bought from the needle doctor that I find very useful. I use it every time I mount a new cartridge. The adjustment is made by moving the cartridge back and forth in the slots on the headshell and the db protractor comes with a guide to give you an idea of how much adjustment is needed. It also comes with complete instructions on how to use it and if an idiot like me can figure it out, anyone can!!
__________________


Nikko TRM-750 Integrated Amp
Kenwood KT-4007 Tuner
JVC TD-W805 Cassette Deck
Pro-Ject Debut III with platter upgrade
MB Quart QL-C200 loudspeakers (made in Germany
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-07-2007, 12:11 AM
Mr. Lin's Avatar
Mr. Lin Mr. Lin is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NJ/PA border
Posts: 14,748
Good advice, definitely invest in a protractor or download one. Turntablebasics.com has nice glass ones for $20, that's what I use, but it's not really necessary.

Clydeselsor, which Shure cart. are you using now? Funny, I've never heard anything good about that Sumiko Blue Point. Sorry off topic.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-07-2007, 12:24 AM
clydeselsor's Avatar
clydeselsor clydeselsor is offline
AK Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: N.W. Indiana
Posts: 10,683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Lin View Post
Good advice, definitely invest in a protractor or download one. Turntablebasics.com has nice glass ones for $20, that's what I use, but it's not really necessary.

Clydeselsor, which Shure cart. are you using now? Funny, I've never heard anything good about that Sumiko Blue Point. Sorry off topic.
It's a Shure M97XE. I got it from a BPC rumage sale turntable that I bought for $10.00. I didn't want the TT, I just wanted the cartridge! I bought the Sumiko because of a recommendation from a friend and I should have known better as he really likes his sound to be kinda tinny! The Shure sounds nice and warm, more natural and neutral. -Clyde
__________________


Nikko TRM-750 Integrated Amp
Kenwood KT-4007 Tuner
JVC TD-W805 Cassette Deck
Pro-Ject Debut III with platter upgrade
MB Quart QL-C200 loudspeakers (made in Germany
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-07-2007, 01:50 AM
WopOnTour's Avatar
WopOnTour WopOnTour is offline
Hoarder Extraordinaire
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Nowhere man
Posts: 743
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvh1987 View Post
Any recommendations and ideas are welcome
You've heard of "correctly matching the cartridge to the tonearm"? A very important aspect when choosing a cartridge is resonance matching the effective mass and stiffness (compliancy) of the stylus to "ideal" frequencies for improved detail and reduced influence from external vibrational interferences.
Assuming your P1 has a Rega based arm (likely RB250/300) with it's relatively high effective mass (11.5g) you will find the DL103 is actually a very poor match for your tonearm from a resonance perspective (ala VanDen Hul "Bible") as it has too low compliance @ 5um at 8.5g mass.The Shures are at the other end of the spectrum and are generally TOO HIGHLY compliant (25+ uM/Nm) for the Rega arms.

In your indicated price range (and assuming you still desire MC NOT MM) the DL160 (14um @ 4.8g) is actually a solid performer and a very good match with 10.37Hz. OR for a little more ($50-$100) perhaps an Ortofon MC3 turbo (13um @ 4.1g) Ortofon Samba (14um @ 7g) or Ortofon X5 (12um @ 9.5) as they would also be a much better MC matches to the Rega arms.The Dynavector 10X5 would be an outstanding choice/match, but alas it's almost double your stated budget.

I had a link to a good online Java tool for this but I cant find the link right now.In the meantime, below is a good diagram for matching cartridges to your tonearm. Just add the effective mass of the arm ( vinylengine.com is a good place to find specs for most arms) to the mass of the cart (good idea to add 0.5g for fasteners) then compare the compliancy values in um/nm attempting to achieve 10Hz +/- 1Hz


HTH
WopOnTour
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cart_tone_match.jpg (61.4 KB, 26 views)
__________________
**************************************************
"Give any one species too much rope and they'll f**k it up" - Roger Waters
Reply With Quote
Audiokarma
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:25 AM.



Friends of Audiokarma
We appreciate your help in keeping this site going.
Black Swamp Audio
Amps and Sound
Sonneteer
Organ Donor Parts
Sound Stage Direct
Parts Connexion
AudioClassics
Atlantic Systems
AV Solutions
Take Five Audio
Tone Arm Audio
Audio Salon
Musical Paradise
Audience AV
Classic Sound Repair
Simply Speakers
McIntosh Cabinets
BD Enterprise
Cabledyne
Howard Products
BOI Audio Works
FM DX Antenna
Amplifiedparts
Siliconray
RSL Speakers
Vinyl Magic Record Cleaner
Salk Sound
Grant Fidelity
Urban Antigue Radio
Yesterday's Audio
Many Moons Audio
DeWick Repairs
The Tube Store
Vintage Electronics Repair
Audio Doctor
Politicalchat.org
MCM Electronics
Antique Radio Classifieds
Herbies Audio Lab
Videokarma.org
   
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
ęCopyright 2002-2014 AudioKarma.org, All rights reserved.