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volks
August 22, 2016, 09:09 PM
Was curious if anyone has/had any experience with Grado Phono Cartridges? I am looking at the Grado Master 2 MC as a possible upgrade to replace my Sumiko Blue Point II on my Mcintosh MT5.............any views/opinions would be very welcome:hey:


http://www.audioshark.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=17052&stc=1

Avid
April 28, 2018, 01:39 AM
Hello volks.
Did you ever get a grado cartridge?
I listened to the entire range around 5 years ago and found them all to be very good value for money and I liked the top of the range so much I replaced my koetsu urushi vermilion with the statement 1.
It remains in my arm to this day after being re tipped and I have no inclination to look at anything else such is the natural music making of the grado cartridges.

audio.bill
April 28, 2018, 08:28 AM
Hello volks.
Did you ever get a grado cartridge?
I listened to the entire range around 5 years ago and found them all to be very good value for money and I liked the top of the range so much I replaced my koetsu urushi vermilion with the statement 1.
It remains in my arm to this day after being re tipped and I have no inclination to look at anything else such is the natural music making of the grado cartridges.
Hello Avid and welcome to AS! I find your post very interesting in that you replaced a Koetsu Urushi Vermillion with a Grado Statement 1. I'd be curious to know what table and arm you use if you'd be so kind to share. I see that Grado currently has the Statement v2 ($3,500) as well as their even newer and considerably more costly Aeon ($6K) and Epoch ($12K!) cartridges.

Avid
April 28, 2018, 10:03 AM
Hello audio bill,
I bought an avid acutus turntable more or less when they came out. I have had no reason to look at other turntables since, although I have had it upgraded to current spec.
My tonearm when looking for a more suitable cartridge for me was a Wilson benesch act1 unipivot. I bought a koetsu rosewood cartridge at the time but it's compliance was not ideal partnered with the medium to low mass act1.
I then bought an sme iv and then an urushi. Then to my present sme v tonearm. Whether the model v is actually a sonic improvement over the iv I'm not sure.
I'm afraid with both my koetsu cartridges great though they sounded there was always a compromise somewhere down the frequency range as if you could choose to have great palpability either on the bass or the broad mid band or upper mid and treble.
After hearing the statement 1 all that changed for me... I could have all and everything with similar levels of warmth and palpability and realism.
I would go as far as to say that in my opinion the master statement low output is a better all round cartridge than the rosewood which retailed at around 3 times the price of the master statement.
I suppose you already know that grado had much to do with the invention of moving coil cartridges and dropped the design in favour of the moving iron principle.
I'm sure all cartridges have moved on over time but my statement makes such believable real illusions in my listening room I feel no need to upgrade.

Avid
April 28, 2018, 11:40 AM
Just read information on the new grado cartridges as I was unaware they had brought new high end cartridges out audiobill.
These new cartridges must surely be state of the art.
Does anyone have experience of them?
I'm off to read the reviews.

Avid
April 28, 2018, 12:32 PM
I can find very little other than manufacturer information.
It does seem that the current statement 2 cartridge has lost the solid gold coils of my statement 1 but the new higher end ones have the gold coils.
The electrical characteristics of the new range has changed.
These may or may not suit my current sut and mm stage but my statement 1 was a perfect fit for the set up I put together for the koetsu urushi.
I currently load mine with 6 ohms into the transformer just perfect for it's internal impedance of 5 ohms. Exactly the same as the urushi.

Avid
April 28, 2018, 12:38 PM
Forgot to add-
From the koetsu cartridges to the grado cartridges I heard a large drop in grain right across the frequency range. There was definitely less grain on the urushi than on the rosewood but still present on the urushi.

Avid
April 28, 2018, 01:45 PM
Hi audiobill.
Can't find much as of yet about new top cartridges.
To put your original inquiry into perspective the toneaudio review of my the statement 1 cartridge may help you understand why I felt going from a 4200 koetsu to a 3200 grado was an upgrade.
The reviewer clearly understood what I experienced and writes that the grado out koetsu 's the koetsu.
The one user review of the newest top of the range sounds very much like he is describing my the statement 1 cartridge. 😁

Avid
April 28, 2018, 02:16 PM
The positive feedback review of the statement 1 cartridge is even more glowing.

audio.bill
April 28, 2018, 09:19 PM
The positive feedback review of the statement 1 cartridge is even more glowing.
In case you haven't seen these, the new TOTL $12K Grado Epoch has also been reviewed by Positive Feedback (https://positive-feedback.com/reviews/hardware-reviews/world-premiere-review-grado-epoch-phono-cartridge/) concluding:

"If you are a well-heeled audiophile connoisseur and must have the very best, most revealing, and truly neutral phono cartridge at all times, I have a killer transducer to recommend... the Grado Epoch may just be the greatest cartridge of them all.

I will attest to this: the Epoch will compete very favorably with anything made anywhere at any cost on any record you will ever own. End of story. The American-made Grado Epoch Phono Cartridge has my highest cartridge recommendation."

As well as comments on the Epoch from mastering engineer Steve Hoffman (http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/the-new-grado-labs-epoch-phono-cartridge-is-in-the-house-steves-review-is-now-in-post-40.694031/page-2#post-17816875).

I wonder what the difference is between the $12K Epoch and the new Aeon at $6K? There's no mention of any differences I could find on Grado's site.

audio.bill
April 28, 2018, 11:06 PM
Just found this announcement (https://positive-feedback.com/industry-news/grado-releases-second-lineage-cartridge-aeon/) of the Grado Aeon release from Positive Feedback, which still gives no explanation of differences from the TOTL Epoch. Also found these product listings from UK seller Audio Affair which show identical specs for the Aeon (http://www.audioaffair.co.uk/grado-lineage-aeon-cartridge) and Epoch (http://www.audioaffair.co.uk/grado-lineage-epoch-cartridge), and state that the Aeon gives an estimated 90% of the Epoch's performance at half the price.

Avid
April 29, 2018, 12:27 AM
Hi audio. bill.
Thanks for pointing that information out.
My main concern about the new cartridges is about the loading.
30 years ago I decided that for a cartridge to give of it's very best it must drive into a suitable set of coils.
The reviewer of one of the new cartridges does actually load into exactly what I own so I should be OK. I find this marriage critical in whether or not any cartridge will truly sing.
What I did last time around when the 1 versions were released was buy the platinum reference and statement versions and the master statement version as back up cartridges and to gain experience with the products before the relatively high outlay of the statement 1 cartridge. I found good though the high output versions were the low output statement versions were considerably better and considering the starter cartridge price of 250 for the platinum statement cartridge it's value for money for the performance on offer astounded me. Maybe I owe it to myself to buy one of the entry level versions of the new range to play with. Even better that there is only one version of each model this time....
I would still like to hear from anyone who has experience or owners of the new top of the range grado's or indeed owners of the statement 1 cartridge.