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  1. #1
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    Cartridge question - opinions

    Since recently getting back into vinyl I have updated my table and cartridge, etc. I am currently using an Ortofon 2M Bronze.

    Back in the day I was a huge Grace fan; F-9E, and the F-9E Ruby were my favorites. My question is can cartridges that are 30 years old hold up? I have an opportunity to pick up a F-9E, so my concern is how do these stack up against current generation cartridges? Are these cartridges, that were in a league of their own in my view, still retain this top notch status?
    Core: Hattor "The Big"; T+A AMP 8; AudioQuest Niagara 1000
    Analog: Rega RP8; Rega Ania Pro; Rega Fono MC; Record Doctor VI
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    "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know when when you are wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  2. #2

    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    In what price range Randy?
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

  3. #3
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Randy - A couple of things to keep in mind... cartridges use dampers around the cantilevers (generally speaking, for the majority of conventional MM or MC cart designs) to control their movement as it tracks the signal, and that damping is critically tuned as part of the design process. The materials used for such damping tend to change their physical characteristics over time as they age and harden. So even if a cartridge hasn't been used much or at all, over a period of years (or decades in the case of those Grace carts) their performance will be far from optimal or near their target characteristics that they were tuned for. You can have vintage carts rebuilt from a number of sources where they can replace the stylus, cantilever, and even the suspension as needed, but you'll rarely end up with the same sound that the original cartridge had. Anything you change in the design will affect the resultant sound performance. So while there are some people who still rave about such vintage cartridges you should understand that they simply can't still perform as they were designed unless they can be rebuilt by the original builder to meet the exact original design specifications. So to summarize I think you'd be much better served sticking with currently manufactured cartridges.

  4. #4
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    MEP; in the $340-$350 range. Listed as very low hours....

    audio.bill; this is my worry. They were amazing... but would even a brand new one still be??? I know Soundsmith have stylus's they have developed for the Grace, but are they as good???? I think you might be right...
    Core: Hattor "The Big"; T+A AMP 8; AudioQuest Niagara 1000
    Analog: Rega RP8; Rega Ania Pro; Rega Fono MC; Record Doctor VI
    Digital: T+A DAC 8 DSD; Falcon NW PC; Roon & HQPlayer; W4S Recovery
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    : KEF R700; Elac Debut Sub 3010; Audeze LCD-i4
    Other: Astell&Kern AK240; McIntosh MR7083; Oppo BDP105


    "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know when when you are wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  5. #5
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Hmmmm... no idea why this duplicate posted.... Joe, Mike, if you could delete this that would be good .
    Core: Hattor "The Big"; T+A AMP 8; AudioQuest Niagara 1000
    Analog: Rega RP8; Rega Ania Pro; Rega Fono MC; Record Doctor VI
    Digital: T+A DAC 8 DSD; Falcon NW PC; Roon & HQPlayer; W4S Recovery
    Speakers
    : KEF R700; Elac Debut Sub 3010; Audeze LCD-i4
    Other: Astell&Kern AK240; McIntosh MR7083; Oppo BDP105


    "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know when when you are wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  6. #6
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Randy, I agree with Bill, Never the less the Grace F9e was my go-to back in the day as well .......
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  7. #7

    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    I think you can buy young pre-loved, but carts are mechanical parts so they do wear out.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ WyWires Platinum ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

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  8. #8
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    30 year old carts can still perform admirably. I possess more than dozen from that era, many on their 2nd and some their 3rd rebuild. Presently I have 5 MCs with Steve Leung for rebuilds/check ups and two with ESR in the UK. They're mfrd either by Scantech (Lyra) or Supex (Koetsu). It's not common knowledge to many that a market for vintage and previously loved cartridges exist and most collectors I trade with can afford anything.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Randy,

    There are some older cartridges that have replaceable stylii like the Stanton 681 MM series from the 70's/80's that are a bit more immune from age as they had a robust structure to stand up to DJ abuse back in the day. Likely these are not what you're looking for, but wanted to add that not all cartridges degrade simply due to age.
    .

  10. #10
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeCh View Post
    Randy,

    There are some older cartridges that have replaceable stylii like the Stanton 681 MM series from the 70's/80's that are a bit more immune from age as they had a robust structure to stand up to DJ abuse back in the day. Likely these are not what you're looking for, but wanted to add that not all cartridges degrade simply due to age.
    Which is cool, and thank you. Curious if anyone has opinions on Grace in this regards. I know there are lots of Grace fans out there .
    Core: Hattor "The Big"; T+A AMP 8; AudioQuest Niagara 1000
    Analog: Rega RP8; Rega Ania Pro; Rega Fono MC; Record Doctor VI
    Digital: T+A DAC 8 DSD; Falcon NW PC; Roon & HQPlayer; W4S Recovery
    Speakers
    : KEF R700; Elac Debut Sub 3010; Audeze LCD-i4
    Other: Astell&Kern AK240; McIntosh MR7083; Oppo BDP105


    "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know when when you are wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  11. #11
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Not sure why I keep getting dups here.... sorry...
    Core: Hattor "The Big"; T+A AMP 8; AudioQuest Niagara 1000
    Analog: Rega RP8; Rega Ania Pro; Rega Fono MC; Record Doctor VI
    Digital: T+A DAC 8 DSD; Falcon NW PC; Roon & HQPlayer; W4S Recovery
    Speakers
    : KEF R700; Elac Debut Sub 3010; Audeze LCD-i4
    Other: Astell&Kern AK240; McIntosh MR7083; Oppo BDP105


    "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know when when you are wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  12. #12
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Thanks for the input. I think I have decided to not invest money in this 30 year old cartridge, even though back in the day it was my favorite!
    Core: Hattor "The Big"; T+A AMP 8; AudioQuest Niagara 1000
    Analog: Rega RP8; Rega Ania Pro; Rega Fono MC; Record Doctor VI
    Digital: T+A DAC 8 DSD; Falcon NW PC; Roon & HQPlayer; W4S Recovery
    Speakers
    : KEF R700; Elac Debut Sub 3010; Audeze LCD-i4
    Other: Astell&Kern AK240; McIntosh MR7083; Oppo BDP105


    "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know when when you are wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  13. #13
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Thanks for the input. I think I have decided to not invest money in this 30 year old cartridge, even though back in the day it was my favorite!
    Randy, just hold onto the memories, that's what I've done !
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  14. #14
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Thanks for the input. I think I have decided to not invest money in this 30 year old cartridge, even though back in the day it was my favorite!
    Randy, so what cartridge(s) are you entertaining to replace the Ortofon 2M Black? A replacement stylus for the Black or something else entirely?
    .

  15. #15
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    At this point I am not sure. The bronze is very close to the black with a little less surface noise. It sounds pretty good so not in a huge hurry at this point.

    Under consideration so far;
    Audio Technica (always liked Signet)
    Denon (I hear they have nice reasonably priced MC)
    Rega (to match my table)
    Clearaudio (friend keeps mentioning their higher end MM, definitely upper end of what I would be considering)
    Stay with Ortofon 2M Bronze of get another Black stylus

    Other suggestions?
    Core: Hattor "The Big"; T+A AMP 8; AudioQuest Niagara 1000
    Analog: Rega RP8; Rega Ania Pro; Rega Fono MC; Record Doctor VI
    Digital: T+A DAC 8 DSD; Falcon NW PC; Roon & HQPlayer; W4S Recovery
    Speakers
    : KEF R700; Elac Debut Sub 3010; Audeze LCD-i4
    Other: Astell&Kern AK240; McIntosh MR7083; Oppo BDP105


    "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know when when you are wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  16. #16
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Gotcha. I find that the Cadenza Bronze is a low surface noise cartridge and wonder if its a common thing with all the "bronze" models within each cart series from Ortofon?

    Enjoy!
    .

  17. #17

    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    At this point I am not sure. The bronze is very close to the black with a little less surface noise. It sounds pretty good so not in a huge hurry at this point.

    Under consideration so far;
    Audio Technica (always liked Signet)
    Denon (I hear they have nice reasonably priced MC)
    Rega (to match my table)
    Clearaudio (friend keeps mentioning their higher end MM, definitely upper end of what I would be considering)
    Stay with Ortofon 2M Bronze of get another Black stylus

    Other suggestions?
    Clearaudio Virtuoso V2 and Lyra’s entry MC Delos are quite nice.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ WyWires Platinum ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  18. #18
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    I think the Clearaudio Virtuoso V2 is the one my vinyl-phile friend keeps recommending!
    Core: Hattor "The Big"; T+A AMP 8; AudioQuest Niagara 1000
    Analog: Rega RP8; Rega Ania Pro; Rega Fono MC; Record Doctor VI
    Digital: T+A DAC 8 DSD; Falcon NW PC; Roon & HQPlayer; W4S Recovery
    Speakers
    : KEF R700; Elac Debut Sub 3010; Audeze LCD-i4
    Other: Astell&Kern AK240; McIntosh MR7083; Oppo BDP105


    "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know when when you are wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  19. #19
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    Re: Cartridge question - opinions

    Anyone have any experience with Rega cartridges? Been thinking of something like the Ania because it is a perfect match to the table. I am also sure that the SimAudio can handle it.
    Core: Hattor "The Big"; T+A AMP 8; AudioQuest Niagara 1000
    Analog: Rega RP8; Rega Ania Pro; Rega Fono MC; Record Doctor VI
    Digital: T+A DAC 8 DSD; Falcon NW PC; Roon & HQPlayer; W4S Recovery
    Speakers
    : KEF R700; Elac Debut Sub 3010; Audeze LCD-i4
    Other: Astell&Kern AK240; McIntosh MR7083; Oppo BDP105


    "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know when when you are wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Cartridge question - opinions

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