I’m suddenly nuts about vinyl but a bit of a noob. I picked up a reasonably priced Pro-Ject Element turntable but I think I’m going to sell it and consider something a bit better. I’ve caught all these YouTube videos that go over cartridge comparisons and I’m intrigued by how much of an impact different models can have on the sound signature. I have some Klipsch RP160 speakers that are a tad on the bright side. I wonder if anyone has any experience with certain cartridges and that type of horn speaker? Any recommendations? I was thinking some Grado carts seem to sound very warm in demos, but female vocals recess a bit in a way I don’t like on the vids but I’m thinking my speakers may create a nice balance between the two extremes, not really sure. Any analog guys here?
I may be able to help you out. What is your budget and are you looking for a MC or MM cartridge? I currently have a Denon DL-103 mounted to my Pro-Ject Debut TT. It was a HUGE upgrade from the stock Ortofon 2m red.
Right now I’m just using the phono preamp on my Onkyo receiver which I suppose is doing a serviceable job. I got a turntable with an Ortofon OM5e which certainly sounds nice, it’s like one of those audiophile things though, once you go down the rabbit hole you are always wondering how do I get more out of this. Despite being in my mid 40’s I’m a turntable noob, I spent no real time with them in my younger years as I was a child of the cassette / Walkman era, my folks had a turntable but I never set it up.
Now I’d have to sell my turntable to really consider a cartridge change which is no big deal it’s inexpensive so I’d get a new setup. I’m thinking I’d not want to spend more than maybe $600 or so on everything, turntable, cartridge and probably forgo a preamp and continue to use the one built into my receiver, so that may disqualify certain lower output cartridges, but I’m not 100% sure. I guess what’s interesting is it’s like a pairing game, certain cartridges may sing better or worse given the speakers and electronics they are paired with? I’d love to have the kind of budget and time where I could sit down and play with combinations all day, it would be fascinating. Vinyl is fun.
I have an older Dual TT, and the Grado Prestige gold made me a believer. Identical recording of a Vaughan Williams symphony sounded more alive (and live, really) than the remastered compact disc version. HTH!