Continuing cart saga: The end is nigh

bretty

New member
Jul 20, 2007
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As you all know, and are sick to death of me bleating on about, i've been flip-flopping all over the place, trying to decide what cart to get. Usually , i'm a pretty decisive fella, so this situation has had me frustrated, big time. First i'm going expensive, then cheap, then i'm not upgrading at all: i'm keeping my Shure. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!! Enough's enough.

So, here's the deal. I AM getting a new cart. And through trawling through internet retailers and reading as many user comments and in-depth reviews as I could find, I have it narrowed down to two carts. I'm now of the thinking that I want to go fairly high-end, to see what that, when partnered with the Gyro, will produce.

One of the carts is MM and the other is MI.

First up is the Clearaudio Virtuosso



It's a MM and costs £525

The second cart is The Grado Reference Master:



It's a moving Iron cart and costs £670 (but Superfi are doing it for £600)

So, it's a toss up between the two. They both get glowing reviews and both seem to possess the sonic characteristics that I love: Realism and depth.

I'll be buying in early May. Maybe earlier. It depends how impatient I get.

If anyone owns either of these carts, I'd love to hear some more user experiences.

I dunno what's going on with the blue text, by the way!!



 
A

Anonymous

Guest
You've picked chalk and cheese there.

For what its worth the Clearaudio cartridges tend towards the revealing if not clinical, so usually don't have a particularly warm or rich midrange. On the otherhand, the Grados are both richer and fuller. Given you like the Shure, I'd think the Grado would suit better.

If you don't want to commit yet, you can get a Grado Silver or Gold, the top of their lower range, for about the £100 mark if you look on some in European websites. Similarly an AT (who I believe manufacture some cartridges for Clearaudio) 440mla will give you an idea of the type of sound a Clearaudio gives.

I like both, by the way. My one concern would be with the Grado, as they don't have much shielding and can pick up hum from another misplaced component or, in rare circumstances, the motor of your turntable. That said, I don't know of a cartridge that does female vocal or violin better.
 

bretty

New member
Jul 20, 2007
248
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Cheers, Grot. So they're very different carts, in reality? What you say about the Clearaudio pretty much rings true to what i've been reading at other places. Very natural and neutral through the mids and highs, with an extended and textured bass. That appeals to me. I've finally figured out that it's brightness in a vinyl set up that I can't stand, so as long as it isn't that, and has the other qualities that I like, then I'll be happy.

I quite like your suggestion of trying the lower ranges to get a taste of the house sound.
 

mitch65

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2003
52
0
18,540
bretty said:
As you all know, and are sick to death of me bleating on about, i've been flip-flopping all over the place, trying to decide what cart to get. Usually , i'm a pretty decisive fella, so this situation has had me frustrated, big time. First i'm going expensive, then cheap, then i'm not upgrading at all: i'm keeping my Shure. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!! Enough's enough.

So, here's the deal. I AM getting a new cart. And through trawling through internet retailers and reading as many user comments and in-depth reviews as I could find, I have it narrowed down to two carts. I'm now of the thinking that I want to go fairly high-end, to see what that, when partnered with the Gyro, will produce.

One of the carts is MM and the other is MI.

First up is the Clearaudio Virtuosso



It's a MM and costs £525

The second cart is The Grado Reference Master:



It's a moving Iron cart and costs £670 (but Superfi are doing it for £600)

So, it's a toss up between the two. They both get glowing reviews and both seem to possess the sonic characteristics that I love: Realism and depth.

I'll be buying in early May. Maybe earlier. It depends how impatient I get.

If anyone owns either of these carts, I'd love to hear some more user experiences.

I dunno what's going on with the blue text, by the way!!



I'll keep a watching brief on this one as the only high end MM I've heard in the Music Maker from the cartridge man (yes, I know it's a moving iron) which at a little over 700 squideroonies I thought might be a bit rich but the two mentioned here are not far short in price so maybe worth a thought and may well be the last cartridge you ever buy :)
 

bretty

New member
Jul 20, 2007
248
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0
mitch65 said:
I'll keep a watching brief on this one as the only high end MM I've heard in the Music Maker from the cartridge man (yes, I know it's a moving iron) which at a little over 700 squideroonies I thought might be a bit rich but the two mentioned here are not far short in price so maybe worth a thought and may well be the last cartridge you ever buy :)
It's a tempting prospect. The one review that i've just read really waxed lyrical about it. I think I might have have same compliance problem that I had with the Denon, though. It says the cart is for mid-to-high mass arms.
 

mitch65

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2003
52
0
18,540
bretty said:
mitch65 said:
I'll keep a watching brief on this one as the only high end MM I've heard in the Music Maker from the cartridge man (yes, I know it's a moving iron) which at a little over 700 squideroonies I thought might be a bit rich but the two mentioned here are not far short in price so maybe worth a thought and may well be the last cartridge you ever buy :)
It's a tempting prospect. The one review that i've just read really waxed lyrical about it. I think I might have have same compliance problem that I had with the Denon, though. It says the cart is for mid-to-high mass arms.
b****r that then, imagine how irate you'd get if you spent 700 quid and the thing wouldn't play!!
 

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