Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo - Cartridge upgrade sweet spot

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Thank you! I haven't changed a cartridge before,no. I believe the necessary tools basically involve some long nosed pliars, a small screw driver or a small allen key (depending on the cartridge), a cartridge protractor, a stylus force gauge, a steady hand and a lot of patience?!?
Or a friendly dealer if you happen to buy the cartridge from one rather than online...
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Thank you! I haven't changed a cartridge before,no. I believe the necessary tools basically involve some long nosed pliars, a small screw driver or a small allen key (depending on the cartridge), a cartridge protractor, a stylus force gauge, a steady hand and a lot of patience?!?
I’ve fitted hundreds of cartridges and never used pliers. You just need a fingernail and care to slide the tags off and on. The Ortofon has captive nuts so you only need the supplied screws. My VM95 does too but would have to check the VM540. Much easier than fiddling with tiny nuts (if you get my drift)!
 
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Apologies if I have misunderstood - I'm still new to much of this. But am I to understand that actually you heard very little difference between all four cartridges? Or certainly, the second and third ones? If so, does that mean that actually cartridge upgrade is less of a "game changer" than I thought?
Not sure any component upgrade is a "game changer" in the strictest sense, the trick has always been a culmination of subtle improvements that gives you a bigger sonic whole.

Depending where in Surrey you are, there are good dealers: PJ in Guildford, numerous Sevenoaks Sound and Vision, Unilet (New Malden), Infidelity Hi-fi (Hampton Wick)... I'm sure they'll be happy to help if help is required.
 

Rui

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Mar 23, 2021
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i think that the blue wouldn´t give more than the red in quality due to the price but nagaoka is a very good brand ,when younger Ortofon meaned quality today they are cheaper in all senses but i have a nagaoka MP-500 to substitute one cartridge on one of my 9 turntables from the 70, the SL-1500 , but a friend bought a MP-110 when using in his thousand of €´s Pro-Ject turntable and it seems at least more dynamic and with a regular price ,but the 2mBronze i tried it and it was a good MM stylus like the AT95 in 1979,that i have on a PL-ES that i just trade the cartridge ,original one PC-30 that sounded very good but new substitution needles are very bad today they look 30% of the actual stylus in 1991(from HUCO)my go to substitution needles but at the time the substitution needles were almost as good as the original one, PL-ES because it´s a better finished turntable from the ES-2000 system from Pioneer that cost 400 dollars in 1974 in Japan for the whole system and believe it or not i didn´t do anything to it since than but i needed a cartridge so i went for the MP-110, which sounds more dynamic than the 2m red or blue ,the PC-30 with origynal stylus sounded a lot better than the 2mred, i also bought for a PL-560 79 pioneer model a 2m black Ortofon LVT,and a grado prestigeIIIgold that was being sold in promotion and as a wider spectrum of frequencies this for my SL-3310 from 76 technics model,that i only took it from the box in 2017 and it had a 207C cartridge and two eps-270SD stylus but seemed less good in the paper but in reality i prefer it´s sound to the Grado but it as a more detailed sound without a doubt, the new grado ,la friend of mine joking with me when we were comparing new and old cartridges i told him that the next day we were gonna try the wooden grado that costed 500€ ,when meeting him the next day he had it already installed in his store turntable a 95 SL-1200MK(whatever they were selling at the time)and when playing a record from dream syndicate live at the rajii´s that i boight in 1990 and it as the best sound live with guitars voice and drums and recorded directelly into dat as it says in the back cover but the cd is unheardable,he played it on the song" Boston"and i was amazed and told him "this is theb best ,well 500€ is already some money but sounds perfect" ,when i heard him laughing at me and saying this is the almost 5.000€ Grado and it´s made of wood from a tree that is rare and only foubnd ,don´t remenber where so i was not having a laugh and told him give me the prestige gold and paid maybe 387€ in promotion, that ended up to sound very good in my system, also bought a AT mc type and the ortofon cadenza black S which sounds funny and the AT is very good MC type art9 on my PLC-590 that had a V15 from sure, it sounds diferent but very detailed
 

Rui

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2021
197
48
1,620
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i think that the blue wouldn´t give more than the red in quality due to the price but nagaoka is a very good brand ,when younger Ortofon meaned quality today they are cheaper in all senses but i have a nagaoka MP-500 to substitute one cartridge on one of my 9 turntables from the 70, the SL-1500 , but a friend bought a MP-110 when using in his thousand of €´s Pro-Ject turntable and it seems at least more dynamic and with a regular price ,but the 2mBronze i tried it and it was a good MM stylus like the AT95 in 1979,that i have on a PL-ES that i just trade the cartridge ,original one PC-30 that sounded very good but new substitution needles are very bad today they look 30% of the actual stylus in 1991(from HUCO)my go to substitution needles but at the time the substitution needles were almost as good as the original one, PL-ES because it´s a better finished turntable from the ES-2000 system from Pioneer that cost 400 dollars in 1974 in Japan for the whole system and believe it or not i didn´t do anything to it since than but i needed a cartridge so i went for the MP-110, which sounds more dynamic than the 2m red or blue ,the PC-30 with origynal stylus sounded a lot better than the 2mred, i also bought for a PL-560 79 pioneer model a 2m black Ortofon LVT,and a grado prestigeIIIgold that was being sold in promotion and as a wider spectrum of frequencies this for my SL-3310 from 76 technics model,that i only took it from the box in 2017 and it had a 207C cartridge and two eps-270SD stylus but seemed less good in the paper but in reality i prefer it´s sound to the Grado but it as a more detailed sound without a doubt, the new grado ,la friend of mine joking with me when we were comparing new and old cartridges i told him that the next day we were gonna try the wooden grado that costed 500€ ,when meeting him the next day he had it already installed in his store turntable a 95 SL-1200MK(whatever they were selling at the time)and when playing a record from dream syndicate live at the rajii´s that i boight in 1990 and it as the best sound live with guitars voice and drums and recorded directelly into dat as it says in the back cover but the cd is unheardable,he played it on the song" Boston"and i was amazed and told him "this is theb best ,well 500€ is already some money but sounds perfect" ,when i heard him laughing at me and saying this is the almost 5.000€ Grado and it´s made of wood from a tree that is rare and only foubnd ,don´t remenber where so i was not having a laugh and told him give me the prestige gold and paid maybe 387€ in promotion, that ended up to sound very good in my system, also bought a AT mc type and the ortofon cadenza black S which sounds funny and the AT is very good MC type art9 on my PLC-590 that had a V15 from sure, it sounds diferent but very detailed
As always i´m late but the last i ´ve seen on my email
 

turbohobbit

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May 12, 2016
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Short update for you.

I got talking to someone in my friendly neighbourhood hifi store (again, named after a town in Kent..) and we talked all things cartridges. Long story short, I have decided to go for the incremental upgrade and allow my ears to lead me, so I have bought a 2M Blue stylus for my 2M Red/Blue cartridge so see what difference that makes. Next suggested step, which makes sense, is to get a dedicated phono pre-amp that allows for serious fettling, which is something my current amp with its built-in phono stage doesn't allow. The suggested upgrade here is a Pro-Ject Phono Box S2 Ultra, which seems to be the way forward. Once there I have the ability to fiddle with cartridge sound as I wish. As the guy said earlier, I could buy a really expensive cartridge and still not get anywhere near the best out of if because my phono stage doesn't allow me to dial it in. He was also quite transparent in not trying to sell me the S2 today because he encouraged my ear to get into various sound changes at different times. "We could sell you all these upgrades all at once, but really what we could have done is just sell you a more expensive turntable." I respect that. So. the S2 is on my Black Friday / Chrstmas list and in the meantime I'll dive into the Bue and see what it presents. Plenty of time fo rbetter cartridges in time.
 

turbohobbit

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May 12, 2016
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Thanks for coming back with an update, much appreciated(y) Your money so your choice.

If it were my money I would be going straight past the Blue for a better cart. Marantz incorporate very decent phono-stages in their amps. Just my opinion.

Yeah that's a fair comment. Having done some more research on the subject it feels like a separate phono stage would only really be desirable if I wanted to move to an MC cartridge. With this in mind, should I have gone with my gut in the first place? Yeah probably but that said having installed the Blue stylus and changed the settings on the amp to "pure mode" (i.e disabled network, Wifi, and Bluetooth) the sound is noticeably improved. I may leave it like this for a bit to appreciate the change, and then upgrade the cartridge some time down the road.

Thanks again for your steer, it's really appreciated.
 
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WayneKerr

Well-known member
Yeah that's a fair comment. Having done some more research on the subject it feels like a separate phono stage would only really be desirable if I wanted to move to an MC cartridge. With this in mind, should I have gone with my gut in the first place? Yeah probably but that said having installed the Blue stylus and changed the settings on the amp to "pure mode" (i.e disabled network, Wifi, and Bluetooth) the sound is noticeably improved. I may leave it like this for a bit to appreciate the change, and then upgrade the cartridge some time down the road.

Thanks again for your steer, it's really appreciated.
No worries, enjoy (y)
 

Rui

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2021
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Yeah that's a fair comment. Having done some more research on the subject it feels like a separate phono stage would only really be desirable if I wanted to move to an MC cartridge. With this in mind, should I have gone with my gut in the first place? Yeah probably but that said having installed the Blue stylus and changed the settings on the amp to "pure mode" (i.e disabled network, Wifi, and Bluetooth) the sound is noticeably improved. I may leave it like this for a bit to appreciate the change, and then upgrade the cartridge some time down the road.

Thanks again for your steer, it's really appreciated.
first buy a average turntable to after choose a good cartridge but only after having a acptable turntable ,hear older models and then you´ll have a good turntable
 

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