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Weekly Q&A: Answers | Week of September 25, 2023
Cartridge recommendations for under $2,000
(This question was a late arrival from last week’s Q&A. The questions from this week’s Q&A will be answered next Friday.)
Q: I am purchasing the Technics SL-1210G and need a cartridge recommendation (under $2k).
A: We polled our vinyl reviewers and they recommend the following (to give a range of prices; naturally the more expensive cartridges are thought to be better or we wouldn’t recommend them):
Ortofon Quintet Black ($1099) https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/ortofon-quintet-cartridges/
These are all low-output moving coil cartridges, so, of course, you must have an MC phono stage with high gain (60db or more). If you are set on that front, we must note that there are two excellent cartridges just above $2k worth considering:
Dynavector Karat 17DX ($2350)
Hana Umami Blue ($2500) https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/the-hana-umami-blue-moving-coil-cartridge-review/
On a final note, we need to mention that some of these cartridges have been around for many years. Unlike digital consumer electronics, which progress to some degree in step with Moore’s Law, winning cartridge designs can be a decade or more old. Assuming that newness is correlated with performance is an assumption fraught with peril.
As always, hope this helps.
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