Advice on Phono Cartridge

Hello All!

I have a Pro-Ject Debut III with the original Ortofon OM-5 cartridge.  I have never been very impressed with the sound of the table/cartridge.  I am looking at upgrading the cartridge and I am most interested in The Ortofon 2M Blue or the Denon DL-103R.  I would like to stay under $300 for a cartridge.  I haven't really heard any other cartridges.  People seem to have a lot of good things to say about those two, but I'm open to others as well.  Any advice would be much appreciated. 


As it it won't physically fit?  That seems weird.  Why is that?  Length of the head or something?
Yeah…it seems to be too large for the Akito's wires to make the bend around to the tonearm clips…or something...
IIRC, the Akito has a rather short headshell which makes it difficult to impossible to mount some cartridges.   Linn carts from back in the day (Karma, Asaka, Troika) all had the same small dimensions thereby almost necessitating the use of their own carts on their tonearms.
I hate the spoil the show for some of these very expensive carts, but in a recent review of 9 MM carts the Audio Technica ATN150MLX finished first, and the Ortofon 2M Black finished a close second.  The others were not even close.  I have a special import Audio Technica AT-7V $159 at LP Gear, which has the ATN150 cart with a less attacking stylus.  I have since used my AT440MLa stylus and it sounds even better, but someday I will eventually buy the stylus from ATN150.  I say this because Audio Technica, Grado, Ortofon all build common carts with a multitude of upgrades you can make.  Rega carts can't even have the stylus changed, so be careful with some of these specialty companies who say theirs is the best.
I had an Ortofon 2M Blue on a Technics SL-1200 M3D, and it sounded great.  I was hesitant to buy the Blue as I had a previous experience with an OM-5.  I know they're two completely different cartridges, but I was afraid that the "house" sound of Ortofon wouldn't be to my liking.  The Blue was impressive in every way, and I think it represents an excellent value. 

If you were to consider a Denon, you may want to look at the DL-110 instead of the DL-103.  I have the DL-110 on a Rega Planar 2, and I'm very happy with it.  It is a high output MC cartridge and works with a MM or MC input.

Regarding the compliance of the Denon cartridges, I stumbled across this quote, and while I haven't verified with measurements or exhaustive cross-referencing, it seems to be accurate in my experience.  If you're interested in a Denon, you may want to investigate this further.  The other references I found used a ballpark multiplier of 2.

Quote below:

" Denon and AT measure compliance at 100Hz. However, compliance for the purposes of mating a cartridge with a tonearm and finding an optimum resonance point is measured at 10Hz. Multiply the compliance of Denon and AT cartridges by 1.6 to 1.8 (in my experience) and you'll be in the realm of their actual compliance at 10Hz."