Anybody with an expensive TT try this????

Have you tried a cheapo cartridge (less than $50)? And how was the sound? Was it terrible or did it make you question, are the $1000 cartridges really worth it? Mike
You must not have heard very many cartridges to ask this question. In a analog system they are like speakers when it comes to the differences in sound from one to another. Not to mention background or lack of background noise. Even pops and clicks that you may hear from a record with one cartridge can be non exhistant with another.
The $1000 cartridges are worth it. At least those that continue to receive top reviews are. I would rather have $1000 Shelter cartridge on a cheap turntable than a $50 cartridge on a Rockport turntable.
Not THAT cheap ($50) but I agree that under-$1K carts* can sound exceptionally good on great tables thru great phonostages. The turntable is key, IMHO, with the tonearm/phonostage second and the cartridge third.

* Examples (what I'm using now): Ortofon 2M Black, Shure V15VxMR w/JICO stylus, Denon DL-103 w/Soundsmith retip and Uwe pod.