Cartridge recommendations for second system turntable please

So I have been thinking of assembling my old gear, which I have never sold, into a second system. The turntable would be a Music Hall MMF-7. I need a new cartridge for it, as the original Goldring Eroica that came with it is very old and has a bent cantilever. The rest of the system would be: Project Speedbox, MF KW500 integrated amp, MF Tri-vista DAC, MF A3.2 CDP, Transparent Powerbank 8, all Transparent cabling, Carver Amazing Loudspeakers. I listen to a lot of jazz, as well as rock, vocals, "world music," classical, pop. Thanks in advance for the cartridge recommendations. Would especially love to hear actual user experiences.
It you can run a Denon Dl 103, that would be by far the best sounding inexpensive cartridge available.

Shure 97xe, is also a great inexpensive cartridge. However, the Denon can compete with really expensive cartridges, especially if your will to remove the body and run it naked or with an aftermarket woodie.

I would also consider one of the Benz Woodies or Gliders that show up used here with low hours. This maybe the best value if your timing is right! 
The arm on the MMF is not the greatest apparently. The Shure is a great tracker which will help. It is also MM which will work with your integrated amp.
Thanks guys. How good of a cartridge does it make sense to put on this table? My other table is a heavily modified VPI Scoutmaster with custom tonearms and Transfiguration Proteus, Soundsmith Paua, and SS Zephyr Mk II carts.

Hi, arsh,

I have a Music Hall mmf-7 and in addition to the Goldring Eroica H that came with the turntable, I have enjoyed using a Goldring 1012GX, a Dynavector DV-20XL, and an Audio-Technica AT-33PTG, which is currently on the tonearm. Each of them has worked well on the ’arm and sounded very nice. The tonearm on the mmf-7.1 is a decent ’arm (Pro-Ject 9c) and is more than capable of bringing out fine performances from these cartridges.

I also have a Michell Engineering Gyro SE with a SME 309 tonearm and have used the DV-20XL and AT-33PTG on the ’table. In comparison to the mmf-7 the sound is more revealing and dynamic with a more quiet background but the Pro-Ject 9 tonearm holds it’s own.

I’m currently using an Audio-Technica ART9 (on the SME 309), which replaced an aging Dynavector Karat 17D3. After a hundred hours or so I can say that I prefer the ART9 because if its better tonal balance (less emphasis on the lower frequencies), improved bass control, and a more natural sounding mid-range and uppermost frequencies (cymbal crashes for example). Plus, it does a better job of tracking difficult high-energy passages. I think the AT9 would sound very good on your Pro-Ject 9c tonearm if you decide to spend more money on the cartridge.



PS: I’m using a MF A3.5 integrated and Rogue Audio Stealth phono stage with the mmf-7 so other than the speakers, the electronics are similar. The speakers, on the other hand, are quite different. I’ve wanted to hear a pair of those Carver speakers.

 Thanks Tom. That is very interesting information. I really appreciate it. My turntable is the MMF7 not the 7.1. Is the tonearm the same?  I have read with interest the information on this forum about the audio Teknika art 9 cartridge. I would be very interested in trying it on the music hall turntable if it is a good match. 

The mmf-7 came with the Pro-Ject 9 aluminum tonearm while the mmf-7.1 came with the first generation of the Pro-Ject 9 carbon ’arm.

I haven’t tried the ART9 on the mmf-7 but given that it plays fine on the SME 309, which has a lower effective mass than the Pro-Ject 9, I’m assuming it would also work well. Using a resonance calculator the resonance frequency is somewhere between 7Hz and 8Hz. Not ideal but not in the red zone.


PS: You may want to read this thread:

Is there a price range for the cartridge? As stated, you'd need a high output cartridge, which could be anything (MM, moving iron, high output moving coil) with an output from 2.5 on up.

For an overall great combination of inner detail and ambience, dynamics, linear response, and transparency, the Audio Technica AT150Sa (Shibata stylus) is really nice. I have one. It started 8 years ago as an AT150MLX, but AT has discontinued the microline stylus on a boron cantilever and now offers a replacement Shibata stylus on tapered aluminum pipe. I like it *at least* as much as the MLX, probably a little more as it has (I think) a little more delicate and smoother treble. Best price I know of offhand is $323.69 at LpGear.

The Shelter 201 is also a great match for your musical tastes. It really excels at rock, pop, big band and small group acoustic jazz, and also classical. At $310 for the authorized US import, I think the AT150Sa is the better value. However, the same Shelter 201 from a reliable Far East vendor for $167-ish (I got mine from this very vendor) is an absolute no-brainer. There's something about it that puts a smile on my face every time. At half the price of the AT150Sa and $50-ish more than an M97xE, it's just crazy good, especially doing all the kinds of music you mentioned. 

Thanks guys! Great info.  I can use MC or MM (my KW500 can do either). Especially if I get an outboard phono stage.

Also, what maintenance or "tuning up" of the MMF7 should I do? It's been in my audio closet for 2 years.

 Thanks again!

Replace the platter bearing oil, I use Mobile 1 synthetic oil.

Clean and check the belt.

Clean and treat the RCA connectors.

Check the tonearm bearings for corrosion if the 'table has been sitting in a humid environment.

Enjoy your "new" turntable! '-)



Ok Do not put a DENON DL 103 on this turntable! not a good match. Go with a Dynavector 10X5 $650 high output MC or a Dynavector 20x2 $950 it comes in low .3mv or High 2.8mv. I would choose the high output one. Both of these are MC’s, I think MM’s are going to be too warm sounding for that table/tonearm. I use the 10" Project arm with the Dynavector 20x2 Low and my phono pre is very good, the sound is Huge and palpable very liquid and textured great detail and punch across the whole band with effortless extended highs. Make sure you get a NEW belt (very important) and pull the platter/ sub platter off and make sure it has oil. Getting the table on a good shelf and LEVEL will do wonders as well.

Matt M
Arsh ...

You say you like to play a lot of jazz. I'd recommend the Audio Technica OC9-MKIII. Its a killer for the money ($499 at LP Tunes) and it really gets down into those mono grooves.

If you want to upgrade from there, I'd suggest the Audio Technica ART-9. Its a giant killer and does an even better job on the mono jazz records.