Is it better to upgrade to an ultra premium cartridge or to buy the premium records such as hot stampers and the like?


Have heard the Grado Epoch 3 several times and not my cup of coffee! Very blah sounding with no life to the music, yes very nice midrange but the top end and fir that matter bottom end can't keep up with the midrange IMHO

A few recommendations:

From the lines I carry:

Aidas Gala Gold ( 24kt windings ) $6200 as Fremer said does nothing wrong ...

Tedeska DST201us Torres ( silver windings ) $6200 


Or from lines I dont deal with:


Dynavector XV-1S

Phasemation PP 2000


I'd never even consider buying a record that would cost as much as a good cartridge. No 'hot stampers' here, please...

I really appreciate all you guy’s thoughts! Very helpful for me. I admit, my system probably does not warrant a 12k cart based on the cost of the other components. It would be the most expensive piece. But, right or wrong, I’ve heard that it should It should be. Solypsa thanks for this recommendations! My settings consists of:

Pass Int 60 amp

 Parasound JC 3+ phono stage

VPI Classic 1 w/Transfig Axia (upgraded but not sure which tonearm upgrades it has) 

Volti Razz Speakers

digital is:

Innuos Zenith MK3

innuos Phoenix USB

Ayre DB 9 DAC w/20 upgrade

i have upgraded interconnect and power cables that are good. The speaker cable are probably the weakest they’re very old audio quest granite which sound pretty darn good compared to some of the cables I’ve tried all the other cables I’ve tried were not really pricey ones.

For this discussion I’m sure it doesn’t matter about the digital set. But you know the digital sound is what I am comparing the analog to. I am really kind of torn on whether to put a lot of money in the analog versus just spending a reasonable amount on a better DAC because the prices of good records are so high. I just got back into stereo about a year ago so I don’t have a good collection of records. Streaming is so much cheaper by comparison! But analog seems so much easier on the ears for me at similar volumes to the digital.