Hesitant to upgrade my phono cartridge

I’ve been running the SL for about four years now and really love it. I’m starting to experience some sibilance and my gut tells me it’s time for a new cartridge. I really want to go up to the ML but I’m a little hesitant because my speakers (B&W 805 d3’s) can lean a bit bright with some recordings. I’ve read that the ML is a tad brighter than the SL and I definitely don’t want to add any additional leanness to my system. I could stretch for the Umami Red but would prefer not to at this point in time. So do I just go with another SL or roll the dice with the ML? Does anyone have experience with going from the Hana SL to the ML with Bowers and Wilkins diamond tweeters? Or with a system that leans on the bright side? 


The rest of my system: 


Clearaudio Ovation w/ Magnify tonearm

Herron Audio VTPH-2A Phono Preamp

Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II integrated - tubes rolled from stock JJs to Gold Lion 12AX7 and 12AU7s with a Brimer 12AU7 in the center position. 

Speakers are B&W 805d3 stand mounts with a pair of REL S/510 subs.

Kimber Kable speaker, power cables and interconnects. 




Sounds like either your cartridge suspension is getting a little worn (time to adjust your VTA) or you've become more sensitive to your system characteristics. 

You can't get a better phono pre than the Herron VTPH-2A.  

But if you feel the urge to get a different cartridge, call Keith Herron and ask what he recommends.  


@paulgardner The SL calls for >400ohm, the ML calls for >100ohm. Based on that phono stage design and how you run it, there’s no way to predict how it would work with a particular cartridge unless you reach out to Herron with specs to get his thoughts on it and to determine whether or not it will need to be loaded.

I share pindac's high regard for the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze.  I use a Cadenza Bronze on my Clearaudio Performance DC Wood with the Tracer tonearm, and I find the combination to be very realistic, warm, immediate and engrossing.

I’ve used a Cadenza Bronze on an Ovation and with a VTPH-2A (though not at the same time) and it’s a great match in both cases. The Clearaudio decks & arms definitely benefit from a cartridge with some natural warmth, or they can come off as slightly sterile. In fact the Bronze might well be the perfect match for Ovation - both its sonic demeanor and price/performance. 

And if your system still has brightness issues with a Bronze installed - it’s not the cartridge’s fault. It’s definitely the Ortofon MC model to choose when that’s a concern.

If you happen to run across a NOS, near-mint, or refurbished Kontrapunkt "c", that was the Cadenza Bronze’s predecessor. Perhaps it’s the rose-tint of nostalgia, but I remember that model as being even slightly sweeter than the Bronze! Or maybe I just prefer its silver coil wire and FG80 stylus (gold-plated copper wire and Replicant / Micro-Ridge on the Bronze).