If Grado is the Ying, Is a Clearaudio the Yang???

I've a lot of experience with various Grado cartridges (TLZII, Prestige Gold, Sonata Reference) and even a Benz Micro GLider. But have always wanted to try one of the sub $1K Clearaudio cartridges. Can someone who uses a Clearaudio, give me some indication of what to expect sound wise? I'm not sure I know what their "house" sound really is like.....

I like rich, full and lush sounding cartridges. Will something like the Clearaudio (i.e. Aurum, Virtuoso Wood, etc.) be able to scratch that itch?

My table is a Well Tempered Classic with a Coda 03P phono stage. Run into a VAC Standard Pre LE and VAC PA100/100 and new Merlin VSM-M (with all the tweeks).

Any other cartridge recommendations would also be welcome.
128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xtmoran
Well, since you like Grados, you might check out Grado's "The Reference", in either the 4.5 mV or 0.5 mV version. There is a 0.5 mV version for sale right now on Audiogon. I have the 4.5 mV version, and it's glorious!
Second the Grado Reference. Had mine for almost 4 years now and have yet to be enticed to anything "better."
aurum beta-s is a great cart, maybe a lil towards the lowerend of your budget, check with music direct, they have the full line of clearaudio equipment & have great trade-in allowance towards ca carts
I compared the Grado Platinum with the Aurum when making my latest cartridge purchase. Having always used Grado, and liked them, I was surprised at how much different I found the Aurum to be sonically.
The Platinum was flat out beaten through the upper frequencies, the Aurum being very open and clear in the mids, more extended and natural in the highs. The Grado had the bottom 'tho, the Aurum being a bit lean and tight in the lows at first. Great improvement there however, after somewhat long break in period.
Rich and lush...no. It is however as neutral and natural a cartridge as I've tried. Hopefully holds true as you go up the line.
Good luck !
I had the Platinum before buying the Reference and, yes, the improvement is most marked in the mids and highs.
I had the Platinum and bought the Aurum Beta S (What a Stupid name). The Aurum Beta S is much more refined than the Grado. It does cost more and should rightfully be compared to the Sonata. But I think with the experience that I have had with other Grado Cartridges, I would pick the Clearaudio. Also, I would like to try the Virtuoso Wood when this cartridge gives out or I hit the lottery. According the reviews, it sounds better than the Aurum.