Need advice for a replacement phono cartridge

So, the cleaners destroyed my phono cartridge yesterday while dusting even though I'd cautioned them against dusting my stereo. Absolutely sick about it. Anyway, I need to get a replacement cartridge so I need advice on one that is of equal quality or better. The destroyed cartridge is a Transformation Axia which is no longer made. Thanks in advance!

My system:

VPI Prime turntable, Sutherland Little Loco phono amp, Luxman L509X amp, Revel F208 speakers, two Sumiko S10 subs


If you're buying a different cartridge like a Koetsu, checking compatibility with your Sutherland Little Loco phono preamp might be a good precaution.  As a "current input" phono preamp, the wrong combination could be a problem.  I hope there is a dealer nearby who will let you try out cartridges.

For the Little Loco you want as low an impedance cartridge as you can get.

My Sonic Lab, Lyra and Ortofon make cartridges that will work well with your phono stage. I think the Ortofon Windfeld Ti would be an excellent choice. If you have a VPI unipivot arm you will need to replace it with their gimbal arm for the best performance.

So, the cleaners destroyed my phono cartridge yesterday while dusting even though I’d cautioned them against dusting my stereo.

Same story pops up regularly. Telling them not to dust the table does nothing. Guys, the only way to protect your cartridge is to SECURE access to it (or the whole turntable) before cleaners come over. Arms with removable headshells or arm wands are handy since they can be locked in a drawer. Sorry for your loss :(

Herb from Stereophile loved the Benz SL (iron-cross, wood body) with Little Loco, so any of their iron-cross models should be a great match. I have Zebrawood L and Ebony L - they’re excellent, and regularly available new for a really good deal in the classifieds here. The higher end models (Ruby, Gullwing, LPS) use a less efficient ruby plate and may not be a good match for the Loco (they certainly don’t work well with a SUT).

I also love Koetsu; they’re a little sweeter than Benz but cost more too. Should also be a good match for LL. Ortofon is good too, though I find their MC models have a little more variance in sonic balance than other brands (Cadenza Bronze, A90, Windfeld Ti here).