New Phono Cart with Character Needed


I want to replace a Rega Ania MC phono cart on a Rega P3 because the current setup is lifeless, flat, and un-engaging. Phono stage is a Pass Labs XP17. The music produced currently is full of detail, very lifelike, instruments all sound very real, good upper end extension, but there is no there there. I can plug my phone into my multibit DAC and stream Jazz Groove and have a better experience because the sound is richer and has more oomph. I want warmth, oomph, texture, and wows from my analog. The Ania is just too flat, clinical and dry. I want to trade that for some color and a little more strength behind the notes. Budget is $1000. I mostly listen to Jazz. All suggestions are welcome.

Rega Ania MC Cart specs: Input Load Impedance 100 Ω, Output Impedance 10 Ω, Nominal output voltage 350 μV, Tracking Pressure 1.75 - 2.00 g

Rega P3 has been upgraded with GrooveTracer delrin platter and subplatter. 

mward

Audio Musikraft Lithium head shell loaded with guts from a Denon DL-103 or 103R. Simple set up, awesome sound.  Audiophile Magazine "A" rating.

For around $300 or a little more get the Denon DL-103 and get a wood body installed.  We use the Gold Bug cartridge (also I think made by Denon), and expensive but once you place the wood body on the Denon, it will compete.  No need to spend any more.  PLUS the money you save can be used to upgrade better parts in your ph0ono stage.

Happy Listening.

The Grado Prestige Gold, in my experience, is a there there cartridge that may provide what you seek. The cash outlay is negligible and the company has been around for quite some time. Grado may not be as fashionable as a Soundsmith or a Hana yet may provide your listening senses with everything needed.

Straight up good old ortofon black mm cartridge. Very dynamic and engaging. 

Hana SH high output MC. Hanas have the dynamic punch that MM carts just can't quite deliver, without the exorbitant cost of most MCs. Grado Sonata is another good choice, but they are prone to hum in some rigs. Soundsmith Carmen, like Grado, is a moving iron design, and both offer different takes on what you're looking for. Finally, the Dynavector 10X and Sumiko Songbird are worth considering, although the naked stylus of the Songbird makes many folks nervous, myself included. All these are high output, so no additional expense in Step Up devices and extra cables are required.