Pre-owned cartridge recommendations for $500 and $1,000

Looking for cartridge recommendations to match my system, which is as follows:

Yamaha PX2 TT with Hana EH (also have Technics SP15 with AT arm and modded Denon 103R)

SAS Audio Labs 11A line stage and Eastern Minimax phono stage  (also have Classe CT-SSP)

Chapter Audio Model Two amplifier (also have Cary 200.2)

Acoustat 2+2 electrostatic speakers

Sound dispersion panels behind the Acoustats.  No other sound attenuation.  Room is carpeted.

Musical Fidelity A5 CD player (also have Metronome tube CD player)

Listening room is 13 x 22 x 8.  I listen mainly to jazz and rock.  I would appreciate your opinion with my system if spending $1,000 will yield an appreciable difference in playback vs a $500 cartridge, and if you feel there is a budget sweet spot (maybe > $1,000) for best value to sound ratio.

I seek a natural sound with good imaging.  Appreciate your thoughts and thanks in advance.




Some of the updated designs for a Cartridge can be as simple as a different damping material being selected.

The use of the New Material can have a substantial influence on the Cart's capabilities.

Third Party Build services are able to add to a Cart', their own selection of a Modern Material Damper, which may be very close to parity in performance/influence of a Brands selection for the material.

The same can be said for Cantilever and Styli.

As a suggestion, it is worthwhile starting a dialogue with a Third Party Cartridge Service. Informing them of your preferred genre and where you are most satisfied with a replay, i.e Female Vocals, Prominent Bass Notes, etc.

It won't be long before a selection of Donor Models are suggested to undergo a rebuild / redesign.

Finding a High Quality Donor Model becomes the challenge, hopefully one is found with less than 50% of its usage hours.

This will give a good few hundred hours of experiencing the Cart' prior to committing to the next phase of its usage.   

Additionally, this is the method I have used / will continue to use, I have prudently purchased Donor Models to create new experiences, when the time to do this suits.

After A/B comparing Expensive Branded Cart's to my Bespoke Produced Design Cart. The method has ' as a subjective evaluation ' proven to be a very cost effective method to have a Cart' that competes very favourably with Branded high quality Cart's. My method offers for me is attractive as there is a lower cost associated with each Album replayed.

Yes the Yamaha PX2 is a tangential tracking turntable.  Sorry, but not sure what compliance refers to (I am learning), but according to the manual, the arm produces  from 1.0 gram tracking force with 16.5 g effective weight up to 2.0 g. tracking force with 17.5 gram effective weight Is that what you are asking?

And thanks everyone for weighing in.  I appreciate the time you took to respond.  My quandary is that there are so many variables I don't want to select a cartridge and hope for the best.  Even though everyone hears differently, your experience is valuable to me.