Replace stylus or new cartridge?

Should I replace a stylus on an old (I bought it new a long time ago) Grado TLZ fir $325 or buy a new Nagaoka MB-300 for roughly twice that?


The TLZ was a premium Grado cartridge. I would buy the new stylus - the price is reasonable.

Where can you buy a new TLZ stylus for $325, or are you contemplating a retip of the original?

I use the TLZ and prefer it to many other cartridges that I’ve owned including moving coils. BTW, if you decide to get a different cartridge PM me and I will buy the TLZ from you if the price is reasonable!!

Yogi, thanks. It would never have occurred to me that Grado still sell those styli. For many years, the TLZ was my one and only cartridge, and I liked it very much. I still have that cartridge, but when I auditioned it in recent years, the performance seemed to have fallen off. In fact, this is perhaps the only vintage cartridge I own where I can say it may have deteriorated with age. Now I am tempted to spend some bucks to rejuvenate it. The XTZ stylus as I recall is nothing but a selected TLZ. And I am tempted to go for that at some point.

By the way, the Grado, TLZ is yet another bargain, priced moving iron type cartridge. You could say that the TLZ was my gateway to appreciating the potential virtues of moving iron types. As to the question of re-tipping a TLZ versus buying the Nagaoka, MP 200, I can only say that I own a new MP 500, and it is certainly on par with the Grado if not even better. But I have no idea how that compares to the MP 200. One piece of advice to the OP would be to consider spending a little more to get at least to the MP 300 price level. the MP 500 would be the way to go if money is not an object.

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the text of the advertisement on LP gear does suggest that what they are selling is identical to what Grado are selling. And the price is identical, as well.

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I was confronted with the same dilemma a few years ago and elected for a new stylus for the TLZ. It now is regally suspended from the MMT for which it was originally purchased which in turn sits atop a truly vintage Kenwood 600. It really does sound wonderful and, as an added bonus, makes me feel young again.

@lewm--the 300 is what I am thinking of. Supposedly the same body as the 500 with a lesser (and less fussy) stylus.

One advantage is: if you do not have tools and alignment skills, replacement stylus goes into undisturbed cartridge. 

Do you have fixed arm or removable headshell?

I would ask Grado, if body this old, new stylus wise?

Next, check what they would sell for with a new stylus

Now decide: keep same sound, invest to sell, buy something new?

or, both: stylus for Grado AND something new.


Elliot, In this case, the replacement stylus (and cantilever) are mounted in an assembly that most likely also contains the suspension, if you are concerned about a worn out suspension.  I think you get a brand new one in the bargain. Go to either the Grado or the LP Gear website to get a visual.

Thanks all. A new stylus it is. Especially since the Nagaoka price increase applies to styli as well.