Some cartridge recommendations






















I have recently acquired a Panasonic SP-10 TT with an Ortofon MC10 cartridge. I am using the phono section of my Modwright 225I for phono play back. I am thinking a more modern MC cart would be a better choice. The tone arm is a SME 3009 series II improved. I am new enough at vinyl playback that I am not sure what a good match for a cart would be. Any comments would be appreciated, thanks.








My Integrated can handle MM or MC carts it is full adjustable by dip switches inside on the phono card. It is however fixed at 50 db of gain.  This is the newest Modwright integrated, KWH 225i.

After looking at the Soundsmith website it appears all their carts like more gain than I have available.  They say 58-64 bd for gain. 

I have had the TT checked by a competent local tech and it is in perfect spec and near perfect cosmetic condition. I have it setting on its own steel table with a 1.75" maple top. (made from a piece of industrial equipment extremely heavy on a concrete floor) It is level and not moving short of an earthquake. 

Thanks again for all your comments. 


Then as Raul explained,.  you will either have to get a step up transformer or go to a high output cartridge. Soundsmith makes a high output version of The Zephyr called the Voice. I owned one and it is an excellent cartridge, but on the more expensive side. It will run perfectly with 50 dB of gain. You can get excellent transformers for less, but then you have the possibility of having a cartridge past it's due date. IMHO, unless you want to go all in on a phono stage with over 60 dB of gain you will be better off with a high output cartridge. There are several decent ones in the 550 to 1000 dollar price range. the Goldring 1042 and the Nagaoka MP500 come to mind as well as the Ortofon 2M Black LVB. Grado also makes a fine cartridge.  


I read that the MC10 had an output of 0.07 mv. @rauliruegas is sure to know the answer. I was referring to the Zephyr MIMC, I should have specified. The OP does not have enough gain anyway.




I already have a Step-Up Transformer, I should have mentioned that sooner sorry. It is from Ortofon, says STM 83 on it. Small round unit about the size of an inline fuel filter. I was thinking it would be good to get this out of the system just due to its age, along with the MC10. Maybe I should use what I have. Sounds like it's all reasonably good stuff. Again, I felt like the sound stage width and height was lacking with this compared to streaming Qbuz through my Lumin T2. Tonally it seems mostly ok.  Slightly less upper midrange low treble. I know I will not listen to it very much unless I can get more out of it. I am 65 years old and grew up on vinyl but never had a very good TT just cheap DD Kenwood with an Empire MM cart and later an Onkio with a very inexpensive Ortofon. The SAE tone arm on this unit cost more than anything I had back then. Since then I have upgraded everything several times to what I think is a very good sounding system. I Would like to play some vinyl for old time's sake but it just seems a little dead to my ears.

To recap system Modwright KWH 225i, Lumin T2, Oppo 105D, Tyler Acoustics Woodmere II speakers, stereo Rythmik F12 subs. The mentioned Panasonic Sp10/Ortofon analogue rig, All with Synergistic Reasearch Tesla cabling, DHL sub cables.

Dear @backwash  : Your SUT it's just not up to the task for quality. You need at least the Ortofon T-20 por the Denon AU-340, any of these will makes a quality way differences for the better.

Other thing that could improve your analog quality level is to make a check up to the cartridge/tonearm set up in parameters as: offset angle, overhang, etc that need to stay spot-on according the protractor you use. You can too fine tunning the sound " playing " alittle with the cartridge VTA


mijostyn, nominal output of the MC-10 is 0.1mv.



Dear @backwash  : "  compared to streaming Qbuz  ". Today not only digital beats ecven top analog alternative that you should not make comparisons in between due that the signal sound that you listen is proccessed in two way different ways that are not comparable in between: apples vs bananas..

Now you can improve your analog quality level response if you change the cartridge ( MC10 ) for a MM/MI new cartridge that does not needs SUT and today MM are really good. This one can do for you: