Turntable Cartridge upgrade question.

Hi guys


I currently run Ortofon 2M Black cartridge that is MM type. 

what would be step up to MC type cartridges in price range $1200 that would be way better than 2M Black ?


Thank you for input ahead!



it is important to understand that Rome was not built in one day.

The Mani2 is your weakest link. The Hana ML cart is excellent. You won’t regret it. But you will need a better phonostage to really enjoy it. Think you will need to spend at least double the cartridge.

But again, Rome wasn’t built in one day…


What table and arm are you using? You never did mention what that cheap $7000 is!

I answered that question several years ago, before covid: Benz Micro Glider SL (with a Musical Surroundings Nova III phono stage that developed a hiss several months prior to the warranty going out and Musical Surroundings refused to take it for examination/repair - mind blown. I could have shipped it but no guarantee they’d return it… I found a dealer who bought it for a YUGE loss), deciding on a Quadratic MC-1 SUT to match it.


SUT is “the way” for me at least, one less complex electronic noise box in the audio chain (YMMV all the snarksters here in Audiogonland).

I have other cartridges now (Ortofon Cadenza Black, Ortofon Verismo) I’ve played with, and I’ll admit the Verismo needs better resolving equipment than I’ve got right now but I’m awed by its performance compared to the others mentioned (and got a smoking hot deal on it like it fell off the truck).


For starters I can’t recommend the Benz highly enough.


TT: Thorens 125TD Mk II with Pat Pruitt electronics, ceramic ball bearing spindle (no rumble)

TA: SME V rebuilt by SME Canada (smooth. 1 M 33 awg Cardas Litz wire to SUT)

Preamp: APT Holman (recapped, “tuned” by Peter at Quirk Audio). One word on the APT: Transparent.

Amp: Tektron TK2 2A3/50-IS with EML 300b PT and 1944 vintage Tung-Sol 6F8G drivers, sometimes an ADCOM 545II (“rebuilt” with the help and guidance of Chris Hoppe of Hoppes Brain) when I want to shake the house with something like RAMMSTEIN or King Crimson’s RED.

Speakers: Klipsch Heresy IV’s (I’ve been a Klipsch fan since the early 1970’s, but auditioning others now)

Just a thought..

If you’re interested in getting more bass from your system you might try a tone control like the schiit lokius. They can make a significant improvement in tailoring the sound of your system to your liking and for a lot less than $1200. Best of luck in your quest. 👍

I went from a 2m black to quintet black. There was much improvement but didn’t leave me with that wow factor until I switched to the Hana ML. I would recommend you listen to the Hana if you can. You’re likely to be pleasantly surprised and it’s within your budget. My other table has the Linn Kandid, which may be 5x more expensive. I feel the Hana does very well relative to that cart too.