What cartridge to use....Rega RB25 Structural Mod

I have a Rega RB250 with the JA Michell structural mod and Incognito rewire mounted on an Acoustic Signature Final Tool. I am currently using a Koetsu Red with very good results. I am looking for something better. Aren't we all?? As you may or may not know, the Michell mod allows use of just about any cartridge made. There are 2 different counterweights. One for cartridges with a weight of 3 to 6 grams and another for cartridges with weights from 6-13 grams. The RB250 has an effective mass of 11 grams. So, with this in mind, what do you think. I am trying to stay within the $1,000.00 range, new or used. I have some cartridges in mind. The Dynavector DRT XV-1, XX-1, XX-2, ZYX Fuji R100 FS, Benz Micro LO.4, Lyra Helikon and the Ortofon Jubilee are some of the choices thus far. I have not listened to any of the above cartridges. I am going on reviews from this site and some of the professional reviews I have read. Please let me know if you've had any experience with similar setups or if you have any recommendations/suggestions regarding other cartridges I haven't mentioned. Also, I need to purchase a cartridge alignment tool. Any suggestions on tools under $50.00 would be great!!

Thank You
I have the Gyrodeck with the modified RB 250 Technoarm. I have had excellent results using a Van Den Hul Frog with this set up. You can find this cartridge used with in your budget. I use Wally alignment tools for set up.
I agree (sort of) with TWL – keep the cart and upgrade the arm. If you do have some money to invest, get a better arm and you will be shocked to see how much the Red can deliver.

IMHO you are already running into diminishing marginal returns by trying to upgrade from Koetsu Red on your RB250. The RB250 bearings are not up to scratch to extract the most out of said cart, even less so from a better cart.

(I am being kind by saying the RB250 bearings not being up to scratch – the bearings are total shyte)

Look into one of the OriginLive arms and then later a Shelter 901 cart. This would be fabulous combo. You'll at least find interesting and informative reading if you do nothing else.
I have owned the Origion Live Silver arm, and sold it a month ago. I replaced it with a rewired RB300 with the Michell technoweight. With my Denon DL103r, after my OL Silver, the RB300 was horribly microphonic and a great disappointment. Then I did Twl's hifi mod for $3 using bluetack, and suddenly I had my OL Silver's sound back. If you dont do Twl's mod and prefer to spend another $1000 on an arm, that's your choice... Also, do as I will shortly, and change the technoweight for Twl's counterweight mod. I shall almost certainly be selling my techoweight on Epay soon...

On the subject of cartidges, for $160 try the Denon DL103. Some here have prefered it to the Shelter 901. None of this will trully come alive without idler-wheel technology on your deck, or tens of thousands of dollars on belt drive, I think. My God I've become another one of those "I have superior knowledge" Audioholics!!! Still at least "my way" is cheap!
Oh bother …

The DL103 is a fine cart for the price – I use one to listen to my old (read very worn) jazz LP’s. However, compared to a Koetsu Red, it can only be described as vulgar, edgy with an exaggerated top end. I have not heard the Shelter 901, but the having lived with both a 501 and DL103 for a while, you would have to be quite deaf not to recognize the 501 as being the more musical of the two.

I am not going to make a comment about your choice of tables other than to say if you used a half decent turntable for your comparisons, you would recognize the shortcoming of the DL103 and RB250/300 in a heartbeat.

Clearly idler wheels suffer from so much noise contamination that the subtleties in the music are lost, and quality cartridges and arms are a waste of time (and money).


Ps. As a DIYer myself, I applaud other folks who take the time and effort in this hobby to roll their own. That includes people who resurrect old tables. However, one should avoid the trap of evaluating your own handiwork with those rose tinted glasses.