I have no words….

I’ve spent some money in the past on turntable cartridges and styli. It’s nothing exaggerated, it’s not a typical feature of mine, I’m not a serial collector and I don’t buy things just for the sake of it; I only do it if I need something. So I spent what today would be about 200e for the first serious cartridge I had, a Grado Prestige Gold first series. To replace the stylus years later I spent I think a hundred euros. Then I read about the performance of the 8MZ replacement stylus and spent 150 Euros between cost and shipping. So I wanted to try a Signature Series body and found a used 8MX for 100 euros. Recently I wanted to try a Grado Prestige Black 2 stylus on the Gold 0 body. About $50. As you can see, nothing transcendental or impossible.

Continue reading  

A Signature Story (remembering a man I never met)

My two and a half readers should know I am fond of Grado cartridges for reasons that go beyond the inherent value and performance. Soon after I started spinning vinyl records again, I wanted a cartridge my Thorens turntable deserved. I asked for advice on TNT-Audio and among the various brand names among which I was solicited to search there was Grado. I already had amazing Grado headphones. The Italian name also kind of attracted me, so I went for the top of the Prestige line, the first edition of the Gold cartridge. Many years later I learned it was loaded with an 8MZ-v stylus. It must have been a mistake at Grado Labs while assembling the very specimen that would find its way to my address. Much, much later I discovered the 8MZ was considered a noticeable upgrade for Prestige cartridges. For years, I ran that cartridge with no realization about this. I didn’t even know how important was to correctly setup a floating chassis turntable like the Thorens. I finally consumed the stylus I though was just a Gold 0 and replaced with a then new Gold1 stylus. That’s when I discovered the Audiokarma forum.

Continue reading  

Grado Prestige reaches level 3

hifi-grado_prestige_goldI’ve always been fond of hifi products from Grado Labs, this is no secret. I also sympathize with the Grado family for some reasons. They have just revived their phono cartridge lines. My beloved Prestige Series are now at the number 3 edition. And rumor has it they are excellent! Mine is not a review nor a test. I don’t have any Prestige 3 yet (maybe). I’m just summarizing what I heard from others. Basicly, it seems the whole Prestige 3 Series is hands down superior to the preceding Prestige 2. Of course John Grado seems to be convinced about it, but some early purchaser is already listening something better out of their new Prestige 3 Series…

Continue reading  

Our favorite needle retipping service

Grado-f1a-600x755I have always been convinced that the strongest reason to use only Moving Magnet cartridges was the possibility to replace the stylus. It is really a convenient thing, especially if you decide to upgrade your cartridge when the needle stone has worn out; many producers allow to install a higher spec stylus as replacement, so you can improve your cartridge’s performance with time. But sometimes even MMs can benefit from a retipping instead of buying a replacement. Why? Well, maybe the available replacements are not as good as the original stylus used to be. Sometimes the replacements are no longer available. Therefore, as Moving Coil cartridge users know well, you can turn to a capable stylus retipping and repair service to keep you cartridge alive, virtually forever.

Continue reading  

Solved: not Shure anymore? New shades of Grado? No – I’m back to Gold!

grado-gold-black2a-300x300Now I know what happened. Now that I am finally able to listen to a functioning Grado cart, I have understood. As soon as I started to be serious with vinyl records playback, I happened to buy a Grado cartridge. Then, many things happened and I had the chance to try out different cartridges, with different approaches to hifi music reproduction. I published some posts during this period attesting to my indecision about what I really liked to listen to. Now I have the clue to it: since a few days ago I just can’t stop spinning vinyl records. It was not happening since some time ago. And the reason why is clear to me now…

Continue reading