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.
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.