My brother has a Technics SL-1210M3D turntable and he is looking to upgrade the cartridge from a Grado FTE3+ to something in the $400 to $600 price range. He doesn’t want a moving coil. I am thinking another Grado (timber series), Ortofon 2M Bronze or Soundsmith Otello. He doesn’t have a computer to get online so I am researching choices for him. Any suggestions as to what he might consider?
IMO, you can’t go wrong with the 2M Bronze, especially in that price range. I replaced an aging but beloved Sumiko BPS (the one bare armature model that preceded the EVO III) with the Ortofon in my VPI Scout, and it was a big improvement. I love everything about the cartridge, especially the fact that it punches well above its price point.
And if he can stretch the budget just a bit the Ortofon 2M Black with the Shibata stylus would be killer. $695.
I have a Nagaoka JT-80BK on my beloved 1210 and it proves to be the perfect match with the original arm and headshell. The cartridge is not a beauty at all, but sound is greater than I ever expected from a stock 1210.
The Denon DL-110 HOMC is insanely good on the Technics SL1210GR. I have some other good carts, most prestigiously a Dynavector 20x2, but every single time I put the Denon on, regardless of phono-stage pre (and there have been a few), it blows my hair back. I also have a Ortofon Bronze and AT-OC9XSL, but the cheapest of the lot, the Denon DL-110 always makes me say wow.