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BUYING GUIDE & REVIEWS - CARTRIDGES - UNDER £200
PRICES SHOWN ARE THOSE AT THE TIME OF REVIEW
Cartridges
£
Year
Verdict
Audio Technica 120E £52 Nov 01 A big sound with lots of treble detail make the AT120E great for Rock. Lots of fun.
Audio Technica AT440ML £89 Aug 01 Bright, fast sounding and detailed, with fulsome bass. The AT440ML can be spitty at times.
Clearaudio Alpha £130 Apr 99 Tends to sound quite hard at the top but imaging and detail are good. Best in a warm system.
Denon DL103M £110 Aug 97 First manufactured in 1963, it sounds mature and sure-footed rather than over the hill.
Denon DL110 £65 Mar 94 May be a little soft-natured for some. Splendid dynamics and an even tonal balance.
DNM Mica £185 Feb 98 Betters Goldring's 1042 without difficulty. MC quality from an MM.
Dynevector DV10X4 Mk2 £199 Jul 01 The most musical cartridge at or near its price, the baby Dynavector is a classic budget audiophile product.
Goldring Elektra £30 Nov 01 Not the most exciting performer around but does the job well enough, and at £30 it's as cheap as chips.
Goldring 1006 £70 Nov 01 A tad bright but very detailed with good bass. a little expensive all the same.
Goldring 1012GX £60 Jul 93 Great with Rock music, the 1012GX is the best value low-price MM.
Goldring 1042 £90 Jan 93 One of the best MMs at the price with strainless delivery.
Grado Prestige Silver £119 Apr 97 Good tracking and inoffensive sound, but somehow lacks sparkle in any department.
Linn K9 £58 Sep 94 Rhythmic bite compensates for a lack of vibrancy in music (MM).
Ortofon 510 MkII £40 Jul 99 Excellent tracker at a good price. Warm amplification is needed to tame this sure-footed budget entry.

Ortofon 540
£100 Jan 93 Smooth operator and very good value for money (MM)
Ortofon MC15 Super II £110 Mar 95 In the right system, can be masterful with its dry and accurate response.
Ortofon MC25E £170 Sep 95 A considerable achievement that adds true verve a pizzazz to the MC15 Super II
Ortofon Super OM10 £32 Nov 01 A fine detailed performer, but lacks a bit of bass grunt.
Roksan Corus Black £120 Jan 93 Light and dry presentation with good presentation (MM).
Slate Brazen MM £185 Sep 97 If you like the V15 you'll love the Brazen. Works well with an SME 3009.
Sumiko Blue Point £100 Oct 92 Excellent value for money. It does its job of transcribing the information on the disc without fuss or bother. 
CARTRIDGES - OVER £200
Clearaudio Victory Gold £960 Aug 00 Dry, fast and forward sound, but lacks the neutrality and even-handedness you'd expect from a mid-price moving coil.
Cartridge Man Music Maker £549 Feb 99 Good price, high output and a winning musicality make this Moving Iron cartridge the one to beat.
DNM Lexe £1300 Jan 99 A Goldring make-over that tracks well and sounds good. Pricey, though.
DNM Rica MM Cartridge £255 Jun 98 This betters the Mica, has super-MM virtues.
Dynavector 17 DM Mk2 £449 Mar 00 A glorious taste of the high end at real world prices, but match carefully with top quality ancillaries.
Dynavector DV20X-H £299 May 99 Delightfully musical sound makes the Dynavector a very strong contender in the budget MC stakes.
Dynavector DV XX-IL £998 Nov 00 Warm, sweet, beguilingly musical cartridge with a charming personality, but not quite the class of its field.
EMT HST6 £850 Oct 96 Solid bass and smooth, musical sound make this rare MC cartridge worth the money.
Goldring Excel VX £495 May 97 Has fine midrange clarity, but is bettered in other areas by cheaper competitors.
Linn Arkiv £1200 Dec 97 Linn fans will love it but its up against strong competition.
Linn Arkiv £1200 Mar 01 A wonderfully fluid and musical cartridge, there a few better ways to play vinyl.
Linn Klyde £489 Jun 95 Sumptious sounding cartridge that borders on the bass heavy but has a good feel for music.
Lyra Lydian £649 Jun 95 Extermely smooth, civilised MC with no obvious weaknesses.
Ortofon Jubilee £1250 Mar 99 Detailed, musical and sure-footed, the Jubilee goes a long way towards justifying its elevated price tag.
Ortofon Kontrapunkt B £750 Sep 01 One of Ortofon's best yet, a natural music maker with tremendous clarity. Match carefully though.
Ortofon MC25F £225 Sep 95 Delightfully sweet, musical sound with added refinemet on FL that takes some beating
Ortofon MC30 Supreme £450 Jun 95 Involving yet refined presentation but some could feel itís slightly coloured.
Ortofon MC7500 £2000 May 94 Conveys the full gamut of emotion from A-Z with the fervour of a live concert. Expensive, but the business
Ortofon Rohmann £1000 Apr 96 A top quality MC with superb tonal quality and excellent imagery
Shure V15VxMR £295 Mar 97 Warm, dynamic rendition of music with great detail and impact (MM)
Transfiguration Spirit £1000 Jul 98 A balanced all-rounder that misses out only on the last ounce of detail and bass weight.
Van Den Hul MC10 £840 Jun 95 The MC10 is very hard to fault. A honey, pure and simple.
VDH Grasshopper IV £3750 Dec 95 Allows music to flow with superb fluidity and reveal things which were previously unheard - at a price!
 

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