As a tangent to my "Which Cartridge" thread
, I'm struggling with whether the purchase of a $400 or so cartridge is really justified. In the event a customer sends me a good quality vinyl, I want to be able pull as much out of the recording as I can. On the other hand, I really don't make much doing transfers and don't do all that many, so it's very hard to justify several hundred dollars - especially if it's a matter of splitting hairs compared to a decent MM cartridge.
I would be extremely grateful to anyone who could record a bit of decent vinyl with a low-mid ($400-$500) range MC cartridge and the same sample with a $100 or so MM cartridge so I could "see the light" and decide if the step up in quality is worth the cost.
Another wrinkle in this equation is that a majority of transfers I do are old, well worn records - obscure discs that weren't all that well recorded in the first place, so that makes a higher-end cartridge even more difficult to justify.
I have a feeling something like the AT440MLa really makes more sense than a Goldring Eroica or a 10x5 - that the quality gained with a better cartridge will be lost on 95% of my customers, and not missed by those who have the ears to hear it.