A good cartridge for low mass arm?


New member
Username: Chuttt

Post Number: 8
Registered: Sep-05
I recently mounted an SME IIIs onto my Thorens TD-160. Look like my low compliance Denon DL-103 won't work well anymore. Can anyone recommend a good cartridge for such a set up? Of course I want low output MC but I know there aren't much choice so good h.o. MC or MM should be okay. Hopefully it's around the price of the DL-103.

I'm more to classical and jazz.



Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11845
Registered: May-04

Grado or Audio Technica. AT makes a medium output MC that has reasonably good compliance, the OTC-9 I believe. All Grados are fairly high compliance and offer sound similar to a MC with MM's strengths. Joe Grado was one of the inventors of the moving coil cartridge but felt the induced system of all Grados over the past fifty years gave better performance by combining the best of both MC and MM designs. Ortofon uses a similar induced system and also offers higher than average compliance.


Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 5739
Registered: Feb-05
Even the new heavier 2M Ortofon's will work well with most low mass arms and actually sound very good. The Red is very respectable for an inexpensive secondary table but for anything you will use frequently I would recommend the Blue.

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11849
Registered: May-04

You can add a bit of mass to the SME, It is a low to medium mass arm with high compliance. While a higher compliance cartridge than the Denon would be desirable to get the horizontal tonearm resonance in the right frequency band, the addition of a small amount of mass to the arm would probably make the Denon work on all but the most heavily modulated grooves. How addicted are you to the 1812 Overture?

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