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Best bang for your buck

While moving, I broke the pin on my Dynavector 10x5, and much to my dismay I found out that to re-pin the cartridge ret. $650 it would cost me $480, i.e. a new cartridge. While I like the Dynavecor, I wasnt going to pay the unreasonable re-pinning cost which would bring my investment to over $1,000. I remember really liking the Grado I had on my System IIX previously, so I decided to go the other way: instead of blowing the budget on a high-end cartridge, I would go below the $200 level. I went straight to the reviews on Grado product and found the Prestige Red 1, and I liked what I read. Expecting, in reality, that the Red 1 would not stand up against the Dynavector, instead I was pleasantly surprised. The first thing I noted was the bass sustain; beautiful. The cartridge is also very percussion friendly, meaning I heard toms clearly whereas the Dynavector couldnt even reproduce sounds like tom-toms adequately. Of course there is a tradeoff involved: the Red1 doesnt match the highs provided by the Dynavector. This is really only a concern when youre listening to high-quality classical recordings. As one gets older the high notes can actually sound unpleasant. Theres a bit of a compromise in the mid-range, but its not a $450 difference, thats for damn sure. Overall, the Red 1 is well worth the $200, AND you can change the needle yourself at a reasonable cost. So there, the secrets out: the Grado Red 1 gives you the biggest bang for your buck.

Timothy G
Warm & Smooth

Just got this cartridge set up, and have a couple hours on it. Its replacing a $500 Factory cartridge that I never cared for. It sounded just like a CD. After careful setup I must say Im impressed with the red. Not the last word on detail, but it holds its own. And what a warm, warm sweet sounding cartridge. Played a couple long sides and didnt notice any sibilance, likely due to getting the setup Dead on. For the money, Im very happy with the Grado Red...

- Dave G, WV