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To Garrett Hongo,

I read your reviews with interest. I’m currently looking for a mono cartridge, and trying to read between the lines, you seemed to like the Ortofon Cadenza perhaps a little better than the Miyajima Premium BE? How would you characterize their sonic differences? Is the Miyajima bolder/more robust? Any other recommendations around this price point or a little above, but not in the $3k-$5k range, which is too rich for what I want to spend?

Many thanks
United States

Thanks for your question and appreciation of these two old reviews of mine on mono cartridges!

To answer you truthfully, “it depends.” If your mono collection is mainly of contemporary reissue material, I can heartily recommend the narrower, line-contact-stylus Ortofon Cadenza Mono cart. If you have more vintage LPs dating from pre-1958, I’d recommend the larger, oval-profile Miyajima Premium BE cart.

For a cartridge equally adept at both eras of LPs, though, pre-’58 vintage and contemporary reissue, I recommend another cartridge completely -- my reference Miyajima Zero ($2150). Mind you, I still have the Cadenza Mono and also an Ortofon SPU Mono CG 25 Di MkII cart and its companion dedicated step-up transformer. I listen to them all. But the Zero is my all-around. I think you’ll be happy with it.

There are also two other versions: the Infinity version that’s $3375 and a 78rpm version for $2250. . . . Garrett Hongo