It's a shame vinyl isn't as popular as it once was as basically it has taken a lot of the big manufacturers out like Stanton, AKG, Shure, etc out who all made great Moving Magnet carts at what were affordable prices which still imo sound better that most MM's today. To get the quality of one of those carts now you have to spend a lot more and probs opt for a MC.
Any way I like the Grado DJ-200i but the induced hum some times can bother me.
With dance music it isn't an issue and if you don't have any big transformers near by it's no biggie but it is there.
This is a issue that's plagued all Grado's for millions of years :-/
The sound is soft and they track almost anything you throw at them.
They lack the punch and excitement of the Stanton's but sound great on old jazz, most old records for that matter, track very light and very good stable back cueing. Track em at 2.5g
I'm back to using brand new old stock Stanton 680EL mk1's made in NYC.
Golden era Stanton, my personal favourite albeit the Grado is kinder to your records.
Back cueing is old school as in.. You have to be light handed :-) Track em at 3g's
The later mk2's had a smaller diameter stylus and lighter cantilever which is "technically" better but the trade off is poor build quality which still makes the mk1 the best one.
I think by the time the mk2 came out they already moved to the Florida factory and a lot started to change, starting with sacking most of it's old staff and solely concentrating on the DJ sector. Remember before Stanton the DJ brand, they made world class Broadcast/hi-fi phono pick ups and even manufactured sensors for the NASA space shuttle.
By the time the II came out (blue), they were trash.. 9 out of 10 of that range I had were inconsistent and poorly made.
Shure M-35x is my next pic, in blind tests most of my friends preferred this to a more modern day Stanton 680EL II (the one with the blue tip). I personally prefer the Stanton, more open and neutral.
Again a fairly neutral sounding cart that tracks well and light too but with a bit of boost in the lows. Tracks at 2.5g's and very kind to records
Modern shure build quality, nothing to write home about and expect 2-3db's channel imbalance as they have pretty loose tolerances now days but that's what the pan pot is for on the Bozak and Urei no? :-D
Perhaps the most annoying thing about the 35x is the recent increased price, no longer making it the greatest bargain it once was.