Thorens TD280 Mk II

I have the Thorens TD280 MkII too and it is a great turntable. TP28 is a low mass tonearm with that works well with most MM cartridges.

The AT95 is a fun and engaging cartridge. A bargain and still sold today. Are your really sure you want to replace it, what's wrong with it? :)

Cartridges that I have used on my TD280 that are more expensive than the A95.. I list them in the order that I have used them.

Ortofon OM20 - spacious and cinematic soundstage, but laidback character. Sounded a bit "fluffy". Lacking rythm and punch. Easy going sound. Good for classical and acoustic based music. Now replaced in the lineup by the Ortofon 2M Red and 2M Blue which is said to be more dynamic sounding.

Denon DL-110 - tighter and more focused soundstage than the OM20, less spacious. Deeper bass. Good punch, great transient and dynamics. Good for dynamic rock and pop, but also reggae and dance tracks.
This is a "high output MC", works nice in MM input.

Goldring 2200 - bigger soundstage than the DL-110. A tight, dynamic and engaging sound. A bit on the bright side. Very detailed, but also unforgiving to worn out records or bad recordings. The most analytical of the cartridges that I have owned. More sensitive to cracks, pops and static electricity than the others. A great cartridge for Pet Shop Boys and the like, for that hard hitting bass. (I have the "PopArt" collection of single hits, works great with this cartridge). More CD than vinyl sounding..

Sumiko Pearl - more like the Denon than the Goldring. Tight, musical, varm sounding, Tonally it is darker than the brighter Goldring. Smoother treble. Not as punchy as the Goldring, not as hard hitting in the bass, but sweet and great for long listening sessions. And a bit forgiving to worn out records, concentrating on the music more than "hi-fi sound". Very enjoyable. Works very nice with my old and worn out LP's. Tracks good!

I am very happy with the Sumiko Pearl and I play soul, r'nb, new wave from the 80's, reggae and some dance tracks on it. Gives a bit of pleasing warmth to Pet Shop Boys. :)

I use Thorens MM01 as phono pre-amp and this is a clear upgrade from the NAD PP1 I used to have - more details, better clarity and it makes the most of the turntable.

I hope this was of help.
A note worth considering - I know a music enthusiast that replaced his expensive Linn Addikt on a Linn turntable with the AT95, because the AT95 made the music more fun. He found the Linn Addikt cartridge to be boring and analytical. Now, the Linn is more than 4 times the price of the cheap AT95. He actually bought several AT95 at once, for the money he saved when he returned the Linn Addikt. When AT95 is worned out you can't replace the needle in it if I'm not misstaken. (You can replace the needle on the Ortofon, Goldring and Sumiko, think you can't on the Denon but I am not sure).

Best regards
Raphael Mabo
 
Thanks for all that Raphael.
There isn't really anything wrong with the AT except it seems a bit lacking in bass although in other respects it does perform well. From your comments it seems like the Denon DL-110 might be a good idea for me to try.

My phono stage is my own design using an LT1028 op amps running in Class A with a BUF04 buffers on the output for low impedance.

Interesting about the guy with the Linn. Actually you can replace the stylus on the AT95.
 

kukaberra

Member
2010-11-13 6:50 pm
selling Thorens TD280 MKII

Hey - I have been thinking of getting the AT95 cartridge and taking all my phonographs and transferring them to MP3s.....any suggestions or talking me out of that. I really want to consolidate, but not sure if that is a wise idea. I have many old, old records....many from old Soviet Union recordings....which I know I should keep....but I eventually think I want to get rid of the turntable.... i welcome opinions or talking me out of it.