Nagaoka only offers moving magnet cartridges. Fans of this technology like being able to replace the stylus and not having to use an MC preamp. Nagaoka has developed the new MP range to cater to audiophiles with exacting standards. The MP150 is the company's mid-range offering, but the qualities and services it delivers are distinctly high-end.
It has a fairly vintage design, which is positive in this case. It looks like a Lego. The square design makes it easier to align on the headshell. It is extremely well crafted and is on par with competitor products. Nagaoka uses great powerful Samarium/Cobalt magnets and very high purity copper coils. The super fine line elliptical stylus is mounted onto a conical aluminium cantilever. This makes it very stiff and minimises resonance. The 4.5 mV output level makes it compatible with most built-in or standalone MM phono preamplifiers. The combination of its high compliance (18) and low mass (6.5g) means that it is also compatible with many different tonearm models with low and medium effective mass (Thorens, Dual, Lenco, Garrard, Pro-Ject, etc.). The stylus is naturally interchangeable.
After the necessary break-in period, the MP150 boasts many of the qualities MC cartridges offer. Playback is clear and spacious, with mid-range that has presence and detail but not a hint of harshness. The treble blends in perfectly, and stays mellow under all circumstances. The bass is full and well articulated, with a great dynamic range. The response is relatively flat and neutral. The sound quality is very enjoyable and it clearly has the capacity to deliver excellent musicality and texture. Surface noise is very low - almost non-existent, in fact. Our old Planar III and its famous RB300 produced quite amazing results.
The Nagoaka MP150 is an excellent cartridge that combines the qualities of certain Grado, Ortofon and Sumiko models. It is a great option that offers remarkable value for money. Highly recommended. Franck
Stylus type: Super Fine line Elliptical, 0.4 x 0.7 mil
Cantilever: Conical, hard aluminium alloy
Magnets: Samarium Cobalt
Frequency response: 20-20 Khz
Channel separation: 24 dB
Load: 47 Khoms
Output: 4.5 mV
Recommended tracking force: 1.8g
Break-in period: 35 hours