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 MP-300 clearly reveals high end characteristics and services.
It has a relatively flashy but tasteful design. It looks like a gold Lego. The square design makes it easier to align on the headshell. It is extremely well crafted and is on par with competitor products. The only sticking point for us is that the MP300 does not have a captive screw to help attach and align it. Some have complained that this makes it impossible to install onto the headshells of certain turntables, such as the Thorens TD 160 and TD 166, among others.
Nagaoka has used excellent, powerful samarium/cobalt magnets and high purity copper coils to build this cartridge. The super fine line elliptical stylus is mounted onto a conical boron cantilever. It makes it very stiff and minimises resonance. For this price, it is rare to find a cantilever with this level of quality. To give the cartridge/stylus unit optimum rigidity and vibration isolation, the stylus is screwed onto thecartridge. An Allen wrench is required to replace it. The 3 mV output level makes it compatible with most high quality built-in or standalone MM phono preamplifiers. The combination of its high compliance (18) and low mass (8g) means that it is also compatible with many different tonearm models with low and medium effective mass (Thorens, Dual, Lenco, Garrard, Linn, Rega, Pro-Ject, etc.). The sound reproduction it produces is one of the most dynamic and vibrant we have ever heard in this range, but it is also precise when it needs to be. The mids are clear and present, without a hint of harshness or fatigue. The treble is soft and descends lightly. The bass is particularly tight and well articulated. It can deliver the same level of detail as the best high output MC cartridges in this category, but the sound stage sounds slightly wider. Leaving aside the price, the Nagaoka MP300 is one of the most pleasant and enjoyable cartridges to listen to. And this is no doubt thanks to its excellent timbre quality, dynamic range and presence. We recommend this product to audiophiles everywhere without hesitation! Franck
Stylus type: Super Fine, Elliptical
Magnets: Samarium Cobalt
Frequency response: 20-20 Khz
Channel separation: 35 dB
Load: 47 Khoms
Output: 3 mV
Recommended tracking force: 2g