I’ve recently finished reviewing the Nagaoka MP-110 phono cartridge and it is now my favorite cartridge selling for under $100.
The Nagaoka name may be unfamiliar if you are not an audiophile. Nagaoka is a Japanese OEM producer of phono cartridges and many of their products are sold by other companies under different brand names. They have their own line of fine moving magnet cartridges, the MP-110 residing towards the entry level of the line.
The Nagaoka MP-110 is not the last word in transparency or detail, as few would expect it to be given the very affordable price. Detail is certainly good, however, as is the clarity, which is delivered with just the right amount of warmth. What makes the Nagaoka MP-110 stand out is the way it provides a musical performance that is completely satisfying and fulfilling, while still having the ability to create those “oh, wow” moments because the music just sounds SO good. Tracking and bass impact are exceptional and the music has an effortless ebb and flow no matter if you are listening to classic rock or pure classical, with everything in-between.
I usually use an Audio Technica AT-OC9 MLII cartridge that normally sells for almost $500. While I definitely prefer the Audio-Technica over the Nagaoka, I wasn’t in a hurry to end my testing and put it back in my system. That tells me all I need to know about the Nagaoka being a winner.
If you would like to try the MP-110 I recommend LP Gear. I have ordered many products from them over the past few years (including this cartridge) and have found the service to be efficient, friendly and personal.
Questions? Email Don