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Welcome Licorice Pizza (LP) lovers! Setup guides and Vinyl FAQ.

RE: I'm trading for an AT-ART9XI

Again either the XI or the XA would work for you. The XI, with more gain would be easier to use with a wider variety of amps/preamps. OTOH, it is always possible to use an SUT to step up the gain and I am old school and always, always prefer the sound of any MC cartridge when coupled with a transformer. It warms things up, fills in the space, makes the presentation more musical, more enjoyable. John is correct about the aircore in the XA being superior, but...to my ears, and this is just my subjective opinion after an extensive A-B of both cartridges that the sound difference is extremely small. Personally I would choose the XI for it's greater versatility while giving up very little. And I would get an SUT as soon as I could afford it. As far as wear on your existing stylus is concerned, you need to examine it under a high magnification microscope to determine if it is ready for replacement. There is no other way to know for sure where you are at.

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