Very clean sounding. Accentuates the instrumentation and balances the vocals
All pickups need a little break-in to sound their best, but the listener also needs time to get used to the new sound imaging.
Pickups I have previously used are:
Ortofon Quintet Red (MC - current production) - I used to be very happy with the sound coming from my Quintet Red, but after I got the MP-200, the Quintet sounds only semi-detailed, and a little distorted at times.
Ortofon MC200 (MC - discontinued) - fine line stylus and more detailed than the Quintet Red.
Ortofon M20FL Super (MM - discontinued) - FL stands for Fine Line and this is a very detailed and nice sounding pickup. My favorite pickup compared with the Quintet Red and the MC200.
Nagaoka MP-200 (MM - current production) - The Ortofon Pups mentioned above all seem to accentuate the vocals compared to the MP-200. So I noticed a big difference in the music presentation when listening to the MP-200 the first time. The sound is definately a lot cleaner, but also more even / balanced and you can hear the instruments a lot better. For me this is an acquired taste, but it really does seem like a step up from the other pickups that I've known.
I can give following example - this is one of the first tracks I listened to with the MP-200.
Guns 'n Roses - Patience (GNR Lies)
The first thing I noticed was that Axl's vocal was not as penetrating as it used to be... and suddenly i heard that the acoustic guitars were maybe not so perfectly played/recorded as I had previously thought. I heard small details in the picking that revealed less than perfect playing and also that some of the notes are a little off pitch (possibly due to the guitars not being tuned to the same pitch or imperfections in the intonation). Anyway, it made my esteem for one of my favorite G'nR tracks fade a little...
Be aware that the Nagaoka MP-200 will bring out the bad in inferior recordings, but on the other hand bring forward the excellence in great recordings. It presents a smooth sound image that suit some recordings very well. For me the smootheness took a little getting used to, but when I listen to my other Pickups now, they all seem to lack detail compared to the Nagaoka MP-200.
I can recommend this pickup.
Mads M. O.
Turntable: Luxman PD272 (DD)
Preamp: Audiolab 8000C (For MM + MC)
Power Amp: Dynaco ST-70
Speakers: Q acoustics 3050 (Bi-wired)Read full review
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: New