Nagaoka MP-110 vs Goldring E3

Nagaoka MP-110 vs Goldring E3: A Detailed Comparison

When it comes to vinyl playback, the quality of the cartridge plays a crucial role in delivering an exceptional audio experience. Two popular contenders in the market are the Nagaoka MP-110 and the Goldring E3. In this article, we will delve into a detailed comparison of these two cartridges, exploring their features, sound characteristics, and overall performance. Whether you are a seasoned audiophile or a vinyl enthusiast looking to upgrade your turntable setup, read on to find out which cartridge suits your needs best.

Design and Build Quality

The Nagaoka MP-110 and the Goldring E3 are both Moving Magnet (MM) cartridges known for their solid construction and durability. The Nagaoka MP-110 features a lightweight and rigid aluminum cantilever, which ensures accurate tracking and reduces resonance. It also has a diamond stylus with an elliptical profile that offers excellent channel separation and high-frequency response.

On the other hand, the Goldring E3 boasts a low mass, high strength, and rigid aluminum body. Its diamond stylus is also elliptical, designed to provide superior tracking and reproduce detailed audio with minimal distortion. The robust build quality of both cartridges contributes to their longevity and reliability.

Sound Performance

When it comes to sound performance, the Nagaoka MP-110 and the Goldring E3 have their own distinct characteristics.

The Nagaoka MP-110 offers a warm and smooth sound signature with a balanced frequency response. It excels in reproducing midrange frequencies, providing rich and natural vocals. The cartridge delivers a good amount of detail, with a slightly laid-back high-frequency presentation that avoids harshness. The bass response is tight and controlled, offering a solid foundation to the overall sound.

In comparison, the Goldring E3 leans towards a more neutral and analytical sound. It provides a clearer and more detailed representation of the music, particularly in the high-frequency range. The midrange is accurate, and the bass response is precise and well-defined. The Goldring E3 offers a wider soundstage, allowing instruments and vocals to be portrayed with excellent separation and placement.

Compatibility and Tracking

Both cartridges are designed to be compatible with a wide range of turntables and tonearms, making them suitable for various setups. However, it is important to check the cartridge’s compatibility with your specific turntable before making a purchase.

The Nagaoka MP-110 has a recommended tracking force of 1.5 grams, making it relatively easy to set up and align correctly. It has a low vertical tracking angle, which minimizes distortion and wear on your records. The cartridge also tracks well on older or slightly worn records, making it a versatile option.

The Goldring E3, on the other hand, requires a slightly higher tracking force of 1.75 grams. It offers excellent tracking ability and can handle demanding passages with ease. The cartridge’s higher tracking force may be better suited for those who primarily listen to newer records or have a cleaner vinyl collection.

Price and Value

When considering a cartridge, price is an important factor for many buyers. The Nagaoka MP-110 is often considered a budget-friendly option, offering exceptional performance for its price range. It provides a significant improvement over entry-level cartridges and represents excellent value for money.

On the other hand, the Goldring E3 is positioned in a slightly higher price bracket, offering a step up in performance and build quality. While it may be a bit more expensive, the Goldring E3 justifies its price with its detailed sound reproduction and superior tracking abilities.


In the battle between the Nagaoka MP-110 and the Goldring E3, both cartridges have their own strengths and characteristics. The Nagaoka MP-110 offers a warm and smooth sound with balanced frequency response, making it a great choice for those seeking a relaxed and natural listening experience. Meanwhile, the Goldring E3 presents a more neutral and analytical sound, delivering excellent detail retrieval and a wider soundstage.

Ultimately, the choice between the two cartridges will depend on personal preference, budget, and the specific qualities you prioritize in your vinyl playback. Both the Nagaoka MP-110 and the Goldring E3 provide solid performance, and you can’t go wrong with either option. Whichever cartridge you choose, both will enhance your vinyl listening experience and allow you to enjoy the full richness of your record collection.

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