I'm looking into a replacement for my 8-10 year old Talisman Alchemist IA high-output MC cartridge and am considering three or four units in the sub $1K price range. I'm open to suggestions, as there are a half dozen excellent cartridges in the $650 - $1000 price range, but I'm tremendously curious in what folks think the newest MM designs bring to the table.
So for the sake of discussion, for those who have heard both cartridges, what might I expect from the new Ortofon 2M Black as opposed to the Sumiko Blackbird, which seems to me to be the logical update to my Alchemist. Unfortunately, I won't have the ability to audition either cartridge, so I'm going to have to rely on some descriptions to guide my decision. Both appear to be highly thought of by those who have reviewed them, though the Ortofon has been getting more attention of late.
FWIW, I'm currently using an Exposure 2010S with Exposure's phono card which seems to be quite amenable to the Alchemist. The other piece of the puzzle is that the cartridge will be hung from an SME 309 tonearm.
Thoughts? Thanks in advance.