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Goldring Eroica HX Phono Cartridge: Editor’s Choice 2023

Does it make any sense to spend more than $400 on a phono cartridge? The Goldring Eroica HX makes a very strong case once you get the rest of the system right.

Goldring Eroica HX Phono Cartridge on Record

2023 was the year that I stopped spending a lot of money on new vinyl releases and I know from conversations with a number of other audiophiles — I am not alone.

The price of vinyl is just too damn high.

After I finished writing my review of the Cambridge Audio Evo CD, I went back through my music purchases for the year and discovered a rather interesting thing.

5 of my best “purchases” were actually review samples from Craft Recordings (my “Best of 2023 Music” list is coming in about a week), and I only added 18 other vinyl releases for the year — and almost all of them were from Blue Note.

That’s only 23 for the entire year. I purchased more than 60 in 2022.

My CD collection grew by 63 used titles this year; and I don’t think I spent more than $10 on a single title.

I also have over 6,300 albums in my Roon library, which feels somewhat ridiculous.

How much more music do I need?

The same logic needs to apply to my film collection that I started in 1983; with more than 4,000 titles at this point across almost every possible format including laser disc, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, UHD 4K Blu-ray — maybe the time has come to stop and just work through it all and remember why I got into this in the first place as a teenager.

And after all of these years buying and collecting music, has the time finally come to put the final touches on the equipment that I will be using for the next decade or more.

Products like the Goldring Eroica HX?

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Goldring Eroica HX angled
Goldring Eroica HX

While my opinion on really expensive phono cartridges is not going to change, there is some logic spending between $500 and $900 if the table and tonearm have the capabilities to really do the cartridge justice.

Spending $3,000 on a cartridge is idiotic — that’s almost 80 new vinyl pressings in 2023.

Music over technology should be a bigger priority. 

I have only spent over $500 on a phono cartridge three times in 53 years; I paid over $1,000 CDN for a Benz Micro Glider SL in 1999, $750 for a Dynavector 10×5, and $750 USD for the Ortofon 2M Black in 2018. 

A very clumsy human being destroyed the Benz Micro Glider and that really made me reconsider expensive cartridges for almost 18 years; the 2M Black on my restored Thorens TD-160 Super/Rega RB-303 is better than I could ask for and the Dynavector has proven to be a great option for the Thorens TD-145 MKII.

The high output of the 2M Black is very useful from a reviewing perspective, because it allows me to judge the MM phono sections of integrated amplifiers with a very high quality cartridge.

A Grado Timbre Opus3 is working superbly on my vintage Yamaha YP-701 and the Goldring E4 can’t be beat on the NAD C 588 that we use in the dining room system.

Goldring Eroica HX Phono Cartridge Front and Side

At $899 USD, the Goldring Eroica HX faces some stiff competition from the Ortofon 2M Black, Hana SL, and Dynavector 10×5 MKII cartridges — but Goldring’s track record made me confident that it would not disappoint.

Is there a growing customer base of vinyl listeners for a $900 phono cartridge as we head into 2024?

Brands such as VPI, Linn, Clearaudio, Rega, and Pro-Ject would argue that they have never had a bigger pool of fish to peddle their wares and that the market for $750 to $1,000 cartridges is booming. 

Having spoken to a number of cartridge manufacturers — that’s not entirely true.

90% of cartridge sales are below $400 and that percentage is not shrinking. 

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The 2.5mV output matches the Dynavector but that’s where the similarities end; the 10×5 is warmer and rounded off at both extremes whilst the Eroica HX is energetic and transparent from top to bottom. 


I hate the “like looking through an open window” example because it’s totally untrue — but the Eroica HX does come close. 

Goldring Eroica HX Phono Cartridge Top
Goldring Eroica HX (top view)

The high output moving coil (MC) does offer a very transparent sounding presentation that is rich with detail, but it’s also not the most colorful reproduction of what is in the grooves — your final result with definitely be influenced by the phono stage and the system on the other end.

The Goldring Eroica HX is a fuss-free, detailed, and transparent sounding MC cartridge that requires rather careful system matching to deliver satisfying long-term results. 

Installation is not overly complicated and it proved to be a very strong and reliable tracker with even really dirty records. 

The neutral tonal balance might be appealing to some, but I found that it performed best with warmer sounding phono sections and amplification that infused it with some necessary color.

Goldring Eroica HX MC Phono Cartridge inside the box with parts

Knowing where I am going with my reference system for the next decade, the Eroica HX makes total sense. A high output moving coil that works well with a range of phono stages from EAR, Unison Research, Pro-Ject, Croft, and Rega.

For those looking for that “final” high-end cartridge — the Goldring needs to be on your list as well.

Where to buy: $899 at Crutchfield | Goldring USA

Continue reading more Editor’s Choice Awards from 2023.



  1. Tom Littlefield

    December 16, 2023 at 6:19 pm

    At $899 that is not a high end cart…

    • Ian White

      December 17, 2023 at 12:05 am

      It is for 99% of the market.

      And it certainly is.


      Ian White

    • Lash

      December 20, 2023 at 2:22 pm

      Silly comment.

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