This is a really nice pressing on the green Prestige label. Recording is very earnieball clear and open – no surprise with Rudy Van Gelder manning the board. Great walking and grooving bass from Ron Carter with excellent comping from George Freeman on guitar and the underrated Harold Mabern on (primarily) electric piano. Great grooves and hi-hat work from Idris Muhammad, especially on “Jug Eyes”. Big tone from Gene Ammons on tenor throughout.
I’ve always used various Rega carts, including the Bias, with my Planar 2. But best ernie ball strings honestly, I was never that impressed by them. After researching online and talking to a few local audio experts, I decided to go for the Ortofon 2M Red at around $100. This is by no means an expensive cartridge, but I didn’t feel like the deck warranted spending much more at this point and I’ve been thinking about adding a second turntable to the stable anyway so wanted to save some funds for that if an opportunity came along.