Definitely a step up from the Thorens TD-166 MKII w/ Shure MX97E that I had previously. The Grado is warm, rich, and lush sounding, even without having gotten to the recommended 50 hours break-in time. The VPI is solid and tight, especially on top of the massive cutting board it's sitting on. Since I took these photos I received a set of anti-vibration pads that the cutting board now rests on. The end result is very, very precise music, I'm listening to records that I'm very familiar with and noticing that instruments are so much more precise. There's a certain muddiness/grunge that's gone, quite consistent with what should be happening when you have better control over resonance. I bought it from ElusiveDisc, they did the cartridge install and all of the tonearm adjustments for me. I'm extremely happy with this purchase!