Soundsmith SMMC1 moving-iron phono cartridge Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Continuum Audio Labs Caliburn turntable, Cobra tonearm, Castellon stand; Graham Phantom tonearm; Ortofon Winfeld cartridge.
Digital Sources: Musical Fidelity kW SACD player, BPT-modified Alesis Masterlink hard-disk recorder.
Preamplification: Manley Steelhead, Einstein Turntable's Choice, Whest Audio whestTWO, Graham Slee Era Gold V, Camelot Technology Lancelot Pro phono preamplifiers; Musical Fidelity kWP preamplifier.
Power Amplifiers: Musical Fidelity kW monoblocks, Marantz SM-11S1.
Loudspeakers: Wilson Audio Specialties MAXX 2, DALI Helicon 400 Mk.2.
Cables: Interconnect: TARA Labs Zero. Speaker: TARA Labs Omega. AC: Shunyata Research Anaconda Helix, JPS AC.
Accessories: Finite Elemente Pagode stands; Symposium Rollerblocks Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Shunyata Research V-Ray Reference power conditioner, Oyaide AC wall jacks; ASC Tube Traps, RPG BAD & Abffusor panels; VPI HW-17F, Loricraft PRC4 Deluxe record-cleaning machines.—Michael Fremer

The Soundsmith
8 John Walsh Blvd., Suite 417
Peekskill, NY 10566
(800) 942-8009

jgossman's picture

I've wanted to try a SS cartridge for a while but right now the audio budget is on the back burner.  I currently used and love my Grado wood body Reference Platinum and am excited to one day move up to the Sonata.  

I'm interested in your comment that the Grado's sound polite in your system.  I've found mine to sound really wonderful and in no way "polite", although very tube dependant, more so than the line stage in my preamp.  I've found a really good match to EH 12ax7's.  It's a just the facts ma'am sound, although very smooth and big and involving.  Analog.

I wonder given thier mechanical similarities if the Grado could be improved by swaping out the loading caps at the input of my preamp.  Would you recommend measuring the cable capacitance from tip to tail of my leads first.

Kent T's picture

This cartridge is on my list of cartridges I wish to hear while I am alive and have sound hearing. I am a lover of Moving Iron due to that lovely midrange. Appreciate your review here.

Barbaraorrow's picture

All top end cartridges from all producers are hand made. The main problem is that when you are assembling something so small, that needs to perform so well, that every one of them are NOT the same. On the off chance that you don't see this announcement from different makers, then this is a "mystery" they would prefer not to share, and naturally so.
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