Cartridges

turntable cartridge

The cartridge IS the source in your vinyl system. Everything else on the turntable exists to support it in doing its job. That job is to turn that groove carved in wax into an electrical signal that your system can play back. From moving magnets to moving coils, we’ve got some of the most amazing musical devices on the planet in stock. 

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  • Soundsmith Strain Gauge System SG-230

    Our new SG-230 is a full-function system preamp with Strain Gauge circuitry as well as 4 line inputs and remote control over input selection, volume and muting. It features balanced +15dB variable outputs and single ended fixed outputs. The balanced outputs are available via split phase RCA jacks, convertible to XLR with our supplied RCA to XLR adapters. The +15dB balanced variable output is made available via RCA jacks which configures the output of the SG-230 into a highly adaptable unit, allowing easy bridging of two stereo amplifiers into double power mono blocks, subwoofer driving, biamping or sourcing into a secondary system. The fixed level outputs may be used for recording or sourcing into a second system, and are not affected by the volume control. 

    The supplied SG cartridge comes with the SG-5 stylus assembly as standard, however, you may purchase the system with the SG-6 stylus for a surcharge of $100 at the time of ordering. Like all SG preamps, the SG-230 features an auto-mute circuit that protects your system and speakers from transients due to an accidentally dropped styli. The front panel defeatable auto-mute also allows quiet introductions to playing or recording your vinyl.

    All SG systems feature user replaceable styli, however, due to the nature of the cartridge design, styli are individually matched to each cartridge. If additional styli are desired, it is highly advisable to order them with your system order.

    The SG-230 is supplied in mahogany wood case as standard, black wood is also available on special order.

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  • Van Den Hul Colibri 'Gran Cru'

    The VDH Colibri 'Gra Cru' is the culmination of A.J. van den Hul's 44 years of phono cartridge research and development. The Colibri Gran Cru (a special Grand Vintage, you might say) features hand-wound gold wire coils and a solid boron cantilever while the outer shell, or cartridge body, is constructed from a specific wood type which is derived from an Italian musical instrument dating back several hundred years. This translates to a targeted set of resonance patterns within the structure leading to pleasing music reproduction. The Colibri Gran Cru incorporates Van den Hul’s renowned VDH-1S stylus type which the company has been using and perfecting since 1973.

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    $19,490.00

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  • Soundsmith Strain Gauge System SG-210

    Our SG-210 features both +15dB single ended variable outputs and fixed outputs. The +15 dB variable outputs allow using the SG-210 directly with your power amplifier, eliminating the requirement for a line amplifier in a vinyl playback system. They may also be used to match levels with other line sources in a multi-source system. The fixed level outputs may be used for recording or sourcing into a second system, and are not affected by the volume control. 

    The supplied SG cartridge comes with the SG-5 stylus assembly as standard, however, you may purchase the system with the SG-6 stylus for a surcharge of $100 at the time of ordering. Like all SG preamps, the SG-210 features an auto-mute circuit that protects your system and speakers from transients due to an accidentally dropped styli. The front panel defeatable auto-mute also allows quiet introductions to playing or recording your vinyl.

    All SG systems feature user replaceable styli, however, due to the nature of the cartridge design, styli are individually matched to each cartridge. If additional styli are desired, it is highly advisable to order them with your system order. The SG-210 is supplied in a black anodized case, however, custom wooden cases in black or mahogany are also available as accessory items.

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  • Soundsmith Strain Gauge System SG-200

    Our basic Strain Gauge system features fixed level line outputs suited for line level inputs on your system preamplifier. The supplied SG cartridge comes with the SG-5 stylus assembly as standard, however, you may purchase the system with the SG-6 stylus for a surcharge of $100 at the time of ordering. Like all SG preamps, the SG-200 features an auto-mute circuit that protects your system and speakers from transients due to an accidentally dropped styli. The front panel defeatable auto-mute also allows quiet introductions to playing or recording your vinyl.

    All SG systems feature user replaceable styli, however, due to the nature of the cartridge design, styli are individually matched to each cartridge. If additional styli are desired, it is highly advisable to order them with your system order. The SG-200 is supplied in a black anodized case, however, custom wooden cases in black or mahogany are also available as accessory items.

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  • Soundsmith Hyperion Moving Iron Cartridge

    The HYPERION is the cartridge of choice for the most esteemed audio equipment manufacturers. Why? Because when they exhibit their gear at Hi-Fi shows, they want their turntable, amplifier or speaker systems to sound the very best that they can! Peter Ledermann‘s radical design utilizes an actual “cactus spine” for the cantilever. The naturally tapered shape, stacked columnar fibers and desiccated resin damping fit the exact parameters of the perfect cantilever: Low mass, extreme rigidity, internal damping, and tremendous strength. Also available in a Dual Compliance Design for older Linear Tracking turntables as the HYPERION LT. The Hyperions are offered with a choice of CL or OC-CL stylus. Each one hand crafted by Peter Ledermann - Made in  the USA

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  • Soundsmith Hyperion, EX-DEMO

    This is Soundsmith's top of the range cartridge and it's Peter Lederman unique design, that really makes it special. He has sourced 'cactus spine' for the cantilever - an extremely stiff, very low resonant material with built in resins, naturally tapered and very low mass. It's nature's perfect cantilever.

    The presentation on this cartridge favours a neutral presentation. Not that it's not musical or involving, that it has in spades. Peter here has made sure there are no inconsistencies in the frequency response. No lumps and bumps to cause colouration.

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    Regular Price: $14,670.00

    Special Price $12,900.00


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  • Van Den Hul Colibri Signature Stradivarius

    van den Hul has a new flagship for its range of phono cartridges, the van den Hul Colibri XGW Signature Stradivarius (pictured above).

    A.J. van den Hul’s original Colibri cartridge first appeared in the mid-1990s and was named after a hummingbird native to the Americas. A.J. says this latest version of that original cartridge, the XGW Signature Stradivarius edition, is based on everything he’s learned over the past 40 years, and is the best phono cartridge he’s ever built.

    The body of the van den Hul Colibri XGW Signature Stradivarius is made from cross-grained Brazilian Pau wood, a high density wood that is often used in the bows of stringed instruments. It’s coated with what van den Hul calls a ‘Stradivarius’ lacquer, named after the famous violin maker, Antonio Stradivari. ‘van den Hul applies three separate layers of this secret formula lacquer and each layer takes several weeks to fully cure and harden, meaning that every cartridge body undergoes months of work before any further construction can even begin,’

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    $11,990.00

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  • Van Den Hul Colibri XGP

    Our top model custom handbuilt phono cartridge, featuring matched crystal copper coils and 0.22 or 0.30mV/channel output. A version with matched crystal gold coils and 0.38 mV/channel output is also available. As a result of phono cartridge builder A.J. van den Hul’s continuous research into improving his phono cartridge designs The COLIBRI has seen the light of day. The COLIBRI is the improved successor to our GRASSHOPPER “BEAUTY” series of phono cartridges where many building components have been removed in a highly successful quest to return to the plain essence of phono transduction. The result is an unbelievably straightforward sounding “clean and open” design, in all its aspects bearing much resemblance to the “Colibri” named tropical bird’s swiftness, elegance and beauty; Hence the cartridge’s name. Learn More
    $8,999.00

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  • Van Den Hul Crimson XGW Stradivarius

    Van Den Hul's Crimson Stradivarius is a favorite in the CAV Reference System.  The Crimson is the entry model into the Stradivarius reference line of cartridges and the most popular.  The popularity is due partly to the fact that it's the most affordable, but also because it's the easiest to mate with a wide range of gear...bear in mind that the extreme levels of channel separation produced by the Colibri and Colibri Signature require the other equipment in the system to be matched very precisely.

    With a body handmade of Hawaiian koa wood triple-coated with a special Stradivarius-type lacquer, the Crimson uses 24-karat gold coils and a cantilever that is solid boron with a VDH Type 1s (2×85-micron) stylus. Our reviewer Andre Jennings found the Crimson XGW Stradivarius to be impartial across most of the frequency spectrum (including the presence range), with large macro-dynamics from the power region on down. 

     

     

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    $8,499.00

    Available in Store


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  • Sumiko Palos Santos Presentation Low Output MC

    For over thirty-five years, SUMIKO has provided a comprehensive range of phono cartridges to music lovers seeking the finest musical experience at a variety of price points. In fact, the great market success of SUMIKO phono cartridges has hinged on their phenomenal cost-to-performance ratio. The Palo Santos Presentation is no exception. New design requirements incorporating advances in material technology and construction techniques have resulted in a significantly improved product which delivers a highly refined and resolved, yet musically satisfying sound quality previously unavailable at or even near its price. Learn More
  • Van Den Hul The Black Beauty Special X

    Our top model custom handbuilt phono cartridge, featuring matched crystal gold coils and 0.50 mV/channel output. On special request medium and high output versions are available; (Their variations in other parameters are minor to those described here for the 0.50 mV/channel standard version). The BLACK BEAUTY Special-X is a resolution improved version of the GRASSHOPPER IV GLA, which refinements were only possible to be created after having switched to the entirely metal free and extremely revealing The THIRD ® loudspeaker cable in Mr. van den Hul’s audio system. The BLACK BEAUTY Special-X’s refined body is made of black PolyCarbonate with about the same construction as the GRASSHOPPER IV GLA. The BLACK BEAUTY Special-X sets new sonic standards in analog reproduction. Listening impressions are like being in the concert hall with a very precise projection of the instruments, the acoustics and even the conductor in space. The music as a whole sounds extremely realistic and very convincing with a lot of authority, especially in the bass and lower midrange; the high frequencies are very pure and extremely nice structured. The differences with the GRASSHOPPER IV GLA are: -Improved magnetic layout, -construction and -properties. -A reduced cantilever length. Due to points 1 and 2 the resolution is higher. The suspension uses a very special damping rubber. There is more “space” between the musical instruments and vocals. The output is reduced from 0.65 mV/ch. to 0.50 mV/ch. by using double layer Matched Crystal Gold coils on a cross-shaped armature, both producing a higher channel separation. Learn More
    $7,499.00

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  • Soundsmith Nautilus Medium Output Cartridge

    The Mezzo and the Nautilus can perform this sonic magic of sounding lifelike and with the exact intentions of the musician, whether it’s played in the concert hall, in the studio, or on electronic hardware and software. Both these cartridges made each record sound like the best sounding record I've ever heard. That is, until I played the next record.” - Tom Lyle, Enjoy The Music

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  • Van Den Hul The White Beauty Special X

    Our top model custom handbuilt phono cartridge, featuring matched crystal silver coils and 0.50 mV/channel output. The WHITE BEAUTY Special-X is a resolution improved version of the GRASSHOPPER IV GLA, which refinements were only possible to be created after having switched to the entirely metal free and extremely revealing The THIRD ® loudspeaker cable in Mr. van den Hul’s audio system. The WHITE BEAUTY Special-X’s refined body is made of white PolyCarbonate with about the same construction as the GRASSHOPPER IV GLA. The WHITE BEAUTY Special-X sets new sonic standards in analog reproduction. Listening impressions are like being in the concert hall with a very precise projection of the instruments, the acoustics and even the conductor in space. The music as a whole sounds extremely realistic and very convincing with a lot of authority, especially in the bass and lower midrange; the high frequencies are very pure and extremely nice structured. The differences with the GRASSHOPPER IV GLA are: Improved magnetic layout, -construction and -properties. A reduced cantilever length. Due to points 1 and 2 the resolution is higher. The suspension uses a very special damping rubber. There is more “space” between the musical instruments and vocals. The output is reduced from 0.65 mV/ch. to 0.50 mV/ch. by using double layer Matched Crystal Silver coils on a cross-shaped armature, both producing a higher channel separation. Learn More
    $6,750.00

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  • Van Den Hul Crimson XGW - Koa Wooden Body

    The Crimson is a top performance custom handbuilt moving coil phono cartridge. This is the result of a crossbreed of our models “The Canary” and “The Condor”. This cartridge is available in natural light wood colour, dark wood colour and a red coloured (also wooden) version.

    Specific characteristics for this great cartridge are a relatively high (0,65mV) output, gold coils, a Samarium-Cobalt magnet, extended channel separation and superb tracking ability.

    As the popularity of vinyl is reviving again, many requests came in to develop a High-end phono cartridge for a more affordable price than The Colibri. The Crimson is the result and probably one of the cartridges with the best value for money available. It is completely hand built by the Master himself and comes with a 200 hour service check-up, free of charge (for the original owner).

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  • Van Den Hul Black Crimson MC Cartridge with Special Polycarbonate Body

    A Crossbreed between The Canary and the Condor. This cartridge on special request is available with a Black polycarbonate body. Specific characteristics for this great cartridge are a relatively high (0.95mV) output, gold cils, a Samarium-Cobalt magnet, extender channel separation and superb tracking ability

    As the popularity of vinyl is reviving again, many eequests came in to develop a high-end phono cartridge for a more affordable price than the Colibri. The crimson is the result and probably one of the cartridges with the best vaule for money available. It is completely hand built by the Master himseld and comeds with a 250-300 hour service chck-up, free of charge (For the original owner)

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    $6,499.00

    Available in Store

  • Rega Aphelion....A new reference in MC cartridge performance.

    The Aphelion is the third generation of Rega's unique moving coil cartridges.Taking the technology developed from the latest Apheta 2 to the next level, our engineers have fine tuned every aspect of the original design. Aphelion features a new boron cantilever and super high-powered, neodymium magnet and a coil meticulously hand wound on an iron micro cross that is fifty percent smaller than the original. The weight reduction of the generator allows us greater freedom to track the vinyl groove accurately ensuring even more detail is extracted from the vinyl.The Aphelion is housed within a completely redesigned, single piece, aluminium black anodised body and protected by a CAD designed, clear rigid cover to protect the internal fine wires, making handling whilst fitting, safe and risk free. The Aphelion is the perfect partner for the RP10 turntable and RB2000 tonearm - see complementary components. Learn More
    $6,299.00

    Available to Special Order


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  • Soundsmith The Voice Cartridge

    Since its introduction in 2009, The Voice has won numerous "product-of-the-year" awards and is – in Peter Ledermann’s words –"probably the best High Output cartridge in production today." Our design goal was to produce the lowest moving mass high output design possible using novel and advanced technology. Featuring a single crystal Ruby Cantilever and our Optimized Contour Line Contact Stylus, we developed a specialized metallurgy for the low mass moving iron system.

    A cartridge that disappears. After all, if it sounds like a “record" it’s wrong. The cartridge should bring your directly to the performance; not stand between you and the music.

    Also available in dual-coil mono.

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  • Van Den Hul The Canary MC Cartridge......THIS MAGNIFICENT LITTLE BIRD SINGS WITH HEART AND SOUL

    With The CANARY we have added new sublime plumage to our famed phono cartridge program. The CANARY is a top quality moving coil phono cartridge, custom handbuilt by A.J. van den Hul. It features a very healthy 0.55 mV output, matched crystal gold-wire coils and an open resonance-free construction. With exceptionally good price to performance and placed one step above our renowned The FROG ®, this cartridge sets new standards in replay precision and fidelity.

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    $5,499.00

    Call for special pricing


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  • Van Den Hul The Grasshopper SLA

    SLA Version: A custom handbuilt moving coil cartridge featuring: S = matched crystal Silver coils L = Low output (0.6 mV/channel) A = Alnico magnet Learn More
    $5,499.00

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  • Sumiko Pearwood Celebration II

    For over five years SUMIKO has provided the Celebration Pearwood Signature to music lovers seeking the musical experience of the finest and most expensive phono pickups at a more reasonable cost. New advances in material technology and construction techniques have allowed for a significant improvement in sound quality and have resulted in the creation of this new Mark II version.

    Low Output MC Cartridge

    Hand-crafter Pearwood cartridge body

    0.5mV output via an Alnico magnet assembly

    Long-grain boron cantilever

    New ultra low-mass Ogura Jewel Co. P9 Stylus (Vital Design)

    Milled Teflon billet back plate

    Custom hollow point & tapered brass gold plated connnecting pins

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