Acoustic Sounds

Features: Cartridges

March 18th, 2023

Audio-Technica Celebrates 60 With the Explosive Sounding AT-MC2022

unparalleled transparency, speed and true detail

By: Michael Fremer

It’s no secret that the world’s two largest cartridge manufacturers, Audio-Technica and Ortofon generate most of their cartridge income from inexpensive, mass-produced units, many of which they supply OEM to turntable manufacturers. Yet both lavish time, attention, and financial resources on the far smaller (it would be fair to say “tiny”) top of the market, where ultra-precision hand-built limited-edition models garner more attention than sales from audio... Read More

January 28th, 2023

Audio Technica AT-ART20 Moving Coil Phono Cartridge

don't underestimate the "big guys"

By: Ken Redmond

When discussing high-end cartridge brands with fellow audio enthusiasts I find that many companies like Ortofon and Audio-Technica don’t elicit from them the same respect and brand panache recognition they pay to some of the smaller cartridge manufacturers—especially in the multi $1000 price range, where many want to own a cartridge they feel was built by an “artisan”.While having an artisan single-handedly craft your cartridge is certainly appealing, overlooking or... Read More

January 12th, 2023

The Fixed Coils In Soundsmith's Paua Mk II Phono Cartridge Will Move You

a cartridge caught in the electrical twilight zone between MM and MC

By: Michael Fremer

Moving Iron is the Rodney Dangerfield of cartridge technology. It gets no respect. Analog enthusiasts regularly debate “moving coil or moving magnet?” but rarely is moving iron part of the discussion. It’s true that “moving iron” is a type of moving magnet cartridge, but companies that manufacturer them, (Grado, Goldring and Soundsmith are today’s main players, though in the past ADC, Sonus, B&O and probably others did as well) make it a point to distinguish their... Read More

October 13th, 2022

Luxman's Sonorous Sounding LMC-5 MC Cartridge

sweet sounding MC

By: Michael Fremer

Luxman’s LMC-5 MC phono cartridge got “caught” in the move from my previous endeavor to, so this review has been delayed for many months, but what’s the rush when there’s a forty year gap between this cartridge’s introduction last March and the LMC-2’s debut back in 1982?Not sure what took them so long, or what happened to LMC-3 (four is an unlucky number in Japan, which is why when you play golf there you yell “three!” or “five!”), but welcome back!... Read More