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Sumiko has just released a delightful new collection of phono cartridges, the first new models in several years. They are the Rainier moving magnet at $149, the Olympia moving magnet at $199, the Moonstone moving magnet at $299, the Amethyst moving magnet at $599, the Songbird high output moving coil at $899, and the Starling low output moving coil at $1899.
The Rainier, Olympia, and Moonstone share an all-new integrated body and generator system that improves all aspects of playback performance over previous models. The main differences among the models are improved cantilevers and styli. For example, the Olympia has a refined sound over the Rainier because of its improved stylus and cantilever, allowing for more dynamic punch and improved frequency response and tracking. Each lower model can be upgraded to the next model and can go all the way to the Moonstone. Thus, one can start out with the Ranier and upgrade performance at any time with a simple stylus/cantilever replacement.
Easily their most ambitious moving magnet cartridge to date, the Amethyst features a nude, line-contact stylus and an upgraded generator assembly providing ultra-low noise, startling dynamics, and superior tracking. This unique setup takes advantage of physically-generated electromotive forces fundamental to MM designs which accurately recreate the original sound of any recording.
The Songbird, their newest open-architecture, high-output moving coil cartridge provides an amazing acoustic return for a relatively small investment. The newly developed chassis design is extremely rigid, eliminating the need for any resonance-prone housing. The long, 7-micron stylus face handles different cutting angles well, creating amazingly detailed but relaxed sound in a wide variety of setups. The Songbird is an excellent choice for anyone looking to upgrade the analog section of their system at an excellent value.
Sumiko's newest flagship, open-architecture, low-output moving coil cartridge, the Starling, uses the same resonance-reducing body design as the Songbird, but introduces a long-grain boron cantilever and a micro-ridge stylus. This allows the Starling to render the grandeur of a full orchestra while preserving air and space or to recreate every detail of a delicate, jazz recording with its responsive dynamics and detailed nuances. The mechanical silence of the Starling yields a dynamic linearity across the entire musical spectrum that allows it to handle even the most demanding passages with effortless ease and convincing drive.
All in all, these 6 new cartridges once again put Sumiko at the forefront of affordable phono cartridge design.
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