Cartridges


The Gold Note Donatello MC Cartridge

The Gold Note Donatello MC Cartridge

After spending a lot of time on opposite ends of the price spectrum with Gold Note’s $3,000 high output MC Machiavelli cartridge and their $385 Vasari MM, the Donatello MC strikes a great spot at $1,075 – offering tremendous sonics, versatility and value. Read More >


The Gold Note Machiavelli Cartridge

The Gold Note Machiavelli Cartridge

For many, when you ask them to complete the sentence “Italian high performance….” they might say “cars, Ferrari,” or “bikes, Ducati. Read More >


Ortofon’s 2M Black

Ortofon’s 2M Black

I’m sorry to say we are late to the party on this one…  Ortofon’s 2M Black has received numerous accolades from nearly every hifi magazine on the planet and with good reason – it’s a fantastic sounding cartridge. Read More >


Ortofon Cadenza Bronze

Ortofon Cadenza Bronze

Spinning Anya Garbarek’s Smiling and Waving on staffer Earle Blanton’s system, I’m blown away by how neutral, clean and airy Garbarek’s voice flows through his towering Magnepan 20. Read More >


Phasemation PP-1000 MC Phono Cartridge

Phasemation PP-1000 MC Phono Cartridge

My quest for the Phasemation PP-1000 cartridge started four months ago, when I was perusing photos from a good friend’s recent excursion to Asia and the exotic analog setups he saw on his journey. Read More >


Dynavector DV-20X2 Low-Output Moving-Coil Cartridge

Dynavector DV-20X2 Low-Output Moving-Coil Cartridge

Dynavector has been a household name in the phono-cartridge business since the mid-1970s.  I have fond (albeit slightly faded) memories of an early generation Dynavector moving-coil cartridge that set me back a couple of C-notes (big bucks for that era). Read More >


SoundSmith Sussurro Paua Cartridge

SoundSmith Sussurro Paua Cartridge

Two years ago, TONE awarded SoundSmith our Analog Product of the Year award for its cartridge aptly named The Voice, a moving iron design that retails for just under $2,200. Everyone who had a chance to audition it in our reference system was astonished by its ability to deliver such a high level of performance for such a reasonable price. Read More >


Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue

Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue

Three of my favorite things come in bright blue: Smurfs, rare Porsche 911’s (only a few came from the factory in Mexico Blue), and Koetsu’s Urushi Sky Blue phono cartridge. To most audiophiles, Koetsu summons up a vision of analog exotica that defies definition and affordability. Read More >


Ortofon MC Vivo Cartridge

Ortofon MC Vivo Cartridge

MC Vivo is not the latest hip-hop sensation, but it’s sensational nonetheless. Read More >


Lyra Atlas Cartridge

Lyra Atlas Cartridge

Anyone thinking the $9,500 Lyra Atlas merely amounts to high-priced audio jewelry that exceeds a fixed point of diminishing returns couldn’t be more wrong. Read More >


Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation Cartridge

Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation Cartridge

Since many of today’s LPs are mastered from digital sources, many vociferous audiophiles willingly sacrifice dynamics and resolution on the altar of tonality. Yes, the vinyl revolution has an ugly side. Read More >


REVIEW: The Clearaudio DaVinci MC Cartridge

REVIEW: The Clearaudio DaVinci MC Cartridge

Forget what you know about Clearaudio cartridges of old. Since they brought out the new generation Goldfinger, Clearaudio has been going towards a more-balanced sound.   These days, their newfound expertise has trickled down to the $7,500 Titanium and the $5,500 DaVinci. Read More >


Review:  The Benz Micro Ruby Z Cartridge

Review: The Benz Micro Ruby Z Cartridge

More phono cartridges than I care to remember have passed through my stereos over the past four decades. Given the relentless onslaught of digital media, it’s great to see that Benz Micro has not only stayed in the game but continues to strive for better products. Read More >