Since 1972, SoundSmith manufactures Hi-Fi components in a small production unit a few hundred kilometers away from New York. The brand has acquired an enviable reputation in the audiophile world for its exceptional sound qualities and its analogue products, and in particular its phono cartridges with Moving Iron technology. Every SoundSmith product is hand made in the factory in Peekskill, NY, by a carefully selected team of engineers and craftsman. Franck
Also known as Moving Micro Cross, the Moving Iron concept was introduced by Bang & Olufsen in 1978 and obtained a patent not long after. The extra high compliance of MI designs made them perfectly compatible with light tonearms from B&O, but unfortunately almost unusable with more heavy and modern tonearms. Hence, audiophiles have never really known about the existence of Moving Iron cartridges the same way as MC cartridges (Moving Coil), and MM cartridges (Moving Magnet). However, Peter Ledermann is a huge advocate of this technology, just like Grado, and offers phono cartridges of extreme musicality, compatible with MM phono inputs and competing against MC cartridges.
The SoundSmith The Voice HO cartridge demonstrates all of the manufacturer’s know-how in terms of Moving Iron cartridges. A low mass and precision manufactured smooth iron cross is mounted on the cantilever/stylus. It is placed between the magnets and the coils. When the cross moves in the magnetic field, it generates a signal voltage and therefore a modulation. Since only the smooth iron cross moves, it is possible to use more coil (higher voltage) and bigger magnets (more powerful), without harming the movement of the stylus! This MI design also has other advantages such as a low moving mass (better resolution), and a superior channel separation (better soundstage).
On the Voice HO, SoundSmith removed 40% of the cartridge’s mass! This enables a greater reactivity, fast accelerations, a superior damping and a remarkable tracking capacitance. The Soundsmith The Voice HO is equipped with a superb Contact line nude stylus! This stylus is mounted on a superb ruby cantilever!
The SoundSmith The Voice HO is a cartridge of average mass. With its weight (6.8g) and compliance (22), it is compatible with the majority of low or medium mass tonearms. Its output of 2.2 mV, and its load of 47 Kohms, make it compatible with most MM phono preamplifiers.
Every The Voice HO cartridge is assembled and tested by Mr Peter Ledermann himself!
This phono cartridge offers remarkable dynamics with fabulous transients! The soundstage is surprising in terms of depth and width. There is also a formidable precision in the placement of the instruments and voices. The transparency is equivalent to what we can obtain with a MC cartridge of this range. It is not called The Voice for nothing! The midrange is a delight! The voices, the brass, and the strings are of a timbre quality and realism never reached before on a high output cartridge! It also has a very low sensitivity to surface noises. It regroups a superb musicality and a sure neutrality!
This SoundSmith The Voice HO cartridge is certainly the most musical and performing high output cartridge that we have had the opportunity of listening to! It has no competition in this category. Remarkable!
Type: fixed coil
Stylus type: Line contact
Stylus: Contact Line Nude, 0.100mm SQ, selected for low noise
Curvature: OCL (Optimized Contour Contact Line)
Recommended tracking force: 1.3-1.6 g
Stylus effective mass: 0.30 mg
Compliance: 22 μm/mN (average)
Frequency response: 20-20 000 Hz ± 1.0 dB
Channel separation: 1000 Hz> 30 dB, 50-15 000> 25 dB
Channel difference: <0.5 dB (stereo)
Output voltage: 2.12 mV
Weight: 6.8 g
Load: ≥ 47 kΩ