The Sumiko Blackbird high output MC cartridges is designed on the basis of the Blue Point Special Evo 3.
Sumiko Blackbird: body
In the 80's, the problems with resonance related to the body of the cartridge fuelled the most passionate conversations. Some went as far as filling the cartridge with resin or risked cutting the cartridge's border!
Sumiko is not the only one to have completely removed the casing to dispense with colouration (Benz Micro) but it is the one that obtains the most radical result.
This design also allows you to admire the outstanding assembly work and precision of the wiring for the coils.
Sumiko Blackbird: features
Like its little sister, this Sumiko Blackbird benefits from an Elliptical stylus with a low mass, and cantilever that is no longer in aluminium but in boron.
A high output is obtained here (2.5 mV) by using very thin wire and very tightly winding the coils.
This high output makes it compatible with all the MM phono preamplifiers and is used to dispense with the MC section that, in some cases, decreases the transparency and definition for the sound quality by adding stages of additional components.
Added to this is a frequency response that ridicules any compact disk player (10 Hz/50 kHz!).
Sumiko Blackbird: assembly
Its assembly on the tonearm is not more complicated than on an ordinary cartridge.
But it requires more care and avoiding finger contact with the coils.
Sumiko Blackbird: listening and review
Once installed and set, you can finally enjoy the outstanding musicality of the Sumiko Blackbird cartridge...
The midrange is fabulous, transparent, detailed and with unmatched perspective. The exceptionally gentle treble is rarely encountered with cartridges of this range.
On the CHET from Chet Baker (Riverside), the trumpet is splendid and gives you goose bumps.
On the Into the Wild by Eddy Vedder (Music on vinyl ), we just felt that in comparison to our benchmark cartridge (> €2,500) the dynamic range was slightly smaller.
That being said, the Sumiko Blackbird high output MC cartridge is a benchmark in terms of timbre. A choice that can only be regretted.
Recommended for Pro-Ject RPM 10 & X-tension, Well tempered Amadeus GTA, Thorens TD 309, VPI scout and Classic... Franck
Principle: High output moving coil (MC)
Stylus: 0.3 x.7 low mass elliptical
Frequency response: 10Hz-50Khz
Output level: 2.5 mv
Channel separation: 35 dB
Channel balance: 0.5 dB
Compliance: 12 (x 10-6cm/dyne)
Load impedance: 47 kOhm
Tracking force range: 1.8/2.0 grams
Recommended tracking force: 2.0 grams
Weight: 9.6 grams