Audio Technica has been designing and making moving coil cartridges for over half a century! Though this AT-F7 is the entry-level model, it incorporates the manufacturer's expertise!
The AT-F7 is a great step-up to the famous AT-F3. It features its aluminium and resin body. The coils have been improved and doubled to minimise crosstalk. They are combined with very powerful neodymium magnets. But the real change lies in the use of a nude elliptical stylus fully integral to the aluminium cantilever. The elliptical stylus features two radii. The top radius is in the centre of the groove and the lower radius tracks higher frequencies more precisely. The suspension is designed with a 0.07 mm stainless steel wire. It serves as a fulcrum point for audio signal mechanical transfer. It also stabilises the stylus' fulcrum point position, which leads to a better lateral positioning and improved expression of midrange and high frequencies.
Reproduction is impressive for a cartridge within this price range. The balance is very 'analogue' in the positive sense of the word, without any form of darkness or dullness. Audio-Technica's AT-F7 delivers an amazingly clear sound and great transparency. The soundstage is precise, even with complex classical pieces. The dynamics are great and even top those of a MM cartridge within this price range.
If you own a phono preamplifier compatible with MC cartridges and your tonearm is good (with an average weight), then Audio-Technica's AT-F7 is definitely one of the best options. It is one of the most affordable moving coil cartridges (along with Ortofon's Quintet Red) currently on the market.
At this price, we heartily recommend it! Franck
Type: Low output MC
Body: Aluminium/synthetic resin
Frequency response: 15 Hz-50 kHz
Channel separation: 27 dB
Channel balance: 1.5 dB
Output voltage: 0.35 mV
Tracking force: 1.8/2.2g
Recommended tracking force: 2.0g
Stylus: Nude Elliptical
Tip shape: 5 x 17.8 mm
Assembly: Integral, square section
Compliance: 9 x 10-6cm/dyne
Coils: PCOCC conductor
Load impedance: 100 Ohms
Load impedance: 12 ohms
Coil inductance: 25 µH
Cartridge weight: 5. g
Compliance: ½ inch screw
Height: 17.3 mm