Kiseki's cartridges were created almost 30 years ago and soon became legends! Then, with the advent of the Compact Disc, sales plummeted and production was discontinued in the 90's. With the revival of the vinyl record, their creator Herman Van Den Drungen decided to resume production. These entirely hand-built cartridges were produced again in 2014.
Two models are currently available: Kiseki's Blue NS cartridges and PurpleHeart NS. Another model, the Kiseki Agate NS cartridge, was marketed in late 2015. These cartridges are made with the same care and based on the same processes as 30 years ago. But they also benefit from many technological additions that push back their performances even further. Several foreign audiophile magazines have tried them and have confirmed that they deliver the amazing features of 20th Century Kiseki cartridges!
Kiseki's Blue NS cartridge is the first 'new style' cartridge. The body of the cartridge is crafted in solid aluminium and has a beautiful cerulean blue finish. The coils are derived from the best elements on the market to date. The boron cantilever is adorned with a great 'Nude Line Contact' stylus. It is perfectly polished and minimises surface noise. It took two years of testing and playing to approve the materials and manufacturing processes to deliver a sonic performance superior to that of the original Kiseki Blue. The weight of the Blue NS (8g), combined with its compliance (16) and tracking force make it compatible with most tonearms on the market.
I have to admit that mounting a Kiseki cartridge to a tonearm is quite a solemn and moving moment! The design of this cartridge is a great help for alignment and VTA adjustments. We also noticed that it is quite easy to handle and that with a standard protractor and a good gauge, it does the job to perfection!
The sonic performance of this Kiseki Blue NS is one of the best we could have hoped for! This cartridge is definitely on a par with Koetsu, Transfiguration and Air Tight models! By this we mean that the music emanating from this MC cartridge lives up to the finest Japanese products in terms of elegance and refinement. In terms of musicality and subtlety, it is more akin to an Accuphase AC-5 than a Lyra Kleos, with great definition and clarity. The vocals have a perfect timbre and the instruments stand out with great ease. The soundstage literally bursts out of the speakers, both in depth and width. The separation between the instruments and singers is quite amazing. As the noise level is very low, the music thrives with details and precision. We were also amazed by the quality of the bass! It could even be a benchmark within this price range! The mids and treble are on the same level! They boast great harmonic richness, combined with genuine neutrality!
This Kiseki Blue NS cartridge blew our mind! A best buy in terms of build quality, musicality and price! Highly recommended!
Best buy Haute-Fidélité
Tone Audio - Exceptional Value Award - 2014
The-Ear.net - 2014
Type: Low output MC
Coils: Pure copper 15 microns
Magnets: Samarium Cobalt
Stylus: Nude Line Contact 0.12 x 0.12
Cantilever: Boron diameter 0.28 mm
Output: 0.44 mV
Frequency response: 20 – 25,000 Hz ± 1 dB
Channel separation: 35 dB at 1 kHz
Internal impedance: 40 ohms
Channel balance: 0.4 dB at 1 kHz
Tracking force: 2.4 g
Compliance: 16 µm/mN