The Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III Lo low output MC cartridge is a double upgrade in the range of the Japanese manufacturer! On one hand, it is the upgrade of the famous Sumiko Blue Point Special. On the other hand, after having offered it as a high output cartridge, Sumiko is now offering this cartridge as a low output version (this is where the suffix “lo” for LOW comes from). The Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III Lo cartridge is a “true” low output MC cartridge just like we like them! Besides the sky blue color of the box that is different from the navy blue box of the high output cartridge, nothing can differentiate both cartridges from the outside.
Regarding the Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III Lo cartridge, there is no casing in order to avoid resonances. It lets appear the innards of the phono cartridge and we can therefore see the coils and generators. There is an elliptical stylus of 0.3 mm x 0.7 mm mounted on a cantilever chemically covered in aluminium. The Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III Lo cartridge has the same generator as the high output cartridge but its high performance moving coils receive less coil than the high output cartridge. This makes it lighter as well as decreases the impedance and output voltage. There is an impedance output of 0.5 mV and a load of 100 Ohms compared to an impedance output of 2.5 mV and a load of 47000 Ohms on the high output cartridge! This induces that the coils are under coiled and therefore lighter. This enables to have a better velocity and to reproduce the least of nuances. The announced bandwidth ridicules any CD player (12Hz/40Khz!). There is also a channel separation worthy of the best phono cartridges on the market (30db at 1KHz). The compliance (12) of this Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III Lo, and its mass (8.3g), make it compatible with the majority of modern and vintage tonearms.
It is not very complicated to mount this cartridge, even though with this type of cartridge, just like with the Benz Micro Glider, it is necessary to avoid putting your fingers on the coils! The screws do not need a nut since the body of the cartridge is equipped with threads. However, it is necessary to carefully align the cartridge and especially correctly adjust the VTA (vertical tracking angle).
The Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III Lo cartridge shows a remarkable harmonic wealth as well as a superb presence. It does not sacrifice anything in details, transparency, and musicality. The timbre balance is remarkable and largely participates to the realism of the restitution. The EVO III low output cartridge offers a restitution similar to the high output cartridge but with a true gain on almost all levels. It is clearly more nuanced and much more subtle. The articulation and transparency seem to be one notch above as well. We have also noticed a better soundstage and a superior dynamic. This Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III Lo cartridge enjoys a remarkable musicality linked to an obvious neutrality.
For a long time, we wished that Sumiko would offer an affordable low output MC cartridge… Well it is finally here, and it is clearly an amazing success! Once again, it proves that the musicality, neutrality, and subtleness, are the results of a low output and load.
Highly recommended! Franck
Principle: Moving coil (MC)
Frequency response: 12Hz-40KHz
Output voltage: 0.5 mV
Channel separation: 30db (1KHz)
Channel balance: <0.5db (1KHz)
Compliance: 12x10-6 cm/dyn
Stylus: 0.3x.7 / Elliptical
Cantilever: in aluminium
Load impedance: > 100 Ohms
Tracking force: 1.8-2.2 g
Recommended tracking force: 2,0 g