After a number of years of good and faithful service, Grado's 'Wood' range has been discontinued and replaced! All 'Reference' models now feature the suffix 2!
From the outside, the difference with the former Master version is obvious! The body is carved by hand from a beautiful block of Australian Eucalyptus wood. It undergoes a process that hardens and stabilises it, thus reducing resonance. This new variant is quite bulky and its dimensions (1.5 x 2 x 3 cm) also justify its weight of 10 g.
Grado designed a new generator based on the OTL principle. It uses 5 OTL pieces, combined with ultra high-purity long crystal (UHPLC) copper coils. The generator/stylus module of this series does not allow for stylus replacement like on an MC cartridge. It enables the development of a magnetic circuit designed in a single piece, allowing for a significant reduction of chassis resonance. The stylus of this Reference Master-2 cartridge has a Nude Elliptical profile. It is mounted to a brass cantilever. The manufacturing and assembly processes use very tight tolerances.
With an output level of 4.8 mV, this Grado Reference Master-2 is compatible with all MM phono inputs on the market. The dynamics, bass note placement and articulation are quite remarkable. The colouration is a lot less present than with the former versions. The definition is also a lot better than what Grado usually delivers! The mids and treble are a lot more detailed and precise. The soundstage has dramatically improved in terms of depth and the player placement is more precise. This Grado Master-2 has excellent value for money. The sonic quality is closer to a Reference-2 than a Reference Sonata-2.
Recommended for audiophiles who love their analogue sound! Franck
Output: 4.8 mV @ 5 CMV (45)
Frequency response: 15-60 KHZ
Channel separation: 40 dB 10-30 KHZ
Stylus: Nude elliptical
OTL: 5 parts
Resistive load: 47 KOHMS
Capacitive load: Insensitive
Inductance: 40 mH
Resistance: 600 OHMS
Weight: 10 g
Tracking force: 1.5 to 1.9 g
Recommended force: 1.75g