The Sumiko Moonstone MM cartridge is the third cartridge of the new “Oyster range” offered by the Californian manufacturer, Sumiko. This range includes four MM cartridges: the Amethyst, Rainer, Olympia, and Moonstone.
Sumiko Moonstone: Body
The look of this Moonstone cartridge will not please everyone. However, this Sumiko Moonstone cartridge does not look anything like competing cartridges. Its black mat finish gives it a quality aspect.
It is equipped with brass inserts in order to fix the screws. We appreciate this tightening method as it does not use nuts and offers an excellent tightening torque. However, this will not please owners of “vintage” Thorens vinyl record players as their headshell from another time period is not compatible with this phono cartridge. Indeed, this headshell does not enable to mount a cartridge from above.
The body and the generator have undergone a “damping” treatment which significantly reduces internal resonances and limits colour.
Sumiko Moonstone: Stylus
The stylus is a very thin 0.3 x 0.7 microns elliptical stylus. It is mounted on a 0.5mm aluminium cantilever.
The coils use a very pure and deoxygenated copper conductor. It is to point at that the moving magnets are different and more powerful than those on the Sumiko Olympia cartridge.
Sumiko Moonstone: Compatibility
Thanks to its mass and compliance, the Sumiko Moonstone Hi-Fi cartridge is compatible with the majority of low mass tonearms.
It is also compatible with a good MM phono preamplifier that offers at least a gain of 42 dB and a load capacitance of 100 pF.
Sumiko Moonstone: Testing and listening
The sound restitution is very dynamic and physical, offering an uncommon realism.
The unison has a very convincing presence and balance for a MM cartridge.
The soundstage is three dimensional, just like on MC cartridges. The timbre is superb for a phono cartridge in this price range.
This Sumiko Moonstone MM cartridge is made for lovers of analogue sound that have a good turntable, without necessarily having a high end phono preamp. On several aspects, it offers a musicality similar to small low output MC cartridges.
Highly recommended +++ Franck
Principle: MM cartridge
Stylus: 0.3 x 0.7 microns elliptical stylus
Cantilever: 0.5 mm aluminium
Coil: Pure copper
Bandwidth: 12 Hz – 33 Khz
Output voltage: 3 mv
Channel separation: 30 dB
Channel balance: 0.5 dB
Compliance: 20 (x10-6cm/dyn)
Load impedance: 47 Kohms
Load capacitance: 100 - 200 pF
Tracking force: 1.8/2.2 g
Recommended tracking force: 2.0 g
Total cartridge weight: 6.5 g
Compatible stylus: Moonstone