This new Sumiko Amethyst MM cartridge is the high end of moving magnet cartridges offered by the American manufacturer.
SUMIKO AMETHYST: BODY
The black mat casing of this cartridge gives it a high quality aspect. Furthermore, the shape of this Amethyst cartridge is original enough to differentiate itself from competing cartridges, without being too extravagant.
It is equipped with threaded brass inserts which is where are placed the two screws in order to mount this cartridge. We appreciate this tightening method as it does not require using nuts and offers an excellent tightening torque.
Unfortunately, this will not please owners of “vintage” Thorens vinyl record players. Indeed, their headshell from another time period is not compatible with this phono cartridge that cannot be mounted from above.
The body of the phono cartridge and the generator have undergone a specific treatment which significantly reduces internal resonances and limits colour.
SUMIKO AMETHYST: STYLUS
Sumiko chose to install a superb Nude Line Contact stylus on this phono cartridge. It is mounted on a 0.5mm aluminium cantilever.
The coils use a very pure and deoxygenated copper conductor. The moving magnets are different and more powerful than on the other versions. They are also lighter in order to obtain the best dynamic possible. However, this is at the expense of the output level which is of 2.5mv.
This cartridge is only compatible with the Sumiko Amethyst stylus.
SUMIKO AMETHYST: COMPATIBILITY
The mass and compliance of this Sumiko cartridge make it compatible with the majority of low mass tonearms.
It is also compatible with a good MM phono preamplifier that has at least a gain of 42/44 dB and a load capacitance of 100 pF.
SUMIKO AMETHYST: TESTING AND LISTENING
The sound restitution is very dynamic but ultra-nuanced as well. The presence and substance are remarkable on the instruments and voices.
The Sumiko Amethyst offers an uncommon realism to music for phono cartridges of this technology.
There is also a three dimensional and very precise soundstage which quite often is the pride of MC cartridges. There is a full and very rich timbre.
Despite this substance, no detail is spared.
The Sumiko Amethyst is certainly one of the top 2 or top 3 MM cartridges available on the market. With the Ortofon 2M Black MM cartridge, the Nagaoka MP500 MM cartridge, and the Audio Technica VM 760 SLC MM cartridge, the Amethyst is part of the very exclusive club of MM cartridge capable of competing with MC cartridges!
This Sumiko Amethyst MM cartridge is made for lovers of analogue sound that have an excellent turntable and a good MM phono stage. It is guaranteed that on several aspects, it offers a musicality similar to certain low output MC cartridges.
A benchmark! Franck
Principle: MM cartridge
Stylus: Nude Line Contact
Cantilever: 0.5 mm aluminium
Coil: Pure copper
Bandwidth: 12 Hz – 35 Khz
Output voltage: 2.5 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: Amethyst