20th Anniversary Deluxe packaging includes a decorative cushioned box that comes custom wrapped from the factory in decorative paper. The Air Tight PC-1 Cartridge is further protected in a small wooden padded box with Air Tight faceplate. This Limited Edition 20th Anniversary packaging is only available for the first 30-40 cartridges!
The Air Tight PC-1 Cartridge is an epoch-making Low impedance MC Phono Cartridge!
The ultimate target of an MC cartridge is to derive "High" energy from "Low" impedance circuitry. The Air Tight PC-A Cartridge does this and more! For this purpose, so far many manufacturers, small or large, have employed various sorts of materials and devices such as:
Purification of wire material
New material for housing
Selection of cantilever material
Polish on stylus tip
But actually for these 30 years, nothing has been noticeably improved in respect of technical data; to the contrary something adverse has been done in the light of the above-mentioned principle "output voltage vs. internal impedance".
Certainly, compared to the samarium or cerium cobalt magnet used 30 years ago, the neodynium magnet forming today's mainstream is enhanced by as much as 3 times in terms of energy product, but it does not help augment the output voltage.
Through Air Tight's long experience, their ultimate goal was set up to clear the barriers: 2.5 ohms at internal impedance & 0.6mV at output voltage, and our bold challenge started here to work out a solution to this theme; that means, the high source impedance (resistive components of coil) causes considerable consumption of the generated energy in the inside of the coils, whilst small output voltage yields transmission loss to the next stages including interconnections, thus inevitably deteriorating signal quality and increasing noise components. Nevertheless, it is mechanically and physically impossible to increment the output voltage of today's MC cartridge up to the 3mV - 5mV level due to load amount imposed on the vibration system.
In view of usual workable range of the step-up and head-amp devices, it was considered to be reasonable to set up the output voltage at 0.5mV - 0.7mV. How to reduce the impedance with such output level?
The first task tackled was to design high-efficiency magnetic circuitry. The reason why the high energy product inherent in today's magnet cannot be utilised lies in the magnetic saturation of the pole piece & material, and whatever material you may select, you are unable to get over the barrier unless saturation flux density is augmented.
After years of exhaustive research and design efforts, finally developed is Air Tight's exclusive ultra-hi-µ core material named the SH-µX. This SH-?X boasting of such huge saturation flux density and initial permeability exceeding 3 times more than those of conventional Hi-u core brings forth unprecedented high-efficiency magnetic characteristics, which permits remarkable reduction in the number of coil winds, thus suppressing the inner loss down to the minimum, while its high output voltage makes it possible to reproduce an overwhelming energy sensation and extraordinary high resolutions throughout whole spectrum of audio bandwidth.
Air Tight PC-1 Cartridge features:
Output Voltage: 0.6 mV at 1kHz 5cm/sec.
Channel Balance: Less Than 0.5dB at 21kHz
Stylus Tip: 3um X 30um semi-line contact
Tracking Force Range: 2.0 to 2.2g
Internal Impedance: 2.5 ohms
Recommended Loading: 30-100 ohms
Frequency Response: 10-50,000 Hz
Crosstalk: Greater Than 30db @1kz
Pins: Rhodium-plated polished
Core Material: SH-uX
Magnet: Neodynium #50
Designed by A. Miura, manufactured by Matsudaira
Air Tight PC-1 Cartridge reviews:
"Until he heard the Air Tight PC-1, Jonathan Valin thought the new $4500 London Reference moving-iron cartridge was the best on the market, because of its amazing transient speed and natural tone color. (Indeed, the London Reference would have been co-winner of this year's award had it been formally reviewed.) But the Air Tight moving coil goes the London one better in several aspects of sound reproduction, flat out beating it in staging, trackability, and, even transient response (though not in lifelike timbres). How the PC-1 manages this has to do with its extremely low internal impedance and the high-saturation flux density and permeability of its magnets. Folks, you've never heard attack like this before in an analog playback system. Pizzicatos and sforzandos are reproduced with a "rightness" that simply sets a new standard of speed and resolution in moving coils. Like the London Reference, the Air Tight PC-1 is a hi-fi gem that raises the stakes (on the analog side) in the great, ongoing, analog-versus-digital horse race." - The Absolute Sound, January 2007, 2006 Product of the Year Award Winner
"Like most vinylphiles, I've listened to a lot of fine moving-coil cartridges over the years. The Air Tight PC-1, TAS' 2006 Phono Cartridge of the Year award-winner, is, IMO, the best yet in nearly every aspect of phonographic reproduction - the most complete." - Jonathan Valin, The Absolute Sound, August 2007, 2007 Golden Ear Award Winner
"In plain English, the PC-1's magnets produce a much stronger magentic field, greatly lowering noise and coloration and greatly increasing resolution in every regard. Details are clearer, timbres are truer, air is more plentiful, dynamics are more lifelike, and stage width, depth, and height are expanded... a leap forward in moving-coil design." - Jonathan Valin, The Absolute Sound, August 2007, 2007 Golden Ear Award Winner