A triumph of Soundsmith Engineering, Stereophile Class A rated, a rarity at its price point and for good reasons.
Unparalleled 2 Year Warranty! Retip is less than 20% of MSRP at $350!
The Soundsmith ES Series Featuring Upgraded Performance, Design and the Dynamic Energy Management System (DEMS)!
What is the Dynamic Energy Management System (DEMS)?
The ES line features not only a dramatic new look, but is a significant evolution of the Dynamic Energy Management System (DEMS) design. The new Soundsmith ES cartridge designs are a significant advancement in cartridge performance due to their ability to direct internal vibrational forces without reflection and disperse them properly to the tone arm. The absence of reflections enables the stylus to stay in far greater statistical contact with the groove walls a critically important technical refinement. Increased liquidity and reduced "grain," without loss of detail are some of the immediately discernible advantages of Soundsmith's new ES models. The new line also features Azimuth adjustment built-in to each cartridge, as well as the option for electrical isolation for hum-prone systems.
Every cartridge in Soundsmith's lineup will now feature their sleek new ES body design. The upgrade is far more than cosmetic; the new shape is a departure from the reflective and "boxy" design of many cartridges whose internal construction contribute to uncontrolled vibrational issues adversely effecting performance. Peter Ledermann, president of Soundsmith, says, "Think of how singing in an open field compares with singing in a shower." Soundsmith has always challenged conventions, looking deeper into nuances of cartridge design that dramatically affect immediate and long term performance. These have included extreme reductions of moving mass and the use of novel materials and designs. The new ES lineup is a continuation of that research and development.
The Aida MKII employs a laser drilled Sapphire cantilever with ultralow mass Contact Line stylus; we did this to resolve the challenges of playing the inner grooves with the same level of confidence as the outer. How did we do this? The unique stylus shape of our CL stylus has a sharper playing surface on the faceted diamond, allowing it to ride easily into the groove modulations of even the most difficult passages and high frequency information that other cartridges simply cannot trace. The result a truly superb cartridge, surpassing top MC designs with air, focus and sound staging no cartridge at this price should be able to achieve.
An Unparalleled Warranty:
The Aida Cartridge is covered for a full two years. Retip is 20% of the retail ($350). An absolutely unheard of warranty for cartridges. Made in the USA, the Soundsmith cartridges are the best long term values around!
In reviewing the original Aida cartridge:
"Looking for your last best cartridge? This could be it, at a decent price...Presenting the natural acoustic of all recordings is the goal of any reproduction device, an especially tricky exercise when dealing with the vagaries of LP production and reproduction, and so I am drawn to my inevitable conclusion, after much enjoyable listening to a cartridge that is astonishingly quiet in the groove, extraordinarily natural in timbre, as accurate and sure (pun again) a tracker as I have ever encountered, and a delight to listen to, hopefully forever (or as eternal as it gets for me), as I try to listen again to my 4000 odd and not-so-odd LPs during my allotted remaining time on this fragile firmament. The Soundsmith Aida is, if not the best cartridge in my experience, certainly the one I wish to keep for the long haul home" - Andrew Marshall, audio-ideas.com
Stylus: Selected Contact Line, low mass Nude Stylus
Radius of curvature: 6 x 17 uM
Cantilever: Laser Drilled Sapphire
Recommended Tracking force: 1.3-1.6 gm
Effective tip mass: 0.30 mg
Compliance: 22 µm/mN
Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz ± 2.5 dB
Channel Separation (stereo only): 1000 Hz >30 dB, 50-15,000 >20 dB
Channel difference: <1.0 dB (Stereo), <1.0 dB (Mono)
Output voltage: 2.12 mV
Cartridge weight: 9.2 Grams
Loading: = 47 kOhm
2 Year Warranty