Created out of the desire to make a very high performance design at an affordable price, the Carmen mk II was crafted to have unparalleled purity of tone and ultra-smooth presentation. Just slightly lush with a well-developed midrange, the Carmen is surprisingly pleasing and will seduce you into long, late listening sessions.
The stylus used is a large part of what makes it special; an ultra-low mass occlusion free nude diamond cut and polished into a true hyper-elliptical shape. The combination of low tip mass and the Fixed Coil design gives the Carmen a tremendous resolution advantage over MC designs selling for more than twice the price. Housed in a handmade solid Ebony case, the Carmen delivers.
Also available in dual-coil mono.
I get emails from audio enthusiasts and music lovers around the world asking for recommendations of a relatively affordable phonograph cartridge that is warm, dimensional, musical, and has relatively high output so you don't have to use an expensive step-up transformer with it to play music...
At this point, I've played hundreds of records with this ebony-bodied wonder, and I think I'm finally starting to grasp some of the inner beauty of Peter Ledermann's inventions.
New ES Series DEMS Design
2018's RMAF show was the official launch of Soundsmith's new ES series of cartridges, where the attendees experienced the latest exploration into overlooked areas of cartridge design and solutions from Soundsmith.
The ES line features not only a dramatic new look, but is a significant evolution of the DEMS system design (Dynamic Energy Management System). 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 affecting performance. Peter 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.
|Type||Fixed Coil / Moving Iron|
|Stylus||Elliptical Nude, 0.12 mm square|
|Radius of Curvature||6 x 17 µm|
|Recommended Tracking Force||1.3 - 1.6 g Standard (Medium Compliance)
1.0 - 1.2 g (Special Order High Compliance)
|Effective Tip Mass||0.35 mg|
|Compliance||22 µm/mN (Medium Compliance)
28 µm/mN (High Compliance)
|Frequence Response||15 - 45,000 Hz ± 2.0 dB|
|Channel Separation @ 1000 Hz||> 26 dB
N/A (Mono version)
|Channel Separation @ 50 - 15,000 Hz||> 20 dB
N/A (Mono version)
|Channel Difference||< 1.6 dB
< 1.0 dB (Mono version)
|Output Voltage @ 5cm/sec||> 2.12 mV (HIGH)|
|DC Resistance (DCR)||680Ω|
|Coil Inductance per channel||190 mH|
|Suggested Preamp Gain||38 - 44 dB|
|Cartridge Weight||9.20 g (ES series)|
|Recommended Load Resistance||≥ 47kΩ|
|Recommended Load Capacitance||n/a|