Soundsmith Cartridges are Hand-Made upon order and are ready to ship in approximately 30 Days!
An Unparalleled Warranty! Retip is only $199 and is guaranteed for a Full Year!
Created out of the desire to make a very high performance design at an affordable price, the Carmen MkII was crafted to have unparalleled purity of tone and ultra-smooth presentation. Just slightly lush with a well-developed midrange, the Carmen MkII 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.
"The first thing I noticed was how, even at the quietest volume levels, sparkle and dynamics were preserved... What the Carmen did with Beethoven's quiet passages made me smile and let out my breath. Instrumental scale and tonal contrasts were just right. When the orchestra swelled, my chest followed with anticipation."
"The Soundsmith Carmen's ultra-low-mass MI assembly plays with more agility, is more detailed, and sounds less stressed than any MC I'm aware of. Its treble is not dull or rolled off - it's just the most authentic treble I've experienced from a phonographic transducer. As the Carmen appears to demonstrate, high frequencies reproduced with this level of fidelity improve the character of every octave below them - especially the texture of the midrange and the tunefulness of the bass."
"I'm always on the hunt for cartridges that sound colorful, sensual, visceral, and detailed - and are easy on my mind and wallet. The humble Soundsmith Carmen did and was all of that, which means that it plays with the best cartridges of my experience. Peter Ledermann's designs don't sound like any MC, MM, or MI cartridge I've heard. They stand apart." - Herbert Reichert, Stereophile Magazine, June 2015
All top end cartridges from all manufacturers are hand made. The real issue is that when you are manufacturing something so tiny, that has to perform so well, that all of them are NOT the same. If you dont see this statement from other manufacturers, then this is a "secret" they dont want to share, and quite understandably so.
Soundsmith carefully hand builds each and every cartridge, tests them, and keeps accurate records by serial number of their performance. Those that meet or exceed specifications are sold. But, there are always a few that measure much better than the other "great" ones... and Soundsmith selects these to be mounted in Ebony bodies, available to you as "selected" units.
Soundsmith cartridges overturn the myth that moving coil cartridges are the only path towards perfection. After all, what is the accepted advantage of moving coil cartridges? Low effective moving mass, right? Well, Soundsmith has less. Much less. And if you understand EFFECTIVE moving mass, Less IS more. Why is that good? Because when you lower the moving system mass, its easier to control. If its easier to control, the stylus can stay in better contact with the groove walls. Thats good, because if you cant stay in contact with the groove walls, you cant hear whats on the record.
Is a high gain moving coil preamp required? No. Carmen is designed to be used with a Moving Magnet preamp. No "step-up" transformers. No finicky multi-stage ultra high gain preamp required. Less is more here, too.
Once youve heard your new Carmen cartridge, youll never go back.
An Unparalleled Warranty:
The Carmen Cartridge is covered for a full one year. Retip is less than 20% of the retail ($150). An absolutely unheard of warranty for cartridges. Made in the USA, the Soundsmith cartridges are the best long term values around!
Stylus: Nude Elliptical, 0.120mm SQ
Radius of curvature: 6 x 17um
Cantilever: Tapered Aluminum Alloy
Recommended Tracking Force: 12mN / 1.2 gm
Tip Mass: 0.35 mg
Compliance: 28 um/mN
Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz +/- 2.5 dB
Channel Separation: 1000 Hz Greater Than 26 dB, 50-15,000 Hz Greater Than 20 dB Channel difference: Less Than 1.6 dB
Output voltage: Greater Than 0.6 mV/cm/sec.
5 cm/sec. Lat. RMS: Greater Than 2.12 mV
Cartridge weight: 6.8 grams
Load: Res. Greater Than or Equal To 47 kohms, Cap. Greater Than or Equal To 100 pF
1 Year Warranty