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. Rebuild Price? ~ $199 ~ 20% (or less) of MSRP, as always! - The Carmen features a 2 year warranty to the original owner.
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.
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.
An Unparalleled Warranty: The Carmen Cartridge is covered for 2 full years. Retip is 20% of the retail ($199). An absolutely unheard of warranty for cartridges. Made in the USA, the Soundsmith cartridges are the best long term values around!
- Fixed Coil Cartridge Type
- Elliptical Stylus Type
- High Output
- Available as Dual Coil Mono
- Workmanship on this product is warranted for 2 full years
|Stylus||Nude Elliptical, 0.120mm SQ|
|Radius of curvature||6 x 17 µm|
|Recommended tracking force||1.3 - 1.6 gm (standard medium Compliance);
1.0 - 1.2 grams for special order High Compliance
|Effective tip mass||0.35 mg|
|Compliance||28 µm/mN (high), 22 µm/mN (medium)|
|Frequency response||20-20,000 Hz ± 2.5 dB|
|Channel separation (stereo only)||1000 Hz >26 dB, 50-15,000 >20 dB|
|Channel difference||<1.6 dB (Stereo), <1.0 dB (Mono)|
|Output voltage||2.12 mV|
|Cartridge weight||6.8 grams|
|Stylus to Mounting Hole Offset||approximately 10mm (0.4")|
|Loading||Greater than or equal to 47 kohm|
2 Year Warranty Retip: $199