The long awaited new, ‘affordable’ Technics SL-1200GR direct-drive turntable is now shipping to dealers in the USA. Launched at CES 2017 and originally intended for release earlier this year, the SL-1200GR is now available on both sides of the Atlantic. More »

Following the launch of their premium Bluetooth turntable last year, Elipson has announced the introduction of its new flagship deck, The Omega Carbon Black. Based on the Omega 100, this new Carbon Black version features a number of enhancements. More »

In 2008, Ortofon honoured Per Windfeld with the release of the MC Windfeld cartridge. Mr Windfeld worked with Ortofon for over thirty years, during his time as Chief Engineer becoming widely recognised in the industry as a true hifi visionary. Since his retirement, Ortofon has continued to grow as a company. So nearly ten years after the original release, the decision has now been taken to update the MC Windfeld with the very latest technologies. More »

Goldring is starting to ship its new E Series Moving Magnet cartridges which, they say, are “a range of high performance, premium quality, British designed products for the resurgent turntable market”. More »

Good friend of Hifi Pig, Mat Weisfeld, of VPI got in touch to tell us about their new, entry level turntable, the Cliffwood: “For 40 years we have built turntables in American and kept it in the VPI family.  For almost 30 of those years we have built our turntables in Cliffwood, New Jersey”. More »

Like the violins, violas and cellos crafted by the Stradivari family during the 17th and 18th centuries, almost all of van den Hul’s phono cartridges are personally hand built and tuned by Dutch cartridge designer Mr A.J. van den Hul himself. More »

Gold Note are a well known for their very high end products but here Janine Elliot takes a listen to their €195 and €350 moving magnet cartridges. More »

Audio MusiKraft have announced their entry to the audiophile market with their brand new turntable products and online boutique. They say that their shells create “The world’s first and only “tweakable” And “customisable” Phono Cartridge”. More »

Intimate Audio recently sent this very different looking Italian turntable to Hifi Pig reviewer, Ian Ringstead. More »

Soundsmith, Inc. will be demonstrating their line of phonographic cartridges during the High End Show between May 18 and May 20 in Munich Germany. Highlighting the demonstration will be the 7th Generation of their unique Strain Gauge cartridge, which uses an active voltage coursing through the body of the cartridge to help generate the musical signal. More »

VANA, Ltd. has announced the arrival in the USA of the European Audio Team (E.A.T) B-Sharp turntable, with features taken directly from the company’s award-winning C-Major turntable (which Janine reviewed for Hifi Pig last year). VANA went on to tell us “The B-Sharp sheds all of the non-essential cosmetic adornments of the C-Major without compromising performance or mechanical integrity, providing vinyl enthusiasts with a superb playback option at a more affordable price”. More »

In 2013 DS Audio launched the world’s only optical phono cartridge, the DS-W1. A further-advanced flagship model, the Master 1, followed in 2016. Now, the company is launching a new entry level design: the DS 002, drawing on innovations from the Master 1 while offering a more affordable way in to optical cartridge technology.
More »

Channel Islands Audio, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary, have announced the release of their PEQ 1 MKII MM/MC Phono Preamplifier. More »

roksponsmallVinyl Passion got in touch to let us know that The Vinyl Passion Music Room is the very first  UK Audio Technica Excellence retail centre, and one of only three dealers in the UK to be selected to demonstrate and stock the ART-1000 flagship cartridge. More »

Japan-based Immutable Music has long been renowned for its small but ‘outstandingly formed’ range of Transfiguration phono cartridges, whose design completely restructures the conventional moving coil (MC) concept. Now, the range is undergoing a number of enticing enhancements and first to arrive in the UK is the company’s flagship model, hand crafted in Japan, the Proteus. Their yokeless double-ring-magnet design provides an extremely accurate coil / magnet interface in which the coils are positioned right at the focal point of the magnetic flux field. This construction was conceived to remove the variations in flux introduced by traditional MC designs.

Transfiguration cartridges have always been about getting out of the way. Their flagship Proteus model was specifically designed to lack any of its own character. With its internal impedance of a mere 1 ohm, it concentrates instead on ‘extracting a recording’s every nuance with peerless musical realism’. Says designer Seiji Yoshioka, “The best audio components are those that simply don’t seem to exist – so good that they add nothing, subtract nothing.” So how exactly do you improve on that? This is the very question Yoshioka pondered, exploring in near-microscopic detail what could actually be changed in order to achieve an even more naturally revealing sound – yet without compromising the key fundamentals of a highly effective low-distortion design.

Proteus_cartridge_news_august2016

Two key areas revealed themselves as good for the task: the dampers and the coils. The Proteus features push-pull damping, with the existing model sporting double dampers made from a specially developed stabilising compound. The latter is insensitive to temperature changes and provides excellent stylus/coil alignment and control. In the new model, the dampers have been further fine-tuned. While the detail of their make-up is a closely-guarded secret, they now feature a multi-layered design composed of different types of elastomer, painstakingly constructed to deliver an even more precise tracking ability. At the same time, the purity of the 5N silver wire coils has also been upgraded – from 99.9993% to 99.9997% – in order to further remove distortion and enhance transparency. While these may seem like relatively small changes on paper, their combined impact, says Immutable Music, is anything but. And they should know, since the Proteus’ redesign involved long hours of extensive listening tests. “What we were looking for,” explains Yoshioka, “was even greater focus and accuracy. The ability to read yet more information without distortion and to deliver even more of the natural musicality that Transfiguration has become known for.” The results speak for themselves. “The new enhanced Proteus really goes to work on detail,” says Yoshioka. “It presents a larger soundstage, increased depth and more natural tonal colours – and ultimately, most important, an even more musically involving presentation.”

Technical specifications:

Body: Precision machined solid aluminium, resonance controlled

Cantilever: 0.3mm solid boron

Stylus: PA diamond 3 x 30µm

Core & coils: Ultra grade 3S-µ-metal square core with 5N silver coils

Magnet: Neodymium, front & rear

Weight: 7.8g

Electrical output voltage: 0.2mV (3.54cm/s, 1kHz)

Internal impedance: 1Ω

Frequency response: 10Hz – 20kHz + 1.5dB, 20Hz – 40kHz +2dB

Channel separation: > 30dB (200Hz – 1kHz)

Channel balance: < 0.5dB at 1kHz

Tracking ability: >70µm @ 2.0g @ 315Hz

Dynamic compliance: 13 x 10-6cm/dyne

Recommended tracking force: 2g

Optimum working temperature: 23 Celsius

Break-in period: 30 hours

 

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