Soundsmith - The Zephyr III MI Phono Cartridge - High Output Low Compliance

 (Nude CL Stylus/Boron Cantilever)




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The Absolute Sound - 2012 Editors' Choice Awards

Same price as the BOHEME but a different animal. The new “Z/II” is a Low Compliance cartridge that was designed to work extremely well with both “unipivot” and standard “bearing” tonearms. The Z/II is the first SOUNDSMITH cartridge to utilize a boron cantilever coupled with a low-mass contact-line stylus providing the same speed and tracking ability that one has come to expect from this artisanal US company.


Technical Specifications

  • Stylus:     Nude Contact Line; 0.120 mm SQ
  • Radius of curvature:     6 X 17 mm
  • Cantilever:     Boron
  • Recommended Tracking Force:     1.6 - 2.0 Grams (1.8 typical)
  • Effective Tip Mass:     0.35 mg
  • Compliance:     10 mm/mN
  • Frequency response:     20-20,000 Hz +/- 2.5 dB
  • Channel Separation:     1000 Hz is > 36 dB & 50-15,000 Hz is > 20 dB
  • Channel difference:     < 1.0 dB Stereo
  • Output voltage:     > 2.2 mV@5/cm/sec.
  • 5 cm/sec. Lat. RMS:     > 2.12 mV
  • Cartridge weight:     10.27 grams
  • Load Resistance:     >/= 47k Ohms
  • Load Capacitance:     100-200 pF

Customer Reviews (4.00 Stars) 1 person(s) rated this product.

Great sound, wonderful value !!

posted on 12/28/2011
4 Stars
The Zephyr moving iron cartridge proves that high performance need not be constrained by high price. Yes there are phono cartridges which sell for 2x to 5x times the price of the Zephyr, but they offer little more in ultimate sound quality. Perhaps a bit more translucent sound or extension at frequency extremes (emphasize a bit). Trackability and mechanical silence are first rate. The Zephyr's design facilitates setup. My Zephyr is mounted in a V.P.I. Classic 3 tonearm/turntable. While I will continue to experiment with other cartridges in the future, I doubt I will find another cartridge which offers all the Zephyr's virtues at so reasonable a price.

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