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Audio Technica ART Series Phono Cartridges
By Bes Nievera

Two more new faces you'll see in our 2021 catalog lineup are a duet of cartridges that convey all the panache of Audio-Technica's approach to vinyl playback. While the company's ART-9XA and ART-9XI offer similar technologies, a few subtle touches give each model their own special voicing, and thus, entertain us in different ways.

ART-9XA
As the successor to the long-running ART-7, ART-9XA employs a non-magnetic core design free from magnetic distortion, allowing for natural timbre and a precise sound field. With a newly designed coil armature with an improved output voltage of 0.2mV (1 kHz, 5 cm/sec), the model's nude-mounted Shibata stylus exudes a rich tone throughout the frequency range as well as added channel separation for a wide soundstage. In addition, ART-9XA's dual moving coils are aligned in a "V" shape for superior fidelity. Other features include PCOCC coil wiring, a hybrid machined aluminum and high-rigidity plastic housing, threaded cartridge-mounting holes, and more. If you opt for ART-9XA, you will enjoy substantive increases in bass performance, coupled with a rich and tunefully articulate midrange and top end.

ART-9XI
ART-9XI is cut from the cloth of its predecessor, ART-9, and extends its legacy with pride. With a more robust .5mV output, ART-9XI offers additional micro and macro detail, exceptional channel separation and imaging, and wide dynamic contrasts. ART-9XI tightens the bass and adds more focus to the mids and top end, enabling superior dynamic range and presence for vocals and instruments. In tech speak, with its magnetic-core, neodymium magnet, and Permendur magnetic-alloy yoke, the cartridge keeps all the energy in the magnetic gap where the coils are located. Additional refinements include A-T's specially designed line-contact stylus mounted on an 0.28mm solid boron cantilever for precise tracking and resolution of musical detail. The cartridge also features a hybrid body made from a machined aluminum housing combined with high-rigidity polymer, a configuration that ensures stable playback and minimizes unwanted resonances.

Check out these cartridges for yourself and, for a bio on the company and its return to Music Direct, explore our 2019 brand profile.

As always, the conversation continues on our social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and You Tube.

December 9, 2020

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