High-End Analog Sound for a Low-Cost Price: Grado Black v2 Phono Cartridge (P-Mount) Features Optimized Transmission Line and Flux-Bridger Generation System for Great Tonal Balance
Among the best sub-$100 cartridges on the market, Grado Prestige Series Black v2 phono cartridge (P-mount) features an elliptical diamond and a three-piece OTL cantilever. Prestige Series is designed for high output and excellent stability under severe use. A considerable tip mass reduction results in a frequency response to 50kHz and beyond and tracking forces from 1-2 grams. All Grado Prestige styli are user replaceable over the course of their lifetime.
“If it were a lot more expensive, it has the kind of sound around which cults readily develop.”
—Paul Seydor, The Absolute Sound, July/August 2018
"This cartridge rose to the challenge with very little muddling of detail. The Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab audiophile remastering of Sir Georg Solti's 1978 Decca recording of Holst's 'The Planets' (MFSL 1-510) explores the full gamut of frequencies , dynamics and ambient depth. The Grado brought out most of the tonal accuracy and excitement and though I have heard it better reproduced, that was only with cartridges costing about 10 times the price."
—John Borwick, Gramophone
Grado's Optimized Transmission Line (OTL) provides an ideal transfer of the signal from point to point, e.g., stylus to cantilever to magnet to coils, etc. This has been achieved by eliminating resonance at each of these key junctions. The transmission line cantilever consists of separate sections that are telescoped into each other. All sections are made of different alloys, some sections hollow, other sections solid. These sections are bonded together with materials that act as dampers, and are coated with a black proprietary material which controls and absorbs resonances that travel on the surface of the cantilever (known as skin effects). The OTL stylus/cantilever design will make your records sound quieter, improve the height, width, and depth of the soundstage, and offer more detail than previously obtainable.
The Pivoted Fixed Axial Cantilever Stylus-Generator is basically quite simple. The 'OTL' cantilever shaft is brought to a fixed axial pivot that supports the entire cantilever assembly. A miniature element attached to the end of the cantilever is allowed to move freely within the lines of flux of a stationary magnetand coil structure. This system of support is mechanically more accurate (more linear) than conventional 'teeter-totter' designs that utilize an iron armature to balance the mass of the cantilever. The teeter-totter design is supported in the center with a rubber donut mounting. The fixed axial design has a very low tip mass, which results in lower distortion, improved transient response, and longer record life.
The Flux-Bridger Generator System design uses four separate magnetic gaps that the miniature element of the cantilever bridges. The miniature element moves between opposing flux gaps creating an increase in flux in one gap while reducing it in the other. The four separate magnetic gaps create a highly efficient and perfectly balanced system. This design requires fewer coil turns than conventional designs. Fewer coil turns allow Grado cartridges to have lower mass and lower electrical inductance, making them insensitive to tone arm cable capacitance. The four gap design is perfectly balanced and eliminates magnetic residue which contributes to increasing distortion over longer time periods. Grado cartridges reduce distortions that cause listener fatigue.
Each individual cartridge manufactured by Grado is hand assembled and tested for frequency response, channel output, channel balance, phase linearity, inductance and resistance. This meticulous care in design and construction lavished on each Grado cartridge contributes to an unchallenged consistency of performance and guarantee of reliability.