Soundsmith Aida Moving Iron Phono Cartridge
Aida is a truly superb cartridge, rivaling even top designs with air, focus and soundstaging no cartridge at this price should be able to achieve. Astonishingly beautiful highs will raise the hairs on your neck, midrange focus and clarity will tug at your heart and lower frequencies which stir your soul, Aida is no ordinary cartridge. With a deft and delicate touch, Aida unravels even the most complex of passages, delivering a most passionate and powerful performance.
A Shapely Construct
Aida uses a very rare grind for her stylus, a Nude Optimized Contour Contact Line. This exotic shape is not found on cartridges at this price point, in fact only a few manufacturers even offer this stylus at all and those are on designs costing 3-4 times what Aida does. This stylus is an outstanding tracker, especially on inner grooves and is exceptional at reducing groove noise. High frequencies are breathtaking, with a sweetness and tonal accuracy unheard of at this level.
Aida is a medium weight cartridge at 6.8Gms making it compatible with a broad variety of tonearms and thanks to its 2.2mV output, Aida works well with most MM phono preamps. All Soundsmith cartridges are Made in the USA.
Moving Iron Design
A Moving Iron cartridge design has both the magnets and the coils fixed in place. A very low-mass and extremely precisely wound iron cross is affixed to the cantilever/stylus assembly and placed between the magnets and coils; as the iron cross moves in the magnetic field it generates signal voltage. Since only the iron cross moves, more coil windings (higher output) and heavier magnets (more powerful) may be used without penalty. Other advantages to the MI design are very low moving mass (greater resolution) and superior channel separation (better imaging).
Moving Iron History
Also called Moving Micro Cross, the Moving Iron concept was first introduced by Bang & Olufsen in 1978 and granted a patent shortly thereafter. The ultra-high compliance of MI designs made them a great match with B&O’s lightweight tonearms and, unfortunately, virtually unusable with modern (and heavier) tonearm designs. Thus, MI cartridges have never really entered the consciousness of audiophiles in the way that Moving Coil and Moving Magnet cartridges have, until now.
Made in the USA
Soundsmith is a specialty audio manufacturer located about an hour north of New York City. Founded in 1972, Soundsmith has achieved an enviable reputation in the audiophile world for outstanding sonic quality and extremely high-value products. Perhaps best known now for their work restoring cartridges and for their own line of Moving Iron cartridges, every Soundsmith product is hand-crafted in Soundsmith’s Peekskill, NY factory by a carefully selected team of artisans and engineers.
Now available from Soundsmith Designer Peter Ledermann's DirectGrace Records, Recordings to Rescue Children:
Elio Villafranca's Flower By the Dry River.