Phasemation may be a new name in the UK, but is actually an old and well established Japanese audio maker which has been around since 1970, originally called Kyodo Denshi System and initially an test instrumentation manufacturer. Fast forward to the 1990s and the company became an OEM manufacturer of MC step-up transformers and D/A converters for internationally well-known audio brands. Latterly, the company offered its own products under the name ‘Phase Tech’ and in 2010 they changed the name to ‘Phasemation’. So, a reasonably long pedigree!
Why are we stocking Phasemation? The cartridges were brought to our attention by our friends at Ana Mighty Sound in France and it was some time before we tried the entry-level PP-300 cartridge. The first impression with any Phasemation product is the astonishing build quality – the cartridges have a jewel like quality that’s deeply impressive. They come nicely packaged, but not in a way that’s intended to cynically justify high pricing. All Phasemation cartridges are rather reasonably priced against established moving coil alternatives, and the T-300 step-up transformer is a genuine giant-killing bargain.
But, it’s the sound that marks Phasemation out as being refreshingly different to much of the moving coil cartridge competition. You may have noticed that many modern cartridges have a rather clinical and ‘etched’ character that’s a bit tiring. Phasemation cartridges have a lovely clear, modern sound but without any hint of a harsh ‘edge’ and they track vinyl grooves like a train. On top of that, Phasemation have managed to keep groove noise down to a very low level, and that’s really refreshing. Even the entry-level PP-300 is a true high-end performer, turning in a suave and elegant performance with great musical insight. One of our customers trialled our demonstration PP-300 and subsequently bought the PP-500, and he noted that the PP-300 is all the cartridge anyone would ever need …….. until they heard the PP-500!
Look at the specs of the Phasemation cartridges and they all look pretty much the same, but there are differences and these are largely down to generator and magnetic circuit design which do, genuinely, mean that going up the range delivers greater fidelity and musical insight. Of particular note is the improvement in spacial definition, imaging and localisation as you go up the range. Phasemation do mention phase coherence as a design aim and they do seem to have succeeded – these are remarkably ‘coherent’ sounding cartridges.
What about Miyajima? Have we fallen out of love with Miyajima cartridges? Not at all – Miyajimas are quite different animals, being genuinely low compliance designs that absolutely demand a high mass arm, where the Phasemations have a much broader tonearm compatibility. Phasemation and Miyajima sit logically alongside each other in our shop, catering for slightly different markets, but the important thing is that they both play real music, most beautifully.
We have the Phasemation PP-300 available for home demonstrations, so please get in touch (details at the top of this page) to arrange a home loan. If you like the PP-300, and we think you will, then like the customer mentioned above you will definitely love the PP-500 and other models!