Miyajima Infinity Mono Cartridge
The Infinity is Miyajima’s latest and finest monaural cartridge, and is a development and improvement of the Zero monaural cartridges. That’s quite a feat since the Zero is (in our opinion) possibly the finest cartridge available at any price, but of course it’s limited to mono playback and having no vertical compliance whatsoever will tend to damage stereo records!
Miyajima have increased the size and weight of the Infinity and optimised the single coil generator, compared to the Zero but electrically it is very similar. The rear of the cartridge has four conventional terminals so it’s easy to fit to tonearms or headshells wired for stereo pickups. The greater bulk of the Infinity can be a problem with some arms and headshells, so do ask if you are unsure, but in truth you are unlikely to have any problems with full size headshells such as those from Jelco or Timestep. All Miyajima mono cartridges will work best when paired with a dedicated mono step up transfomer, such as Miyajim’s own ETR-MONO.
The Infinity is available with either 1.0 mil or 0.7 mil tips, just like the Zero models. If you can only choose one type, then the 0.7 mil is the best overall compromise, but Miyajima’s recommendations on which size tip is best are as follows:
About stylus size of INFINITY MONO
0.7mil is suitable for reissued monaural LP and a monaural LP of after 1960.
1.0mil is suitable for the monaural LP of a deep groove first press of the 1950s.
However, both styli can trace the monaural LP of all generations without a problem.
When you listen to the monaural LP of all generations, we recommend 0.7mil.
When you listen to a monaural LP of the first press of the 1950s mainly, we recommend 1.0mil.
What Makes Miyajima Mono Cartridges Special?
Miyajima mono cartridges are true mono designs, which means they have only one coil that operates in the lateral plane only. They have no vertical compliance and cannot therefore be used to play stereo records (to do so will cause damage to a stereo groove). Asking the stylus to do only one thing, eg wiggle from side to side, means that it is totally insensitive to vertical movement in the groove, and that manifests as very low groove noise, as well as very faithful tracking of the groove modulations. Most mono cartridges are actually modified stereo designs that have some vertical compliance, and which will pick up vertical groove modulations which are almost certainly noise, dust, damage etc, so in reality a compromise but still probably better than playing a mono LP with a stereo cartridge. Miyajima mono cartridges don’t have any such compromises and are characterised by very low distortion and very low surface noise. Prepare to be amazed at how good old, seemingly damaged mono LPs play with these Miyajima true mono cartridges.
Stereo cartridges will make a good fist of playing mono records, but it’s a compromise. A good mono cartridge does one thing – play mono records – better than a stereo one. Paul Rigby wrote a very good piece titled “Is It Time For Mono?” explaining this far better than I can, and you can read it HERE. He summarised the piece by stating “A good quality mono recording makes stereo pressings sound rather gimmicky and toy-like in comparison. I now wonder what I’ve been missing all these years. More than that, at these prices, a steal…a complete steal, the relative improvement in performance is quite astounding.” Miyajima mono cartridges give you that mono magic, just like their stereo brethren do for stereo records. Truly magical stuff
Body type : African blackwood
Frequency response : 20Hz – 20KHz
Output level : 0.4mV
Impedance : 6 ohm
Recommended load : 100 ohm
Tracking force : 2.0 – 4.5g 3.5g recommended
A version Stylus type : 1.0 mil conical
B version Stylus type : 0.7 mil conical
Compliance 100Hz : 8×10-6cm/dyne
Weight : 14.8g
Miyajima cartridges are just as likely as any other cartridge to wear out over time, or to suffer accidental damage, so buyers need to be assured that the manufacturer offers an efficient and good value repair and servicing service. This is most important in the case of Miyajima stereo cartridges because the unique way that the generator system is designed and built means that only Miyajima themselves are able to undertake proper servicing, adjustment and repairs. While a third part cartridge re-tipper may be able to fit a new tip to a Miyajima stereo cartridge, they cannot adjust the coils and suspension to suit the new tip, so you as the customer will most likely not get a satisfactory result. We therefore recommend that all Miyajima servicing is done by Miyajima in Japan.
All new Miyajima cartridges supplied in the UK are warranted for 2 years from the date of purchase, against manufacturing defects, and that UK warranty is transferable so not restricted to the original buyer. Miyajima only honour the warranty in the country that a cartridge was originally supplied in, in our case the UK, so any ‘grey imports’ are not covered by any warranty at all and Miyajima do keep records of serial numbers to enforce this policy.
Miyajima’s 2 year warranty does not cover wear and tear, nor accidental damage, so Miyajima UK have come up with what we believe is a very fair offer for customers requiring cartridge servicing, as follows:
- Examination, testing and simple adjustment – just a nominal charge to cover actual postage costs between Miyajima UK and Miyajima in Japan and return. We will confirm that cost in each instance and if the cartridge return coincides with a regular shipment from Japan, then we won’t charge for that postal leg.
- Full service/repair – where a cartridge is worn out or damaged (outside the terms of the warranty) and cannot simply be adjusted back to the manufacturer’s specifications, Miyajima UK will offer a new replacement cartridge at 50% of the current UK retail price. This offer is available only to the original purchaser and not to any subsequent owners.
- In all cases, we send cartridges back to Miyajima in Japan for examination and testing.
If any of that is not clear, or if you have any questions, please get in touch using the contact details at the top of this page.