Miyajima Kansui Stereo Cartridge


Available to order. The Kansui cartridge is a subtle variation on the Shilabe having a slightly softer, more ‘thoughtful’ character that really works with small ensemble music and intimate jazz, giving real musical insight.  Stereophile Class A recommended component.  UK Sales Only

Available on back-order

SKU: MIY_KAN Category:




Noriyuki Miyajima has had a love of music forever, first as a hobby, then as a specialist dealer and more recently as a manufacturer.  Using real wood, diamonds and delicate coils, Noriyuki prides himself on honesty.  With several patents and a passion that is most clear, Miyajima cartridges have had rave reviews all over the world and deservedly so.  Unlike some cartridge brands Miyajima are made in-house with six dedicated full-time people.  The cartridge bodies are milled using three Roland Camm-3 CNC milling machines; the cartridges are assembled by hand.  Microscopic inspection and full electrical tests are carried out to ensure every cartridge meets or exceeds its published specification.

African blackwood is also known as mpingo and made famous by Shun Mook.  According to the BBC “The wood from Tanzania’s mpingo tree is used to make flutes, clarinets, oboes and even bagpipes, making it one of the most valuable plants in the world” and “musicians and musical instrument makers value the timber for its unique tonal qualities”  Miyajima use mpingo in their top-of-the-range cartridges because they believe it is the best wood available.

What Makes Miyajima Cartridges Special?

There is nothing unique about using African Blackwood for cartridge bodies, but Miyajima cartridges have a unique, patented design that really is different to any other moving coil cartridge available.  Miyajima understood that traditional moving coil cartridges suffer from resonances and distortion, firstly due to the tie-wire that typically holds the cantilever and coil assembly against the magnet pole piece with a compliant insert between to allow some movement.  The tie wire has to be very precisely tightened so that the coil assembly is correctly aligned, but its disadvantage is that it resonates, introducing distortion.  The second source of distortion is the typical iron coil former of a moving coil cartridge, which actually distorts the lines of magnetic flux between the pole pieces, as it moves through those lines.  Miyajima have a patented cross ring coil structure that has a non-magnetic core, neatly side-stepping this problem.  The next innovation was to eliminate the tie-wire altogether.  Instead, Miyajima use a pointed slide bar that  locates the coil assembly very precisely from behind at its pivot point, which is also the centre point of the magnet, while gently pushing the coil assembly against a compliant insert.  This means that the coil assembly can pivot unimpeded by a tensioning wire.  Here is a helpful animation showing how Miyajima cartridges work:

What’s The End Result?

Miyajima cartridges really do have dramatically lower distortion, compared to other MC cartridges, and these can sound like CD in comparison.  The sound is smooth, but don’t think that they are ‘rolled off’ or lacking in ‘bite’ – the smoothness is a reflection of the low distortion.  Miyajima cartridges are effortlessly musical too

How Does the Kansui Sound?

The Kansui shares the sweet, low distortion nature that is characteristic of Miyajima’s patented and innovative design.  It is, however, a different beast compared to the Shilabe.  Where the Shilabe really thrives on dynamic contrasts, complicated rhythms and has a lovely broad tonal palette, the Kansui has a gentler and perhaps more thoughtful character that really pays off with intimate jazz and ensemble classical music, giving great insight into the music.  For orchestral classical and modern pop/rock music, we prefer the Shilabe with its more expressive character.  It’s all Horses for Courses!

 Kansui Reviews


Kansui Specifications

Body type : African blackwood
Frequency response : 20Hz to 32kHz
Output level : 0.23mV
Impedance : 16 ohms
Recommended load : 100 ohms
Tracking force : 2.0 – 2.5 2.25g recommended
Stylus type : Shibata
Compliance 10Hz : 9×10-6cm/dyne
Weight : 10.4g


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