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. Paul Rigby reviewed the original Takumi here, and gave it a ‘Groovy’ award.
The Takumi L is a new product, only released in July 2018. It is essentially the entry-level Takumi, but with a nude line contact stylus (as also used in the new Saboten L) fitted. This means lower total tip mass compared to the standard Takumi’s bonded elliptical tip, and that translates into a noticeably extended HF response. So, the Takumi L offers a similar character to the Saboten L, eg a ‘modern’ sound that retains all the core virtues of Miyajima stereo cartridges, such as very low distortion and peerless musical expression, all at a reasonable price.
No reviews yet, as at July 2018
Takumi L Specifications
Body type : African blackwood
Frequency response : 20Hz to 32kHz
Output level : 0.21 mV
Impedance : 16 ohms
Recommended load : >100 ohms
Tracking force : 2.0 – 2.5g 2.3g recommended
Stylus type : Nude Line Contact
Compliance 10Hz : 9×10-6cm/dyne
Weight : 8.9g