Miyajima Takumi L Stereo Cartridge
Miyajima’s latest variation of the Takumi stereo cartridge – still closely related to the original Takumi but here fitted with an extended line contact stylus tip instead of the standard Takumi’s bonded elliptical. That results in a more ‘modern’ and extended top end frequency response, without sacrificing any of the core Miyajima characteristics that makes them so musical.
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
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.