FREE AUDIO TECHNICA AT607 STYLUS CLEANING FLUID WITH THIS CARTRIDGE
We offer home demonstrations on Miyajima Takumi, Shilabe and Zero B Mono Cartridges – call or e-mail for details
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 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, whether we are talking about the entry level Kotetu mono or the truly astonishing Zero models.
Why Does a Mono Cartridge Make Any Difference?
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
Zero Monaural Reviews
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 for pre 1967 mono recordings
B version Stylus type : 0.7 mil conical for most post 1967 mono recordings
Compliance 100Hz : 8×10-6cm/dyne
Weight : 11.8g