Phasemation PP-500 Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge

£2,025.00

Phasemation’s PP-500 stereo moving coil cartridge.  An outstanding cartridge being cultured, refined and above all musical with low surface noise, still at a reasonable price.  More subtlety, finesse and better soundstaging compared to the entry-level PP-300.  Free UK shipping.

Available on back-order

Description

Phasemation PP-500 Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge

Who Are Phasemation?

Phasemation may be a new name in the UK, but is actually an old and well established Japanese audio maker which has been around since 1970, originally called Kyodo Denshi System and initially an test instrumentation manufacturer. Fast forward to the 1990s and the company became an OEM manufacturer of MC step-up transformers and D/A converters for internationally well-known audio brands.
In 2002, the company started its own high-end audio brand, then called Phase Tech, and in the next few years they produced their first MC Phono Cartridge, the P-1, followed quickly by the Phase Tech T-1 MC step-up transformer. In the following year, Phase Tech produced a CD transport and EA-1 tube phono equaliser. The first MC phono cartridge, Phase Tech P-3 was released in 2005 and updated and improved in 2007 as the P-3G.

In late 2010, Phase Tech became Phasemation. The following year, the Phasemation PP-1000 cartridge was released, being essentially an update of the original P-1 but with a signifivantly re-designed magnetic circuit. In 2012 the PP-300 cartridge was released, as an entry-level product but still based on the PP-1000. In 2015, the ‘flagship’ PP-2000 cartridge appeared, building on the PP-1000 but with a different magnetic yoke and circuit. The following year the PP-500 cartridge was released, and this model is a ‘trickle down’ design based very much on the PP-2000.

Phasemation have produced many more high-end audio products over the years which can be seen at www.phasemation.com but here at Ammonite Audio we are mostly interested in the moving coil cartridges and step-up transformers, which offer a really good balance of fine musical performance and value, particularly when seen against much of the high-end alternatives on offer by other companies.

Phasemation PP-500 Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge

The PP-500 is the second model in Phasemation’s range of high end pickup cartridges, and is significant because it is derived from the top end PP-2000 model and it is therefore one of the company’s newest designs.  Following on from the entry-level PP-300 the PP-500 can and does compete with much pricer cartridges, and is a truly high end product in all but price.  Like all Phasemation cartridges it marries exquisite build quality with a delicate, yet muscular and above all musical sound, with notably low surface noise (a refreshing trait, in our view).  How does it compare to the cheaper PP-300 in terms of sound?  Well, our experience is that the PP-500 shares the same essential ‘cultured’ character of the PP-300, but it’s more musically subtle with greater finesse and better soundstaging.  For anyone who has become a little weary of high end moving coil cartridges that feel like they have an artificially ‘etched’ and harsh sound character, Phasemation offer a range of modern sounding cartridges that always remain delicate and sweet sounding, without being overly ‘warm’.

Phasemation cartridges work with most modern arms having medium to high effective mass.   Phasemation give their compliance figures expressed at 100Hz (as do most Japanese makers), but according to our measurements the compliance at 10Hz is 14.10^-6cm/dyne, which makes them pretty much medium compliance cartridges. All Phasemation cartridges work very well with Jelco TK-850 or Jelco TK-950 tonearms, but really come to life in the heavier Timestep tonearms.  Phasemation cartridges have a healthy output of 0.3mV making them easy to match with most MC phonostages and moving coil step-up transformers.  Phasemation’s T-300 transformer is ideal, and reasonably priced, and the Miyajima ETR-STEREO is a really lovely partner.

Main Features

  • The PP-500 magnetic circuit is derived from the latest Phasemation PP-2000 design, with a redesigned yoke and samarium-cobalt magnet
  • The cantilever made of pure boron and the coils are wound on a pure iron bobbin with 6N oxygen-free copper wire
  • Like all Phasemation cartridges, the body is precisely machined from duralumin with a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon)* coating, which increases structural rigidity and gives beneficial vibration-damping characteristics.  *Diamond Like Carbon is a generic name for a very hard carbon film to be produced by vapour phase deposition.

Free Examination and Adjustment Service

All Phasemation cartridges bought from Ammonite Audio qualify for a free examination/health check and adjustment service at 2 years, carried out by our friends at Ana Mighty Sound in France.  The tip is examined for wear and damage, the coils are tested and adjusted and the suspension is re-set if necessary, all to bring the cartridge to its original specification.  This service does not include any repairs due to damage or misuse.

Product Specifications

Magneto Method:  Moving Coil
Coil Impedance: 4 ohm
Recommended Stylus Pressure: 1.7g to 2.0 g
Output Voltage:  0.28 mV or more(1 kHz, 50 mm/s, Horizontal direction)
Compliance:  8.0(e-6)cm/dyne @100 Hz, 14.10(e-6)cm/dyne @10Hz
Playable Frequency Range: 10Hz to 30kHz
Separation: 30 dB or more (1 kHz)
Channel Balance: 1 dB or less (1 kHz)
Mass of Body: 11.3 g
Cantilever: Pure boron 0.26mm diameter
Magnet: Samarium Cobalt
Magnetic Circuit Material: Permendur
Stylus Tip:  Nude diamond, line contact, curvature: 0.03 x 0.003 mm

 

1 review for Phasemation PP-500 Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge

  1. Hermit

    A couple of weeks ago I took delivery of a Phasemation PP-500 cartridge from Hugo of Ammonite Audio. As there is not much info to be found on this cartridge on the web I thought I would outline my thoughts on this wee gem.

    The background is that I was looking for a cartridge to replace my Kiseki Purpleheart NOS. I had racked up about 700 hours on the Kiseki and was uneasy about continuing to run it flat out and then re-tip it as it will only be original once so I decided to put it into semi retirement.

    I stumbled on Phasemation cartridges thanks to a report by Kedar (bonzo75) on his visit to Anamighty Sound in Paris. I was browsing their website and noticed that the Phasemation range was an ideal match to my SUT. More googling revealed that Hugo was the UK agent and even better he had a Phasemation PP-300 that I could try at home. I found that the PP-300 had a similar tonal balance to the Kiseki which pleased me. It had a lovely weight to it on piano for example and the texture of a bow on double bass was spot on. Overall it sounds refined and open with plenty of inner detail on cymbals but not forward or etched sounding. I found it very natural sounding with good dynamics. It was quiet in the groove and forgiving of poor pressings. The longer I spent with the cartridge the more I liked it so I decided to order the PP-500.

    I now have around 50 hours on my PP-500 and am really delighted with it. The PP-300 images well but its big brother really takes it up a notch. The PP-500 also offers greater presence or impact which may explain why it feels subjectively faster than the PP-300. Piano, bass and drums have real scale and authority. The image is so precise, it’s uncanny. Horns leap out at you. Quite awesome. The PP-500 just sounds very natural and really convincing. A friend called it bombastic. It certainly has real presence and bite but remains refined with a lovely midrange and sweet treble. It deciphers complex passages well always maintaining a convincing soundstage. Very impressive.

    Both of these cartridges veer more towards the musical end of the spectrum rather than the analytical. The music really flows. Both seem to me to offer great value at their price point. I would urge anyone thinking of buying a cartridge at these price points to contact Hugo and ask for a home trial of the PP-300. Hugo was great to deal with and provided an excellent service.

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