Soundsmith Carmen mk II ES Series High-Output Phono Cartridge


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SKU: Carmen mk II ES Series
Brand: Soundsmith


Soundsmith ES Series

SOUNDSMITH Sets a New Sonic Bar with the ES Series —

“Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.” – Peter

The ES line features not only a dramatic new look, but is a
significant evolution of the DEMS system design (Dynamic Energy Management
System). All model names have been preserved, and pricing remains the same.

The new Soundsmith ES cartridge designs are a significant
advancement in cartridge performance due to their ability to direct internal
vibrational forces without reflection and disperse them properly to the tone
arm. The absence of reflections enables the stylus to stay in far greater
statistical contact with the groove walls — a critically important technical
refinement. Increased liquidity and reduced “grain,” without loss of detail are
some of the immediately discernible advantages of Soundsmith’s new ES models.

Every cartridge in the line now features the sleek new ES
body design and allows azimuth adjustment when used in tonearms that do not
permit it. The new ES body also allows an electrical isolation method for
tables that hum due to ground loops.

The upgrade is far more than cosmetic; the new shape is a
departure from the reflective and “boxy” design of many cartridges whose
internal construction contribute to uncontrolled vibrational issues adversely
effecting performance. Peter says, “Think of how singing in an open field
compares with singing in a shower.” Soundsmith has always challenged
conventions, looking deeper into nuances of cartridge design that dramatically
affect immediate and long term performance. These have included extreme
reductions of moving mass and the use of novel materials and designs. The new
ES lineup is a continuation of that research and development.

Carmen mk II ES Series

Created out of the desire to make a very high performance
design at an affordable price, the Carmen mk II was crafted to have
unparalleled purity of tone and ultra-smooth presentation. Just slightly lush
with a well-developed midrange, the Carmen is surprisingly pleasing
and will seduce you into long, late listening sessions.  Rebuild
Price? ~  $199
 ~ 20% (or less) of MSRP, as always ! 
The Carmen features a 2 year warranty to the original owner.

The stylus used is a large part of what makes it special; an
ultra-low mass occlusion free nude diamond cut and polished into a true
hyper-elliptical shape. The combination of low tip mass and the Fixed design
gives the Carmen a tremendous resolution advantage over MC designs selling for
more than twice the price. Housed in a handmade solid Ebony case, the Carmen

Cartridge Type

Fixed Coil

Stylus Type




Available As Dual
Coil Mono



Stylus: Nude
Elliptical, 0.120mm SQ
Radius of curvature: 6 x 17 μm
Cantilever: Aluminum Alloy
Recommended tracking force: 1.3 – 1.6 gm (standard medium
Compliance); 1.0 – 1.2 grams for special order High Compliance
Effective tip mass: 0.35 mg
Compliance: 28 μm/mN (high), 22 μm/mN (medium)
Frequency response: 15-45,000 Hz ± 2.5 dB
Channel separation (stereo only): 1000 Hz >26 dB, 50-15,000
>20 dB
Channel difference: <1.6 dB (Stereo), <1.0 dB (Mono)
Output voltage: 2.12 mV
Cartridge weight: 9.2 grams
Suggested Preamp Gain: 38-44 dB
Loading: ≥ 47 kΩ

DC Resistance (DRC): 680Ω

Additional information

Weight 0.00000000 lbs


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