Soundsmith Carmen mk II ES Series High-Output Phono Cartridge

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  • Brand: Soundsmith
  • Product Code: Carmen mk II ES Series

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  • $999.95


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Soundsmith ES Series

SOUNDSMITH Sets a New Sonic Bar with the ES Series —

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

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 delivers.

Cartridge Type

Fixed Coil

Stylus Type

Elliptical

Output

High

Available As Dual Coil Mono

Yes

Additional Specifications

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: 20-20,000 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: 6.8 grams
Stylus to Mounting Hole Offset: ≈ 10mm (0.4")
Loading: ≥ 47 kΩ