Soundsmith Otello ES Series High-Output Phono Cartridge

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  • Brand: Soundsmith
  • Product Code: Otello ES Series Open-Box

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  • $359.99

  • $399.95

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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.

Otello ES Series

Made in  the USA. Rebuild Price? ~  $100 ~ Only 20% of MSRP, as always ! - The Otello features a 2 year warranty to the original owner.

Our entry level design captures more than its share of recorded beauty —by design. Big soundstage, detail and resolution at an affordable price.

The Otello is Soundsmith’s entry level Fixed Coil design, realizing an affordable pathway into the world of high-performance cartridges. Built by hand like all Soundsmith cartridges, the Otello provides a perfect balance of tone and resolution at a great price. The result is a cartridge that is at ease with any type of music. Just slightly warmer than other Soundsmith designs, Otello yields a richness of timbre that is utterly beguiling with a level of speed and dynamic range that no other cartridge in this price. The result? A wonderful design that gives the warmth of MM and the light-footedness of Moving Iron design.

Cartridge Type   Fixed Coil

Stylus Type  Elliptical

Output  High


Available As Dual Coil Mono  Yes


Additional Specifications


Type:                                         • Fixed Coil / Moving Iron

Mount:                                         • Standard ½”

Stylus:                                         • Elliptical Titanium Bonded, 0.20 mm round

Radius of Curvature:                 • 6 x 17 µm

Cantilever:                                 • Aluminum Alloy

Recommended Tracking Force: • 1.3 - 1.6 g Standard (Medium Compliance)

                                                        • 1.0 - 1.2 g (Special Order High Compliance)

Effective Tip Mass:                 • 0.50 mg

Compliance:                                 • 22 µm/mN (Medium Compliance)

                                                        • 28 µm/mN (High Compliance)

Frequence Response:                 • 20 - 20,000 Hz ± 2.5 dB

Channel Separation @ 1000 Hz: • > 24 dB

                                                        • N/A (Mono version)

Channel Separation @ 50 - 15,000 Hz   • > 20 dB

                                                                  • N/A (Mono version)

Channel Difference:                  • < 1.8 dB

                                                         • < 1.0 dB (Mono version)

Output Voltage @ 5cm/sec:          • > 2.12 mV (HIGH)

DC Resistance (DCR): • 680Ω

Coil Inductance per channel:  • 190 mH

Suggested Preamp Gain:          • 38 - 44 dB

Cartridge Weight:                          • 9.20 g (ES series)

Recommended Load Resistance: • ≥ 47kΩ

Recommended Load Capacitance: • n/a