London Decca Super Gold Cartridge
Other cartridges (both moving coil and moving magnet) have styli mounted on the long end of a thin tube (cantilever) which works like a lopsided "see-saw." The short end of the cantilever attaches to either a coil of wire or a magnet. At the fulcrum point, a flexible "rubbery" sleeve functions as a pivot, allowing the stylus/cantilever assembly to respond to the "wiggles" in the LP groove. Because the front section of the cantilever, which holds the stylus, is much longer than the rear section that is attached to the coil or magnet, a large movement of the stylus is transformed to a smaller movement at the coil or magnet, possibly causing cantilever-design cartridges to sound dynamically compressed and lacking in transient attack. London Decca's engineers advise that this problem with dynamics and transients is compounded by the cantilever's "rubbery" fulcrum point which tends to absorb a significant amount of the stylus-generated motion before it can reach the coil/magnet electrical generator assembly. Also, a smearing of the sound is said to occur, which many folks refer to as "cantilever haze."
The Super Gold has no long cantilever and no "rubbery" fulcrum point to absorb, dissipate and smear the vital musical energy. Instead, the stylus is attached directly to a magnetically active metal support just a few microns thick (armature) which passes through the center of the main generating coil positioned only about 1 millimeter above the stylus! The stylus motion is not inverted or "transformed" to a smaller value, as in long cantilever designs. Flowing from this immediate positive-direct scanning of the groove is a breathtaking, lifelike quality. The listener tends to feel that the performing artists are actually in the same room, with a startling, palpable presence.
The Super Gold uses line-contact, polished, grain-oriented diamond stylus similar to the Jubilee's, mated to less costly generator coils and housing. If you have never heard the $2875 London Decca Jubilee, you may well think the Super Gold is the world's best cartridge! Subjectively, it offers 90% of Jubilee's unrivaled musical realism.
- Stylus: extended line-contact
- Frequency range: 20Hz to 40kHz
- Output: 5mV
- VTF: 1.8g
- Weight: 6.7g