Shelter Harmony MC Phono Cartridge
The MC phono cartridge explores unknown possibility of analog playback.
Ultimate Line is extreme MC phono cartridge series, the material structure renewed after almost a quarter of century by means of adopting ultra-degree hardness dry-carbon fiber to its housing while succeeding the fundamental motor system design philosophy of Shelter. The compression ratio of 60t class carbon fiber material used to Ultimate Line has far higher hardness than conventional 24t dry-carbon fiber, which material is the world-first time to use the phono cartridge. In addition to the dry-carbon fiber’s original characteristic of resonance free, high internal loss and elastic rate with superb shielding effect to external noise, the 60t carbon fiber used to Shelter Ultimate Line reproduces subtle signal without coloration and deep quietness, and its structure is effective to all other aspects in different dimension. The flagship model of Harmony is adopting innocent solid dry-carbon fiber for entire housing and affiliated model of Accord adopts the same material to its base plate. With adopting the leading-edge of carbon fiber technology available in Japan the Shelter MC phono cartridge explores unknown possibility of analog playback. We hope that you enjoy to listening the new reproduction ability through Shelter Ultimate Line.
Shelter’s flagship model, the Harmony, employs dry carbon fiber (CFRP) for the body shell. CFRP delivers a superb acoustic characteristic and is an ideal match with the newly designed motor assembly. This combination is capable of delivering a great musical reproduction even on records with less than optimal recordings.
Dry carbon, unlike wet carbon, is designed in layers and unique molding. Harmony, utilizing the CFRP, has a compression rating of 60-tons whereas the conventional process is only 24-tons. The benefit is that the resonant frequency of CFRP is outside of any audible frequency. In addition, it provides a high degree of internal damping along with superb isolation characteristics that protects the body from extraneous vibration and noise. Each of these design features ensure that the Harmony produces no coloration, and is whisper quiet and is extraordinarily sensitive to even the most demanding and subtle musical passages.
The motor assembly is an all-new design using hard aluminum cantilever and OFC wiring. Hard aluminum allows us to firmly affix the diamond stylus tip to a rigid, yet responsive bass. This allows the stylus to receive and reproduce every bit of information within the grooves of your favorite recordings. The length of the cantilever is slightly shorter than typical to increase the strength to output voltage ratio. Normal aluminum cantilevers often develop a tendency to make the playback sound slightly bigger, but the stylus chip is designed to line-contact with its curvature radius to 1.6 x 0.3mil (0.04 x 0.007mm) to achieve the best balance and increased tracking capability at the same time.
"As an audiophile, I find myself bowled over by sheer prowess of today's best phono cartridges. The Harmony MC features a body made of solid, carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. The result is a cartridge that sounds exceedingly detailed and nuanced, yet not at all 'analytical,' and offers expressive, explosive dynamics. The Harmony is one of the quietest cartridges I've heard, one that encourages you to focus on where the musical signal takes you. And that's the whole point!"
– Chris Martens, The Absolute Sound, Golden Ear Award