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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.
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 Coil 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.
Also available in dual-coil mono.
Available As Dual Coil Mono
Type: • Fixed Coil / Moving Iron
Mount: • Standard ½”Stylus: • Elliptical Nude, 0.12 mm squareRadius of Curvature: • 6 x 17 µmCantilever: • Aluminum AlloyRecommended Tracking Force: • 1.3 - 1.6 g Standard (Medium Compliance)• 1.0 - 1.2 g (Special Order High Compliance)Effective Tip Mass: • 0.35 mgCompliance: • 22 µm/mN (Medium Compliance)• 28 µm/mN (High Compliance)Frequence Response: • 15 - 45,000 Hz ± 2.0 dBChannel Separation @ 1000 Hz: • > 26 dB• N/A (Mono version)Channel Separation @ 50 - 15,000 Hz: • > 20 dB• N/A (Mono version)Channel Difference: • < 1.6 dB• < 1.0 dB (Mono version)Output Voltage @ 5cm/sec: • > 2.12 mV (HIGH)DC Resistance (DCR): • 680ΩCoil Inductance per channel: • 190 mHSuggested Preamp Gain: • 38 - 44 dBCartridge Weight: • 9.20 g (ES series)Recommended Load Resistance: • ≥ 47kΩRecommended Load Capacitance: • n/a
Due to Covid-19 there was quite a delay receiving the Soundsmith Carmen MkII cartridge but it was well worth the wait Visually it is stunning in appearance. I like the inserted bolt attachment holes that allows the bolts of varying length to pass through. I decided to fit the isolation pieces in the top of the carding, this has lead to no hum what so ever coming from the cartridge. Early impressions are excellent, it has a very detailed below sound, with no harness at high frequencies. I think matches my system well, having a Origin Live Aurora turntable, Origin live Onyx arm & Goldnote PH-10 phono amp. I have set the tracking weight to 1.55g and the VTA is currently level. My hearing is not quite at its beast as my ears are a bit blocked due to a sinus infection even so I love the sound straight out of the box. This has a similar sound to my AT33PTG II, but if I need a new stylus I can get it fitted for only 20% of the new cost which gives this product longevity.
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