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(Details shown apply to the default selection)
The Zephyr Star, which weighs 10.27 grams, features a Sapphire cantilever .....laser drilled to accept the Selected Contact Line low mass nude stylus, and borrows much of its internal technology from the $4800 Sussurro cartridge that I reviewed some time ago in Stereophile. The Zephyr Star’s compliance is suitably low at 10µm/mN, its rated channel separation at 1K is rated at greater than 28dB and 25dB between 50Hz and 15kHz.
The name is an acronym for “Moving Iron for Moving Coil preamps). In other words, with its .4mV output, the MIMC should be used with a moving coil phono preamp capable of producing between 58-64dBs of gain.
Zephyr MIMC was our entry-level to the high-performance world of Soundsmith's MC-pre-compatible, low-output cartridges. It brought a very nice portion of the performance available in our higher-end MC-compatible cartridges (Paua, Sussurro, Hyperion) to the more affordable sub-$2k category. Recently, Peter Ledermann decided to see if he could stretch the limits of the MIMC's performance even higher without stretching past the $2k price point ... little did any of us know how far he would be able to take it! The updated Zephyr MIMC ☆ smashes through sonic barriers with its new laser-drilled Sapphire cantilever and select nude Contact-Line diamond stylus! This is probably the most important Soundsmith model to have in your arsenal. It brings an astounding portion of the performance available only in our top-level low output cartridges, and it does it for just $1,999 retail (USD) !
Available As Dual Coil Mono
Type: • Fixed Coil / Moving IronMount: • Standard ½”Stylus: • Selected Contact Line low mass Nude StylusRadius of Curvature: • 6 x 17 µmCantilever: • Laser Drilled SapphireRecommended Tracking Force: • 1.8 - 2.2 gEffective Tip Mass: • 0.32 mgCompliance: • 10 µm/mNFrequence Response: • 15 - 45,000 Hz ± 2.0 dBChannel Separation @ 1000 Hz: • > 28 dB• N/A (Mono version)Channel Separation @ 50 - 15,000 Hz: • > 25 dB• N/A (Mono version)Channel Difference: • < 1.0 dB• < 0.5 dB (Dual Mono w/optimal VTF setting)Output Voltage @ 5cm/sec: • > 0.40 mV (LOW)DC Resistance (DCR): • 10ΩCoil Inductance per channel: • 2.75 mHSuggested Preamp Gain: • 58 - 64 dBCartridge Weight: • 12.2 g (ES series)Recommended Load Resistance: • ≥ 470ΩRecommended Load Capacitance: • n/a
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