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All Grado cartridges use a derivation of the moving iron principle which features patented optimized transmission line cantilever technology, pivoted fixed axial stylus-generator module, and Grado's flux-bridger generator system.
The Reference Series 2 of wooden cartridges are hand-crafted at Grado Labs from a Australian Jarrah wood. An intricate procedure of curing is done between production steps to achieve optimal sonic quality. This series generator/stylus module is not replaceable allowing a redesigned one-piece magnetic circuit and a reduction of chassis resonances. The Reference Series2 utilizes manufacturing and assembly techniques that result is musical perfection. The Reference Series2 should be used with only the finest equipment. Recommended tracking force 1.5 to 1.9 grams.
All Reference Series 2 cartridges offer a low mass generating system, and a diamond cut specially for Grado. In addition the Reference2 and Master2 are installed with a boron cantilever. The output for the Reference Series2 measures at 5 mV. The frequency information and its portrayal of bass dynamics are solid, powerful and authoritative. The midrange is rich, complex and highly believable. Its top-end seems to extend forever with speed and remarkable delicacy. Imaging is detailed and precise with a sound stage that wraps its arms around you and draws you into the music.
The Master2 and Reference2 models use a five piece OTL cantilever technology achieving an additional 5% tip mass reduction over the Platinum2 and Sonata2 models. The coils are wound with ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire. The Master2 model is mounted with Grado's specially designed nude elliptical diamond, and the Reference1 model uses Grado's true ellipsoid design diamond. These cartridges are individually calibrated.
Grado's Statement and Reference Series Phono Cartridges
These series of wooden cartridges are a fixed coil design, hand-crafted at our labs from a specially selected species of mahogany. An intricate procedure of curing is done between production steps to achieve optimal sonic quality. Unlike the Prestige series, these series generator/stylus module is not replaceable* allowing a redesigned one piece magnetic circuit and a reduction of chassis resonances. The Statement and Reference series utilizes manufacturing and assembly techniques of fantastic accuracy and precision, the result is virtual perfection in a phono pickup … truly the world's finest. Should be used only with the finest equipment. Recommended tracking force 3/4 to 2 grams.
Hand-Built in USA with 100% Quality Control
Each individual cartridge manufactured by Grado is hand assembled and tested for frequency response, channel output, channel balance, phase linearity, inductance and resistance. This meticulous care in design and construction lavished on each Grado cartridge contributes to an unchallenged consistency of performance and guarantee of reliability.
Optimized Transmission Line (OTL) Stylus/Cantilever
Grado's OTL provides an ideal transfer of the signal from point to point, e.g., stylus to cantilever to magnet to coils, etc. This has been achieved by eliminating resonance at each of these key junctions. The transmission line cantilever consists of separate sections that are telescoped into each other. All sections are made of different alloys, some sections hollow, other sections solid. These sections are bonded together with materials that act as dampers, and are coated with a black proprietary material which controls and absorbs resonances that travel on the surface of the cantilever (known as skin effects). The OTL stylus/cantilever design will make your records sound quieter, improve the height, width, and depth of the soundstage, and offer more detail than previously obtainable. Cartridge Holography does exist...and that is what GradoÕs OTL technology is all about, more performance.
Pivoted Fixed Axial Cantilever Stylus-Generator
This design feature is basically quite simple. The "OTL" cantilever shaft is brought to a fixed axial pivot that supports the entire cantilever assembly. A miniature element attached to the end of the cantilever can move freely within the lines of flux of a stationary magnet and coil structure.
This system of support is mechanically more accurate (more linear) than conventional "teeter-totter" designs that utilize an iron armature to balance the mass of the cantilever. The teeter-totter design is supported in the center with a rubber donut mounting. The fixed axial design has a very low tip mass, which results in lower distortion, improved transient response, and longer record life. This proprietary design allows the implementation of the Flux-Bridger Generator System!
Flux-Bridger Generator System
The Flux-Bridger design uses four separate magnetic gaps that the miniature element of the cantilever bridges. The miniature element moves between opposing flux gaps creating an increase in flux in one gap while reducing it in the other. The four separate magnetic gaps create a highly efficient and perfectly balanced system. This design requires fewer coil turns than conventional designs.
Fewer coil turns allow Grado cartridges to have lower mass and lower electrical inductance, making them insensitive to tone arm cable capacitance. The four-gap design is perfectly balanced and eliminates magnetic residue which contributes to increasing distortion over longer time periods. Grado cartridges reduce distortions that cause listeners fatigue.
*All wooden series cartridges are 0.5" mount. 78 RPM styli are not available with these series. All re-tipping on the Statement and Reference series will be done by Grado.