Recently retipped by Peter Ledermann owner and chief engineer at Soundsmith. The rebuild has about 30-40 hrs and is nicely broken in. It was mounted on a VPI Prime with 3d arm. Peter measured 35db of separation. This cartridge sounds fantastic!
Soundsmith Zephyr MkII Moving Iron Phono Cartridge
The Soundsmith Zephyr MkII phono cartridge employs "Trickle Down" Technology from a unique Energy Distribution System within the cartridge body - the same system as in the Soundsmith top-of-the-line Sussurro Cartridge. The Zephyr MkII is built using a selected "low mass contact line diamond" stylus design, mounted on a Boron cantilever - capable of truly remarkable separation, sound stage and imaging.
The composite body and unique energy distribution system contributes to the Zephyr MkII cartridge's ability to produce high-end performance from a moderately priced cartridge. Using technology found in Soundsmith's higher cost cartridges, the Zephyr MkII will provide a level of clarity and beauty from your vinyl that will make you take out your record collection and listen to it all over again.
Moving Iron Design
A Moving Iron cartridge design has both the magnets and the coils fixed in place. A very low-mass and extremely precisely wound iron cross is affixed to the cantilever/stylus assembly and placed between the magnets and coils; as the iron cross moves in the magnetic field it generates signal voltage. Since only the iron cross moves, more coil windings (higher output) and heavier magnets (more powerful) may be used without penalty. Other advantages to the MI design are very low moving mass (greater resolution) and superior channel separation (better imaging).
Moving Iron History
Also called Moving Micro Cross, the Moving Iron concept was first introduced by Bang & Olufsen in 1978 and granted a patent shortly thereafter. The ultra-high compliance of MI designs made them a great match with B&O's lightweight tonearms and, unfortunately, virtually unusable with modern (and heavier) tonearm designs. Thus, MI cartridges have never really entered the consciousness of audiophiles in the way that Moving Coil and Moving Magnet cartridges have, until now.
Made in the USA
Soundsmith is a specialty audio manufacturer located about an hour north of New York City. Founded in 1972, Soundsmith has achieved an enviable reputation in the audiophile world for outstanding sonic quality and extremely high-value products. Perhaps best known now for their work restoring cartridges and for their own line of Moving Iron cartridges, every Soundsmith product is hand-crafted in Soundsmith's Peekskill, NY factory by a carefully selected team of artisans and engineers.
Now available from Soundsmith Designer Peter Ledermann's DirectGrace Records, Recordings to Rescue Children: Elio Villafranca's Flower By the Dry River.
Stylus: Selected Contact Line low mass Nude Stylus
Radius of curvature: 6 x 17 µm
Recommended Tracking Force: 1.8-2.2 gm
Effective tip mass: 0.32 mg
Compliance: 10 µm/mN
Body material: Corian and Brass
Frequency Response: 15-45,000 Hz (±2.5 dB)
1000 Hz: >28 dB
50-15,000 >25 dB
Channel Difference: <1.0 dB
Output Voltage: 2.4 mV
Weight: 10.27 Gms
Load: => 47 kohms