MIYAJIMA: Artisan moving coil cartridges

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Japan-based Miyajima has been making phono cartridges for more than three decades. Although they were only discovered by American and European audiophiles in recent years, they have since received rave reviews all over the world and deservedly so.

With several patents under his belt, Noriyuki Miyajima is a passionate music-lover and a true artisan manufacturer. His cartridges are individually designed to produce stunning results not only from modern stereo LPs but equally from vintage mono and 78 rpm records. In fact, the company’s very first cartridges were true mono designs, making Miyajima almost unique: of the few manufacturers to make mono cartridges, many produce them as an add-on to an existing stereo range, usually in the form of modified stereo designs.

Every Miyajima cartridge is handcrafted in-house by a dedicated full-time team of six based in in Fukuoka, Japan. The cartridge bodies are individually precision-milled from rare and exotic tonewoods including ebony, rosewood and African blackwood (mpingo). These deep and natural materials lend a vibrant and natural tonality to the sound.

The generator system in the stereo cartridges features a patented Miyajima cross-ring design in which the cantilever fulcrum and coils are exactly positioned in the centre of the magnetic field. Similarly, the mono cartridges feature an equally unique design: Miyajima vertical axis concentration, which ensures that the cartridge responds accurately to the horizontal modulation of a mono signal.

All cartridges are then finished using the finest diamonds of a type and size specifically selected for each application. Finally, every single cartridge is tested electrically and using high powered microscopes in order to ensure that it meets the impressive specification.

“It was a real joy to discover Miyajima cartridges and I’m absolutely delighted to be now bringing the range to the UK market,” says Dave Cawley of Timestep, Miyajima’s new UK distributor. “I have the greatest respect for Noriyuki Miyajima, whose passion drives him to seek the very best musical performance from the older disc formats. Using a properly designed mono cartridge to replay mono records results in a sound that simply can’t be matched by using a stereo cartridge. There’s something really special about that marriage of vintage classics with cutting-edge technology. You can’t beat it.”

Timestep Distribution / Viewpoint House / Yorke Road / Dartmouth / TQ6 9HN

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