Considering the the reputation of Sumiko's venerable Blue Point and Blackbird moving-coil cartridges, its easy to see how their more affordable line of moving magnet cartridges is so often overlooked. It's fair to say that manufacturers like Ortofon, Grado, and Audio-Technica dominate the market for moving magnet cartridges, but the Sumiko Pearl is certainly a capable competitor.
With smooth presentation and a warm mid-range, the Pearl also does a great job of reducing surface noise without sacrificing detail at high frequencies. Improved channel separation allows for fantastic stereo imaging, while the elliptical stylus and wide frequency response (12 – 30Khz) extract and present a surprising level of depth, with strong rhythm sections and bass.
Cartridge Type MM
Frequency Response (Hz) 12Hz-30kHz
Output Voltage/Channel (mV) 5mV
Channel Separation (dB) 30dB
Channel Balance (dB) 0,5dB
Stylus size/shape (mil) Elp. 0,2x0,8mm
Load Impedance 47kOhm
Tracking Force Range (grams) 1.5 - 2.0
Review of Sumiko Pearl on Audiogon "For once here is a budget phono cartridge that can compete well above its price range, plus the fact you certainly do not have to make excuses for the Sumiko Pearl. It is a solid performer for the most jaded of us, and for those beginning their analog journey, one can get spoiled quite nicely to the sonic signature of the Sumiko Pearl. If I had not been tempted by the local audio shop, I might have passed this gem by and would have missed a very musical phono cartridge. By any standard one would care to judge the Sumiko Pearl, I firmly believe one will come away most impressed by this entry level MM phono cartridge from Sumiko."