Grado Sonata V2 Statement Wood Body Phono Cartridge
Grado Sonata V2 StatementOptimized Transmission Line (OTL) Cantilever/Stylus Assembly 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 Grado's 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 is allowed to 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. 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. The Anatomy of a Grado Phono CartridgeHand-Built in the 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. The Reference and Statement Series 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 resulting in the finest pickups in the world without exception. Should be used only with the finest equipment. Recommended tracking force 3/4 to 2 grams. The Latest Version, the Sonata1 The newly redesigned Platinum1 and Sonata1 have had their coil design reconfigured, and the effective moving mass of their generating system has been reduced by 17%. All this is hand-assembled within a machined, new processed, Australian Jarrah wood housing. The Platinum1 and Sonata1 models use a modified four piece OTL cantilever technology achieving a 10% tip mass reduction over the Prestige series and ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire in the coils. The Platinum model uses Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounted on a brass bushing, and the Sonata model uses Grado's specially designed nude elliptical diamond. Comments on the Grado Sonata "The Sonata is a refined and dynamic cartridge. It offers performance ahead of what you might expect for the price. Above all, the Sonata encourages you to play more of your LPs – and what greater recommendation can there be?" -Michael Jones / AudioEnz "I'd go so far as to say that the Sonata reminded me more of my Koetsu Urishi ($4000) then of my 8MZ." "No cartridge reproduces a female voice better than this." "For the extra money, the Reference Sonata represents a leap of performance beyond the Platinum and hints at what an expensive moving coil can do." -Stereophile / Robert Reina Vol.21, No.6 "After a week of warm-up, during which the Sonata was most notable for the solidity of its bass and power of itÕs subsonic bass, the sound started to become very musical." -Andrew Marshall / Audio Ideas Guide / Canada Stereo Times Review of the Grado Sonata
Ratings & Reviews
The Statement Sonata is the most musical and natural cartridge I have owned. The sound is superior to moving coils at this price range that I have tried. Tracks very well with less distortion and surface noise. On one jazz album the piano, acoustic bass and brushed cymbals were so realistic I could have been in the jazz club.
Don E. golis
by Don E. golis
I have been using Grado cartridges since 1975. I also own two of the original reference signatures, which are excellent. This modern version is far superior, but also very similar in the way it can reproduce the human voice. (no wonder, because Joseph Grado sung opera) Inductance, and resistance specs. are so low it is scary, yield a full spectrum response, and wide sound stage.
Fast and snappy, dynamic, yet incredibly warm without muddiness. Flexible cart, makes all music sound superb, but rich jazz is the best. Upright bass and deep horns make your heart ache and piano and highhats never make you cringe. Revealing cartridge with no bright glare. Have paired with a neutral and crisp Clearaudio Emotion TT, warm tube gear, and responsive high efficiency speakers and the harmony is impressive-- but I can easily envision many combinations with this cart being incredible. When it passes on to cart heaven, I will likely replace it with the same exact thing.
I've owned two of these (the first a Statement Sonata, not the new "1" model) and never got either to sound quite right in my set up (Music Hall MMF-7 turntable with Grado PH-1 phono preamp). On some material the Sonata1 sounded just fine with a very appealing lush and liquid sound. On other recordings that lushness and liquidity turned out to be too much of a good thing and ended up making many kinds of music sound dull and rhythmically confused. Sometimes it sounded like everything was buried under a layer of honey. While the cart tracked very well on my HiFi News test record, sailing through all but the final "torture" track (and even tracking that with only minimal distortion), with actual music I heard inner groove distortion more often than I think I should have. I spent many frustrating hours trying to optimize VTA, VTF, azimuth, etc. I also had rumble problems with the cart where the cantilever would get too excited at certain frequencies and "wobble" excessively. This despite the fact that the resonant frequency of my arm/cart combo fell within the ideal range (again according to the test record). Finally, the first Sonata1 I received was defective with a 2dB channel imbalance. I returned the cart directly to Grado, and their customer service was fast and friendly. I think Grados have a "sound" that people either love or hate. I found I prefer a more neutral sound and determined that Grado is not for me. I also suspect that Grado carts with their very high compliance are probably more picky about which tonearms they will work best with than many other cartridges. I do not doubt that in a different set-up this can be an exceptionally fine sounding cartridge. While Grado makes high quality products, their cartridges may not suit all set-ups and tastes equally well.