London Decca Gold Cartridge
A Different ApproachOther cartridges (both moving coil and moving magnet) have styli mounted on the long end of a thin tube (cantilever) which works like a lopsided "see-saw." The short end of the cantilever attaches to either a coil of wire or a magnet. At the fulcrum point, a flexible "rubbery" sleeve functions as a pivot, allowing the stylus/cantilever assembly to respond to the "wiggles" in the LP groove. Because the front section of the cantilever, which holds the stylus, is much longer than the rear section that is attached to the coil or magnet, a large movement of the stylus is transformed to a smaller movement at the coil or magnet, possibly causing cantilever-design cartridges to sound dynamically compressed and lacking in transient attack. London Decca's engineers advise that this problem with dynamics and transients is compounded by the cantilever's "rubbery" fulcrum point which tends to absorb a significant amount of the stylus-generated motion before it can reach the coil/magnet electrical generator assembly. Also, a smearing of the sound is said to occur, which many folks refer to as "cantilever haze."
The Gold has no long cantilever and no "rubbery" fulcrum point to absorb, dissipate and smear the vital musical energy. Instead, the stylus is attached directly to a magnetically active metal support just a few microns thick (armature) which passes through the center of the main generating coil positioned only about 1 millimeter above the stylus! The stylus motion is not inverted or "transformed" to a smaller value, as in long cantilever designs. Flowing from this immediate positive-direct scanning of the groove is a breathtaking, lifelike quality. The listener tends to feel that the performing artists are actually in the same room, with a startling, palpable presence.
The Gold uses a nude, polished, grain-oriented elliptical stylus, with the same generator and similar housing of the Super Gold. We estimate the Gold cartridge provides 80% to 85% of the state-of-the-art musical realism provided by the Decca Jubilee. Frequency range: 20Hz to 40 kHz.
The Gold is available with the Decca Pod for an additional $200. It acts as a headshell weight, and it also adds height to the cartridge for fine-tuning of VTA. Please call for details.
Ratings & Reviews
by Don E.Golis
This cartridge like the other London models carries a very wide stage length. Voices will be scary when cartridge is set up properly using a tonearm with very little friction in it's bearings. Must be VTA set to absolute parallel to the disk for best results. Low end is fast, and also very tight. The Van Den Hul stylus is absolutely super as compared to London cartridges from the 1970's which I also owned. Audioworkshop..