Sumiko Blackbird Lo MC Phono Cartridge
Sumiko Blackbird Lo MC Phono CartridgeBy offering a low-output version of the Blackbird at 0.7 mV, we have taken advantage of a low-mass cantilever assembly to provide even faster response time and superior dynamics.
With the right preamplification, the low-output Blackbird takes all of the performance features of the standard version and pushes them to the next level with the improved tracking that lightweight coils afford.
Stereophile 2005 Class C Recommended ComponentThe Blackbird weighs 9.6gm, has a compliance of 12cu, and tracks at between 1.8 and 2.2gm. Like the Sumiko Blue Point Special, it lacks a body around the generator, and its highish output of 2.5mV means that it can be used with a standard moving-magnet phono preamp. The Blackbird's strongest point were its background quiet and power, extension, and focus of its bass. It threw a big, wide-open soundstage, revealing plenty of low-level detail, and brought forth a shimmering, well-balanced top end with no hint of bright delicacy and palpability, will come only with spending more money. "A strong Class B cartridge," said MF, "a real sweetheart.
Ratings & Reviews
I am extremely happy with this Sumiko Blackbird Lo cartridge. Even right out of the box, and not nearly broken in, it just sounds awesome on my Gyro SE. I did feel slight misgiving about buying this cartridge based on my knowledge that it is in fact a "nude" design with exposed generator and wires. The bottom line is that one just needs to be extra careful while handling the cartridge, especially during installation and alignment. If it is black plastic-you can touch it safely. Otherwise, don't touch it. Take your time. Pay attention. And you're set. The long cantilever makes it easy to align if you're using a protractor or similar device. One minor detail that I like is the fact that Sumiko encourages one to explore and experiment with alignment parameters. The included installation guide is well-written and informative, especially if one has a basic knowledge of cartridge installation. I played a stack of my very favorite reference records, and each one of them sounded drop dead gorgeous. The cartridge is fast, detailed, and tracks very well at the recommended stylus force. Absolutely no regrets about going with the Blackbird Lo this time.