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Sumiko Blackbird Lo MC Phono Cartridge

1 Review
$1,249.00
SKU: SU-BLACKBIRDLO
Sumiko Blackbird MC Phono Cartridge Designed for exceedingly low noise levels, wide dynamic range and the highest possilbe fidelity in its price class, Blackbird is destined to become an analog classic. Each cartridge is assembled using time honored, labor intensive techniques, hand calibrated and critically auditioned to meet the most rigorous standards of consistancy. The main advantage of high output moving coil cartridges is the elimination of any additional gain stages, resulting in an overall reduction of the noise floor. With 2.5mV directly driving a standard 47k Ohm RIAA phono stage, the best possible signal to noise ratio is realized. Nothing but music emerges from your most treasured recordings. Blackbird has a big, rich sound with great dynamic range, excellent inner detail and as always, Sumiko's characteristic powerful rhythmic drive. Featuring a lightweight and ultra-rigid line-grain boron cantilever and a hot-rodded rigid generator assembly, Blackbird represents a big step forward for Sumiko cartridges. Those familiar with Sumiko's previous offerings will be very surprised at how much of a sonic improvement Blackbird represents. Weighing it at 9.6 grams, Blackbird is compatible with most tonearm setups, but will work best with a higher mass arm or one with a heavy counterweight. The nude design eliminates resonance and excess weight, allowing the generator assembly and cartridge wires to be visible, an exotic visual treat. Blackbird is a High-Output Moving Coil design, with an output of 2.5 mV, so it is fully compatible with the MM section of most phono stages. Audiophile Voice Review Basicly its riding in a diffrent part of the groove than the BPS and the Glider, A part not worn by previous plays. Where the BPS is bright and clean the Blackbird is mearly clean. While this presentation might seem somewhat dull to those upgrading from a BPS, One will soon find that this is actually more realistc and much more musical. Stereophile 2005 Class C Recommended Component The 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. Stereophile 2004 Analog Source Component Runner-Up Designed for exceedingly low noise levels, wide dynamic range and the highest possible fidelity in its price class, Blackbird is destined to become an analog classic. Each cartridge is assembled using time honored, labor intensive techniques, hand calibrated and critically auditioned to meet the most rigorous standards of consistency. The main advantage of high output moving coil cartridges is the elimination of any additional gain stages, resulting in an overall reduction of the noise floor. With 2.5mV directly driving a standard 47k Ohm RIAA phono stage, the best possible signal to noise ratio is realized. Nothing but music emerges from your most treasured recordings. TAS 2006 Editor's Choice Award This high-output moving-coil is smooth yet detailed, with a wide soundstage and fine low-end authority. Midrange instruments, such as voices and saxes are particularly seductive; images are stable; and transparency, transient quickness, and inner detail are all good!
Technical Data:
  • Frequency Response: 12Hz-50KHz
  • Output Voltage: 0.7mV (1KHz)
  • Channel Separation: 35db (1KHz)
  • Channel Balance: <0.5db (1KHz)
  • Compliance: 12x10-6 cm/dyne
  • Stylus Size: Low mass special grind
  • Internal Impedance: 28Ω
  • Lord Impedance: >100 Ohms
  • Tracking Force: 1.8-2.2grams
  • Recommended Force: 2.0grams Cartridge Weight: 9.6grams

  • Ratings & Reviews

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    tgeorges

    by

    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.