The Sumiko Moonstone has done nothing but wow me from the time it arrived until now a full year later. I never figured a cartridge at this price point that arrives in a simple wooden box would be such a stunner when it comes to sound quality. But it is.
Before I purchased the Moonstone I had been using the Clearaudio Concept V2 Cartridge and was very happy with it. I still have the V2, and had not intended to replace it EVER.
Unfortunately when buying the V2 I forgot to take into consideration the non-replaceable stylus. So I was stuck with the decision between re-tipping the V2 through a company online, going back to an old cartridge or upgrading completely.
I contemplated going back to the SHURE M97Xe, only to find that they had been discontinued and the carts and parts for them were now incredibly expensive.
Next I looked into re-tipping the V2. Nope, not worth it. Almost as much as purchase price to do. It seemed the only choice was a new cartridge.
If I was going to upgrade I knew I needed to seek out a cartridge that had a little more warmth then the V2 had. The plan became to find a cartidge that had warmth, but would also be an improvement over the SHURE.
After a few days of looking around I settled on the Sumiko Moonstone. I considered purchasing The Olympia for $199 and eventually upgrading to the Moonstone stylus, but opted to just start out with the higher end option.
Purchasing the Moonstone over The Olympus was the correct choice. As I said at the top of this page…It Wowed me.
You hear what’s on the record and that’s it, but there was the warmth I was looking for! It is not cold and analytical or harsh in any way. Vocal passages seem to just open up and gave me chills like never before.
During certain musical passages I was able to hear things never heard before. The Moonstone heightens the wonderful emotional experience of listening to records we all have. It does this better than any other cartridge I have owned, and I absolutely love it for that!
So in closing I will say if you are looking for great detail, while still having warmth and an excellent sound stage. Shoot for the Moonstone. You won’t be disappointed.
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