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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By C. Seymour
Amazon Verified Purchase
I have used countless cartridges over the years at various prices on various turntables up to very expensive audiophile turntables. For some strange reason I had never used or bought a Grado cartridge before. I am now using a very modestly priced Numark TT USB Turntable which in theory ought to sound shockingly awful based on its extremely low price and plastic build and arm with loads of free play but in practice it sounds excellent. I was using it with a DJ cartridge but got interested in Grado when going through cartridges. I was tempted by the Grado Blue 1 but decided on the cheapo Numark it wouldn"t be any advantage and decided to go for the Grado Black 1. Thankfully I"m using an arm with a detached headshell. It is a fiddly business fitting this cartridge as it is nut and bolt connection. The cartridge is nice and square so alignment was easy. So then it was time to fire everything up and listen.
Tracking is very light at 1.5 grams and 1.5 grams means 1.5 grams with this cartridge - increasing to 1.8 killed the fine detail and sparkly extended treble. I got perfect tracking at 1.5 grams weight right up to the end of the last track. There was no break up of vocals at all. Muck and fluff at this light weight means the needle can"t tank its way through and the needle will jump, so clean and well looked after records are a must.
This cartridge is quite different to the robust DJ cartridges both in sound and set up. Sound quality is particularly precise and clearly defined. Separation between left and right is the best I"ve heard at any price and placement between the speakers is very precise too. It is easy to place and pick out exactly where instruments and sounds are in the soundstage. The cartridge isn"t forward sounding or at all ""in ya face"". Read more ›
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Grado Black MM Cartridge Review 23 Sep 2013
Preface: Mostly known for their astounding range of earphones and headphones, Grado is the aesthetically vintage-vibe brand that has sonically taken audiophiles to the very limits of perfection. With an extraordinarily high precedent that has been set from our previous encounters with Grado products, we absolutely expect this same level of quality to resonate with their entry-level moving magnet cartridge range. Known as the Grado `Black", we shall today cast our eyes and ears over this entry-level cartridge below the `Green" that metaphorically resembles a mild mannered beauty and the beast contest.
Unboxing, Build Quality, and Features: Presenting itself inside a miniscule white-label box, the `Black" arrives in your hands without any bold intimate presentation of what this cartridge will do to your relationship with your vinyl"s. It does however include a plastic protection tube that"s inhabits the Grado `Black", the stylus removal tool, and a instruction manual with guarantee.
With the beauty seemingly locked away until we reach the sound quality sector, I personally find the visual aesthetics of this unit to significantly lack refinement. Admittedly the housing is crude, the awkward `one-use" needle guard is forgettable, and all-in-all the manufacturing machinery appears to have run riot to produce a less than polished finish.... But, we should remember that these aesthetic failures are forgivable in a dimly lit environment below the overhang of a headshell, and with a one-year manufacturers warranty. Granted we may be slightly visually offended to a presence in the hand, however, we really should forgive, forget, leave it under the headshell, and return to more serious matters. Read more ›