Clearaudio Jubilee MC Cartridge Material Girls

Material Girls
While it is doubtful that, back in the day, Shure, Grado, ADC, et al attributed sonic properties to the body material of their cartridges, there is no doubt that this consideration has influenced pick-up design since the ascent of the moving-coil around 1970-75. Those earlier pioneers selected materials for their ease of precision manufacture, light weight or other matters, but I don't recall any of them suggesting that the body or shell influenced sound. All that has changed.

Although Panzerholz is a very specific wood composite, Clearaudio is not the first to use a wood laminate – EAT's Yosegi [HFN Mar '12] being one such example. Solid wood blocks are more common, as in the Goldbug Mr Brier [HFN May '86], EAT's Jo No8 [HFN Dec '18], myriad Grados, and – of course – the original Koetsu Rosewood. Ortofon favours plastics for its affordable cartridges, e.g., the 2M series, but turns to titanium for its top models [HFN Oct '19 and Mar '22], as does TechDAS [HFN Sep '14].

At the other extreme, before the company was reborn as London and the bodies were replaced with something more substantial, Deccas were fashioned from folded, recycled tin. High impact plastics and aluminium cover the majority of body materials, but Koetsu and its rival, Kiseki, championed the use of stone such that the former now offers eight various stone-bodied MCs, nine with wooden shells and one of solid aluminium. And, yes, each has its own sound.

Clearaudio Electronic GmbH
Supplied by: Sound Fowndations, UK
0118 981 4238