EAT Jo No8 Cartridge Lab Report

Lab Report

While the alloy frame, yoke, magnets and mounting plate of the No8 all resemble those of the No5 [HFN Dec '18] the revisions to the cantilever, diamond, copper windings, chestnut body material and – importantly – the polymer suspension have all made their mark. Output is a dB or so lower than the No5 at 385µV (re. 1kHz/5cm/sec) while channel balance is tighter at 0.26dB and separation wider at 35dB through the midrange. The No8 is also a slightly higher compliance design than the No5 (15cu vs. 12cu) and some 2.5g lighter in weight, so therefore better suited to lower mass tonearms. Moreover it's a better tracker, even at the lower recommended 2.3g downforce. In practice the No8 offers some 10µm 'headroom' over the No5, achieving >80µm/75µm via the left/right channels, respectively, and keeping hold of the maximum +18dB groove modulation (re. 315Hz/5cm/sec) at 1% THD where the No5 had skipped off into the lead-out groove at its rated 2.4g downforce.

The 'nude Shibata' diamond is better cut and aligned too, so the No8's VTA is far more accurate at 22° than the No5's 28°. However, the No8's body is very tall, so most tonearms will need to be raised at the rear to optimise VTA and frequency response. The latter mirrors that of the No5 with a 'mild' mid/presence and slightly 'brighter' aspect to central images [black trace, Graph 1] than those at the periphery of the soundstage [red trace]. Generator symmetry is improved, however, and this is not only reflected in the reduced vertical distortion of <2% vs. <3% (No8 vs No5, from 20Hz-3kHz at –8dB re. 5cm/sec) [red trace, Graph 2] but also in the matching trend of THD vs. frequency between lateral and vertical cuts [black vs. red traces, Graph 2]. PM


Frequency response curves (–8dB re. 5cm/sec) lateral (L+R, black) versus vertical (L–R, red)


Lateral (L+R, black infill) and vertical (L–R, red) tracing and generator distortion (2nd-4th harmonics) vs. frequency from 20Hz-20kHz (–8dB re. 5cm/sec)

Generator type/weight Moving-coil / 12.5g
Recommended tracking force 2.2-2.5mN (2.3mN)
Sensitivity/balance (re. 5cm/sec) 385µV / 0.26dB
Compliance (vertical/lateral) 15cu / 14cu
Vertical tracking angle 22 degrees
L/R Tracking ability >80μm / 75μm
L/R Distortion (–8dB, 20Hz-20kHz) 0.7–24% / 0.5–24%
L/R Frequency resp. (20Hz-20kHz) +0.3 to –5.5dB / +0.3 to –3.6dB
Stereo separation (1kHz / 20kHz) 35dB / 23dB
Price £2290

European Audio Team
Supplied by: Absolute Sounds Ltd
0208 971 3909