Audio-Technica has introduced its new AT-ART9XI and AT-ART9XA dual-moving coil stereo phono cartridges, both of which are designed to offer improved sound quality and performance with high-end turntables.
The AT-ART9XI is the new flagship magnetic-core moving coil cartridge while the AT-ART9XA features a non-magnetic core construction.
Successor to the AT-ART9, the AT-ART9XI features dual moving coils aligned in an inverted “V” shape to provide channel separation and imaging along with wide dynamic contrast. The magnetic-core (iron core) cartridge employs a neodymium magnet and Permendur magnetic-alloy yoke to optimize energy in the magnetic gap where the coils are located. The coils are made from PCOCC (Pure Copper Ohno Continuous Cast) wire to preserve signal purity.
The AT-ART9XI has a specially designed line contact stylus mounted on an 0.28 mm solid boron cantilever. The cartridge features a hybrid body made from a machined aluminum housing combined with high-rigidity polymer a configuration that ensures stable playback and minimizes unwanted resonances, says the company. The cartridge body has threaded screw holes that allow easy installation using only two mounting screws, with no mounting bolts required.
The AT-ART9XA cartridge, meanwhile, offers a host of improvements to the previous AT-ART7. Its non-magnetic-core (air core) design eliminates any magnetic distortion, allowing for a “musically natural timbre along with exceptional soundstage realism and imaging,” says Audio-Technica. Although some non-magnetic-core cartridges can have weaker output voltages, the AT-ART9XA has a newly designed coil armature that provides an improved 0.2 mV output.
The AT-ART9XA uses a Shibata stylus mounted on an 0.28 mm solid boron cantilever to deliver accurate tracking along with authoritative low frequency response. Like the AT-ART9XI, the AT-ART9XA’s dual moving coils are aligned in a “V” shape and the cartridge employs a neodymium magnet and Permendur yoke. Additional features include PCOCC coil wiring, a hybrid machined aluminum and high-rigidity plastic housing, threaded cartridge mounting holes, and additional refinements.
Both the Audio-Technica AT-ART9XI and AT-ART9XA are available now for an MSRP of US$1,290 ea.