Audio-Technica Releases $5,500 Phono Cartridge

Audio-Technica today announced the introduction of its new top-of-the-line phono cartridge, the AT-ART1000X Direct Power Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge. Hand built in Tokyo, Japan, the AT-ART1000X builds upon the engineering excellence of the previous AT-ART1000 with improvements in design and materials, and threaded mounting holes for easier installation.

Unlike conventional moving coil cartridges, the AT-ART1000X’s Direct Power System places its dual moving coils on top of the stylus tip rather than at the base of the cantilever, enabling the cartridge to deliver extraordinary fidelity with greater musical detail. The AT-ART1000X’s coils are now rectangular rather than round, which positions more of their surface area in the magnetic field. This provides improved reproduction of record groove modulations, along with a higher output voltage for better signal-to-noise ratio and an expanded low-frequency range.

“By placing the moving coils, which convert the motion of the stylus and cantilever into electrical signals, directly on top of the stylus, the effects of the cantilever’s length and material type are minimized,” noted Yosuke Koizumi, Audio-Technica Cartridge Engineer. “This design and the additional refinements we’ve made to the AT-ART1000X achieve a new level of sonic realism, with remarkable resolution, tonal and spatial accuracy, and dynamic impact.”

Each of the AT-ART1000X’s two moving coils is made of 20 µm diameter PCOCC (Pure Copper by Ohno Continuous Casting) wire, hand-wound in eight turns to create a 1.1 mm x 0.6 mm (0.043 in x 0.024-inch) rectangle. The coils are contained in an ultra-thin 25 µm (0.98 mil) special film and housed in an 0.5 mm (0.020-inch) gap of the powerful magnetic circuit (smaller than the previous 0.6 mm gap), enabling each coil to generate a higher 0.22 millivolt output with a 3.5-ohm coil impedance, despite having a non-magnetic core.

The AT-ART1000X employs a special line-contact stylus and solid boron cantilever for superb accuracy in tracking the record groove. The support base for the magnetic circuit, stylus and cantilever is made from titanium. The base, and the cartridge’s aluminum housing and hard plastic cover all operate together to disperse any internal resonances that would otherwise affect sound quality. In addition, a special coating protects the magnetic circuit from corrosion. The musical result is rich, natural full-bodied reproduction of vocals and instruments, with weight, presence, and depth, presented on an expansive soundstage. 

The Audio-Technica AT-ART1000X Direct Power Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge is now available at US$5,499.00.