Clearuadio Virtuoso v2 Ebony MM Phono Cartridge – $900 US Retail. The new (released Fall 2012) Virtuoso Ebony v2 is the bigger brother of the Clearaudio Performer and Artist Moving Magnet phono cartridges. It uses a aluminum cantilever and uses very (and more precisely matched than on the Artist) strong magnets with the cantilever-stylus assembly to reduce the moving mass of the cartridge motor in order to optimize phase coherence and transient characteristics. The Virtuoso v2 Ebony Wood is built to tighter tolerances than the Performer & Artist. We have listed some links to older reviews of the previews Fermbunk wood version of the Virtuoso (see below) and we can attest that the improved v2 Ebony version improves on the old cartridges impressive sound – not to mention that it does it for $50 less than the previous version!. We really like its clarity which is delivered with a more natural – slightly warmer tone than many MC cartridges, with expansive soundstage and good dynamics. It works and sounds great on Rega turntables (like the RP6 and even on tables as lofty as the new RP8).
With the V2 series of MM cartridges, Clearaudio set new standards in the technical parameters of impedance, inductance, load capacitance and sensitivity. Ongoing research and development have enabled us to attain near perfect balance of the stereo channels, reduce distortion to vanishing levels and increase output level with a flat frequency response to provide a vivid and enthralling musical performance.
All of Clearuadio’s Ebony MM V2 cartridges deliver the following enhancements over earlier models:
- A resonance-optimized ebony housing for less coloration and more natural sound
- More powerful magnets producing greater dynamic range
- Higher output voltage for lower noise levels.
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Output voltage: 3.6 mV
- Channel separation: > 30 dB
- Channel balance: < 0.2 dB Trackability: > 90 µm
- Recommended tracking force: 2.0 – 2.5 g, optimal 2.2 g
- Coil impedance: 0.66 kOhm
- Coil inductance: 0.42 H
- Loading impedance: 47kOhm
- Loading capacity: 100 pF
- Cantilever: Aluminum
- Weight (Wood): 7.3 g