“Audio-Technica has been a foremost manufacturer of phono cartridges since the 1960s and our new VM line builds upon that expertise to offer a cartridge for every music lover and record enthusiast,” says Crystal Griffith, Audio-Technica U.S. Marketing Manager. “In the past, some audiophiles would even swap cartridge bodies and styli to obtain that ‘nth degree’ of performance for a particular type of record, and in our VM lineup we’ve already done that by offering pre-selected combinations of cartridge bodies and stylus configurations for stereo, mono and even 78 RPM shellac disc playback.”
The new VM lineup is built around the 700 Series, 600 Series and 500 Series cartridge bodies and the various models utilize one of three different types of styli – special line contact, elliptical or conical. Every cartridge employs Audio-Technica’s patented Dual Magnet design, which duplicates the “V”-shaped arrangement of the magnets in the cutter head and precisely positions the magnets to match the positions of the left and right channels in the groove walls. Consequently, the VM design provides exceptional channel separation, stereo imaging, frequency response and tracking of the record groove. All the cartridges feature high-purity 6N-OFC oxygen-free copper wiring for maximum sonic purity and extraordinary resolution of fine musical detail.
The 700 Series is designed to deliver the highest levels of moving-magnet cartridge performance. Each 700 Series model features a die-cast aluminum-alloy housing that minimizes internal vibration and provides additional shielding. Three models are available: the VM760SLC with a nude rectangular shank special line contact stylus (US$649.00), the VM750SH with Shibata stylus (US$399.00) and the VM740ML with Audio-Technica’s exclusive MicroLine stylus (US$329.00).
Audio-Technica’s 500 Series cartridges are designed to provide superior audio quality and outstanding value. All feature a low-resonance polymer housing and additional refinements for best-in-class performance. Models include the VM540ML with MicroLine stylus (US$249.00), VM530EN with elliptical nude stylus (US$179.00), VM520EB with elliptical bonded stylus (US$119.00) and VM510CB with conical bonded stylus (US$109.00).
The 600 Series VM610MONO and VM670SP cartridges are specially designed for the playback of mono and 78 RPM records, respectively. (SRP: US$129.00 and US$149.00.) In both models the left and right output terminals are connected internally to reduce record noise (which is primarily in the vertical direction of stylus movement) and deliver a tightly focused, centered sonic image. Both cartridges feature a conical bonded stylus with a tip radius that is optimized for the playback of mono (VM610MONO) or 78 RPM (VM670SP) discs.
All Audio-Technica VM-Type phono cartridges will be available from February 2017.