Miyajima

Noriyuki Miyajima has had a love of music forever, first as a hobby, then as a specialist dealer and more recently as a manufacturer.  Using real wood, diamonds and delicate coils, Noriyuki prides himself on honesty.

With several patents and a passion that is most clear, Miyajima cartridges have had rave reviews all over the world and deservedly so.  Unlike some cartridge brands Miyajima are made in-house with six dedicated full-time people.  You can see the three Roland Camm-3 CNC milling machines that make the bodies on the right, microscopic inspection and full electrical test are carried out to ensure every cartridge meets or exceeds its published specification. 

African blackwood is also known as mpingo and made famous by Shun Mook.  According to the BBC "The wood from Tanzania's mpingo tree is used to make flutes, clarinets, oboes and even bagpipes, making it one of the most valuable plants in the world" and "musicians and musical instrument makers value the timber for its unique tonal qualities"  Miyajima use mpingo in their top-of-the-range cartridges because they believe it is the best wood available.

Miyajima are one of only a very few manufactures to fully embrace mono cartridges. Rarer still, they make true single coil designs for optimum playback.  The Beatles are re-releasing their early LPs in true mono directly from the original master tapes.  Using a Miyajima cartridge is surely the best way to listen. 

Michael Fremer of Stereophile reported : Compared with the Shelter 7000 and Shun Mook Signature cartridges I review this month, the Shilabe easily sounded the most natural and convincing (Sep 28, 2009)  These are cartridges that cost about twice as much as the Shilabe.

"Like the Miyajima Shilabe, the Kansui uses a cross-ring motor design, weighs 10.4gm, has an internal impedance of 16 ohms, is fitted with a Shibata stylus, and has a curvaceous body of African Blackwood. Because it has a higher compliance, however, the Kansui can track at a significantly lower tracking force for greater speed and resolution. Though it lacked the Haniwa HCTR01's (twice the price) resolution of spatial information, the Shilabe offered a meatier and more intimate sound, with forceful bass, rich textures, and solid images" said Michael Fremer.

"The Zero Mono cartridge has an output of 0.4mV, making it compatible with a wide range of moving-coil phono preamps. Compared to Miyajima Lab's Premium BE, the Zero produced a similarly big, rich, meaty sound, but offered improvements in image focus, clarity, transient detail, and bass control" said Michael Fremer. "If you treasure your mono albums, get a Zero. It's infinitely better than any other mono cartridge I've heard," he summed up
 


 

Stereo  

 

Takumi Stereo
The sound of Takumi is clear and soft.  This is a very usable cartridge that is a good match to most arms.  The price of this cartridge has been kept low so that it is possible for users to experience Miyajima at a low entry cost.

Body type : African blackwood (second quality)
Frequency response :
20Hz to 22kHz
Output level : 0.2mV
Impedance : 16 ohms
Recommended load : 100 ohms
Tracking force : 2.0 - 2.5g  2.25g recommended
Stylus type : Elliptical
Compliance 100Hz :
710-6cm/dyne
Weight : 9.0g

Retail price 1,691.00
●  Click here to read the UK 2016 review by Paul Rigby

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Waza Rosewood Stereo
This is a well-balanced cartridge made in a clean grain Rosewood body.  It does what it should and delivers splendid music.

Body type : Rosewood
Frequency response :
20Hz to 32kHz
Output level : 0.23mV
Impedance : 16 ohms
Recommended load : 100 ohms
Tracking force : 2.5 - 3.2g  3.0g recommended
Stylus type : Elliptical
Compliance 100Hz :
510-6cm/dyne
Weight : 9.0g

Retail price 1,900.00 (available to order only)

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Shilabe Blackwood Stereo
The penultimate cartridge in the Miyajima range, this African Blackwood bodied masterpiece produces beautiful music.  What more can you ask for?  Stereophile Class A recommended component

Body type : African blackwood
Frequency response :
20Hz to 32kHz
Output level : 0.23mV
Impedance : 16 ohms
Recommended load : 100 ohms
Tracking force : 2.5 - 3.2g  3.0g recommended
Stylus type :
Shibata
Compliance 100Hz :
510-6cm/dyne
Weight : 10.4g

Retail price 2,775.00
●  Click here to read the 10 Audio review
●  Click here to read the Stereophile review
●  Click here to read the 6Moons.com review

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Kansui Blackwood Stereo
The Kansui cartridge is better still than the Shilabe.   Some parts and the manufacturing process have been refined.  This is very much a hand built-cartridge by Noriyuki Miyajima that has balance, poise, stillness and great dynamics when required.  Stereophile Class A recommended component

Body type : African blackwood
Frequency response :
20Hz to 32kHz
Output level : 0.23mV
Impedance : 16 ohms
Recommended load : 100 ohms
Tracking force : 2.0 - 2.5g  2.25g recommended
Stylus type :
Shibata
Compliance 100Hz :
710-6cm/dyne
Weight : 10.4g

Retail price 3,200.00
Click here to read the UK 2015 HiFi+ review
Click here to read the 10 Audio review
Click here to read the High Fidelity review

   

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Madake  Blackwood Stereo
This stereo cartridge uses a cantilever made of bamboo (Madake).
The material normally used to make a cantilever has some small inherent resonances and is often made from metal and/or a stone of hard material. Unusually in this cartridge Bamboo is used which removes a lot of the extra resonance from the cantilever.  A very effective result is thus achieved.

Body type : African blackwood
Frequency response :
20Hz to 32kHz
Output level : 0.23mV
Impedance : 16 ohms
Recommended load : 100 ohms
Tracking force : 2.5g 
Stylus type :
Shibata
Compliance 100Hz :
910-6cm/dyne
Weight : 9.7g

Click here to read the UK 2015 Hi FI Critic review

Retail price 4,700.00

   


Monaural
 

Why Mono ?
A mono cartridge is mechanically different from a stereo cartridge.  Simply switching a stereo cartridge to mono does not work perfectly.  Despite what manufactures claim, mono switches invariably add the two channels  by simply shorting the two channels together, even "very" expensive units do this.  Old school preamplifiers such as the Technics SU-9070 (we have one here) sum the two channels with extra electronics to eliminates the vertical response and improve the signal to noise by 3dB.  However even summing does not provide the ultimate, a cartridge designed for mono, with a single coil and no vertical movement reduces surface noise, vertical noise and fits the groove properly. 

Paul Rigby wrote an article "Is It Time For Mono" read it by clicking here.
Paul Rigby wrote another article in HiFi Critic about mono click here to read it

Pre 1967 Mono recordings generally used a 1.0mil groove width, and more importantly often did not use any  transistors or IC's in the recording process; as analogue as analogue can get !  So no digital and no semiconductors, marvellous !  These early mono recordings were simply mixed in mono without the need to create the stereo effect.  They are pure and simply lovely.

A feature that isn't on many other mono cartridges is that the vertical movement is totally locked to give better reproduction and less noise, this is very important and not often mentioned.

Most post 1967 Mono recordings use a 0.7mil groove width and this includes the wonderful Beatles mono boxed set.  In the case of the Beatles, the original master tapes were taken out of the safe, it was never meant to be a stereo recording as not enough channels (microphones) were used, and hence the new mono mix without the compression applied in the early 60's,  is simply wonderful.

●  A 1.0mil cartridge will play pre 1967 in breathtaking realism; and will also played post 1967 better than any stereo cartridge.
●  A 0.7mil cartridge will play post 1967 recordings like you have never heard before; and will play pre 1967 better than any stereo cartridge.

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Kotetu Monaural
Using the same body as the Spirit and Premium, the user can listen to a monaural LP in real sound quality.   The price of this cartridge has been kept low so that it is possible for users to experience Miyajima monaural at a low entry cost.

Body type : Composite
Frequency response : 20Hz - 20KHz
Output level : 0.5mV
Impedance : 4 ohm
Recommended load : 100 ohm
Tracking force : 3.0 - 4.5g  3.5g recommended
Stylus type : 0.7 mil conical
Compliance 100Hz : 810-6cm/dyne
Weight : 8.8g

Retail price 395.00
●  Click here to read the UK Hifi Choice review

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Premium BE II Blackwood Monaural
As above but in an African blackwood body and with a slightly larger stylus profile.

Body type : African blackwood
Frequency response : 20Hz - 20KHz
Output level : 0.7mV
Impedance : 6 ohm
Recommended load : 100 ohm
Tracking force : 2.0 - 4.5g  3.5g recommended
Stylus type : 1.0 mil or 0.7 conical
Compliance 100Hz : 810-6cm/dyne
Weight : 11.8g

Retail price 1,125.00 (to order only)
●  Click here to read the UK HiFi World review
●  Click here to read the Stereophile review
●  Click here to read the Ultra Audio review
●  Click here to read the Analog Sources review

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Zero Monaural A/B
With its African blackwood body the Zero is the ultimate monaural cartridge. It produces the clearest and most musical sound you will ever hear from an monaural cartridge.  Expensive? Yes, but worth it!

Body type : African blackwood
Frequency response : 20Hz - 20KHz
Output level : 0.4mV
Impedance : 6 ohm
Recommended load : 100 ohm
Tracking force : 2.0 - 4.5g  3.5g recommended
A version Stylus type : 1.0 mil conical for pre 1967 mono recordings
B version Stylus type : 0.7 mil conical for most post 1967 mono recordings
Compliance 100Hz : 810-6cm/dyne
Weight : 11.8g

Retail price 1,375.00
Click here to read the High Fidelity review
Click here to read the 2014 UK Paul Rigby review
Click here to read the 2015 UK Hi Fi world review
Click here to read the 2015 UK 0.7mil Paul Rigby review

 

 


78 rpm
  

 

Kotetu  78 rpm
Using the same body as the old Spirit, the user can listen to standard groove recordings in real sound quality.   The price of this cartridge has been kept low so that it is possible for users to experience Miyajima 78 rpm at a low entry cost.

Body type : Composite
Frequency response : 20Hz - 20KHz
Output level : 0.5mV
Impedance : 4 ohm
Recommended load : 100 ohm
Tracking force : 3.0 - 4.55  3.5g recommended
Stylus type : 3 mil conical
Compliance 100Hz :
810-6cm/dyne
Weight : 8.8g

Retail price 425.00

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Premium BE II Blackwood 78 rpm
African blackwood  body

Body type : Blackwood
Frequency response : 20Hz - 20KHz
Output level : 0.7mV
Impedance : 6 ohm
Recommended load : 100 ohm
Tracking force : 3.0 - 4.5g  3.5g recommended
Stylus type : 3 mil conical
Compliance 100Hz :
810-6cm/dyne
Weight : 11.8g

Retail price 1,150.00 (available to order only)

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Zero 78 rpm
In its African blackwood body the Zero is the ultimate standard groove cartridge. It produces the clearest and most musical sound you will ever hear from 78 rpm recordings. Expensive? Yes, but worth it!

Body type : African blackwood
Frequency response : 20Hz - 20KHz
Output level : 0.4mV
Impedance : 6 ohm
Recommended load : 100 ohm
Tracking force : 3.0 - 4.5g  3.5g recommended
Stylus type : 3 mil conical
Compliance 100Hz :
810-6cm/dyne
Weight : 11.8g

Retail price 1,450.00

 

 


Step Up Transformers (SUT)
 

 

Stereo ETR-KSW
The best, more to follow
Retail price 2,350.00

Stereo ETR-Stereo
Great flexibly if you need it, more to follow
Retail price 2,550.00

Mono ETR-MONO
Utterly unique, more to follow
Retail price 1,395.00
 

 

Available from specialist HiFi dealers throughout the UK.

 

The Music Room
33 - 35 West Graham St
Glasgow G4 9LJ
0141 333 9700
www.music-room.com

Sound Hi Fi
PO Box 2001
Dartmouth TQ6 9QN
01803 833366

www.SoundHiFi.com

Audio Meister
Higher Denham
Bucks UB9 5EJ
01895 833099
www.audiomeister.co.uk

Ammonite Audio
8 Thorpe Road
Norwich NR1 1RY 
01603 619098
www.ammonite-audio.co.uk

 

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email
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E&OE  Prices calculated at USD : UKL of 1.3  & import duty 5% Winter 2016.  All prices include UK VAT (sales tax) of 20%        19 May 2017