Soundsmith Strain Gauge SG-200 phono cartridge system Strain G¢  ¢» FREE...

Soundsmith Strain Gauge SG-200 phono cartridge system Strain G¢  ¢» FREE NEWSLETTER PHONO CARTRIDGE
Soundsmith Strain Gauge SG-200 phono cartridge system Strain G¢  ¢» FREE NEWSLETTER PHONO CARTRIDGE
Soundsmith Strain Gauge SG-200 phono cartridge system Strain G¢  ¢» FREE NEWSLETTER PHONO CARTRIDGE
Soundsmith Strain Gauge SG-200 phono cartridge system Strain G¢  ¢» FREE NEWSLETTER PHONO CARTRIDGE
download Soundsmith Strain Gauge SG-200 phono cartridge system Strain G¢  ¢» FREE NEWSLETTER PHONO CARTRIDGE

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  • 5/28/2014 Soundsmith Strain Gauge SG-200 phono cartridge system | Stereophile.com

    http://www.stereophile.com/content/soundsmith-strain-gauge-sg-200-phono-cartridge-system 1/4

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    PHONO CARTRIDGE REVIEWS

    Soundsmith Strain Gauge SG-200 phono cartridge system By Michael Fremer • Posted: Mar 22, 2011

    Strain-gauge phono cartridges are rarely made and seldom heard; for most vinyl fans, they are

    more myth than fact. Panasonic once made one, as did Sao Win, but those were decades ago.

    I've heard about those two models for years but have never seen, much less heard one.

    As if he's not got enough to do building his extensive lines of moving-iron cartridges,

    preamplifiers, amplifiers, and speakers, Soundsmith's Peter Ledermann also makes a full line of

    strain-gauge cartridge systems available with a choice of six user-replaceable stylus profiles. I

    believe the Soundsmith is the only strain-gauge cartridge currently made anywhere in the

    world. Ledermann says it takes him a full day to build one.

    I've often seen—and sometimes even heard—Soundsmith's blue-lit strain-gauge models at

    Consumer Electronics Shows and various consumer audio events, but only in entirely unfamiliar

    systems. Because of the impossibility of making any kind of judgment of their sound under such

    conditions, I've pretty much ignored what I heard in those rooms, though the reactions of other

    listeners have ranged wildly, from wide-mouthed "Wow!"s to scrunched-face grimaces of

    distaste. All it did was intensify my curiosity to hear one at home in my own system.

    However, because a strain-gauge model requires an active power source, the cartridge must

    be used with an outboard preamplifier and power supply. Until very recently, Soundsmith

    incorporated its strain-gauge circuitry within a wide range of standalone full-function

    preamplifiers: if you wanted to own or review one of their Strain Gauge models, you had to

    replace your preamplifier with Soundsmith's—not only an unattractive proposition for anyone

    already happy with his or her preamp, but the simultaneous swapping out of two audio

    components makes for an unsatisfactory review context: how do you know which new

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  • 5/28/2014 Soundsmith Strain Gauge SG-200 phono cartridge system | Stereophile.com

    http://www.stereophile.com/content/soundsmith-strain-gauge-sg-200-phono-cartridge-system 2/4

    Share | |

    component is doing what to the sound?

    Soundsmith now offers its Strain Gauge cartridge with a reasonably priced dedicated interface

    that simply and only plugs into any preamplifier's line-level input. Ledermann says that this

    circuit is identical to what's in the full-featured preamps. The long-promised SG-200 system,

    which Soundsmith calls its "entry-level" model, recently arrived here, and I immediately in