Hardware and Gear

Published on May 9th, 2019 | by gareth

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Audio Technica Reveals OC9X Phono Cartridges

We saw them at CES and they were really impressive.

Audio-Technica Debuts Its Next-Generation
OC9X Series Phono Cartridges at HIGH-END Munich 2019

 

STOW, OHIO, May 9, 2019 — Since their introduction more than 30 years ago Audio-Technica’s OC9 Series moving coil phono cartridges have been acclaimed by listeners and reviewers worldwide for their exceptional sound quality and musical transparency. At HIGH END Munich 2019 Audio-Technica is introducing its AT-OC9X Series, the fourth generation of this legendary range of cartridges.

The new OC9X Series cartridges are on exhibit at HIGH END Munich 2019 at the MOC München, Hall 4, Booth P07 (May 9 – 12, 2019).

“When the first AT-OC9 cartridge was introduced in 1987 it combined previously unavailable engineering innovations with carefully chosen materials to achieve a breakthrough in sound quality,” said Yosuke Koizumi, Chief Engineer of Cartridges at Audio-Technica Japan. “Since then, we have continued to improve the cartridges. Our latest AT-OC9X Series embodies the culmination of over 50 years of cartridge manufacturing experience to deliver new levels of record-playback quality and musical enjoyment.”

Each OC9X model features a host of improvements including a new Dual Moving Coil structure, which enables the audio information in the record grooves to be separated to the left and right channels with pinpoint accuracy. This improved channel separation results in a more precise stereo image and wider frequency response.

AT-OC9X Series cartridges are available with a choice of stylus types including Special Line Contact (AT-OC9XSL), Shibata (AT-OC9XSH), microlinear (AT-OC9XML), nude elliptical (AT-OC9XEN) and bonded elliptical (AT-OC9XEB). The Special Line Contact, microlinear and Shibata stylus models have been upgraded with a boron cantilever, while the nude elliptical and elliptical cartridges feature an aluminum cantilever. These materials were carefully selected to keep unwanted vibrations to a minimum, and to reduce internal resonances for clearer, more detailed audio reproduction.

The moving coil wires in all OC9X Series cartridges are made from PCOCC (Pure Copper by Ohno Continuous Casting), for optimum signal purity. The Special Line Contact, microlinear and Shibata models utilize a neodymium magnet with a Permendur yoke, a configuration that provides high-saturation magnetic flux density and optimizes the concentrated magnetic field of the coil gap, for improved reproduction of the delicate musical signals generated by the cartridges. The nude and bonded elliptical models employ a neodymium magnet and iron yoke, which provide increased output compared to previous designs.

For all OC9X Series cartridges, the transducer engine is mounted onto a rigid aluminum body to help reduce unwanted internal vibrations and maintain sonic clarity. The cartridge bodies are pre-threaded, enabling them to be easily mounted to a headshell or tonearm with just two screws (no mounting nuts for the screws are required). Each OC9X Series cartridge is supplied with mounting hardware, a stylus brush and other accessories.

To complement the new cartridges Audio-Technica is also introducing its AT-LH headshells. The new headshells are made from hard-anodized aluminum for maximum rigidity and vibration isolation and are available in three different weights (13, 15 and 18 grams). All feature OFC (Oxygen-Free Copper) cartridge leads and are adjustable for precise setting of azimuth and overhang.

Pricing for the Audio-Technica AT-OC9X Series cartridges is as follows: AT-OC9XSL, US$729.00; AT-OC9XSH, US$649.00; AT-OC9XML, US$549.00; AT-OC9XEN, US$349.00; AT-OC9XEB, US$239.00. The AT-LH18H, AT-LH15H and AT-LH13H headshells are priced at US$89.00. All models will be available in July 2019.


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