Garrott Brothers K3 Moving Magnet Cartridge
Beginning in the late 1970s, the Garrott Brothers started producing a highly distinguished line of MM cartridges that is even more popular than ever.
About The Garrott Brothers K3 MM Phono Cartridge
Vinyl enthusiasts with long memories will remember the Garrott Brothers and their excellent line of phono cartridges which were based on the Decca designs from the UK. The company met a sudden end with the sad death of its two principals in 1992, but has since been reorganized by one of their most passionate devotee's and so it is truly delightful to see their phono cartridges available once again.
Garrott K3: Coming in at number 3 - in other words a step up from K1 & K2 - is the Garrott K3 phono cartridge which has a shibata stylus, that is really a refinement on the elliptical stylus of the K2 and simply means it will deliver even better sound if you have the right Turntable/Tonearm combination. By this we mean more than just the "detachable headshell" or one-piece tubular type. Specifications are the same as the K1 and K2, so what you're paying for is the superior and more expensive Shibata stylus. Your amplifier will need to have a dedicated phono input or you will need a separate phono preamplifier and maybe another pair of interconnects. Installation is a DIY job or we can do it for a small fee.
We first experienced a Shibata stylus when Audio Technica (Japan) created a line of cartridges to play the then-new CD-4 4-channel records - the precursor to today's surround sound! These records had a "carrier" signal of upwards of 40kHz, which standard elliptical or conical-tipped cartridges couldn't play. This high frequency was then decoded down to recreate the rear channel sound. Although CD-4 and Quadraphonic was a flop, it delivered a high quality stylus that still has a good following.
In The News
In reviewing the history/developement of the Shibata stylus, we came across the following review/summary which is well written and in part says: "As the "footprint" a stylus makes on the record groove wall is microscopic in size, the pressure, even at tracking forces of less than 2 grams is in the tons per square inch category. This footprint has two dimensions: the up and down measurement, or the "scanning" radius, and the side-to side measurement, or the "tracing" radius. The tracing radius on a Shibata stylus had to be smaller than that of either an elliptical or conical (stylus) in order to effectively "trace' the ultra-high frequency carrier signal (of CD-4 records) without shaving it off in one pass. As the pressure per square inch now increased dramatically as the tracing radius, by necessity, had to be narrower, the scanning radius was extended significantly to spread out this pressure over a much greater area of the groove wall.
The footprint of a Shibata stylus is very narrow, but also much longer than that of either the elliptical or conical varieties.. Consequently, tracking forces of upwards of 3 grams (a necessity for many Shibata-tipped cartridges), while initially certainly heavy, actually provides significantly less force on the groove wall than elliptical or conical styli tracking at only 1 gram as the force is spread out over so much larger an area. Still, the psychological detriment of tracking at pressures exceeding 3 grams was anathema to many audiophiles."
Our Take On The Garrott Brothers K3 MM Phono Cartridge
Is your Turntable/Record player relatively new, of very high quality (over $1000) and still fitted with the basic OEM cartridge? Or is it an older Turntable of very high quality that deserves something a lot better in the way of a new phono cartridge and stylus? Then the Garrott Brothers K3 could be the way forward. Why? First and foremost it is a great sounding cartridge. The addition of the shibata stylus over the K1 and K2 will deliver rich sonic rewards with even more detail revealed, and especially on the newer 200-220 gram pressings. However, although it is not difficult or tricky to install, the Shibata stylus demands a very high quality Turntable/Tonearm combination and built in the traditional style with a 1/2" mounting. The tonearm needs to be very rigid and have quality bearings. If you're not sure, then give us a call for more advice.
You can purchase this item excluding Australian GST (Sales Tax) via our PayPal account. Standard post (10-14 days) costs an additional A$25; Express post (3-5 days) costs an additional A$35-A$50. Please send an email to [email protected] stating model number and preferred postage option and we will process via PayPal.
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: Moving Magnet Stereo Cartridge
- Stylus: Diamond Stylus Garrott Supertrack 1 (Shibata)
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz +/- 2dB
- Channel Separation: 25dB (typical) @ 1KHz
- Compliance: Med. 18 x 10-6 cm/dyne
- Output Voltage: High output type 4mV @ 3.54cm/sec
- Input Impedance: 47k
- Tonearm Compatibility: Suits traditional 1/2" mount - see comments above
- Tracking Force: 1.6 - 1.8 Grams
- Weight: 5.8 Grams
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 12 months
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE