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My Sonic Lab Eminent MC Phono Cartridge

 

My Sonic Lab

Analogue from Japan

 

 

Table Of Contents:

My Sonic Lab Eminent MC Cartridge

My Sonic Lab Stage 303 Transformer

 

Awards / Reviews - My Sonic Lab

 

FAQ - My Sonic Lab

 

 

My Sonic Lab Eminent MC Cartridge

 

My Sonic Lab Eminent MC Cartridge : Introduction

We are committed to bring you only the best of breed in analogue playback. 

 

Joining our league of extraordinary analogue products are the My Sonic Lab MC phono cartridges, from Japan.  

 

Some customers ask us how we come to know of the analogue goodies that we offer, when the products are not heavy on paid advertisements, and may even be considered "exotic".  One local dealer saw our dps turntable (and even the Scheu Premier) and said that we liked to bring in exotic products.

 

My Sonic Lab Eminent MC Stereo phono cartridgeWell, on the contrary. We don't base our decisions on popularity.  We bring in high-performance, high-quality, high-end analogue products, recommended to us by those who know.  These "exotic" products are actually well-known among insiders.  We listen to a few reputable experienced analogue veterans that we trust to guide us in our choices. 

 

Insider choices - select and exclusive, and none have failed us so far. Schroder, dps, Scheu Analog, Pluto Audio, Jan Allaerts, The Cartridge Man, Graham Slee - exceptional products without the need for hype.

 

Hence, we bring you the My Sonic Lab Eminent stereo MC phono cartridge, as well as the My Sonic Lab Eminent Solo mono MC phono cartridge. 

 

Experience what the My Sonic Lab Eminent has to offer, and why it has captivated many.

The "My" in the company name refers to the initials of its designer, Mr. Y. Matsudaira.

 

Mr. Matsudaira set up My Sonic Lab in 2003 but has been in the business for over forty years. He has an illustrious career as a cartridge, tonearm, and phono stage designer, starting from Tokyo Sound in 1959, later on at Supex, and at Audio Craft as chief engineer.

My Sonic Lab The Eminent MC phono cartridge

With My Sonic Lab, Mr. Matsudaira is fulfilling  his design goals of producing a moving coil cartridge with very low internal impedance.  With this design, Mr. Matsudaira feels that the energy producing potential of an MC cartridge is fully realized.
 
Matsudaira uses an ultra high-μ material which he has named SH-μX. This material allows My Sonic Lab to significantly reduce the amount of coil wire required to give a decent output level.  With the reduction in the amount of coil wire comes greater low-level resolution.

 

The Eminent MC has an internal impedance of 1.8 ohms combined with a healthy 0.5mV output. It includes a neodymium SH-muX magnet, `dual structure' super duralumin cantilever and a semi-line contact stylus.

 

Tracking  force between 2 and 2.2grams is recommended.


Medium to heavy mass arm would be ideal.

 

 

My Sonic Lab Eminent phono cartridge,  mounted on a Schroder SA-1 turntable, with phono stage duties falling on John Atwood's Artemis Labs PL-1 phono stage.

 

My Sonic Lab

 

With loading at 480 ohms on the PL-1 phono stage, the Eminent reminds us of the Air Tight PC-1 (also made by My Sonic Lab) in terms of detail and refinement, but the Eminent having a lot more energy and dynamics. 

 

At first installation, the Eminent was too liquid-sounding, overlaying macrodynamics with a coating of too much sugar, that we were already thinking of compensating with more analytical tubes.  But this colouration slowly disappeared after a few hours of burn-in, and beautifully opened up.  We've never heard Billie Holiday sound so good before on her album "Lady In Satin" ...

My Sonic Lab

 
My Sonic Lab Eminent my Sonic Lab Eminent
 

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Technical Notes: My Sonic Lab Eminent MC Cartridge

 

An Epoch-Making Low-Impedance MC Phono Cartridge
 

The ultimate target of MC cartridge is to derive "High" energy from "Low" impedance circuitry.

For this purpose, so far many manufacturers, small or large, have employed various sorts of materials and devices such as:

  • Purification of wire material

  • New material for housing

  • Selection of cantilever material

  • High-energy magnet

  • Polish on stylus tip

But actually for these 30 years, nothing has been noticeably improved in respect of technical data; to the contrary something adverse has been done in the light of the above-mentioned principle "output voltage vs. internal impedance".

Certainly, compared to the samarium or cerium cobalt magnet used 30 years ago, the neodynium magnet forming today's mainstream is enhanced by as much as 3 times in terms of energy product, but it does not help augment the output voltage.

Through our long experience, our ultimate goal was set up to clear the barriers:


2 ohms at internal impedance & 0.5mV at output voltage, and our bold challenge started here to work out a solution to this theme; that means, the high source impedance (resistive components of coil) causes considerable consumption of the generated energy in the inside of the coils, whilst small output voltage yields transmission loss to the next stages including interconnections, thus inevitably deteriorating signal quality and increasing noise components.

 

Nevertheless, it is mechanically and physically impossible to increment the output voltage of today's MC cartridge up to the 3mV - 5mV level due to load amount imposed on the vibration system.

 

In view of usual workable range of the step-up and head-amp devices, it was considered to be reasonable to set up the output voltage at 0.3mV - 0.5mV. How to reduce the impedance with such output level?

The first task tackled was to design high-efficiency magnetic circuitry. The reason why the high energy product inherent in today's magnet cannot be utilised lies in the magnetic saturation of the pole piece & material, and whatever material you may select, you are unable to get over the barrier unless saturation flux density is augmented.

After years' exhaustive R & D efforts, finally developed is our exclusive ultra-hi-μ core material named the SH-μX. This SH-μX boasting of such huge saturation flux density and initial permeability exceeding 3 times more than those of conventional Hi-u core brings forth unprecedented high-efficiency magnetic characteristics, which permits remarkable reduction in the number of coil winds, thus suppressing the inner loss down to the minimum, while its high output voltage makes it possible to reproduce an  overwhelming energy sensation and extraordinary high resolution throughout whole spectrum of audio bandwidth.

 

 

My Sonic Lab Eminent - SPECIFICATIONS:

Type

Low-impedance moving coil cartridge

Frequency response

10 - 50,000 Hz

Output voltage

0.5mV/1kHz

Internal impedance

1.8 Ω

Loading 100 - 800Ω (specifically, about 400Ω is recommended)

Core material

SH-μX

Magnet

Neodynium #50

Stylus pressure

2 - 2.2g

Cantilever

Super-duralmine dual structure

Stylus tip

Semi-line contact (3μm x 30μm)

Channel balance

within 0.5dB (1kHz)

Crosstalk

more than 30dB (1kHz)

Terminals

shiny rhodium-plated pins

Weight

9g

 

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My Sonic Lab Stage 303 Step-Up Transformer

 

 

Step-up Transformer for Low-Impedance MC Cartridges.

The EMINENT - an epoch-making MC cartridge developed by My Sonic Lab offers an unprecedented 1.8Ω low impedance. To make the most of the high output energy under such an amazingly low impedance, the MC transformer of low internal loss plays the most suitable and effective role, which has been a common knowledge among all the designers & engineers versed in MC cartridges.

As a matter of course, no problem is envisaged in terms of step-up ratio or amplification voltage when used in combination with normal low-impedance MC transformer or good head-amp, but in the case of an MC cartridge featuring low internal impedance, you can expect an ideal reproduction only with a low-loss MC transformer designed in the same concept.

For this reason, we decided to introduce the matching MC transformer named the "Stage 303". This Stage 303 uses unusual stout wires, Φ0.55mm at the primary side & Φ0.18mm at the secondary, for which we need larger core to provide wider winding space.

 

On the other hand, large core causes ferrite loss due to longer magnetic paths, thus inevitably deteriorating response speed to weak signals. To solve this problem, the magnetic characteristics of the core had to be ameliorated.

 

Eventually developed is our super Hi-μ core material "PC-SX" offering such stupendous magnetic characteristics that are 6.5 times larger in initial permeability & more than 1.5 times higher in magnetic flux density compared to conventional JIS PC material.

 

 

Our exclusive core thus avoiding deterioration of response speed ensures distortion-free reproduction with good phase characteristics as well as affluent dynamics.

 

The Stage 303 derives the full potential of any low-impedance cartridges not to mention the EMINENT.

 

 

 

 

My Sonic Lab Stage 303 - SPECIFICATIONS :

Frequency bandwidth

10Hz - 100kHz (2Ω/47kΩ)

Step-up ratio

 22dB (2Ω/47kΩ, 1kHz)

Input impedance

1Ω - 6Ω (applicable cartridge impedance)

Load resistance

47kΩ 
Channel balance 0.1dB (1kHz)

Channel separation

more than 100dB (1kHz)

Connectors

Rhodium-plated (RCA & GND terminals)

Other features

: Floating selector, Hi-μ core PC-SX, Terminate resistor VISHAY S102K

Weight

1.8kgs

 

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Awards / Reviews - My Sonic Lab

 

HiFi News : My Sonic Lab Review

Hi-Fi News

May 2006

Rising Suns : A review of Japanese high-end cartridges : Audio-Tekne MC-6310 and My Sonic Lab - Eminent

 

"My Sonic Lab ? clear stereo separation, wide bandwidth, crisp incision and a galloping dynamic range - alongside the less easily described attributes of 'musicality'. The reviewer's glossary can be tossed out of the window when you find a cartridge this good, which just sounds 'right' ! "

...

"While the Audio Tekne MC-6310 gives a traditional mellow, sweet euphonic sound that can beguile, reminiscent of smooth moving-coil classics, the My Sonic Lab Eminent takes the art of vinyl reproduction a step beyond what many will have heard, balancing power, dynamics with incredible resolution and musicality. This is a cartridge that comes heartily recommended."

 

For more details, check out Hi-Fi News, May 2006 issue, or Email Us! / fill up Enquiry Form for a copy of this review.

Hi-Fi+ Issue No. 37

Hi-Fi+ issue No. 37

by Jason Hector

My Sonic Lab - Eminent MC Cartridge

 

"This is a powerful MC with impressive low-level resolution and a sense of speed that is quite rare."

 

"It's crisp and clear yet also muscular and hard hitting ..."

 

"... the guitar and bass portrayed with a chunkiness that makes them seem all the more real."

 

"There's no shortage of power and weight"

 

"There's no denying the strong sense of pace that the Eminent brings to the party and the degree to which it responds to each recording. This is a first class moving coil that deserves to be a front-runner for any one with this sort of budget."

 

For more details, check out Hi-Fi+ issue No. 37 issue, or Email Us! / fill up Enquiry Form for a copy of this review.

 

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FAQ - My Sonic Lab

 

Setting Up The My Sonic Lab Eminent cartridge

To mount the EMINENT onto the head-shell, general basic care common to all conventional MC or MM cartridges is needed.

1. For installation take the space 50+/-2mm between the stylus tip and the standard fixing point at the base of the head-shell.

2. Stylus pressure: 1.9 - 2.2g is recommended because of the high compliance design.

3. Stylus: Semi-line contact tip (3μm x 30μm) ensures perfect trackability onto the sound grooves.

4. Step-up ratio: Intrinsically, low-internal loss transformer offers an optimum matching. 

 

Amplification ratio of normal phono input (MM) being considered to be 34 - 42dB, the desired
 

Step-up ratio is 10 - 20 times (20 - 26dB). In the case of head amp, the load impedance should be in the range of 100 - 800Ω (specifically, about 400Ω is recommended).


Select your desired value after listening. As the load resistance is reduced, the energy gets gradually lowered, and you can not expect the inherent performance of the cartridge.

5. Tone-arm & head-shell: Select a solid one of an orthodox structure providing tight contact.

6. Turntable: Select the one with thorough countermeasures against vibrations, and provide sufficient insulation from external vibrations as well.

7. Stylus cleaning: The provided brush offers high cleaning effect. Apply slight brushing 3 - 5 times in the turning direction of the disc (from the terminal side towards the stylus).  Never brush the stylus tip in the reverse or traverse direction.

8. Disc cleaning: Use high-quality disc cleaner. Avoid those of wet spray system.  If applied, start playback after the disc gets dry.

 

 

Setting Up The Stage 303 Transformer

The Stage 303 is a high-quality step-up transformer to enhance the output signal level of low-impedance (1Ω~6Ω)MC cartridges up to that of standard high-output cartridges.

1. The Stage 303 has been developed to provide the most suitable and effective step-up performance to the Eminent, low-impedance MC cartridge from My Sonic Lab, but thanks to its inherently low internal loss characteristics an outstanding voltage enhancement is possible with other low-impedance cartridges as well.

However bear in mind that the higher the load impedance, the lower the step-up ratio due to the load impedance set at 2Ω for 22dB step-up ratio.

2. At the time of interconnection, you may choose the primary side (input) between the Floating Input circuitry (Floated Balance) and Unbalanced (GND) circuitry. MC cartridges employ the balanced output circuit without grounding and normally the selector is set at the "FLOATING" position. In case of noises caused by grounding conditions of tonearm & turntable, however, set the selector at the "GND" position.

3. The secondary side (output) configurating the Floating Output circuit without grounding, interconnect the output to an MM input of a phono amp by means of a high-quality line cable offering stable grounding connection.

 

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My Sonic Lab Cartridges / Transformers

My Sonic Lab Eminent MC cartridge, My Sonic Lab Stage 303 Transformer