AudioTechnica ART1000
Copyright 2020 © Troels Gravesen

Good fortune gave me the opportunity to test the top cartridge of the Audio Technica product range, the ART1000. This is indeed a very special cartridge with two tiny coils glued to the tip of the cantilever. It looks like this:


The trick must be to eliminate the transmission of energy through the cantilever to the cross/coils. The cartridge comes with a specified pressure recommendation to place the coils center between the opposing magnets. The one I had with 2.5 grams. Read the story at analogplanet.

Specified 2.5 grams. 2.49 grams should do!

Disregard the wire colours above - the AT had the pins opposite to my Anna D as I found out when left all of a sudden turned right.

The ART1000 placed in the 4Point9 tone-arm. Not an easy task I can tell as all the screws coming with the kit wasn't in my box.
Why can't all cartridge manufacturers make threads in their products? So easy - and so convenient for us. Not having screws and bolts from the AT kit I had to grind the heads of some long screws in stock and also find suitable bolts for the Kuzma headshell. The Kuzma headshell is not an easy one if you have to change cartridges  regularly.

Out of the box I wasn't too impressed by the sound of the ART1000 trying various loads of my EAR-912 phono stage. Some further adjustments of VTA. etc. - not an easy task either - and I think the cartridge had all it takes to perform the best it can.

This is indeed a fine cartridge with exceptional transparency and ability to track whatever is to be found in the groove. I'd say in terms of soundstage width and depth on par with the best I have tried. Piano, brass and wood instruments all came through with credible timbre. It was kind of like going back to my vdh Colibri - and then not at all - after all. It's different in that it has an tonal balance that is on the bright side - too bright for my taste and larger symphonic ensembles were too intrusive and made you turn down the volume. Various loads didn't change this behaviour, neither some serious testing of VTA. I also tried my vdh The Grail phono stage - same result. Hmm..

Switching back to the Anna D tonal balance was restored and that indescribably smoothness the characterizes this cartridge, which comes without the sacrifice of any other parametre I can think of. Maybe not a fair comparison, but the ART1000 is not exactly cheep. I would still favour my MSL EMINENT EX over the ART1000. I guess with the right speakers, speakers with maybe a slightly recessed upper-mid might do very well with the ART1000. For my system, too bright.