Grado Black 1 Black1 Phono Cartridge
GRADO BLACK 1 BLACK1 PHONO CARTRIDGE
Ships to US only
The Grado Prestige series of cartridges are designed for high output and excellent stability under the most demanding conditions. All of the range uses Grado's patented Optimized Transmission Line (OTL) technology which makes your records sound quieter, improve the height width and depth of the sound stage and offer more detail than previously achievable. Grado's OTL technology is all about delivering more music, more performance. Grado cartridges are acclaimed worldwide by experts as virtually the finest pickups at their price points.
Grado Black 1 Phono Cartridge Specifications
- Type: Moving magnet
- Output voltage: 5mV
- Frequency response: 10Hz-50kHz
- Load impedance: 47k ohms
- Channel separation: 30dB
- Stylus type: Elliptical
- Stylus replacement: User replaceable
- Compliance: 20mm/N
- Tracking force: 1.0 - 2.0 g
- Recommended tracking force: 1.5 g
- Weight: 5.5 g
For stylus replacements, refer to Related Products:
- Standard stylus: Grado Stylus Black
- Upgrade stylus: Grado Stylus Green
This is a poor man's Soundsmith cart!
DON'T BUY THEM! THIS REMAINDER STASH IS ALL MINE! MINE! MINE!
Grado is now in a new production mode and has some improvements they also passed on to their entry line, which is now the Black-3.
This old Black is now on sale at a price so juicy, I just ordered another one!
At 200 bucks (old MSRP was 75), even this old model would be a good cartridge. At the current sale price, the old Grado Black, what has to be a New Old Stock, is a steal!
How good are these? Incredibly good. My headline says it all. Midrange is usually described as "lush", base is very pleasant and present, and the upper range detail has no limits, and the frequency range is unbelievable. If your amplifier chain has no filters and no cut-off, this cartridge sounds incredibly fluffy and open!
It does everything so right, it just fits my ear like those perfectly worn out old house slippers you sometimes forget to take off when you go outside!
On my vintage Dual belt drives, I like it better than my AT440ML, Ortofon OM40, AT-OC9, even better than my favourite, a vintage Shure M95 with SAS!
To be fair, let's talk about some problems some people have reported with Grado.
The real problem is not with Grado, but they are so good and revealing, that you may finally notice a problem you had all along.
20 years ago I had a Grado Green. The one real problem I encountered was a sausage finger attack, with a broken off stylus as a result. But nobody ever mentions operator accidents!
The "Grado Dance":
Exceedingly rare, because seriously bad arms are that rare! I personally had it happen to me on a Thorens TD146 turntable and Thorens TP11 arm, with a spectacular wobble, and the arm even bouncing off the record. It was a lousy arm!
I eventually chucked that machine, because the oh so hyped Thorens was a finicky beast with impossible to cure ailments. That was 20 years ago, and while I tried a few more Thorens players as loaners, they all went back to the store. So there you go, bad arm. In the 90s and early 2000s I had an apartment filled with "Goodwill" treasure turntables of many brands and with many different tone arms, and nothing else ever had this spectacular reaction, so Thorens really had a uniquely bad arm with the cursed TP11. So the "Grado Dance" is not any fault of the cartridge, but that of a lousy wannabe high end design arm.
The Grado hum:
Nope. I used them on Dual, Thorens, Technics, Pioneer, Yamaha, Fisher, Sanyo, Hitachi, belt and direct drives, and never had a problem with hum. I had to fiddle with grounding with every turntable I ever had, but once I got rid of hum with a Shure or Ortofon, mounting a Grado was no problem either.
So there you go. If you like a gentle sounding cart, with fatigue free listening for hours and days, that delivers all the sounds in the groove, is not a hard hitting disco-hammer but has rhythm, this is a super budget buy!