LP Tunes CARBON FIDELITY CF3600LE cartridge
LP Tunes CARBON FIDELITY CF3600LE CARTRIDGE
- Music that makes you want to listen.™
Listen to the new voice of music. Carbon fiber composites offer 10 times the strength of steel at half the weight. Codeveloped and designed with LP Tunes by the same Audio-Technica team that developed their lofty cartridges, the new Carbon Fidelity (CF) 3600LE harnesses carbon fiber technology to advance the state of existing Audio-Technica AT3600 cartridges and all of its versions. The updated design, tight specifications, Twin-Flux™ magnets, high-quality moving system fulcrum and radial damping ring allied with a Spectra elliptical diamond tip produce music that makes you want to listen. Higher fidelity from carbon technology.
"This is an amazing cartridge for the money. This cartridge digs into the grooves and gives a musical presentation with very good detail, excellent bass and natural midrange. I have had super pricey cartridges and I don't miss them. Not saying it's in same league as my 1k Clearaudio cartridge, but this thing just plays music that makes me want to listen. I have several pairs of high quality speakers and amps and have had same experience on all of my gear. I am playing more vinyl than ever because I am not thinking about a $500 re-tip of my pricey cartridge. Absolute no brainer purchase. Don't let price fool you. I have recommended to several friends all of whom purchased and enjoy it."1
Mastered to illuminate against lofty cartridges beyond the economics of most listeners, the CF3600LE touches and endears the more you listen. You won't want to go back to your underperforming or pricey cartridge. You'll hear, feel and sense the music exquisitely rendered — harmonically full-bodied, refractive and refreshingly crystal clean with luminous detail spatially radiating with realness. You'll experience remarkable note clarity, projection and nuanced tonal complexity previously unheard and unappreciated. It will surprise and astound.
"Well, it sounded pretty good for an mm cart. To me it sounded more like a Grado 8MR without the dreaded Grado hum. Neutral, light, pleasing and easy to listen to. These are made by Audio-Technica and rebranded LPG. Good price considering the materials used (carbon fiber). Though a different character from the ATN95E this one has a receptive and inviting tone." 2
"The sonic improvement was noticeable in terms of high frequency clarity and extension and improved detail." 3
"Best budget cartridge available. I compare it with the AT-120e as far as sound quality goes." 4
You are better off replacing the cartridge, or at the very least replacing the stylus with the $29.98 LP Tunes CFN-3600LE, which improves the sound and lets you track a gram lighter at 2.5 grams." 5
CF3600LE Phono Cartridge Details
- Type: Moving Magnet VM Dual Magnet Stereo
- Output voltage @ 1kHz,5cm/sec.: 2.5 mV
- Channel balance at 1kHz: 2.5 dB or less
- Channel separation @ 1kHz: over 18 dB
- Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Load resistance: 47k ohms
- Load capacitance: 100 - 200 pF
- Stylus type: 0.3 × 0.7 mil Spectra Elliptical diamond
- Cantilever: Super Fidelity Carbon Fiber6
- Tracking force range: 1.8 - 3.5 g
- Tracking force recommended: 2.5 g (25 mN)
- Coil impedance at 1kHz: 2.8k ohms
- Recommended load resistance: 47k ohms
- Recommended break-in duration: 30 hours
- Color: Black, Silver, Indigo
- Weight: 5.0 g
- Dimensions (mm): 30.0L × 16.9W × 17.0H
- Accessories included: Brass screws × 2, and nuts × 2
- Stylus replacement: LP Tunes CFN3600LE stylus
Footnote 1: Customer Review, "LP Tunes CF3600LE phono cartridge".
Footnote 2: Customer Review, "LP Tunes CF3600LE Cartridge Set".
Footnote 3: Michael Fremer, "Pioneer PL-30-K Automatic Single Play Turntable", Analog Planet, June 10, 2015. The esteemed reviewer compared, evaluated and found the LP Tunes CFN3600LE stylus to offer obvious sonic and tracing improvement as well as lower tracking force for record preservation.
Footnote 4: Customer Review, loc.cit.
Footnote 5: Michael Fremer, "Onkyo's CP-1050 Direct Drive Turntable", Analog Planet, July 21, 2015. The esteemed reviewer recommends the CF3600LE cartridge or CFN3600LE stylus depending on customer preference.
Footnote 6: Carbon fiber composites offer 10 times the strength of steel at half the weight. Each producer's carbon fiber differs from those of its competitors, and the processing details are considered to be intellectual property. The special carbon fiber used in the Carbon Fidelity cartridges and styli is patiently and expertly considered for its signature characteristics to bring out the subtleties and finesse of music extracted from the grooves of records and LPs. For carbon fiber info see: "The making of carbon fiber".
LP Tunes Music listening equipment: Graham Slee Reflex M phono preamp, Graham Slee Elevator EXP headamp, Denon AU-300LC Step-up transformer, Graham Slee Proprius mono amps, Quicksilver Silver 88 mono amps, Roadrunner Digital Turntable Tachometer, Sota Sapphire turntable, Audience SE Phono Cable, Audience Ohno speaker cables, Rogers LS3/5A speakers, Audience ClairAudient 1+1 Loudspeakers, Krell LAT 2 speakers, Yamaha NS1000M speakers, LP Tunes CF3600LE cartridge, Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge, Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge, Rega Carbon, Supex SD 901 Super cartridge, Denon DL-103 cartridge, Denon DL-110 cartridge, Grace F-9E cartridge.
I don't think it can be beaten for it's current sale price of $35. I put it on a backup table of mine that has always suffered from an untameable sibilance. Out of all of the expensive carts I've mounted to it, this cheaper one sounded the best.
This cart/stylus combo is an improvement on the giant slayer AT-3600L with the carbon fiber cantilever and conical stylus. It adds the more refined elliptical stylus to the same cantilever and body. A sale price of 35 bucks is a no brainer. At regular price of 75, I'd probably go with the stock configuration for a third of that, then upgrade the stylus to the Vividline stylus, which is a world beater combo for 100 bucks..
With my stash of cartridges playing, I finally got around to this one again and mounted it in a vintage Technics SL-Q3, a quartz controlled full auto machine with a comparatively fat platter for its year and what followed shortly after. In other words, the turntable is in way better class than this cartridge, but it holds up and then some! This budget cartridge simply blows my socks off on this machine! I think the old Japanese tables were simply made for perfect harmonising with Audio Technica carts, and this one being an upgraded AT3600 just really performs well and leaves nothing to wish for that wouldn't cost you a hell of a lot more money!
At the current price on this site for under 40 bucks, this is a totally smart buy!
A definite upgrade to the 3600L, worth it.
Great price, great performance, great value. Very pleased.
very good over all sound,i am happy
one thing the screws was a little bit hard to go on.
4 stars for value! Sound, being a tough judge, is more like a 3 star rating, but considering a 5 star rating enters the real high end club, that is not bad at all!
I had first tried this in a quick setup on a old Akai AP-207 direct drive automatic table, that has to be tweaked to my likes yet. It was better than expected, but something was a bit off. It is a strange anatomy thing with my ears, as they clog up quite painfully, when there is some phase shift or deep resonance. But most people don't get that.
So I just mounted it in a Dual headshell and put it on my Dual 510 with upgraded mat, running through a Pro-Ject Phono-Box S2 into an SAE TWO R3C.
Nowhere near broken in, but new out of box, it now first played a record with Carmen McRae, and I thought "Not bad at all".
So put on Grace Jones "Slave To The Rythm".
That percussion was alive and cracking!
The intro to the last track "Miss Grace Jones" starts with a "ting" from a triangle. It is loud and clear!
There are some sounds you cannot even hear on some systems, mainly the slowly growing trombone bursts that come out of the background a few times, like some lurking animal about to pounce on you, and end in a "whup" sound effect as they cut off. The Shure M91 with SAS and Audio Technica OC9ML render them nicer and rounder. BUT they are also well broken in. The OC9ML is now on the ML/II version and sells for 419 dollars on this site. The SAS styli are now no longer 139 dollars, but instead somewhere around 300 a pop.
What an unfair contest, for this little cartridge, that is giving it all an honest shot!
The closest I have had in hand and tried at around 100 dollars in today's market is the Ortofon 2M-Red. I no longer have it, because I only kept what I actually listen to, but from memory, this Carbon Fidelity is pretty close, but already more lively sounding. I mean this has a fun factor.
I only hope it loses that strange effect on my ears after breaking in...
To be recommen...
I am amazed at how great this sounds. I have read that it takes about 80 hrs. of playing for this cartridge to really shine, it's pretty incredible out of the box. If you're looking for great sound without spending much money at all, buy this cartridge. Thanks to LP tunes for the great product and fast delivery.