The Jico Seto-Hori high-output moving-coil phono cartridge that starred at the Munich show is now available in Australia from Soundring Australia.

Jico is one of Japan’s longest-running manufacturers, having started out in 1873 building sewing needles. In 1959 the company started manufacturing steel record needles for phonographs and commenced production of diamond tipped styli in 1964. The factory headquarters is located in Hamasaka, on the Sea of Japan. In addition building phono cartridges under the Jico name, the company also supplies parts for phono cartridges to other manufacturers and is the Japanese distributor for many famous phono cartridge manufacturers.

The Jico Seto-Hori is a handcrafted moving-coil cartridge with an unusual ceramic body. ‘For many years it was thought that it was impossible to use ceramic for cartridges because of the inevitable shrinkage during the firing process,’ says Brian Maddern of Soundring, ‘but following a two-year collaboration between Jido, a laboratory in Seto, Japan and a pottery factory in Toki-city, Gifu, Jico craftsmen were not only able to build a ceramic body, but also apply a beautiful patterned finish using a technique the Japanese call ‘Hori-Tsuke’ because it resembles a fishing net and follows a Japanese philosophy of capturing happiness by creating beautiful sounds.’

The cartridge body is mounted on a base made from natural walnut wood and is processed near Hamamatsu, the city famous for its world-class musical instrument factories, and the moving coil generator is motivated by a Boron cantilever tipped with a Micro-Ridge polyhedral diamond stylus. ‘Being a line contact stylus its life-time is at least three times longer compared to an ordinary conical or elliptical stylus,’ Maddern told Australian Hi-Fi Magazine, ‘and because the Boron cantilever has such low mass and such great stiffness, the stylus is able to trace the groove more accurately and reproduce low, mid-range and high frequencies with the truest fidelity.’ Made entirely by hand in Japan, the Jico Seto-Hori phono cartridge retails for $1,469.

Manufacturer’s Specifications: Jico Seto-Hori MC Cartridge

Frequency Range: 15Hz–32kHz
Channel Separation @ 1kHz: 25dB
Output Balance @ 1kHz: <1.5dB
Output Voltage: 2mV
Output Impedance @ 1kHz: 130Ω
Recommended Stylus Force: 2.0g
Cantilever: Boron
Stylus: Micro-ridge diamond
Weight: 11g
Price: A$1,469

For more information, contact Soundring Australia (a division of Decibel Hi Fi)