Famous Japanese cartridge designer Noriyuki Miyajima has released a new monaural phono cartridge, the Infinity Mono, which is now the company’s flagship mono cartridge, being an enhancement of the Miyajima Zero.

Miyajima mono cartridges are true mono designs, which are mechanically different from a stereo cartridge. A true mono cartridge operates in the lateral plane only, with no vertical compliance. This insensitivity to vertical movement manifests as very low groove noise, as well as highly faithful tracking of the groove modulations. In contrast, most other so-called ‘mono’ cartridges available are actually modified stereo designs.

As with all of Miyajima’s mono cartridges, the new Infinity Mono has an ingenious moving-coil generator system, which ensures that the cartridge responds accurately (and only) to the horizontal modulation of a mono signal. ‘Designed from the ground up for mono-only replay, the new Infinity monos deliver a full-bodied and supremely musical sound; one that recalls vintage audio systems yet with the high resolution and articulate frequency extremes of the finest modern cartridges,’ said Boris Granovsky, of Absolute HiEnd, which distributes Miyajima in Australia.

Granovsky told Australian Hi-Fi Magazine that mono recordings have had an undeserved bad rap over the years simply because everyone (including most audiophiles) used stereo cartridges to play them back. ‘A good quality mono recording, played faithfully, is something that every audiophile should hear,’ he said. ‘There is a directness of presentation, a focus, a clarity, and a level of detail that you won’t hear if you’re using a stereo cartridge, or a low-cost mono one.

The Infinity Mono is available in two versions: one has a 1.0 mil conical stylus and is best suited to the wider groove mono records made from a stamper cut with a true mono cutting stylus (typically mono records from around 1945 to the late 1960s). The other Infinity Mono has a 0.7 mil conical stylus, and is best-suited for mono records made from a stamper cut with a stereo cutting stylus (generally mono records made from the late 1960s, including most modern mono reissues). Both models are sizable, because Miyajima has increased the size and weight of the Infinity compared to the Zero and has also optimised the single-coil generator, which has increased its size and mass. The resulting cartridge is 24mm wide, 28mm deep and weighs around 14.8 grams. (The model with the 1.0 mil stylus is slightly heavier than the otherwise identical version with the 0.7mil stylus.)

Miyajima says that if you only want one Infinity Mono, and you’re planning to play LP records from both periods, he’d recommend using the model with the 0.7 mil stylus.

Manufacturer’s Specifications: Mayajima Infinity Mono
Body: African Blackwood
Frequency Range: 20Hz to 20kHz
Output: 0.4mV
Impedance: 6Ω
Recommended Load: 100Ω
Rec Tracking Force: 3.5g
Compliance @ 100Hz: 8×10-6cm/dyne
Weight: 14.8g
Price: $4,200.00 (RRP)

For more information, contact Absolute HiEnd