New from Acoustical Systems is the Archon moving coil cartridge. With its healthy output of 0.5 mV, the Archon partners with any well designed phono preamplifier (tube, solid state, or hybrid design), while its internally liquid-damped, titanium alloy uni-body construction ensures compatibility with the widest range of modern tonearms. Precise setting of overhang and alignment is greatly simplified thanks to the clearly visible cantilever; in conjunction with the SMARTractor it doesn’t get any easier.
Users of SME tonearms will appreciate the range of available headshell mounting points within the Archon’s titanium alloy uni-body, providing much needed flexibility when it comes to achieving the desired overhang.
The Archon’s Shibata EVO stylus is capable of tracing the extreme high frequency content of quadraphonic LPs and thus, in conjunction with its symmetrical silver coils, it easily recovers every nuance within modern stereo microgroove records. With a suspension designed to rapidly adapt to room temperature and to overcome the all too common problem of protracted cartridge break-in; the Archon is one cartridge where you do not need 100 hours or more of wear and tear on your stylus before you can extract the full performance potential.
Output voltage = 0.5 mV
Static Compliance = 17-19 mm/N (measured between 18 and 30 °C)
Tracking Force Range = 1.6 – 2.0 grams (1.8 grams recommended)
Channel Balance <0.5 dB at 1 kHz
Channel Separation = 28 dB
Frequency Response = 15 Hz – 32 kHz ± 2 dB
Internal Resistance = 8 Ohms
Cartridge Weight = 11.5 grams
Cantilever Material: Tempered aluminium coated with C37 lacquer
The generator mechanism, suspension, cantilever and stylus are sourced from the world’s largest and most mature supplier of OEM cartridge components in Japan. The titanium alloy uni-body is unique to Acoustical Systems and made entirely in Germany. Similarly, cartridge assembly, testing, and fine-tuning is performed in Germany. The Archon is limited to 144 individually numbered pieces. The first production run of 20 pieces sold out before the official introduction, testament to Acoustical Systems’ well-deserved reputation for producing only the most consequent and complete analogue playback solutions.
So what does an Archon cartridge sound like? While no words can possibly replace hearing the product for yourself, you can expect a sonic picture which is life-like and tantalising in its openness, micro-detail, and rich harmonic structure. It is a very natural, colourful sound – with an outstanding reproduction of human voices and the most realistic timbre. It opens a soundstage which is both wide and deep, recreating the ambience of the recording venue with organic placement of instrumental images and wide inner dynamics.