Soundsmith's Strain-Gauge Phono Cartridge
Soundsmith introduced a strain-gauge cartridge system in the Joseph Audio room at the Alexis Villas. The output of the dedicated battery-powered preamplifier can be fed to a preamp's line input as it does not require any equalization.
The preamplifier "charges" the cartridge, which is indicated by LEDs on its sides that emit blue light when it is operational. The front panel of the integrated preamplifier displays both tracking force and force balance on each groove wall.
With a one gram tracking force, the cartridge, mounted in a VPI tonearm and turntable, played back vinyl records with unusual smoothness, detailing, and a deep and wide soundstage.
While its developer, Peter Lederman, did not divulge the cartridge system's price, he did indicate that it would be marketed this coming year. Furthermore, he claimed that the strain gauge's "doped-silicon beam," which produces the signal from the vinyl grooves, was immune to crosstalk.