Soundsmith and DirectGrace
In addition to the Cartright cartridge setup tool, Soundsmith was showing the new EZ-Mount cartridge screws ($29.99, review to come from Michael Fremer), which allow for easy cartridge installation; Soundsmith’s new top-of-the-line Sussurro Paua moving-iron cartridge ($3499), inspired by Frank Schroder; the special edition, VPI-branded Zephyr high-output cartridge ($999), designed for use with VPI and other unipivot tonearms; and the neat, little “Intuitive” tool ($49.99), designed to make simple, precise adjustments of tracking force and azimuth to VPI tonearms!
The sound in here was sparkling and alive. I could easily hear the humor in Louis Armstrong’s voice.
Ledermann also made special note of his DirectGrace record label:
DirectGrace Records is a unique music recording company that weds a passion for high-end vinyl recording to charitable giving. Dedicated to the world's most at-risk children, part of the proceeds from the sale of each unique, high-definition record goes to organizations helping children in extreme poverty.
Ledermann explained that he simply woke up one morning and asked himself how he could do more for the world. He is Executive Producer of the label, coordinating the artists and engineers who will work on the label’s projects. These high-quality releases will utilize master recordings taken directly from live performances using “a single, elegant, direct path from the microphone to the cutting head.” Each signed, limited edition release will cost $100-$150, and proceeds will go toward helping children in extreme poverty.