Clearaudio Maestro V2 phono cartridge Specifications

Sidebar: Specifications

Description: Moving-magnet phono cartridge. Weight: 8.4gm. Output voltage: 3.6mV at 1kHz. Channel separation: >30dB. Channel balance: <0.2dB. Coil impedance: 660 ohms at 1kHz.
Price: $1200.
Manufacturer: Clearaudio Electronic GmbH, Spardorfer Strasse 150, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. Tel: (49) (0)1805-05-95-95. Fax: (49) (0)9131-40-300-119. Web: US distributor: Musical Surroundings, 5662 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609. Tel: (510) 547-5006. Fax: (510) 547-5009. Web:

Clearaudio Electronic GmbH
US distributor: Musical Surroundings
5662 Shattuck Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 547-5006

Venere 2's picture

Michael, thanks for the well written and thought out review (as usual). I do wonder if you ever feel that reviewing a 1200$ cartridge in 2015 is a service?

It's not the dollar amount in itself that is pejorative; but rather the amount compared to alternatives in the non analog realm.

For the longest time I defended turntables as the best sounding front end. For the longest time, I spent my money on an analog front end, and the vinyl LPs to play on it. As recently as a few months ago, I still did.

Then after much denial and lost time, I admitted to myself that digital was no longer the awful sounding crap it once was. I did not want to believe it. I certainly did not want to make the change, much less embrace it; but I did. I traded my turntable for a high quality DAC. I couldn't be happier!

When I see people getting into vinyl; buying a turntable and start building a vinyl record collection now in 2015, I feel bad for them. They remind me of the people who invest in a stock when everyone is talking about it… Those people buy the stock at the wrong time (too late), and lose.

Now music is so much more than dollars and cents, and the enjoyment of music has no price. But, for the guy buying a 5000$ turntable NOW and building up a multi thousand dollar vinyl collection, that he will sell for pennies on the dollar in 2-3 years, I feel it's a disservice to push analog right now.

Mark this post if you wish, and gloat in 2 years if I am wrong. But, I have seen these kinds of trends and waves before. The vinyl bubble will burst, sooner than later. I don't wish it. But it will happen. Turntables improve, but at a slow rate. Digital improves much faster, and it keeps getting faster.

Gorm's picture

Venere: please don't feel sorry for me. I never sold my treasured albums (had a lot of duds too thought) and I own an expensive EMM Labs XDs1 for SACD and HiDef downloads. I still buy good albums and I also pay for good downloads. They can all be great, or not - depending mostly on the Musicians and engineers. The sad thing is that on HD Tracks downloads I get no information, and therefore all the players, engineers and those responsible for the final product are ignored.
I can say (having invested equally in both formats) that everything being equal - the analogue gives more pleasure. But I am happy for both. So don't patronize me please and save the tears for those whose entire collection on digital could suddenly disappear one day.

geekonstereo's picture

In a comparison of various cartridges on Analog Planet, you wrote:
"...after you’ve become used to hearing this track on the other cartridges hearing it for the first time via the 2M Black is startling. You’ll hear heretofore buried parts and “see” the singers with an ease most of the other cartridges can’t come close to reproducing...
Plus the Black’s rhythmic drive takes the track to another level of sonic and musical intensity. But the Black’s most salient quality is its utter transparency. It sounds less like a recording and more like “live.”"
I agreed with this after listening to the various test files on that comparison.
My question is whether you think the Clearaudio Maestro beats the Black in terms of making the listener 'see' performers and give a sense of hearing music 'live' with better rhythmic drive.
As such, would the Maestro also 'startle' listeners?
I realise that it's difficult to make a comparison because the set-ups may have been very different, but I wanted your opinion?
And while we are at it, your take on the Black or Meastro versus the Dynavector 10x5?
I am planning to buy a VPI Traveler and am hunting for a suitable MM or high-output MC cartridge for it.
Thank you.

davezepeda's picture

I too would love an answer and really don't care about the sponsors.
those are all totally good carts in there own right. I am in the exact same situation and would love to know what you did along with an opinion since I am sure this is right in your wheelhouse.

Audiolad's picture

Obviously Mr Fremer knows more about the quality of phono cartridges than me, but at $1200 I always ask the question: Is this the best $1200 cartridge you can buy?