Pear Audio's "Tracer" moving-iron cartridge

Before I tell you about the new Pear Audio "Tracer" moving-iron cartridge ($999) I want to apologize to my readers as well as Peter Mezek and Michael Vamos for my half-backed coverage of Pear Audio products at the 2014 Rocky Mountain Audiofest. By the time I arrived at the Gamut/Pear Audio suite—I was crazy tired, stupefied and grumpy. I just wanted to get back to my room. While Michael was patient, excited, and did an admirable job of explaining the Tom Fletcher/Nottingham Audio heritage of the Pear Audio line of turntables, arms and cartridges, I could barely focus.

I felt especially bad about that because I am a true fan of the legendary Tom Fletcher and all his Nottingham and (later) Fletcher Audio products. Mr. Fletcher is an icon of British analog design. Beginning in the 1980s, Peter Mezek has distributed some of the world's best turntables including the Linn LP12 and Bill Firebaugh's Well Tempered Table, as well as Tom Fletcher's later designs.

Peter Mezek worked closely with, and supported, the design efforts of the late Mr. Fletcher and in return, Tom Fletcher designed and built a turntable for Peter and his newly formed Pear Audio. Before Tom died, he passed the analog torch to Peter so that his design concepts and working methods would continue. Today, each Pear Audio, Fletcher-designed or inspired product is hand-built in Slovenia by Peter Mezek himself. This honorable mixture of history, designer wu, and old-school craftsmanship appear to be the heart of Pear Audio.

As Michael Fremer reported in the January issue, the Pear Audio Blue "Kid Thomas" turntable ($5995) and "Cornet 2" tonearm ($2195) are nothing if not the distilled essence of understated UK analog design. Judging by the sound, they all put musical enjoyment first and audiophile pyrotechnics second. Meanwhile, it was the sonic flavor of new moving-iron Tracer 10 cartridge ($995) that really captured my attention. Tom Fletcher, Joe Grado, Frank Schroeder, Peter Ledermann, and my humble self are all of one mind: moving-iron (especially low-mass moving-iron) cartridges can and very often will play music as well or better—than the best moving-coils. I can't wait to hear more from the Tracer 10.

georgehifi's picture

Are we looking at the NEW Decca London clone here, as a well setup Decca London was one of the most exciting dynamic cartridges I've ever had the pleasure to listened to.

Cheers George