Soundsmith Cartright

If the Soundsmith room had been a van, it would have been rocking. (Hee-haw.) Seriously, there was a party going on in here and Peter Ledermann was the master of ceremonies, cueing up one record while a second was playing. But before I could take a seat, I was mesmerized by this awesome-looking device, the Soundsmith Cartright ($899.95, due early 2011), which resembles some sort of old-school, psychedelic Electro-Harmonix stomp box, but promises to simplify cartridge setup.

The Cartright adjusts settings for vertical tracking force, anti-skating, azimuth, overhang, and stylus rake angle, all at the turn of a knob. No computer software is necessary, so even people who hate computers (paging Michael Fremer, paging Michael Fremer!) can make precise adjustments to their phono cartridge parameters. Included is a specially designed test LP which offers two bands for anti-skate adjustment—one common setting and a slightly undercompensated “Frank Schroder” setting. Because all parameters are adjustable via knobs, the user can customize his selections to suit his mood or preferences.