Jico Seto-Hori

Australian HIFI - - SOUNDBITES - For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Soundring Aus­tralia (a divi­sion of Deci­bel Hi Fi) on 1300 769 078 or visit www.soundring.com.au

The Jico Seto-Hori high-out­put mov­ing-coil phono car­tridge is now avail­able in Aus­tralia from Soundring Aus­tralia. Jico is one of Ja­pan’s long­est-run­ning man­u­fac­tur­ers and in ad­di­tion to build­ing phono car­tridges un­der the Jico name, the com­pany also sup­plies parts for phono car­tridges to other man­u­fac­tur­ers on an OEM ba­sis.

The Jico Seto-Hori is a hand­crafted mov­ing-coil car­tridge with an un­usual ce­ramic body and a 2mV out­put. ‘ For many years it was thought that it was im­pos­si­ble to use ce­ramic for car­tridges be­cause of the in­evitable shrink­age dur­ing the fir­ing process,’ says Brian Mad­dern of Soundring, ‘ but fol­low­ing a two-year col­lab­o­ra­tion between Jido, a lab­o­ra­tory in Seto, Ja­pan and a pot­tery fac­tory in Toki-city, Gifu, Jico crafts­men were not only able to build a ce­ramic body, but also ap­ply a beau­ti­ful pat­terned fin­ish us­ing a tech­nique the Ja­panese call ‘Hori-Tsuke’ be­cause it re­sem­bles a fish­ing net and fol­lows a Ja­panese phi­los­o­phy of cap­tur­ing hap­pi­ness by cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful sounds.’

The car­tridge body is mounted on a base made from nat­u­ral wal­nut wood and is pro­cessed near Ha­ma­matsu, a city fa­mous for its world­class mu­si­cal in­stru­ment fac­to­ries, and the mov­ing-coil gen­er­a­tor is mo­ti­vated by a Boron can­tilever tipped with a Mi­cro-Ridge poly­he­dral di­a­mond sty­lus for which is claimed a fre­quency range of 15Hz–32kHz and chan­nel sepa­ra­tion of 25dB at 1kHz. ‘ Be­ing a line con­tact sty­lus its life-time is at least three times longer com­pared to an or­di­nary con­i­cal or el­lip­ti­cal sty­lus,’ Mad­dern told Aus­tralian Hi-Fi Mag­a­zine, ‘ and be­cause the Boron can­tilever has such low mass and such great stiff­ness, the sty­lus is able to trace the groove more ac­cu­rately and re­pro­duce low, midrange and high fre­quen­cies with the truest fidelity.’ Made en­tirely by hand in Ja­pan, the Jico Seto-Hori phono car­tridge re­tails for $1,469 (RRP).

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