Stereophile Magazine Recommended Component
Grado's Reference series of wooden-body cartridges are a fixed coil design, utilizing manufacturing and assembly techniques of fantastic accuracy and precision. These striking to see and hear cartridges are handcrafted at Grado from a specially selected species of mahogany. An intricate procedure of curing between production steps ensures optimal sound quality. Unlike Grado's popular Prestige series, the Reference series generator/stylus module is not replaceable, allowing a redesigned one-piece magnetic circuit and a reduction of chassis resonance for impressive neutrality throughout the product line.
The Platinum is the entry-level model in Grado's new wooden-body Reference line, moving Ken Kessler to wonder, "If this is the bottom of the range, then what does the $1200 flagship model offer?" in the January 1997 issue of Hi-Fi News & Record Review.
New '1' Version of Platinum
The newly redesigned Reference Platinum1 moving coil cartridge has had its coil design reconfigured, and the effective moving mass of the generating system has been reduced by 17%. This decrease in stylus mass allows for enhanced tracking with improved imaging, giving a quicker, more accurate reproduction of the music. All this is hand-assembled within a machined, new processed, Australian Jarrah wood housing.
The Platinum1 uses a modified four piece OTL cantilever technology achieving a 10% tip mass reduction over the Prestige series and ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire in the coils.
Reference cartridges use a 1/2" mount, and the recommended tracking force is 3/4 to 2 grams. All models are handmade in the USA.
"The soundstage was expansive, depth was well-delineated," raves Dayna B in Audio Adventure. "It sounded sweet and rich straight out of the box," says Kessler.
"The Grado Reference Platinum phono cartridge is the most musical cartridge I've ever heard, period," concludes Dayna B. "It is also 'realistic.' It can create a tremendous sense of speed without seeming artificial."