Stereophile Magazine Recommended Component
"Editor's Choice" Winner 2006 -- The Absolute Sound
Striking to See and Hear
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.
Newly Redesigned Reference Series Reference1
The newly redesigned Reference Series Reference1 cartridges 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 Reference1 uses a five piece OTL cantilever technology achieving an additional 5% tip mass reduction over the Platinum1 and Sonata1 models. The coils are wound with ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire.
The Reference1 uses Grado's specially designed true ellipsoid diamond stylus.
"A Beautiful Sounding" Award-Winner
The Reference won the coveted "Editors' Choice Award" in the October 2006 issue of The Absolute Sound magazine, which calls it "a beautiful sounding moving-iron cartridge" that's "enormously musical."
The Reference series is intended for use with the finest audio equipment. All three Reference models -- the Platinum, Sonata, and Reference -- use Grado's OTL (optimized transmission line) cantilever technology. 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.
Each Reference cartridge is hand built, hand tested and closely auditioned by Grado's finest technicians before it leaves the factory to ensure long life and optimum sound.
Editor's Best Buy 2004 -- The Absolute Sound
"A beautiful-sounding moving-iron cartridge...enormously musical. A great value."