Listed in The Absolute Sound 2012 High-End Audio Buyer's Guide
The Absolute Sound "Editors' Choice" Winner
Newly Upgraded for Even Better Performance
Wondering which phono cartridge delivers the best value for the money, while offering superior performance? Wonder no more!
The Grado Prestige Gold 1 was honored by being included in The Absolute Sound 2012 High-End Audio Buyer's Guide. According to the magazine, "These strengths include a somewhat warm yet pleasant balance, a sweet if not hugely airy treble, a dynamically expressive midrange, and a taut and powerful if not richly textured bass. The overall presentation is lively and conveys an engaging sense of openness…"
The Prestige Gold won the coveted "Editors' Choice Award" in the October 2006 issue of The Absolute Sound magazine, which praises it for "very pleasant (and yes, euphonious) balance" along with a "sweet" treble and "taut" bass. "The overall presentation is lively." The newly redesigned Gold1 offers even better performance than the original Prestige Gold.
Newly Redesigned Gold1
The newly redesigned Silver1 and Gold1 cartridges have had their coil design reconfigured, and the effective moving mass of their 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.
The Silver1 and Gold1 models use a four piece OTL cantilever technology, ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire in the coils and Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounted on a brass bushing.
The Gold1 model is selected from the Silver1 production run and meets higher test specifications. Approximately 5% of the production run meet these standards and become Gold1 models.
Grado has recently made a number of upgrades to the Prestige series to take cartridge performance to the next level.
In the cartridge body, Grado has cut back on the number of turns of wire in the coils. The resulting shorter signal path increases the speed and lowers signal distortion, thus improving the accuracy of the signal.
Grado has also improved the control of the resonance of the coils. The company's engineers took the lessons they learned from Grado's wooden body cartridges and found a way to incorporate the benefits into the Prestige series. The 'potting' of the coils decreases vibration, lowering noise and distortion within the coils.
All of these enhancements have contributed to the world famous Grado sound: the warm, smooth, full bodied, non-fatiguing, and rich sound qualities.
"Big, Convincing" Soundstage
"I'd forgotten how big a Grado cartridge can sound," reports Art Dudley in the July 2009 issue of Stereophile. "The results were more convincing than I had any right to expect from such an affordable thing."
Hi-Fi Choice Award Winner
England's audiophile journal Hi-Fi Choice bestowed its prestigious "Product of the Year" award for 2003-04 on Grado's Prestige Gold.
According to the special Awards 2003 issue of Hi-Fi Choice, "midrange is excellent, with great presence and vitality, it images well, placing instruments and voices with decent precision, and it follows complex lines with apparent ease. Bass is deep and imaging is strong - you can't ask for more at the price."
"Up The Path Toward Analog Excellence"
"While the Prestige Gold cannot provide quite the same ultra-refined, take-you-to-the-mountaintop listening experiences that big buck moving coils can, it takes you a long way up the path toward analog excellence, and for a pennies-on-the-dollar price," remarks Chris Martens in The Absolute Sound.
"The Prestige Gold's sound was readily identifiable, but after just a few seconds it didn't matter much, so engaging were the results," notes Wayne Garcia in The Absolute Sound.
AudioEnz "Best Buy"
"The Grado Prestige Gold is definitely a 'best buy' in the cartridge stakes," reports Michael Jones in the February 2002 issue of New Zealand's AudioEnz magazine. "It's cheap enough to be an impulse purchase, yet musical enough to satisfy. Very highly recommended!
Hand-built All the Way
The hand-built Gold1 uses a four-piece OTL cantilever technology, ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen-free copper wire in the coils, and Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounting on a brass bushing.
A proprietary "flux-bridger" generator system requires fewer coil turns for lower cartridge mass and electrical inductance. This contributes to a frequency response to 50 kHz and beyond, plus tracking forces from one to two grams.