Highly Recommended by Neil Gader of The Absolute Sound Magazine!
The Air Tight PC-3 cartridge delivers high-quality sound at a price lower than its big brother, the PC-1!
The PC-3 offers an outstanding signal-to-noise ratio, which is achieved through its "high-energy output from low-impedance" circuitry. Many manufacturers have attempted to resolve this issue by employing various materials and devices, such as purification of wire material, stylus tip polish, and a high-energy magnet. Compared to the samarium or cerium cobalt magnets used thirty years ago, the neodynium magnets forming much of today's technology can produce as much as three times the energy product, but they do not help augment the output voltage. It is mechanically and physically impossible to increment the output voltage of today's moving coil cartridges up to the 3-5 mV level due to load amount imposed on the vibration system.
In light of usual workable range of step-up and head-amp devices, it was considered to be reasonable to set up the output voltage at 0.5-0.7 mV. Air Tight's first task to accomplish this goal was to design high-efficiency magnetic circuitry. The reason that the high-energy product inherent in today's magnets cannot be utilized lies in the magnetic saturation of the pole piece and material. Regardless of the material selected, it is not possible to overcome this barrier unless saturation flux density is augmented.
After years of exhaustive research and design efforts, Air Tight finally revealed its exclusive ultra-high-µ core material, named SH-µX! This SH-µX permits a remarkable reduction in the number of coil winds. Inner loss is kept to a minimum, and its high output voltage makes it possible to reproduce a vast frequency range with extraordinary high resolution throughout the entire audible spectrum
The Air Tight PC-3 is presented in superior packaging, including a silver-lined box, fitted in decorative paper, and further protected in a small wooden padded box with the Air Tight faceplate. This deluxe packaging is only available for a limited time!
Air Tight PC-3 cartridge features:
Output Voltage: 0.55 mV at 1kHz 5 cm/sec
Channel Balance: 0.8 dB
Stylus Tip: 3um X 30um semi-line contact
Weight: 13.5 g
Tracking Force Range: 2.0 to 2.2 g
Internal Impedance: 9 ohms
Recommended Loading: 50-100 ohms
Frequency Response: 10-50,000 Hz
Crosstalk: Greater Than 30db @ 1 kz
Pins: Rhodium-plated polished
Cantilever: Boron & aluminum
Core Material: SH-µX
Designed by A. Miura, manufactured by Matsudaira
"The PC-3 sets the stage as a good tracker and a darn quiet one. Surface noise simply vanishes as if into monastic seclusion... The PC-3 veers to the mellower side of neutral, and is very dense tonally and harmonically. It's presence range is smooth and even - neither lifted upward nor tilted downward. It conveys a oneness, a single voice, that doesn't highlight audiophile criteria - such as attack, speed, punch, and so forth - like items in a deli case. In fact it grabbed my attention in ways that I wish more audio products would." - Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound, July/August 2011
"Perhaps my favorite aspect of the PC-3 is the way it creates intimacy with a recording like Rickie Lee Jones' "I'll Be Seeing You" on Pop Pop [ORGLP0007]. It's more than just capturing her vocal; it's the soft breathing beneath the beat. And the fact that at moments I could swear that the decaying reflections of her voice were lightly tracing the fleshy outlines and bone structure of her face. The Air Tight reproduces timbre beautifully and makes every individually played note seem fully reinforced by the weight and resonance and dimension of the instrument. A nylon-stringed guitar has the mixture of muted attack and wispy harmonics that separates it from he aggressiveness of a big-bodied steel-string acoustic. A clarinet enters as if on wings, ripe with air and bloom and reedy mouthpiece cues." - Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound, July/August 2011
"The PC-3 is one of the most natural and consistently musical pickups that I've heard in this range. From day one I looked forward to listening to music via the PC-3 and missed it when it wasn't in the system. Supreme? Not quite. Superb? You bet." - Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound, July/August 2011