Vertere Acoustics launches new Sabre high-end MM cartridge
Vertere Acoustics London 03 June 2021. Touraj Moghaddam Vertere’s founder and chief designer announced a new high-end Moving Magnet cartridge Sabre at today’s launch. Vertere’s new high-end Sabre Moving Magnet Phono Cartridge delivers an uncompromising musical experience.Sabre is designed and manufactured to exacting standards.
Sabre sits between the budget,but surprisingly musical,Magneto MM cartridge and the beautiful and award-winning Mystic MC cartridge. Sabre has a retail price of CHF 1’190.- in Switzerland.
Upgrading from a budget moving magnet cartridge involves some difficultchoices. The first and probably the most obvious choice is Moving Magnet or Moving Coil. Moving Coil is traditionally seen as the better choice,but it requires an additional 20db or more gain.Budget phono stages often struggle to do this well, if at all. The upgrade involving a new cartridge and a new MC phono stage could be expensive.
MM cartridges have in some ways suffered from the majorityhaving a reputation of being a bit lightweight and scratchy sounding. Sabre is not such a cartridge as a demonstration will conclude. Sabre is detailed, dynamic and full-bodiedand,most importantly,is highly musical and addictive
Sabre high-end Moving Magnet in bullets
Aluminium alloy body CNC precision machined from solid
The body is mass-tuned to the generator for optimum support and control of unwanted mechanical vibrations
Sabre utilises an Alnico magnet with its suspension individually positioned and aligned for maximum musical performance
The generator is uniquely fixed to the body via four ‘spike’ screws precisely positioned and torqued for maximum rigidity and performance
No adhesives used in mounting the generator to the cartridge body 1
The Micro-Elliptical diamond stylus tip is bonded to an aluminium tube cantilever designed for maximum tracking ability without compromising high-frequency response or increased surface noise
Threaded body to accept the supplied stainless steel thumbscrews for correct coupling of the cartridge body to the tonearm headshell
Three specifically designed contact areas machined into the top of the body that provide the exact mechanical coupling required
Alignment ridge on the front top that assists mounting Sabreto any Vertere tonearm
Bonded through diamond assembly maximises alignment and rigidity
Wideband frequency response of below 15Hz to above 25kHz
Output of 4.0mV will provide a lifelike dynamic range with depth and precision
Background to Vertere Cartridge DesignUnlike the DG-1record player,the Sabre high-end Moving Magnet Cartridge is not revolutionary –no wheels have been reinvented –Sabre is a combination of experience, common sense, science and a little art. It is,of course, hand-built in London into a stunning orange anodised finished,machined-from-solid,aluminium body.Once the decision has been made on the motor system depending on the target market and to a small extent personal predilection, the key to designing -for all but the most extreme of high-endcartridges -is to balance the design parameters: to deliver a cartridge that stays in the groove, retrieves the maximum musical information and is least affected by old or damaged records.There are,of course,extremes in the world of hi-fi –extremes,where the designer optimises one parameter almost to the exclusion of others –and these products are often the most talked about as they are loved or detested in spades. But this is not the Touraj way: he doesn’twant a system that favours closed miked jazz over rock or symphonicover punk. He wants a system that allows most records in a collection to be played and enjoyed.In his view,a hi-fi enthusiast with a small record collection just does not have the right system yet.When Vertere launched the DG-1,Touraj said: “The job of a record player is straightforwardand very linear it has to allow the most accurate measurement of something goingpast the stylus and throwing it from side to side over 1000 times every centimetre.”The situation hasn’tchanged,except in this story. Thefocus is the cartridge,including the cantilever and diamond stylus,which is the part that’sbeing thrown about over 1000 times every centimetre of record travel.1 The Shiraz introduced in 1987 was the first cartridge that used noadhesives to clamp the generator in place and instead used three ‘spike’screws to the main body.Years later,EMT, who supplied the Shiraz generator, asked Touraj if they could use the idea in their cartridge –He said yes, and they do now.Of course,Sabre’sexecution is different to match the new generator and its machined aluminium body,but the idea derives from Touraj’sdevelopment back in 1987
Type: Moving Magnet
Output level: 4.0 mV
Recommended phono input load: 47 kΩ 100pF –220pF
Recommended tracking weight: 2.0 g (1.9 g -2.1 g)
Frequency response: 15 Hz -25 kHz
Channel separation: Better than 22 dB
Cantilever: Aluminium Alloy Tube
Stylus: Elliptical Diamond 7.5 x 15.5 μm
Mounting: Special Tri-Point Contact with M2.5 Threaded Fixing Holes
Generator Fixing: Special Quad-Point Contact with M2.5 Stainless ‘Spike’Screws
Dynamic Compliance: 10 x 10-⁶ cm/dyne
Coil Impedance: 1 kΩ(per Channel
Touraj explains the source of some of his background knowledge “Our collaboration with music industry engineers has given us invaluable insights into the art of cutting. This knowledge has enabled us to advanceour record player design in many ways to extract the maximum from vinyl records. For example, with his recent remixes of the Beatles albums, Giles Martin –son of the late Sir George –used a Vertere MG-1 record player,including SG-1 tonearm and PHONO-1 preamplifier throughout to check and approvethe acetates and the test pressings.And we’veworked closely with the multi-award-winning mastering engineer Miles Showell: since February 2017.Miles has been using his own extensively customised Neumann VMS 80 lathe, incorporating Vertere cables, to cut normal and half-speed masters for the likes of ABBA, Cream, The Police and The Rolling Stones, and also the 50th-anniversaryrelease of The Beatles’Sgt Pepper’sLonely Hearts Club Bandand The Beatles(otherwise known as ‘The White Album’).Working closely with Mileshas led to the first releases on our record labelVertere Records.Releases: a three-track EPand first albumby Scottish band Caezar, and the first album by Dutch singer/songwriter Elles Springs, which was specially tape-transferred and then half-speedmastered and cut by Miles for our label.It’sonly by involving ourselves at every stage of the record-making process that we can ensure our players bring you as close as possible to what the artists and engineers wanted you to hear.”About VertereReducing engineering to its fundamentals, to get you even closer to the original recording.When aiming to reproduce the complexities of music, it’sall too easy to introduce even more significant complication in the engineering of audio equipment, putting in place one element to solve the problems until the whole design escalates intosomething fiendishly intricate –and expensive.That’snot the Vertere way: coming at the whole problem with decades of audio and mechanical engineering experience, plus close collaboration with the recording and mastering industry, we step back, take a long hard look at the fundamentals, and look for simple, elegant solutions.That may sound like a simple ‘less is more’philosophy, but we prefer to look at it this way: the best audio equipment shouldn’tadd anything to or removeanything from the originalrecording. Instead, it should affect it as little as possible; bringing the listener ever closer to what the artist, producer and mastering engineer wanted you to hear.