A New MC to Catch One's Attention

The Link is showing a most recent Cartridge on offer from Audio Technica.

From what I see in the sales spiel, there are a good line up of what would be Ticked Boxes to get the model noticed.

There seems to be plenty on offer to get one's attention.




As said many Buzz Words in the Sales Brochure Spiel: Hand Crafted - Diamond Unified Armature and Styli - Hybrid Metal Body (Titanium, Aluminium with a Special Elastomer Damping Applied - Use of Traditional Shippo (Seven Treasures) Enamelling - Attractive Specification to suit the most usual of Set Ups.

There is something in there for everybody to succumb to, even to the point of alluring other Japanese Brand Cart's users through the references made for the Romanticising the usage of Heritage Craft, that is kept ongoing in the present, by those who are dedicated to being disciplined in the required skills as Artisans in their Craft.

It is the referencing to the Traditional Craft in conjunction with Hand Crafted that is the Clever Angle. The Cart' is produced from Parts that are not in any way, using a methodology that shares a method of production from a Heritage Skill.

A Technician employed to assemble the finished item, is potentially only responsible for a proportion of the requirement. The Technician is certainly not an individual employed for having a recognised skill as an Artisan for producing Heritage Crafts.

By adding a Shippo Enamelling to the Product does without doubt add a coating that has a Heritage, what it does not do, is add anything other than an Aesthetic, the Cart' does not depend on the Coating to function, nor does the Coating being incorporated Elevate the Cart' to a Level of Performance that is notable. 

By adding a Shippo Enamelling the Cart' is not transported to a period of in History when Japanese Craftmanship was revered along with the Samurai. 

I don't buy into such Blurb, but each to their own. 

I do without doubt see this Cart' as being a very much appreciated model and look forward to seeing how it grows in the imagination, following user reports of its capabilities.  

What has got my attention through reading the Brochure, is that I have not been able to discover the Coil Wire used.

The AT Brand was pioneers in their adoption of OCC Wire as a Coil Wire and Tag Pins. They may be the only Mainstream Brand to have used the wire.

I was hoping AT were to adopt the use of a PC Triple C or D.U.C.C Wire in a Cart' with a New Design, as there is, in my view, a place for either of these wires used for a coil. 

These Wire Materials are not unfamiliar to AT, as they have been producing their Hi End Cables with these wires, in either singular or a combined configuration on the signal path in a Cable for quite some time.   



The ART1000 was the top dog a a few years at $5K price point.

Arguably, it's in the league of $5K+ up to...?

Now AT has a model to compete with the uber $10K+ MC's, AND it's only $9K!

Looks like they decided not to carry on with the exposed coil as the ART1000.

I'm curious how big a sonic jump it is from the ART20, which sits between the ART9& ART1000.

At least to my ears, the ART9 is a great starting point for "what the fuss is all about"

with nice MC's that start @ $1K.




With the MC2022 The Art 1000 is the Base Model to some degree.

The MC2022 is only to be produced as a Limited Edition of 60 Items.

This Cart's uniqueness is possibly relating to the Coils, Body, and Enamelling, and at present the Unified Armature and Syli.  

I would assume another Model, maybe an ’ART 1000 SE’ will not be too far behind to make the most of a few of the parts produced for the 2022, as there is an Exchange Programme in place for the renewal.

I foresee the unified armature/styli to be a part used on another cart'. This will be beneficial to maintaining an Exchange programme for the MC2022.

I can easily be off the trail with this conjecture. 

You've got to be nuts or have money to burn to spend $9K on a cartridge. They all wear out and need replacement!

"You've got to be nuts or have money to burn to spend $9K on a cartridge"

To owners of a TechDas Zero, Clearaudio Statement, etc., it's like changing socks.
AT MC2022 is a jvalue/budget Hana.

AFZero-Image-1-2100w-e1600633241388.jpg (2100×1380)

You've got to be nuts or have money to burn to spend $9K on a cartridge. They all wear out and need replacement!

It used be buying the best shoes or boots was, over time, a savings. They could be rebuilt almost indefinitely. OK not an exact compare but a very important aspect for me is if the cart manufacturer offers realistic-cost repair and rebuild services. The whole trade-in thing seems like a joke imho.

Both lines I work with offer ( even encourage ) maintenance, repair and rebuild services. At VERY reasonable prices. It's a long term relationship. Or at least it can be.

two examples of repairable carts

When I decide to get a $9,000 cart, please shoot me. My $500 Ortofon Quintet Blue is keeping me unshot. Or so it seems. By the way, is MC ever going away again?  Just wondering.

"Romancing the Stone" comes to mind.....

....and do any of us really go away?

(I heard that...)

Better than well, thanks.

The thought of spending big money on a wear item is what led me to take the leap to the Soundsmith Strain Gauge. For the $9k this AT cartridge cost I got a used SG with extra SGS6 stylus AND was able to send it out to Rens Heijnis for an upgraded amp section and conversion to run on lithium batteries. That’s a world class cartridge AND phono stage for the cost of just this one cart.

Also the SG stylus is easily user replaceable. When the same friend in Belgium who recommended the Heijnis upgrade sent me some I was able to Change them out and try different ones. It takes mere seconds to change the stylus, and I mean literally, like 30 seconds or something like that. Don’t even have to readjust VTF or alignment or anything.

Part of the reason for going SG was the user replaceable stylus. Unfortunately it seems having moving mass that is only a fraction of even the lightest MC means not only does the SG track incredibly well, it does this with negligible wear. So that spare stylus might just have to sit there a while.

Where others have to swap cartridges to explore different sounds there are an assortment of different styluses that can be run on the SG. I may well try the SGS5 some day, the one I had here briefly had a really captivating liquid sound I would sure like to hear again.

@rdk777 ...destroy your phone and move Anywhere Immediately.

Settle your affairs and become a nomad.  Buy dirt in multiple locations but don't go there, have facial surgery.  Become hard to find.  Hire a 'white hacker' to 'erase' you and those you love....

Try hard to not become too paranoid. *L*

Some dreams hide nightmares....there's too much suggesting the latter for those who've lived it.

It is offered as a Luxurious Item.

It is also offered as a Item that is from a Selection of Limited Edition Items, offered  for a commemoration of an Anniversary of a Company's History in offering products with a similar function, as well as others.

For myself, I see it as a Model adopting ideas selected by other producers and possibly using a hook on how to utilise the technology.

This in itself, encourages a gaze toward competitors' offerings with similar technologies included. 

It would have been nice to have seen something really cutting edge, like a Carbotanium Body, to assemble the design for the signal production elements into.

 There would not be too many places to find a Carbotanium Body, not unless you had a spare $ 3 000 000 begging to be spent. 

The AT is a bargain compared to the new Nagra cartridge ($18,500 USD)

What you are forgetting is that with the Nagra you are paying $3-4k for the cartridge and $14-15K for the name.

For some folk that is great value.

I feel this subject will be quite short-lived, as there are probably only a small proportion remaining to fill the Books for the 60 Limited Edition Items.  

I think it would be very foolish to pay $18,000 for a cart from Nagra.  They have never made one previously, so what do they know.  AT have been making carts for ?70 years or longer.  Same with Ortofon but probably longer.  Nearly the same with vdHul.

I love my ART1000 and all the Ortofons I have.  And vdHuls

I'll wager that the Nagar Cartridge has not been manufactured by Nagra, they have more than likely done it in conjunction with a specialist cartridge maker like Ortofon, EMT or one of the Japanese manufacturers.

When looking at the Spiel for the Nagra Cart'.

It has a difficult to Grasp Position as a Sale Item, it is offered a Product from a Line to Celebrate 70 Years of being Incorporated but is also a First Product of the type for the Company.

A First Time Product with an asking Price that is far beyond the asking price of very established and experienced Companies that specialise in the Production of the same product. This is a little difficult to comprehend, it is looking likely that a reliance on a Customers Loyalty to the Companies Philosophies behind their products is going to win the sales.

I really can't see the Cart' being ordered as a Blind Purchase by somebody with a Worldly Experience of Hi End Uber Priced Cart's.

When learning about the Body, it is unique as a Material, which is a Plus, especially as the Material has properties which are recognised for the Damping that can be produced.

My query would be how separated in the attractive properties is the Nagra's EXIUM AM to Titanium or Duralumin. It seems Cart's are available with these materials in use for quite a lesser sum of monies.

It is also made known certain Parts that belong to a particular Mechanical Function and also as an Interface are made from Titanium and Coated in a Material referred to as DLC (Diamond Like Carbon). It is suspected by me, that this type of treatment is a concealed IP from other Manufacturers and the Nagra is presenting their usage of a Coating as another USP.

It is not New to see a Ultra Hard Coating applied to parts, Corundum Coatings are not a Stranger to HiFi and the Audio Technica Technihard Coating is this material.

I suggest that AT are not limiting the use of Technihard Coatings to the products it is advertised as being on. I would take a punt and suggest it is also used on other components that they use that are looking best served with a little extra resonance control in place through the use of the coating, the IP for such design might be a guarded info'.

The use of a Ruby Armature and FG Styli is very Scandinavian and not something to new, but the Ruby usage is one that is still maintained by certain renowned Brands.

The Damping Methodology is seeming new to me, but I am not sure if it is unique enough to be a cutting-edge design.

The Coils are Silver and Ultra-Pure, no nines purity to show how unique or how pure, Ultra will have to do. You either want Silver in a Cart' or you don't, for many Silver Coils are a Deal Breaker.

In my system at present the Silver in the Cart' is the only proportion of the signal path that has Silver. 

As this is looking likely to be used with the Nagra Set Up, even though the Specification is looking able to be worked with in a commonly seen Set Up, it is difficult to foresee how it will interface within another system.

I can't but help imagine it would be a Fleet Footed/Lean Presentation, without any traits that could be referred to as a noticeable Richness.    

Ideally the discussion of this cartridge can revolve around how it actually sounds, rather than its cost, once there are a few end users out there to report on it. Kvetching about cost is neither here nor there.

It is difficult to see where a report might materialise from, as there are only 60 to be made available.

I have followed Cart's from other Brands that I presume have sold across the Globe in the thousands, but only a limited amount of dedicated user reviews is found, that can be seen as supplied from an experienced source that can be relied on, especially when it comes to their experiences with another selection of Cart's.

Maybe the 'Gon' could arrange a Group Buy for the MC2022 and send it off to @mikelavigne or @mulveling for an assessment. There would be very reliable description to come from these individuals' quarters.  



When learning about the Body, it is unique as a Material, which is a Plus, especially as the Material has properties which are recognised for the Damping that can be produced.

My query would be how separated in the attractive properties is the Nagra's EXIUM AM to Titanium or Duralumin. It seems Cart's are available with these materials in use for quite a lesser sum of monies.

Exium is nothing new - I have been using a thin slab of M2052 ( virtually the same high damping copper/manganese/ferris/nickel composite alloy ) under my cartridges since the 80's. Its a bit like launching a new wheel and calling it a twheel ( trademarked of course, which means nothing ).

I can tell you though from hands on experience the use of a high damping alloy from manganese/copper/ferris etc  vastly improves cartridge performance compared to aluminium & titanium - removing hash and colourations, lower noise floor.

My whole turntable is built from superplastic zinc alloy  ( SPZ ) cast and manufactured in the 70's that sinks all vibration from 10hz to 100hz via internal grain sliding at a molecular level at room temperature - now that's a truly unique material that is unobtainable today.

The Link has been used for the info' I have looked at on the EXIUM AM Material.


I think I would rather have the ART1000 with its butterfly wing coil.  

I was super happy when the ART9 was a $1K cartridge, actually $950.  

Now they are $1500 bucks and the next lowest price model is the 33sa @ $769.  

Quite a big gap.  

As stated earlier in the thread, there is an exchange programme in place.

Does this mean there are 60 Assembled Cart's in Storage or enough Parts in storage to replace 60 Cart's.

I suspect the catalogue of stored parts, or parts that will need to be readily available is limited to the Carts Visibly seen moving parts as they are the most fragile and vulnerable to incurring a premature damage or need an exchange resulting from wear and tear from usage. Other Moving Parts that are concealed will most likely have spares as these are able to be damaged at the same time another damage has occurred. 

It would be hard to believe all Parts in use are unique, there is a strong possibility there are a Part or Two, that are utilised in an earlier generation of Cart'.

The asking price might reflect that there will only ever be 60 Cart's using certain Technologies and Parts allocated to this design, so the reserve of materials to keep the Cart' in operation for a customer is reflected in the asking price and follow up refurb pricing.

Alternatively, as suggested previously, there could be a New Cart' on the Horizon using a selection of the Technologies produced as a Trickle Down to a lesser model.

This would certainly help with keeping the necessary parts to carry out a refurb in a continued production. 

Hypothetically, the MC2022 is not a One of Used Cart' it is expected to to returned for a refurb, due to its rarity and hopefully sonic capability.

Using a standardised equation, it will come in close to a $9 per Album replay Cart'.

If a Refurb' is to cost $5000???, the cost per replay will come in at approx' £7 per Album relay using $14k @ 2000hrs

Does a Person go for round Three of a Refurb' at again approx' $5K where the cost per replay is at approx' $6.30c, using $19K @ 3000hrs.

Whichever the method used to extend the usage of the Cart', there does seem to be a substantial cost per replay belonging to this Cart'.   

As stated previously, It is a Sacrificial Device, offered as a luxurious item, where 60 are available to satisfy an indulgence.

A set of wheels and Tyres for a performance Spec' Vehicle, are in their own right a sacrificial item and can easily get close to this type of price. As it is for a Car the purchase will be better accepted by the masses, and certainly not thought of as being too ludicrous to consider, as it is a Bloody Good Talking Point at the Golf Course Club House.

Try this out, I've just put a 10K set of Wheels and Boots on the Brabus Merc, vs,I've just put a 9K Cartridge on my Turntables SAT Tonearm



If one has a table/system setup that would exploit the AT2022, then I don't see the big deal on MSRP.

Assuming it's in line with how the ART series performs-above their price point, then it should play with the hyper carts well above $10K+

Most hobbies/passions are wallet draining.

Pindac, this is Audio Technica. And the limited edition bit is called marketing. If there is demand for more than 60, they can make more than 60, I’m sure. But instead they’ll have another new flagship model by then.

I'm making a Wild Punt, suggesting 58 Units are now pre-ordered.

Possibly only Two More Pre-Orders needed, and the user feedback can be anticipated to be seen in the not too distant 🔭, I do hope it is not on Limited Edition Cart' No Sixty-Two that would be awkward.

@pindac, You forgot the most important feature, the walnut storage case. It is an interesting cartridge from a very competent manufacturer. Now if they come up with an ultra low impedance version I will buy one. 

I've got a few nice Storage Boxes for one Tonearm and one Cart'.

It is a nice initial introduction to the purchased product, but a short-lived encounter, the Tonearm is on show, but rarely used, the Presentation / Storage Box is inserted back into the Cardboard Box Protector and forgotten about.

The Cart' is mounted on a Detachable Headshell and stored in a FR K5 Cartridge Keeper, when not being used. The Presentation/Storage Box is also inserted back into the Cardboard Box Protector and is long forgotten about.

I prefer how SME or Ortofon supply a Tonearm or Cart', where a foam protector is produced in a perfectly matching form to suit the item inside. When such a packaging is put away into storage, it does not seem to be the more sensible of an approach.

I do have Three Wooden Cases on display in relation to the HiFi, one pair being a Beautifully crafted Hard Wood Sided Casing with a Mirror Polished Top Plate which belongs to the Power Supply and Input/Out Put circuitry on my Bespoke Built Phon'.

The other is always on show, but not as attractive as the other owned cases. It is a Birch Wood Case for a tool that functions as an Off Board Strobe. This one serves as a Plinth for seating the other readily available items used for Vinyl/Cartridge Care.

Before December all Items of HiFi upstream of the Amp's, used for the Vinyl Source to perform will be buried away in storage, and in January the complete system will be in storage, the CD source is on a few individuals radar to experience and can also remain in usage for the Xmas Period.

Alexia all the way from January onwards.    

Looking forward to a review vs the top cartridges.  Maybe one piece diamond stylus+cantilever is superior.   

Dear @kennyc  : " Maybe one piece diamond stylus+cantilever is superior.   "


Not maybe but always is superior but that is one part of the whole cartridge. The advantage here is that Audio Technica is a solid and experienced succesful cartridge manufacturer.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


You've got to be nuts or have money to burn to spend $9K on a cartridge. They all wear out and need replacement!

So do we.