I am using the Grado Reference Series (Reference), but I have also used their Reference Series Sonata, and I find that they were both very musical and shine with female vocals, one of the strong points of this manufacture's cartridges. I have also been told that their cartridges are fairly easy to mount, but I must admit that I've always let an experienced profession set up my tables. I have also been told that Reference Series are much more forgiving of slight set-up errors vs. moving coil cartridges, which must be really "zeroed in".

That being said, I plan on sticking with my Reference for quite some time, preferring a higher output cartridge requiring less gain for my specific audio needs. However, I have always been interested in the audible differences between the Reference and Statement Series. Here is excerpt from their website concerning the construction and performance between their two series:

"Grado is introducing four new models of phono cartridges. These new models will be an expansion of the Statement Series. They will duplicate the Reference Series in model names, i.e., Reference Platinum, Statement Platinum; Reference Sonata (Signature), Statement Sonata (Signature); Reference Master, Statement Master and Reference Reference, Statement Reference. Price points will be the same for both corresponding models. We will not be discontinuing the Reference series, but will offer both series of cartridges.

The Reference series will be the high output cartridges (5.0 mV) while the Statement series will be the low output versions (0.5 mV).

There are physical differences between the Reference cartridges and the new Statement cartridges. Each Grado cartridge has four coils. The Reference series cartridges have a total of 6,000 turns of wire on the coils. The Statement series has a total of 380 turns. Since we have considerably fewer turns in the Statement series, we can use a much larger size wire. This new wire has over 16 times more area for carrying the signal; it also lowers the resistance from 470 ohms in the Reference series to 2 ohms in the Statement series. Fewer turns of wire on the coils shortens the distance the signal must travel from 125 feet to a little more than 7 feet. In the Statement series we have also shortened the magnetic generating gap in the stylus, increasing the flux density.

What will be heard from these differences? The new Statement series will have a sound that is wide open, uncolored, with better definition and transparency and increased dynamics. The Statement series offers enhanced tracking with improved imaging and more musical information. All of this, along with Grado's usual warm, smooth, full bodied, non-fatiguing and rich sound qualities."

That being said, I plan on sticking with my Reference for quite some time, preferring a higher output cartridge requiring less gain for my specific audio needs. However, I have always been interested in the audible differences between the Reference and Statement Series. Here is excerpt from their website concerning the construction and performance between their two series:

"Grado is introducing four new models of phono cartridges. These new models will be an expansion of the Statement Series. They will duplicate the Reference Series in model names, i.e., Reference Platinum, Statement Platinum; Reference Sonata (Signature), Statement Sonata (Signature); Reference Master, Statement Master and Reference Reference, Statement Reference. Price points will be the same for both corresponding models. We will not be discontinuing the Reference series, but will offer both series of cartridges.

The Reference series will be the high output cartridges (5.0 mV) while the Statement series will be the low output versions (0.5 mV).

There are physical differences between the Reference cartridges and the new Statement cartridges. Each Grado cartridge has four coils. The Reference series cartridges have a total of 6,000 turns of wire on the coils. The Statement series has a total of 380 turns. Since we have considerably fewer turns in the Statement series, we can use a much larger size wire. This new wire has over 16 times more area for carrying the signal; it also lowers the resistance from 470 ohms in the Reference series to 2 ohms in the Statement series. Fewer turns of wire on the coils shortens the distance the signal must travel from 125 feet to a little more than 7 feet. In the Statement series we have also shortened the magnetic generating gap in the stylus, increasing the flux density.

What will be heard from these differences? The new Statement series will have a sound that is wide open, uncolored, with better definition and transparency and increased dynamics. The Statement series offers enhanced tracking with improved imaging and more musical information. All of this, along with Grado's usual warm, smooth, full bodied, non-fatiguing and rich sound qualities."