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Ceramic Cartridges and RIAA Equalization, Plus: Sneak preview of Knowzy samples page
post Apr 26 2009, 20:32
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The upcoming page* showcasing the USB turntables samples I've been posting put a renewed focus on ceramic cartridges. This caused me to update the case against ceramic carts in the turntable guide.

I added a new section on RIAA equalization and would appreciate a review for technically accuracy. In particular, I would like you to pick apart this declaration:

QUOTE (USB Turntable Guide)
Ceramic cartridges don't require a pre-amplifier yet still approximate the RIAA curve. You might say that ceramic cartridges equalize the audio signal organically: They rely on their chemical composition to implement the RIAA curve.

Am I over simplifying? Are there capacitors or other components down the line that also affect the equalization of the signal or is it truly all in the cart itself?

As always, I appreciate your insights.


* Sneak preview. This is the only link on the Internet leading to that page.
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post May 1 2009, 12:27
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ReplayGain developer

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I'd put "Don't use a ceramic cartridge - they're crap in many ways."

Wave your hand backwards and forwards slowly.
Now wave your hand backwards and forwards quickly.

A ceramic cartridge responds to how far you moved your hand* - the same both times.
A magnetic cartridge responds to how quickly you moved your hand - much more the second time.

So fast movements (high frequencies) need reducing in the output from a magnetic cartridge, but not from a crystal cartridge.


* = as in, how far is it from the left-most point your hand got to, to the right-most point your hand got to.
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