Miyajima Zero Mono
Product Code: MJC009
ex-vat: £ 1,145.83
Noriyuki Miyajima has been producing extraordinary artisanal cartridges for decades. His designs, which feature an ingenious cross-coil moving coil generator and damping system, produce a full-bodied, supremely musical sound that recalls vintage audio systems, but with the high resolution and articulate frequency extremes of the finest modern cartridges. All Miyajima cartridges are low-compliance, and therefore suitable for high- and medium-mass tonearms, like the Thomas Schick and some of Frank Schröder’s designs.
The Miyajima Zero Mono has an African blackwood body, and is the company’s top standard size mono cartridge. It is a true monaural cartridge, with no vertical movement, and therefore should be used solely with monaural records, as it will damage stereo discs.
The Zero Mono is available in two versions:
- 0.7 mil nude conical stylus, suitable for mono records made from a stamper cut with a stereo cutting stylus, generally mono records made after the late 1960s and most modern mono reissues
- 1.0 mil nude conical stylus, suitable for wider groove mono records made from a stamper cut with a true mono cutting stylus, generally mono records made from the late 1940s to the late 1960s
Both styli will play all mono records, and far better than any stereo cartridge.
“For the Miyajima 1mil and 0.7mil comparison, the moral for both cartridge and groove sizes is that the 1mil cartridge performs best in a 1mil groove and the 0.7mil cartridge performs best in a 0.7mil groove. The differences are real and, surprisingly, large. Large enough for me to want to use the reviewed 0.7mil mono cartridge in more ‘modern’ mono records, exclusively. The amount of information lost when you use the wrong tools for the job is large and, frankly, unsettling.”
“I was, to be honest, quite amazed by the performance of both of the mono cartridges, the Kotetu and the Zero (especially this cartridge which receives the coveted Golden Groovy) and, more to the point, the performance of my own mono LPs that now sounded quite superb in both presentation and detail. In fact, they sounded far superior than most stereo releases of the period. The mono version of most LPs that I’ve now heard offers a more direct presentation with greater focus and more lucidity.
“The extensive testing of these mono cartridges has also made me aware of a general muddying distortion on many cack-handed stereo depictions of mono vinyl pressings from a stereo cartridge. I, for one, will not be going back to a stereo cartridge on a mono vinyl pressing.”
“The Miyajima Labs Zero is a tool I would wish to all lovers of good music. It is the best mono cartridge I’ve ever heard and one of the best in general. It shows things one may have guessed but hardly ever experienced. It conveys a large volume of instruments in a dynamic way, with great definition. It is also incredibly effective in differentiating recordings. That helped me establish a certain hierarchy of pressings, undoubtedly familiar to many music lovers but for me so badly obvious for the first time. The best sounding are classic pressings from the 1950s followed by those from the 1960s. Even if they are a bit worn out, if cracks occur more often than we would like, they are amazing in showing the presence of vocals, instruments, and space.”
- Body material
- African blackwood
- 11.8 g
- Tracking force
- 2.0 to 4.5 g, 3.5 g recommended
- Internal impedance
- 6 Ohms
- Recommended load
- 100 Ohms
- About 0.4 mV
- About 8×10-6cm/dyne