Result: a giant killer! The Grado Labs Prestige Black2 Phono Cartridge breaks the sound barrier with very high performance in its low, low price range. Killer improvements borrowed from the development for the Epoch super cartridge reveal their benefits, even in a budget design. The Black2 has no competitor I can think of. It even tracks the toughest LPs. The Black2 gives you see-through clarity that only $300+ cartridges could achieve just a few years ago. I can hardly wait to see what's next! Meanwhile, if you need a great cartridge that just exudes musical truth and costs like a steak dinner at Ruth's Chris, buy the Grado Labs Prestige Black2 Phono Cartridge. Highly recommended. Positive Feedback
Sinatra’s baritone sounded fabulous, as did Ella or Doris Day or Jacintha, and for good reason. Vocals all across the spectrum are where Grados traditionally shine: right in the midrange, Jacintha’s voice into relief with a tactile presence that would shock those snobs who insist that only mc’s are capable of true transparency. the Black2 is a fine tracker. This pickup is easy to recommend to anyone who listens mostly to vocal and instrumental music of a traditional kind whether classical, pop, jazz, or folk. If it were a lot more expensive, it has the kind of sound around which cults readily develop.- The Absolute Sound
The Prestige series of cartridges are designed for high output and excellent stability under severe use. A considerable tip mass reduction results in a frequency response to 50 kHz and beyond and tracking forces from 1-2 grams. Acclaimed by experts as virtually the finest pickups in the world at their price.
Prestige models available in both 1/2" mount and P-mount. All styli in the Prestige series are user replaceable.
Prestige 2 Cartridges
The newest cartridge series from Grado Labs
Our classic phono cartridges have taken a major step forward with the Prestige Series 2. This is the third generation of our Prestige Series and a continuation of Grado’s entry level line of cartridges dating back to 1953. For sixty-four years the family has been dedicated to supporting vinyl playback with our high performance phono cartridges at affordable prices.
The Black2 uses a three piece OTL cantilever that has a Grado specific diamond mounted on a brass bushing.
What's the difference between Black2 and Green2?
Approximately 15% of the Black2 production run meet higher specifications. These are hand selected from the batch and designated as Green2.
Grado’s OTL, or optimized transmission line, technology provides an ideal transfer of signal from the surface of the LP to the generator of the system. This technology rejects unwanted resonances and lowers distortion preserving the fundamental and harmonic frequencies of the music. This also helps keep noise generated by the motor system in the cartridge to a minimum.
Grado’s OTL stylus/cantilever design makes records sound quieter, improves the height, width, and depth of the soundstage, and present more detail than previously obtainable.
The Black2 is hand assembled by Grado's team in Brooklyn, with some builders having over 25 years of experience. This updated series of cartridges offers excellent tonal balance, dynamics, and realism, for a most rewarding reproduction of vocals and instruments. The coil winding techniques using ultra high purity copper wire, which were honed during the development of the Lineage Series, have let the electrical circuits achieve unison between the four coils in each phono cartridge. This allows for a precise balance between channels and accurate stereo imaging.
As in all Grado phono cartridges the Black2 is powered by a twin magnet system that optimizes the balance between stereo channels. All internal magnetic circuit parts are held to extremely high tolerances creating the desired stereo imaging. Grado’s patented Flux-Bridger design allows the Black2 to have one of the lowest effective moving mass generating systems while creating an excellent balance throughout the full frequency range.
Frequency Response: 10-50
Channel Separation at 1KHz: 30
Imput Load: 47K
Output at 1KHz 5CM/sec.: 5mV
Recommended Tracking Force: 1.5
Stylus Type: E
Compliance CUs: 20
Stylus Replacement F=Factory: U
For over 50 years, Grado has been manufacturing some of the World’s great phono cartridges. One of the oldest family owned companies in the audio industry, Grado have been the leaders in design engineering for the high-end audio and recording industries.
Holder of 48 patents, company founder, Joseph Grado is credited as the inventor of the stereo moving coil phono cartridge. He is responsible for more innovations in phono cartridge design than any other person in our lifetime and was inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame in 1982.
Time honored manufacturing know how and painstaking attention to design detail result in previously unattained levels of pitch control, harmonic accuracy and bass quality to be achieved. All Grado cartridges are handmade to Grado's full performance specifications... nothing leaves the factory unless it sounds pure Grado.