Few people could have noticed the incredible resurrection of vinyl as a format for playing recorded music. Vinyl’s return to health is nothing short of a miracle and sales are booming of a format that’s more than 100 years old.
The popularity of vinyl has also meant a booming market for the sales of turntables and cartridges for playing the records. The golden days of hi-fi are back and it’s great to see enthusiasts tinkering with turntables and reveling in the gorgeously warm analog sound of a vinyl record.
One name that was synonymous with turntables and cartridges is Goldring. The company was set up in 1906 and still has a lot of kudos in the audio world. The company’s latest product is a new moving coil cartridge for turntable enthusiasts. The Goldring Eroica HX joins the award-winning LX model in the Eroica range. It’s a high-output and high-performance cartridge that takes the pain out of upgrading from the more common and cheaper moving magnet cartridge to a moving-coil design.
Most turntable cartridges use the moving magnet principle. The design is robust, relatively cheap to make and even has a replaceable stylus. Moving coil cartridges are more delicate, more difficult to make, and have a lower output and a fixed stylus. So why would you choose a moving coil cartridge? The answer is sound quality. The delicate and lightweight nature of a moving coil cartridge tracks the grooves of a vinyl record with more grace and accuracy, producing a better-quality sound with more detail.
The downside of a moving coil cartridge is the increased cost and they also need a phono preamp to boost the lower level of the signal of the cartridge so it can be handled by an amplifier before being fed to loudspeakers.
The Eroica HX offers all the advantages of a moving coil cartridge but without the need for a preamplifier. A turntable fitted with an Eroica HX can plug into the regular moving magnet phono input of an amplifier. The Eroica HX costs about the same as a good quality moving magnet cartridge and will work straight out of the box without any fuss. It simply involves a straight swap out and there’s no need to buy an expensive moving coil preamp.
The Eroica HX features a new and pure-iron, cross-armature design for correct impendence matching. It also has ultra-fine, enameled-copper windings for higher output and low crosstalk. The cartridge is equipped with a Gyger II diamond stylus that can trace frequencies as high as 50kHz without distortion. Finally, the housing of the Eroica HX is made from a lightweight composite material called Pocan, chosen for its anti-coloration properties
Goldring claims that the Eroica HX combines “thrillingly accomplished performance with unheard-of ease of use”. By using numerous ultra-fine enameled-copper windings – so fine they virtually float – the Eroica HX has sufficient output to enable it to work with moving magnet phono inputs without compromising the low crosstalk that moving coil designs are prized for.
The new cross-armature made from pure iron, plus the copper windings, create a permeable path for the parallel magnetic field, resulting in greater output and correct impedance matching. In addition, the cross-shape design can separate left and right stereo channels more effectively than the moving magnet cartridge. Eroica HX’s Gyger II diamond stylus has a tiny five-micron playing radius, meaning it can trace frequencies as high as 50kHz without distortion, and thanks to the cross-armature’s low mass it can react to musical transients with precision.
Such a delicate mechanism needs to be protected so Goldring has housed everything in a light, rigid and attractive housing formed from Pocan. As well as the benefits of its lightweight and stiffness, Pocan doesn’t color the sound the cartridge makes.
Eroica HX is compatible with virtually all aluminum or carbon-fiber tonearms, no matter whether they’re straight, S-shaped or J-shaped. It uses a standard size fitment for mounting in standard fixings, from above or below the headshell.
Pricing & Availability: The Goldring Eroica HX moving coil cartridge is available in June priced at $899 / £549 / €699.
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz ± 3dB
- Frequency range: 10Hz – 50kHz
- Channel balance: within 1dB @ 1kHz
- Channel separation: better than 25dB @ 1kHz
- Sensitivity: 2.5mV ± 1dB, 1kHz @ 5cm/sec
- Static compliance trackability: 25mm/N
- Equivalent tip mass: 0.4mg
- Vertical tracking angle: 22°
- Stylus radius: Gyger II
- Stylus type: Non-replaceable (re-tip service available see website)
- Load resistance: 47kΩ
- Load capacitance: 100 – 500pF
- Internal inductance: 0.13mH
- Internal resistance: 35Ω
- Cartridge mass: 5.2g
- Cartridge Mass (inc. fixings): 6.6g
- Fixing center: 0.5″ (12.7mm)
- Playing weight: 1.5 – 2.0g (1.75g nom.)