View Full Version : Mystery Cartridge

pure sound
18-09-2009, 13:59
Can anyone identify what MC cartridge this is? I feel I have seen it before but can't recall what it might be.






All suggestions welcome!

18-09-2009, 14:07
Hi Guy,

Possibly an old Supex of some description or an early Ortofon? :scratch:

Why the interest - whose is it? :)


pure sound
18-09-2009, 14:19
There was a chap speculatively auctioning an L07D on ebay last week. In the ad he mentioned a dead AudioNote cartridge so I pm'd him & asked him which one it was. He didn't know & sent these pics. Its not an AudioNote or any Ortofon I can recall seeing. Its the right sort of shape for a Supex and the mounting lugs look Koetsuish but they don't usually have that plastic or crystal looking plate fitted on top.

I think it probably is at least 15-20 years old & presumably is Japanese. I'm now wondering whether its one of the non strange looking Goldbug cartridges ie the Medusa or similar.

EDIT. No not the Medusa

18-09-2009, 16:56
Looks to me like a prototype of the Mission 773, due to the steep cantilever angle..

I'll try to scan a review for you to look at and see if it is similar..

P.S. I wish Ian Bolt (the Goldbug distributer) hadn't taken back Jimmy Hughes' review Mr Brier, as after a thousand or so hours of thrashing, it sounded amazing once set right and worked its magic on my Linn/"Glasgow Black Ittok."

Goldbugs were before their time IMO and would sound great on today's decks...

pure sound
18-09-2009, 18:58
I also had a Mr Brier. I thought it was good but a little lean. Having said that, I didn't have a decent transformer to try with it at that time.

18-09-2009, 19:13
Mr Brier with a 1980's fruitbox and smoother-than-standard Ittok (or Jimmy's Zeta) and you have a very good combination IMO. The arm had to be set up *just so* as a slight mis-alignment in height or playing weight could upset it. I remember getting it spot on and when I did, it was superb.

Interestingly, Jimmy went on to a Mrs Brier (better IIRC) and didn't get on with it so well as I recall. I think his main cartridges at the time were Kiseki (Purpleheart Saphire and a Lapis Lazuli for a while) and his re-tuned Koetsu.

18-09-2009, 22:28
It's on the tip of my tongue. It's not a Goldbug or Mr Brier, they were big ol' lumps of wood. No, I think this might be a Kiseki but then again I'm not 100%. You will note that the mounting lugs etc are some sort of ceramic material.

See what you can find about Kiseki. I'll see what I have in the vaults. :scratch:

The Grand Wazoo
18-09-2009, 23:51
The Goldbugs were lumps of wood except for the Medusa.
The front end of it doesn't look like like a Kiseki to me.

I thought those lugs & the top plate were glass (!!!!) or some sort of plastic.

Also, the cantilever seems pretty ....well.......chunky. Almost like a budget cartridge. Or is it just a trick of the lens?

19-09-2009, 08:12

A B&W photo at the wrong angle, but this is what I thought... The long edges were bevelled, the cantilever at quite a steep angle..

I still think the op one is a prototype on a "mounting plate."

19-09-2009, 09:19
Don't think so. I actually had one of those with the ceramic base to try but I can't quite work out what it was after all these years and it was black. Obviously it was nothing sooper doop or else I would have remembered. Was it an Elite ?

pure sound
19-09-2009, 09:32
I'm not sure how this came to be partnered with an L07D. I believe the deck was supplied by Bespoke Audio up in Stockport. How they'd have come by & then sold a Mission prototype would be anyone's guess. Looking at other pics of the 773 it always had a wooden body and always had a shaped plate over the bottom so I don't think it is that. The Kisekis I saw & heard always had gemstone bodies with a metal mounting plate running the full length of the body.


the Koetsu's had similar mounting lugs but never this plain a body, always the gold plate with Japanese text and never the flat crystal top plate.


But I do feel I've seen this before in a mag somewhere back in the late 80's or early 90's and I'm also starting to think that it isn't or wasn't so exotic a make.

19-09-2009, 13:40
Like I said, I had one and might even have written about it for one of the mags I was working for but after all this time the make has slipped my mind but I don't think it was all that exotic. Just now I'm leaning towards it being an Elite.

19-09-2009, 15:40
I'll have another look later. it certainly aint an Elite 555 'cos I have one and it looks totally different!

19-09-2009, 16:01
Hi. Out of curiosity I spoke to someone who knows a fair bit about Japanese carts and he says the cart may originate from Coral but minus the outer plastic mounting body and with an after market mounting plate attached in place. He is pretty sure it comes from the Coral factory but the offset pin layout makes him wonder if it could be from one of the other factories that made carts for Sugano (Supex and the like). He also adds that Coral made the 777 and the GAS Sleeping Beauty and there is some family resemblance although these had a square pin layout and not the offset pin layout as in the sample in the photo. The only other factory it could have come from is the one that made Milltek carts but again the pin layout is odd for that to be certain.

19-09-2009, 19:36
I'll have another look later. it certainly aint an Elite 555 'cos I have one and it looks totally different!

No it's definitely not the 555, I've got one in my 'box' but this thing is driving me mad now. I can see the one I had with it's ceramic base and I can see myself getting it out of the packing but I can't bl**dy remember what it is.:doh:

pure sound
19-09-2009, 21:12
another glass of wine Dave, it'll come!

25-09-2009, 15:03
Like some others, I too thought it might be a Kisiki. However on browsing some back issues of The Absolute Sound magazine (Volume 8, number 29, March 1983), on page 170 I found an advert for Argent moving coil cartridges.

Apart from the raised logo on the front of the cartridge, it looks identical to the photo supplied by Pure Sound.

Unfortunately I don't have a scanner to reproduce the advert, and typing 'Argent MC10 moving coil cartridge' into Google doesn't help much; the name is mentioned on some sites but no pictures.


25-09-2009, 16:53
Scanners are dirt cheap don't-you-know ;) Buy one AT ONCE and put us all out of our misery :) :cool:

The Grand Wazoo
25-09-2009, 17:25
A little on Argent cartridges here, but no mention of an MC10 & no pictures:

30-09-2009, 16:54
Scanners are dirt cheap don't-you-know Buy one AT ONCE and put us all out of our misery

Goodness you lot are hard task masters. How about this?



30-09-2009, 17:02
That's the MC110, not the MC10.

30-09-2009, 17:25
That's the MC110, not the MC10.

The question is: is this Pure Sound's mystery cartridge?

30-09-2009, 17:39
Going back to my days as repair and installation engineer, I am aware that many items were made by a single company, and then rebranded, and even slightly modified, for various customers. The two bodies look the same, even down to the measurements. I have been using one of my on-screen postage stamp measurement software to compare them and they are a dead match.

30-09-2009, 17:40
As they say on the X-Factor, I think you've nailed it. :smoking:

That must be the one.

pure sound
30-09-2009, 17:54
Certainly looks like it. Well done. After it was mentioned the other day I'd been searching for pics of one but without success. But that would seem to be conclusive. I'll have to see whether the seller will part with it so I can least find out whether its salvageable. It seems to have been rated alongside some pretty elevated designs back in the 70's & 80's.