Skip Navigation

Sumiko Black Pearl

Moving-magnet phono cartridge

4 Reviews | 2 questions - 8 answers


Our take on the Sumiko Black Pearl

Give your turntable a shot in the arm

You don't need to spend big bucks to get high-end performance from a phono cartridge, you just need Sumiko's Black Pearl. With this gem of a cartridge mounted to your 'table you'll enjoy dynamic, wide-range sound with impressive detail and presence. It delivers the kind of sonic impact that's certain to revitalize your LP collection, and at a price that won't break the bank.

great sound, what a difference from old one

BobB, Powell, WY

What's in the Box:

  • Turntable cartridge (MM)
  • Plastic stylus guard
  • Plastic case
  • 2 Mounting screws
  • 2 Nuts
  • 2 Plastic washers
  • Small screwdriver
  • Brush
  • Instructions

Product Highlights:

  • moving-magnet design
  • 0.5mm bonded spherical diamond stylus
  • alloy tube cantilever
  • frequency response 18-27,000 Hz
  • output voltage: 2.5 mV
  • stereo separation: 28 dB
  • channel balance: 0.5 dB
  • tracking force range: 1.5-2 grams
  • recommended tracking force: 2 grams
  • load impedance: 47k ohms
  • cartridge weight: 6 grams
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Sumiko Black Pearl Reviews

Average Customer Review:

4 Reviews

Sumiko "jewel"

Written by: tparm from Harrisonburg, VA on June 5, 2015

I purchased a Music Hall USB-1 turntable after inheriting my dad's vinyl collection. I knew it was a budget table but since I hadn't listened to an album in years I decided it was a good jumping off point. I began buying some of my favorite new releases and listening to analog audio more frequently and the USB-1 seemed to be leaving a little "resolution" on the table. After looking at cartridges on the Crutchfield site I decided to buy the Sumiko Black Pearl cartridge as it was in the Outlet Store and on the advice at the Harrisonburg store. When I picked it up I found the packaging to be a bit over the top (nestled in a white jewelry box) but was anxious to get home and try it out. For the price I paid (Outlet pricing plus using some of my points credits) I was shocked. Installing the unit was straight forward so I was spinning discs in minutes. I immediately noticed much more depth to the frequency response and a bit more air in the upper end. Prior to installing the Sumiko I listened to Beck's Morning Phase in stereo so my sub would accompany my Focal 706s as the lower octaves were missing. With the Black Pearl enough depth was present to switch my processor to pure direct opening up the sound stage even further. My USB-1 doesn't sound like a Music Hall MMF-11.1 but it sounds darn good for the money invested.

Pros: Increased frequency response, simple installation, cost (for an audio upgrade). Plus it's just fun to tinker without changing an entire component in your system.

Cons: Slight increase in the noise floor. This is offset but pros above in my opinion.

Sumiko Black Pearl phono cartridge

Written by: BobB from Powell, WY on October 14, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

great sound, what a difference from old one

Pros: easy hook up


Sumiko Black Pearl

Written by: RICH N. from WCL, NJ on October 21, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After going to many web sites, I discovered a wide range of products and price points.. I usually end up @ Crutchfield because their buyers really do a thorough search and study before making a product available.. I didn't want to spend a fortune, but I did want the best I could afford in the category... I think this product does a fantastic job based on its price point.. On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.85 because it meets my needs and does a perfect job replicating my vinyl collection..



Nice and Mellow

Written by: Mike from Las Cruces, NM on October 15, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Replaced the stock cartridge on a Denon 300. It gives me the warm sound I was looking for. Highs and mid-range are right out front without being "tinny" and the lows are deep and clear, not fuzzy.

Pros: Right balance between lows and highs for my ears.

Cons: none


Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download the Sumiko Black Pearl manual

  • Turntable cartridge (MM)
  • Plastic stylus guard
  • Plastic case
  • 2 Mounting screws
  • 2 Nuts
  • 2 Plastic washers
  • Small screwdriver
  • Brush
  • Instructions

Product Research


Overview: The Sumiko Black Pearl is a moving magnet phono cartridge with an alloy cantilever, bonded spherical stylus, and 4.0 mV output. The Black Pearl cartridge offers superior construction and sound quality with an emphasis on real world performance.

Compatibility: The Sumiko Black Pearl turntable cartridge is an ideal replacement for any standard 1/2" mount turntable or headshell.

  • Turntables: The Sumiko Pearl turntable cartridge supports turntables manufactured by Pro-Ject, Technics, Sony, Pioneer, Dual, Kenwood, Marantz, Denon, etc..
  • Cartridges: The Sumiko Pearl turntable cartridge replaces any standard 1/2" mount cartridge from Shure, Audio Technica, Ortofon, Pickering, Empire, Grado, etc..

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Max advised me on this purchase Max's Bio: [ Chuck  Apr 12, 2016 ]
Believed your recommendation - have not purchased a turntable cartridge for decades and needed reliable guidance. This is your valuable niche! [ S  Jan 08, 2016 ]

2 questions already asked

it has 4 pins should hook up no problem [ ROBERT  Dec 30, 2015 ]
It has 4 pins. [ Nicholas  Dec 20, 2015 ]
Yes it has four pins that are color coded at the pins base [ gregory  Dec 20, 2015 ]
IT HAS 4PINS. [ MIKE A  Dec 19, 2015 ]
There are 4 that are color coded. [ Gary  Dec 19, 2015 ]
Mike - 4 pins mine went on an older Denon table and works great. [ Ralph  Dec 19, 2015 ]
Yes there are 4 pins on the back of the cartridge. [ Kenny  Dec 19, 2015 ]  Staff
You will want to contact an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat to discuss compatibility with your current system. They will be able to pull up your turntable and see if this will integrate. If it does not, then they will also be able to discuss other options with you. [ Jeff  Jan 16, 2014 ]  Staff

Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.

Sumiko Pearl

Fantastic sound and value

The Sumiko Pearl offers these features:

an extended, 12-30,000 Hz frequency response

30dB channel separation for better stereo imaging

elliptical stylus design for more musical detail and improved tracking