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Sumiko Pearl

Moving magnet phono cartridge

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  • Sumiko Pearl

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Our take on the Sumiko Pearl

by Dave Bar

Out-of-this-world sound at a down-to-earth price

With its extended frequency response and groove-hugging elliptical diamond stylus, the Sumiko Pearl delivers the kind of gripping performance that'll keep your toes tapping from the very first note to the very last drum roll. Cymbal splashes come across as natural, open, and airy, while bass lines are rendered tight, deep, and tuneful. Even surface noise, one of vinyl's Achilles heels, is pushed far off into the background. You'll enjoy sparkling clarity and warmth with every disc in your treasured vinyl library.


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Highlights:

  • moving-magnet design
  • 0.2 x 0.8mm bonded elliptical diamond stylus
  • alloy tube cantilever
  • frequency response 12-30,000 Hz
  • output voltage: 4 mV
  • stereo separation: 30 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

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

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

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 open the box, verify contents, 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.

Features

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

Compatibility: The Sumiko 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..
 
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Sumiko Pearl Reviews

Average Customer Review:

12 people say:

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4 out of 5

The Pearl

Written By Ron M., Huntsville, AL on Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
the stylus stands up for itself. not so easy to setup, still not sure if i have the correct settings. however i am still playing records and i love the upgrade.
Pros:
worth the upgrade, for listening to nice records. love the sound. looks good.
Cons:
little parts, measurements hard, not sure if I have them correct. called in not sure about the info i received, tried it did not work, so I went old school.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

pearl

Written By audiofile, portland, or on Sunday, May 18, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
awesome sound and easy to set up.
Pros:
high quality, great value
Cons:
none
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sumiko pearl

Written By Roger Main, Portland, Oregon on Sunday, April 20, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Outstanding, versatile cartridge. Clear, honest, wide soundstage with great detail. Great for jazz and complex rock like Queen or Pink Floyd. Next best cartridge would cost $300.
Pros:
Price, ability to replace stylus for $60, sound quality.
Cons:
Needs a tube preamp to really show it's prowess. (I added a Pro-Ject tube box II).
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sumiko Pearl Cartridge

Written By FlyMike55, Baker, FL on Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Everything it promised to be from Crutchfield listing. Has brought new life to our Technics SL1200 MkII turntable. Sound reproduction and spurious noise rejection is excellent.
Pros:
Excellent price point and cost/performance value. Comes with stylus protector and needle cleaning brush.
Cons:
Lacks dimensional data which is required for Technics tone arm setup.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

A Great Cartridge at a reasonable Price

Written By LynnV, Salem, Oregon on Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I recently upgraded my turntable by purchasing a VPI Traveler ($1400), which does not come with a cartridge. On a modest budget, I had no desire to spend another $600 - $800, but wanted a cartridge which would bring out the sonic qualities of the turntable. I purchased the Sumiko Pearl ($125), thinking it would be a good starting cartridge which I could upgrade later when I have more funds. After setting up the cartridge, I am amazed at the sonic clarity and detail this cartridge produces. Highs are crisp and clear without being too bright, bass is detailed and ample. Vocals come through very detailed and clear without any undue sibilance. I am so pleased with the musicality of this cartridge, at its very modest modest price point, I have no need to upgrade. Truly a great product at a very reasonable price.
Pros:
Very reasonable price, great entry-level cartridge. set up instructions were easy to follow.
Cons:
Mounting screws almost not long enough to install the cartridge.
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Good Cartridge

Written By jat3, fort worth tx on Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Sumiko Pearl is a good cartridge at a good price, especially when used on the Technics SL-1200mk2. The Pearl's compliance matches well with the SL-1200mk2's tonearm mass, and, when mounted in the Audio Technica MG-10 magnesium headshell, using the forewardmost set of threads, alignment is perfect, per the Technics supplied alignment tool. This a real boon for those of us who despise the job of accurate cartridge alignment. Level the turntable, balance the arm, set VTF to 2 grams, arm height level with record surface, adjust cueing height to your preference, dial-in 2.2 grams of anti-skate, and you're home free.
Pros:
Good sound, and easy installation.
Cons:
None
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Sumiko Pearl phoho cartridge

Written By Martin, Thief River Falls, MN on Sunday, May 05, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Sumiko Pearl phono cartridge does a nice job of relayuing the music from my lps to my receiver, speakers, ect. The phono cartridge was easy to install and it came with the longer bolts, washers, and nuts. Which I needed. But you have to look for them. There hidden in the bottom of the box the phono cartridge came in. Again I like the Sumiko Pearl phono cartridge. It is a nice match to my Technics SL-5200 turntable ( OLDIE BUT GOODIE )..
Pros:
Sounds NICE. All parts included. Easy installation. Very HAPPY with my purchase.
Cons:
Had longer bolts from a previous cartridge that I used. Found the bolts that came with the phono cartridge two days later when I was going through the cartridge box before disposal...Hidden compartment in the bottom of the box.Cartridge could use some horozantial lines across its top surface to make the alaginment of the cartridge a little easer. All-N-ALL the Sumiko Pearl is a nice phono cartridge.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Sumiko Pearl

Written By Anonymous, mililani, hi on Thursday, April 11, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Easy install and picks up the sound
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5 out of 5

Returning the old to new

Written By John G, Forestville, Maryland on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After replacing my old cartridge with the Sumiko Pearl,it was musical nirvava,I have album's that are forty-plus year's old,and the sound that came out of my speaker's was unbelieveable!
Pros:
Sound reproduction
Cons:
NONE!
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Sound Reproduction

Written By CPW, Hazel Green,AL on Sunday, October 07, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I replaced a Shure cartridge and I am very pleased with the sound reproduction of the Sumiko Pearl. I have a lot of vinyl that I have taken care of over the years and was thrilled by the Sumiko Pearl. Great product and I would recommend it to anyone.
Pros:
Great sound reproduction
Cons:
None
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Best Value

Written By Anonymous, Columbus, OH on Saturday, August 18, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Smooth sound across the spectrum without any frequency being overloaded. You won't be disappointed here.
Pros:
Good bang for the buck.
Cons:
None
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Excellent Cartridge

Written By Shermanm4, Lakewood, CO on Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent cartridge, beats my reference champ the Shure M97xe. Smooth as the shure, but more detail.
Pros:
Price, sound.
Cons:
None
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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1 question already asked

I have a pro ject perspect turntable straight,solid carbon tone-arm,& fixed heADshell. I believe it is a1/2" standard mount.i would like to know if this cartdge. will worh on my turntable? or if here is a better match? thanx,dave c. [ David  Jun 17, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: Thanks for contacting us. Without knowing the exact model Pro-ject turntable you have, we cannot verify 100% compatibility. However, looking at all the current models that Pro-ject, the Sumiko Pearl cartridge is compatible. If you want make 100% sure prior to ordering, you can contact Pro-ject at 510.843.4500 If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy Staff  Jun 18, 2014 ]

For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Sumiko Pearl, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_782PEARL/Sumiko-Pearl.html ).

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