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Sumiko Oyster

Moving magnet phono cartridge

6 Reviews


Our take on the Sumiko Oyster

A great choice for budding audiophiles and up-graders

Whether you're outfitting a new turntable, or upgrading your existing one, this modestly priced phono cartridge from Sumiko is sure to please. The Oyster delivers a smooth, refined sound that'll bring out the best in your cherished vinyl collection. It features a moving-magnet design with a standard 1/2" mount for excellent compatibility with most turntables and receivers or amps.

Product Highlights:

  • moving-magnet design
  • 0.6mm bonded spherical diamond stylus
  • alloy tube cantilever
  • frequency response 30-20,000 Hz
  • output voltage: 4.0 mV
  • stereo separation: 25 dB
  • channel balance: 1.0 dB
  • tracking force range: 1.25-2.5 grams
  • recommended tracking force: 2.3 grams
  • load impedance: 47k ohms
  • cartridge weight: 5.3 grams
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

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

Sumiko Oyster Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(6 Reviews)

Sumiko Oyster

Crutchfield customer from Port Ludlow, WA on 10/13/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The cartridge works well but the dimensions were not the same as the old cartridge. Consequently the old screws which secured the cartridge to the arm were too short. New screws of proper length were not included requiring a trip to the local hardware store. I have a Denon DP300-F turntable.



Tight bass, but the midrange distortion = terrible ear fatigue

Luis from Flat Rock, MI on 6/20/2017

This cartridge was installed and aligned for me by my local record shop. No issues with that whatsoever. My turntable was a Music Hall USB-1 purchased from Crutchfield. I thought the cartridge was an immediate upgrade over my stock cartridge, clearer, more bass and looked decent. But then something would happen. Despite the great tight bass sound after listening to a few records everything would start sounding shrill. I couldn't listen to more than 2 albums in a row without having my enjoyment diminish greatly. I thought it was me, I thought perhaps my hearing was too sensitive for long listening sessions, but when I am at work I can literally listen to music all day through my headphones (NAD Viso HP-50). Something was wrong but I couldn't figure out what. I saw a video review of this cartridge that was done by a very knowledgeable source who has a great equipment review series on youtube and that was it. The thing that was causing my listening fatigue and ringing headaches was the midrange distortion that seems to be a problem with this cartridge. It literally caused me headaches and make my brain feel clouded. It hurt my vinyl listening experience because I was not able to enjoy my records the way I should have. I then changed the cartridge and the difference was night and day. I was able to enjoy my music for long stretches, midrange distortion gone, headaches gone and great sound was achieved.

Pros: Nice bass

Cons: Midrange distortion destroys listening experience

More technical information

Richard from Charlevoix, MI on 12/31/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Good product



I like it but wish they had the Pearl

Z from Stephens City Va on 6/4/2016

A good needle for a good price.

Pros: Affordable


A Nice Replacemant Cartridge

Mahlon from Swoope VA on 2/1/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I still listen to a fair amount of vinyl, so when I noticed the stylus on my old cartridge was showing excessive wear, I got the Oyster. In the store, the rep was knowledgeable, friendly and accurate in his assessment of this cartridge. It does perform well and compared to the old one, presents a more accurate stereo image - one of the fun things about listening to some of these older recordings is how the engineers/producers set the sound stage.

Pros: Decent price.

Cons: None

Sumiko Oyster replacement cartridge

Steve from North Grafton, MA on 8/25/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm no professional audiophile, but the Sumiko Oyster cartridge is an excellent replacement piece. My old records sound new again.




Hands-on research

Product Research


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

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

  • Turntables: The Sumiko Oyster turntable cartridge supports turntables manufactured by Pro-Ject, Technics, Sony, Pioneer, Dual, Kenwood, Marantz, Denon, etc..
  • Cartridges: The Sumiko Oyster 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?

Upgrading my 30+ years old Dual 502 turn table that came with shure v15 type III cartridge. [ THOMAS  May 22, 2016 ]

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

Sumiko Black Pearl

Enjoy fuller, more refined sound

The Sumiko Black Pearl offers these features:

a wider 18-27,000 Hz frequency response

28dB channel separation for better stereo imaging

a smaller diameter stylus for extracting more detail from a record's grooves

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