Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Pros: Fantastic sound. Relatively easy to install
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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.
Average Customer Review(s):
Pros: Fantastic sound. Relatively easy to install
I installed this cartridge on my vintage '75 Yamaha turntable. Installation was just like the old days. Works fine. I am not an audiophile so I can't credibly comment on the performance. Plus, my preamp is most likely the limiting piece in my system.
My second Pearl. Crutchfield and all local dealers could not sell me a replacement stylus when I needed one.
Pros: excellent sound separation and clarity to the music.
Cons: Crutchfield and many dealers do not support product. When I needed a replacement stylus, Crutchfield and all the dealers I contacted could not sell me one. This purchase is my second Pearl.
I studied long and hard and listened to a few carts and talked with the guys at the record stores and ended up buying the Pearl from Crutchfield. I have about 100 hrs on it and it took 20 or more to settle into the sound with warmth yet vibrant highs with great bass as well. I had a good cart before but this is much better. I don't have the "ear" that some do but this took my music from 2D into 3D, if that makes any sense. Beatles, blues rock, prog rock and bluegrass are all better. Less noise on those records that are less than NM. Very much worth the $120 it costs. Playing it on a technics SL-23 belt drive dialed into perfect speed with a Kenwood KRV-8540, a nice vintage receiver with a phono preamp I am using but nothing special coming out of new Klipsch Reference speakers. It's all good.
Pros: Price, performance, looks
Came without instruction/ specs papers,no problem, as I already knew them thanks to your description online. Once mounted and playing it sounded a little harsh, then after a few platters the hifi genie kicked in and it mellowed out, so much so that I'll give it 5 stars
The Sumiko Pearl Cartridge and stylus is a top notch novice audiophile offering. This combo will most likely breathe new life into your favorite vinyl selections. The sound presentation is warm and lively, vocals clean and natural, and bass delivered with authority.. Highly recommended !!!
Pros: Great quality... Great value..!!
Cons: Should have tried this fine product earlier..
It works great and was easy to mount on my Dual 510 turntable.
Pros: nice peace
Think of your wine. You will like to have a full-bodied wine, powerful and big, good tannin balance, well-aged! (You will not go wrong with a good Cabernet!) This is the Sumiko Pearl. I am a long-time Vinyl owner, and a combination of Audiophile and DJ. Needless to say, I have used and tried lots of Carts and needles over the years (from the 70's all the way to the "first" end of the vinyl era - mid 90's). This was my first Sumiko cartridge and in one word, awesome! To me, the sound definition is similar to that of the SHURE M97e, but overall rounded. In my wine analogy, the M97e will definitively fall in the mid-bodied range. Go ahead! You will not be disappointed with this one!
Pros: Excellent balance between highs and lows!
Cons: Noticeable background noise.
An easy sound upgrade to an old turntable. The cartridge has impressive specs that surpass CD quaility (12-30,000 Hz). I am still breaking the cartridge in, but my vinyl albums sound better already.
Cartridge sounds good, but unsatisfied with the mounting surface - did not mount totally perpendicular to cartridge holder.
Just insalled on my Audio Tecknica LP 120 turntable along with a leather disc matt . Amazing !!!! Listening to 40 year old LP'S that sound as good as cd's . Crystal clear , no background noise . Glad the 100 + LP collection I have have survived . So along with the Onkyo RZ 800 receiver bought recently from Crutchfield I'm in sound heaven !
Pros: Large improvment over the stock Audio Tecknics
Cons: none so far
I purchased a TEAC TN-300 Turntable early 2015, not to replace my Dual CS-500 but to have USB output when wanted. While the Audio Technica cartridge included is not bad at all, I thought a cartridge with greater frequency response might enhance the sound. While it does not disappoint as I can hear a slight difference on selected recordings, if it were priced in the over $300.00 range, it probably would not be worth the investment. However, since it is not a bad ideal to replace an older stylus after a few years of use, this would be a great choice in the price range where it falls.
Pros: Extremely easy to replace the AT95E cartridge on the TEAC TN-300. Very good performance and frequency response.
I have a Denon DP-300f turntable, and my ears are pretty particular when it comes to music. The cartridge that comes standard with the 300f is serviceable. It is on the warm side, but stays there a little too much for my taste. I wanted a cartridge that would give me the warmth, but also highlight the mids and highs without becoming to sibilant and piercing. My first attempt was the Ortofon 2M Red which I had read good things about. But when I got it, it veered too far into the highs, and was too sibilant for my taste. So, I returned that (different online store) and came to Crutchfield for advice. As always, they provided terrific guidance, going off my specs. The result was me purchasing the Sumiko Pearl, and man, it has been utterly perfect for me. Exactly what I wanted it to be. Nice warmth, but not sacrificing the upper range. Plus, the separation is really good. I sit there and listen to Abbey Road, and I can hear every instrument on "Here Comes The Sun" as though it was just off the pressing machine. It was also so simple to install. And to boot, I love the way it looks. It has a clean appearance, nice design, that feels modern but also timeless. At some point, I may go for a more expensive cartridge, but for this price point, this cartridge is hard to beat in my opinion.
I bought this to replace the cartridge that came with my Denon-300 I bought this to replace the cartridge that came with my Denon-300F. The Pearl made a noticeable improvement in sound clarity by bringing out the highs and lows. Very satisfied
Made a heck of an improvement in the sound quality coming out of my little Denon turntable. Well worth the money.
Pros: Much improved sound
Cons: Had some trouble changing out the old for the new cartridge. Small connectors easily bent. Had to use one of the spare connecting wires that came with the turntable.
This cartridge has a wider frequency range than the one I was using. The clarity is amazing. The separation with the highs and the bass response is great. I did use a protractor to align the cartridge and set the manufacture recommended tracking force. I did not believe that I could get such an improvement in the sound. You really have to spend a lot more money to beat the frequency range and clarity of this cartridge.
Pros: The best upgrade to my system I have made.
I just replaced the standard Denon cartridge that came with my DP 300 F turntable with a new Sumiko Pearl cartridge. The sound is simply amazing! I have been listening to vinyl for years and I have never heard this much of an improvement in sound! The clarity and bass response is stunning. For the price and quality this cartridge cannot be beat.
Pros: Great price, easy installation and fantastic sound!
Playing this through a Philips 312 turntable I paired with the Cambridge Audio separate phono amp I also reviewed. It took a while for this to grow on me. Fresh out of the box the highs were not so distinct and mid range vocals sounded sound out of place and muddied. As a matter of fact the cartridge that came loose in shipment with the turntable sounded better. After experimenting withe tracking force and giving it about 20-30 hours of break in time the bass was tight and commanding and the vocals are starting to pop. The high end is getting better too, perhaps a little more break in time. All in all a nice cartridge for the money that makes a 42 year turntable sound great.
Pros: Affordable, great distinct bass and aggressive clear vocals.
Cons: Highs are a bit muted and takes a while to burn in.
Purchased to replace an old cartridge and fill in until I am willing to spend the money for a new turntable, arm and more expensive cartridge. Tracks pretty well, images pretty well, pretty good bass, pretty natural sound. Just what I needed for a year or so.
Pros: Very good value for the money.
Cons: Slightly edgy highs but not so much as to stop me from listening.
Excellent sound! Way better cartridge and stylus than what came with my turntable. Virtually no noise. Brought the old vinyl back to life and then some. I recommend it to anyone.
Pros: Fast shipping, great price, easy to install and excellent sound!
I am in the market for a new TT to replace an old 'plastic' Pioneer but was quickly over whelmed by the many choices that are out there. I was also reluctant to upgrade to a better cartridge for fear it would out perform the TT, but I comprised and upgraded my Oyster to see where that would get me and was pleasantly surprised by the Pearl's sound. It has brought new my life to old vinyl. Deeper, richer base, midrange that reaches out and grabs you and clearer highs than I am used to w/ far less sibilance and distortion. Obviously the price can't be beat. If you need a quick, respectable upgrade and don't want to over spend, this is the way to go.
Pros: Inexpensive way to upgrade an old turntable. Great sound for the money!
Highs &Lows,combined with the music hall usb, sound more like a concert hall.
I am very pleased with the cartridge, it picks up full spectrum of sound, very pleasing. Plays my old albums without a lot of noise! Just bought a new Denon Turntable, sound great together!!
Pros: reasonable cost, received it in 2 days. easy to hook-up to my new Denon turntable. The Tech expert helped me with my choice, very satisfied!
I wanted to replace the Sumiko Oyster cartridge that came fitted on my Pro-Ject Xpression Carbon turntable having never replaced a phono cartridge since taking up this hobby centuries ago. After reading through every article and audio forum on the subject I could find, I decided to keep it simple and stayed with the same cartridge maker, opting for the Sumiko Pearl. Big improvement. The enhancement in musical clarity and detail was noticeable and immediate from the moment the stylus touched the record groove, with the most dramatic improvement with live recordings which came alive. Soundstage was open and life like, very good with low frequencies, though I did notice a bit of harshness in the high frequency range on some recordings. With all I've learned about turntables, cartridges, and the like I'm certain there is a more ideal phono cartridge for my Pro-Ject turntable, but for the money the Sumiko Pearl floats my audio enthusiast boat just fine. Again, good value.
Pros: Nice clarity & detail; open soundstage
Cons: High frequencies can sometimes sound a little hard with some recordings
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.
awesome sound and easy to set up.
Pros: high quality, great value
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Easy install and picks up the sound
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
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
Smooth sound across the spectrum without any frequency being overloaded. You won't be disappointed here.
Pros: Good bang for the buck.
Excellent cartridge, beats my reference champ the Shure M97xe. Smooth as the shure, but more detail.
Pros: Price, sound.
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.
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.
Been wanting awhile[ Joey Jul 30, 2017 ]
Quality & price.[ Randy Jul 28, 2017 ]
Reviews, frequency response, cost.[ GREGG Jun 13, 2017 ]
Replace RS Shure V15. Sumiko has great reviews. Crutchfield has great price with my rewards applied![ sgib May 02, 2017 ]
The reviews were very good[ Guy Apr 26, 2017 ]
Reasonably priced. Superior freq response. Product reputation.[ Gary Apr 05, 2017 ]
Looks to be a great buy at this price point.[ Edwin Mar 15, 2017 ]
Very satisfied with this Pearl product for my turntable.[ Robert Mar 15, 2017 ]
Good reviews and good price point for my application[ GEORGE Feb 06, 2017 ]
reviews[ scott Jan 28, 2017 ]
Comments and recommendations from Crutchfield's site[ ALFREDO Jan 09, 2017 ]
Needed a new cartridge.[ James Dec 06, 2016 ]
ratings, review, fits my system[ Hubert Nov 30, 2016 ]
After reading reviews on the Sumiko Pearl, I sent an email asking if the cartridge would work with my old Sony PS-X600. Jasan wrote back saying he had done some research, and that the cartridge would indeed work with my turntable. I have bought other items from Crutchfield, and have been well-advised by representatives in the past. So I was confident about ordering this cartridge.[ Paula Nov 27, 2016 ]
My brother bought one and is very pleased with the improvement in sound from his turntable. Other reviews have been good and I like the idea of the elliptical stylus effect on surface noise.[ Joseph Aug 29, 2016 ]
Needed to replace my cartridge that I purchased in the early 90s. Plus I wanted to upgrade. Thank you both Blake and Kay for your assistanceBlake's Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=12 Kay's Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=211 [ Michael Aug 18, 2016 ]
Research combined with price[ Michael Aug 02, 2016 ]
I have been making upgrades to my sound system. First high end Klipsch speakers, then a higher power receiver and better turn table. This would seem to bring out the best of all the upgrades.[ WILLIAM Mar 09, 2016 ]
I chose the Sumiko Pearl phono cartridge based upon my advisor Peyton's recommendations, and the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews it received.Peyton's Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=183 [ EDWARD A Jan 10, 2016 ]
the mm stands for moving magnet.[ pioneer Jul 18, 2017 ]
They mean mil. For some reason several sites that show the specs have mm on the end which is incorrect. The published specs from Sumiko and in the manual are specified in mil. or more correctly don't specify but we know it is mil. Regardless this is a great cartridge. I run mine on a Marantz TT-S1 since I did not want to ruin the $900 Clear Audio Virtuoso Wood cartridge it came with. Similar specs and the sound is out of this world for a ~$100 cartridge that I paid next to nothing for with Discover and Crutchfield bucks. One of the best budget audiophile cartridges I have tried over several decades. More natural sounding that the Sure, Ortophon and others in this price category. Tonearm and table matching is important with any cartridge and mileage may vary. Phono pre-amp also makes a difference. I run a ProJect tube box with this set-up and it is a great match.[ Barry Jul 18, 2017 ]
We do not offer Pioneer turntables but Sumiko does list Pioneer as a compatible manufacturer. The cartridge is an ideal replacement for any standard 1/2" mount turntable or headshell. I hope that helps. My Bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan Jun 14, 2017 ] Staff
Hi John. I recently hooked up a sumiko pearl to my 1978 pioneer pl-540 turntable and it fit the headshell just fine. All the pioneer turntables I have dealt with would fit this cartridge. If you have any problems I am sure Crutchfield will take care of you, their customer service is superior. Good luck, this cartridge provides a nice overall sound for a variety of music for the money.[ STEVEN Jun 12, 2017 ]
Hello JohnI'm not sure if you have recieved an answer to your inquiry about the fit of the Sumiko Pearl cartridge. If the Pioneer headshell is the original (black anodized Technique type) then yes it should fit. I installed one of these replacing an ADC cartridge/stylus on my uncles Pioneer Pl 15d. ( shorter headshell wires were also used due to decay of old original wires.) He really enjoys the result ... Good Luck and happy spinning.. Stephen P.[ Jazzing67 Jun 10, 2017 ]
yes I have mine in a pioneer pl51 this is a good cart. Enjoy it[ pioneer Jun 10, 2017 ]
Sorry, I have no experience with the Pioneer PL 510a. Maybe consult the manufacturer.[ RICHARD Jun 10, 2017 ]
According to your owner's manual on page 2, the answer is yes. You will need to mount it on the headshell, and instructions are provided. The only issue is if the cartridge height is greater than 20mm, it could interfere with playing records that are stacked high. You should check this before you purchase.[ Daniel Jun 06, 2017 ]
I have mine on an MCS 6700 turntable that was made by Technics back int the late 70's to mid 80's. If I remember the 1950 is very similar to the MCS. Search for the MCS and find a picture to compare to your table and if the cartridge holder is similar it should be fine. You will need a stylus gage to get it set properly. Hope that will help. It is an awesome cartridge, best I have ever owned.[ Larry Jun 06, 2017 ]
Hi Davidi can't answer this question because this cartridge was not compatible with my Scot Semi-automatic belt-drive turntable. The reason being that this unit uses a T4P type plug-in cartridge and didn't fit the tone arm.. I had to send it back for a refund[ Michael Jun 06, 2017 ]
Yes, but you will have to visit another site or a hi-fi store to do so.[ Steven Jan 25, 2016 ]
Yes it is. Replacement I believe runs about $70.[ JAMES Jan 24, 2016 ]
I don't know.[ RONALD D Jan 24, 2016 ]
Yes, but be sure you are ordering a genuine Sumiko replacement, will cost around $70. Happy listening!![ DENNIS L Jan 24, 2016 ]
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 510.843.4500If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat.[ Krissy Jun 18, 2014 ] Staff
a moving-coil design with exceptional resolution
nude-mounted elliptical stylus for lower friction and longer wear
high-output voltage for direct compatibility with most preamps, integrated amps, and receivers with phono inputs