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Customer Reviews

Sumiko Moonstone

Sumiko Moonstone Moving magnet phono cartridge

MFR # 844682008240

4.5 out of 5 stars
28 reviews
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Music Hall Classic, Moonstone and 5 Stars!

Gregory from Wixom, MI on 2/6/2024

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Upgraded the OEM stylus after 1 year and wish I'd done it sooner! Incredible sound quality, as many of us are always chasing that next percentage of system improvement. I'm listening through Polk R200s with sub and paired the cartridge with a new AT HS4 headshell, and kept the OEM cartridge and shell together for backup. Used a protractor and the Pro-ject Measure it scale to get the angle/ weight right. Watched the video and got it installed in under 30 minutes. Another excellent Crutchfield experience!

Pros: Even greater clarity and sound quality than OEM cartridge. Replaceable stylus if needed. Stylus can even be upgraded to the Amethyst if so desired.

Cons: Price was reasonable and I'd say worth it.

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Moonstone Upgrade to Denon DP300F

Michael from Novi, MI on 10/16/2023

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The Moonstone replaced an entry level AT cartridge in my Denon DP300F turntable. It clearly provides a much wider frequency range than the old cartridge, especially noticeable in the bass. Realism of vocals is also impressive. I am happy with this upgrade!

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2 of 2 found this helpful

Moonstone Rocks!!

Chris from Louisa, VA on 7/18/2023

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Awesome cartridge! Started out with the Sumiko Pearl as a replacement for the stock cart on my Teac 300 turntable. Moved up to the Technics SL-1500C with the Ortofon 2M Red (Stock cartridge). The 2M sounded ok but was missing a warm middle, with the Pearl it sounded so much better!! So I thought. hey! why not upgrade further to the Moonstone, the sound really came alive! It took a couple of times to get it set right. I think the red nose causes problems getting it lined up visually. (at least for me) in it's defense, I bought a red headshell dedicated for it (so I can keep the Pearl for back up) that does look great but may not have helped with getting it lined up. (go with a black headshell) Great cartridge! If you can't drop the cash on the Moonstone, the Pearl is a close 2nd.

Pros: Warm rich sound, Very Clear

Cons: A little difficult to mount & get set correctly.

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5 of 5 found this helpful

Happy Ears

James from Townsend, TN on 3/9/2023

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The sound produced was exquisite. Clear and precise. Every instrument shines along with vocals

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7 of 7 found this helpful

Very Happy with This Cartridge

Kurt from Getzville, NY on 3/5/2023

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Very bright, yet still silky smooth response from this cartridge. Separation of instruments particularly improved from stock cartridge on my Denon DP-300 F Turntable.

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2 of 3 found this helpful

Sumiko Moonstone

Lynn from WARRENSBURG, MO on 2/9/2023

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I have the Sumiko Ranier on my Pro-Ject Debut Pro and love the sound. The Moonstone follows that with a very smooth sound, that does not offend. It does lack the energy and vibrancy of some of my other cartridges, but I knew that going in. Paired with my Denon DP-45F, the sound provides me with a very nice alternative to the more energetic AT-740ML and Denon DL-110 I also have mounted. There really isn't anything wrong with the Moonstone other than it may lack enough energy for you. What it loses there it gains in a smooth character to me. I will try this on my Pro-Ject when afforded the time. This is a smooth lower mid-fi cartridge that does not offend.

Pros: Sumiko brand, Price, Smooth character, does not offend, ease of set-up and use.

Cons: Lacks energy, might be boring to some, bracketed by the very good Ranier and Amethyst making it the "middle child."

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3 of 4 found this helpful

Sumiko Moonstone

Michael from Palatine, IL on 1/13/2023

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I feel at this price point (and on my system, Technics SL1210GR; Elac PPA2 phono pre; Bowers & Wilins CM10 speakers) it as a good cart for the money. However, when compared the to the Sumiko Amethyst it is nowhere near as dynamic, with more separation of voices (i.e. the soundstage was not as full and engaging, if that makes sense. It seemed like Stevie Nicks was more on one side versus sounding like you were with her). Compared to the Ortofon Bronze it was more balanced and not as bright, but also with a less engaging soundstage.

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3 of 4 found this helpful

Sumiko Moonstone

Dillon from Minneapolis, MN on 12/10/2022

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I had been using the Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge for a couple years since it was installed on my turntable when I bought it. Replacing it with this Cartridge made a huge difference, of course this is 3x the price of the 2M Red so I'm happy it didn't disappoint. Really pleased with how easy this was to install and excited every time I get to play a record for the first time with it.

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4 of 5 found this helpful

AT VM540 Sounds Better

Scott from Palmetto, FL on 10/18/2022

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Although I received the Moonstone from another seller as a replacement for a defective Ortofon 2M Blue, I find this cart to be Dull, Harsh, just not digging how it's breaking in. The AT VM540 Cart I purchased from Crutchfield to replace the Moonstone sounds more vibrant and I feel is a better choice.

Pros: Easy Install

Cons: Poor sound, dull and lifeless

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10 of 17 found this helpful

Was it worth it?

Rex from Douglasville, GA on 9/4/2022

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Takes a lot to get me to part with $300 - especially for a "very nice to have" item, but from the moment I got this stylus dialed in and dropped it on a Stevie Ray Vaughn vinyl - that classic warm 70's sound came piping through and all my doubts were gone. Aside from having one of the coolest names a stylus could have, it lives up to the hype. So, was it worth it? Yes, absolutely!

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6 of 6 found this helpful

A Magnificent Cartridge

Bruce from Edmond, OK on 8/5/2022

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The soundstage is wonderful! It is as if you are on stage with the musicians. A deep and warm bass, midrange and treble are crystal clear, pure if you will. The channel separation is simply superb.

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7 of 7 found this helpful

It's everything 'they' say it is...

Alan from Boiling Springs, SC on 3/29/2022

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I researched a lot when it was time to replace the Shure M97xE that served me exceptionally well for many years. Everything I read and heard came back to the Sumiko. I wanted the Wellfleet because it has the nude stylus but it wasn't available yet so rather than wait for who knows how long I decided to start the Sumiko experience with the Moonstone, and I'm glad I did. Other than the nude stylus of the Wellfleet, the 2 are identical. It paired up nicely with my vintage Kenwood turntable and not-so-vintage Yamaha receiver. The instrument/vocal clarity and channel separation are exceptional. I'm hearing nuances in my vinyl I've never noticed before. The Moonstone and a good spin bath made 50 year old LPs sound like the master 2 inch studio tape. There may be a better cartridge in this price range, but I don't know how, or even if, that's possible.

Pros: Exceptional sonic quality Price Quality build Versatility of stylus replacement

Cons: None

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15 of 16 found this helpful

Best Phono Cartridge for the money

Leonard from Baldwin, NY on 2/21/2022

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Great bang for the buck. I love the channel separation. The stylus tracks the groove precisely with very little pop or skipping. The frequency response is clearly better than the cartridge my Audio Technica LP1240-USB XP turntable came with. I have this paired with the Cambridge Alva Duo preamp into a Willsenton R8 tube amp to a pair of Warfdale Lintons. System sounds amazing with this cartridge. I will soon be buying a high end MC cartridge and another head shell to play cartridge rolling games. At the price you won't find specifications this good on any brand cartridge. Don't think about it pull the trigger on this one and be happy.

Pros: Comes in a nice wooden crafted box with everything you need. Excellent groove tracking and imaging.

Cons: None so far

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8 of 9 found this helpful

Moonstone vs Olympia vs Mofi studio tracker

Kevin from Goshen, IN on 1/17/2022

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I originally purchased a sumiko olympia cartridge and listened to it for several months and was quite pleased so I decided to upgrade to the moonstone cartridge. After a few minutes of listening I was not impressed it sounded dull and recessed compared to the olympia.fast forward a few weeks I ordered the mofi studiotracker cartridge and it's on another level compared to either sumiko. Although I would recommend the olympia it was a very enjoyable cartridge for the money as well.

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7 of 13 found this helpful

Brilliant Cartridge

Crutchfield customer from Cookeville, TN on 12/11/2021

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I've got maybe 20 hours on my Moonstone but I can give you my early response to this clearly new breed of cartridge. The frequency response and balance is fairly sensational and I've really nothing to compare this to in this price range for it's ability to accurately deliver . The separation of instruments and vocals is very precise and the soundstage appears more like an accurate presentation of what was intended whether live or studio. I've literally heard voices with more brilliance and clarity, and instruments I could not distinguish before. My vinyl collection dates back to the 50's and this stunning cartridge has breathed a new and exciting listening experience to all of it. I am amazed.

Pros: Nice fit for low mass tonearm Excellent tracking Expanded clear frequency response No coloration noted; or could it be always favorable

Cons: None to mention at this time

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10 of 10 found this helpful

Sumiko Moonstone

Crutchfield customer from Redwood City, CA on 10/22/2021

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After proper installation this cartridge sounds amazing while still in the "break-in" period. Only downside is rectangular shape (no rear taper) where some warped records will drag on the back end of the cartridge.

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7 of 9 found this helpful

Sumiko Moonstone

William from DYER, TN on 10/9/2021

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This replaced a broken Rainier cartridge, and am very pleased with the results. I had to adjust the treble up a couple notches, and the bass down a bit to get it how I like it, but once I did, I have good clean sound that I didn't experience on my other cartridge. Set up was a snap. Will look for a spare moonstone stylus for when I wear this one out.

Pros: Easy to set up great sound quality compared to cartridge replaced

Cons: Pricey for my budget, but I've come to find out this is an expensive hobby overall.

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9 of 9 found this helpful

Sumiko Moonstone

Crutchfield customer from Huntingtn Bch, CA on 9/12/2021

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Still breaking in. Very brash on symphonic music.

Pros: Tracks very well.

Cons: Hope it improves on revealing more openness of large scale orchestral works.

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5 of 12 found this helpful

Mooning over the Moonstone

Crutchfield customer from Ridgeland, MS on 7/28/2021

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In 2020 I got a Fluance RT85 turntable with the Ortofon Blue stylus and enjoyed it just fine, tho the Blue could be a bit noisy. After a year I wanted to upgrade & went to the 2M Bronze. Awful! Worse than the Blue. Sent it to mfr, they said it's fine & I'm aligning it wrong (despite using a GeoDisc). I gave up & ordered the Moonstone. Oh WOW. This is what a stylus is supposed to sound like, i.e., nothing at all! just the music! I can't tell you sophisticated stuff about dynamics etc., but new & lovingly used LPs sound great. I'm ridiculously pleased with it. The hookup was a bit dodgy, but maybe because the leads on my Fluance headshell were a bit loose ... will probably score a Sumiko headshell down the road. Have had it a few weeks now & can't praise it enough.

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13 of 13 found this helpful

Sumiko Moonstone

Crutchfield customer from Manati, PR on 5/3/2021

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Excellent cartridge, very detail sound and low tracking noise!!

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7 of 8 found this helpful

Moonstone delivers

Crutchfield customer from Chandler, AZ on 4/9/2021

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I installed the Moonstone on a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon turntable to replace an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. The Moonstone is noticeably more spaciousness and has more range top to bottom. I am hearing things on my vinyl collection that I did not with the previous cartridge. To be fair, the Moonstone costs a fair bit more than the 2M Red as I was looking to for an upgrade in sound. I am surprised with the increased detail I now hear. Extended highs (you can hear the drum sticks hitting the cymbals), nice tight and deep bass, and horns and vocals in the midrange have depth. This cartridge will expose a poorly produced album but with better productions it is hard to believe I am listening to vinyl.

Pros: Good value, packaged well, easy to install if you have some basic skills and an cartridge alignment tool.

Cons: None.

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14 of 16 found this helpful

A genuine joy even with no break-in

Lee from Harrisburg, PA on 3/18/2021

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Oh, this cart. This beautiful, magnificent cart. Very preliminary, but daaamn. It's not even broken in yet and I didn't mess with the overhang, and I actually forgot to tweak the antiskate, it was close enough from the other cart but not perfect. So, not close to optimal conditions but OMG. The detail retrieval is next level. Soundstage - using Sennheiser 6xx which are decidedly not known for their expansive soundstage but this cart was forcing a soundstage presence. Effortlessly smooth, balanced sound. Good, tight bass, silky midrange (with again, extraordinary detail), and a delicate, nice treble (again, with a 6xx, not known for it's treble extension either). Awesome rhythmically - what's the word, attack? Nagaoka MP-110, Ortofon OM-10 - well regarded carts but the moonstone blows them away. I think it's almost certainly a step up from the Ortofon Blue too, though I haven't used the Blue on this setup in awhile to compare. Just awesome and again, it should be even better once I dial everything in better, + break in time. Very very pleased! Setup is as follows: Fluance Rt-85, DJ ART Pre ii preamp, w/ 12V DC PSU upgrade, Topping L30 headamp, Sennheisier 6xx headphones. No one really talks about Sumiko in the various turntable forums and groups I belong to, but you owe it to yourself to at least give their offerings a look. Especially as I was originally thinking Nagaoka MP-150 or MP-200, but the prices are super inflated right now, must be a supply/demand thing. Sumiko!

Pros: Detail retrieval & separation of instruments is next level! Soundstage, balanced sound bass/midrange/treble, rhythmically dynamic.

Cons: One record, Deftones *Ohms* sounded a bit congested/closed in at times. Not quite harsh. Still enjoyable. But again, no break-in, & I just slapped it on the headshell eagerly and aligned it quickly - no overhang adjustment yet, antiskate was close but not perfect. So there's plenty of room for improvement still.

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9 of 9 found this helpful

Nice upgrade

Crutchfield customer from Duson, LA on 12/24/2020

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This cartridge is a fantastic upgrade from my stock cartridge on my AT LP120. I'm hearing sounds I've never heard before. The highs are less bright and the lows are not as muddy. It was easy to set up and I'm very pleased.

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3 of 4 found this helpful

Sumiko Moonstone

Crutchfield customer from Kenilworth, NJ on 12/24/2020

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This was recommended by a tech at Crutchfields's, I was very impressed with the Sumiko Moonstone at it's price point. I plan on tring the Sumiko Amethyst next.

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0 of 1 found this helpful

Sumiko Moonstone

Crutchfield customer from Fort Smith, AR on 9/8/2020

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Smooth sound, fit perfect on my pro-jet turntable.

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2 of 4 found this helpful

Highly Underrated Brand

Crutchfield customer from Las Vegas, NV on 6/18/2020

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The "no-brainer" of excellent sounding MM carts under $500.00. Best in class! This is a great cart for someone just getting into or getting back into vinyl. Blows away mm Ortofon carts (at similar price) with more warmth, punch and clarity. Obviously not the last word in "detail" at this price point. Don't forget about Sumiko when shopping phono cartridges. Excellent value and pleased CRUTCHFIELD carries the line.

Pros: Value can't be beat

Cons: None at this price point.

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10 of 11 found this helpful

Sumiko Moonstone

Crutchfield customer from Willowbrook, IL on 3/15/2020

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Definitely big sound improvement.

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3 of 10 found this helpful

Sumiko Moonstone

Crutchfield customer from Columbia, SC on 2/5/2019

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Bought two of the moon stones. For my audio technica turntable and a Denon DP 100 turntable. Installation was atraighth forward. They need to supply an alignment guage. These cartridge track well on my sure test album and have excelent stereo separation and sound. On both turntables.

Pros: Great sound good tracking

Cons: Should have an alignment guage.

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5 of 13 found this helpful

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