When a small quantity of Kiseki Purple Heart N.S. cartridges arrived in the U.S. very few people were told about it. After all, they are very limited in their numbers, owing to the Kiseki way of building cartridges. No sample to sample variation in sound. Every one must be perfect.
Somehow, the word got around. The Purple Heart has been the number one, all-time favorite of Jim Hannon, the publisher and chief at The Absolute Sound magazine. He had worn his out years ago, and tried to have it re-tipped twice by some of the best the the industry, but could not re-create the magic.
When he heard he could get a new Purple Heart, he said “I want one” and didn’t even ask what the price was. At the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, he confirmed that not only was the magic back, but that the new improved Purple Heart NS was even better, saying “A lot of cartridges do great 2D, the Kiseki Purple Heart is 3D.”
Bob Levi, well-known hifi maven, reviewer, and president of the largest audio society in the world, had heard the news and immediately asked if he could have a sample to review.
Here’s an excerpt:
There is no other cartridge in its price range that can shine its stylus or bring such truthfulness to the reproduction of LPs. I am gob smacked by how it reproduces music like the real performance. It gives you a big taste of reel-to-reel tape sound without having to buy a RTR machine. Its utter lack of identifiable colorations put it in a league of its own.
Click here for Enjoy the Music review
Body: PurpleHeart Wood, 30 mm long
Cantilever: Solid Boron Rod: 0.3 mm diameter
Stylus: 0.12 x 0.12 Nude line-contact diamond, mirror polished
Stylus tip radius: 4 x 120 μm
Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA): 20 degrees
Coilbody: pure iron
Weight: 7 grams
Output voltage: 0.48mV at 5cm/s
Internal impedance: 42 ohms
Frequency response: 20 – 30,000Hz ± 1dB
Channel balance: 0.2dB
Channel Separation: 35dB at 1kHz
Tracking ability at 315Hz at a tracking force of 2.6 grams: 80 μm
Dynamic Compliance: 16 μm/mN
Recommended loading: 400 ohms (Bob Levi: I disagree! 800-1000 ohms)
Recommend tracking force: 2.0 – 2.6 grams (Bob Levi: I disagree! 2.1-2.4)
Optimum tracking force: 2.46 grams (Bob Levi: I disagree! 2.3 grams is perfect)
Recommended tone arm mass: Medium
Optimum working temperature: 20 °C
Break-in period: 50 – 100 hours