How serious are you about vinyl sound? If you are ultra-serious (and super-rich), you’d probably be cool with dropping, say, US$20,000, for a super high-end record player and if so, I am guessing 9,000 bucks phono cartridge would sound like a fair price. OK. Maybe not. And no, the price isn’t a typo. The Audio-Technica AT-MC2022 Phono Cartridge does indeed sell for a royal US$9,000.
The Audio-Technica AT-MC2022 Phono Cartridge is a dual-moving coil stereo cartridge released last September as part of the brand’s 60th-anniversary line of celebratory products and a result of 60 years of phono cartridge research and development.
The highlight of the cartridge is the unified stylus-cantilever, formed from a single, lab-grown diamond. It promised to produce “a sharp, vibrant soundscape that lets you hear – and feel – every detail of your music.” Not sure if that justifies the exorbitant pricing but the craftsmanship and materials used are kind of exotic too.
In addition to the manmade diamond, the cartridge body is made from a precision-machined aluminum base and titanium housing with an elastomer under cover. It also touts gold-plated terminal pins that are about 30 times thicker than conventional pins and a hand-crafted ion-plating that lends it the stunning gold mirror finish.
The aesthetic further incorporates design accents inspired by traditional shippo (Japanese cloisonné) enameling. For 9 grand, it also comes with a walnut presentation case with an engraved 60th-anniversary logo and individual serial number. And no, it did not fly off the shelves like the Sound Burger for obvious reasons.
Oh, in case you thought the post title is clickbait. It is definitely not. The Rolex Air-King 40 mm is US$7,450 brand new.