Lovers of female vocals will enjoy the midrange body that the Grado brings to the presentation: the sweetness that this cartridge serves up a lot of emotion & is full of texture and clarity. a powerful midrange body that I suspect will be a bonus to all classic rock enthusiasts. Yet the Grado has no trouble keeping up with current classics – turning TOOL up to window shaking levels, the bass and drums are chest poundingly good.Sorry neigbors. Ok, not sorry, this cartridge really rocks. If you’re tired of the sterility in some of the current cartridge offerings, I suggest auditioning the Grado Master Timbre series might be just what you’re looking for. A big thanks to Rich Grado for making this happen.-Tone Audio
The grado found me unprepared for the next vaulting leap in my listening education. Within a week of auditioning I began to believe that both my new and vintage vinyl had received a rite of purification, cleansed and made better than new. It was also as though the tiny hairs in my inner ear had been degunked, and in a stroke my hearing was perfectly clear.--Lang Phipps, Audio Review
Cured Jarrah For The Cure?
Nearing the top of the Timbre Series, the Master3 achieves optimal sonic quality due to an intricate curing process and specialised materials reserved for Grado's best cartridges
Some practices Grado reserves for cartridges near the top of the line, and it starts here. To achieve Grado's desired sound, they experimented with multiple longer curing processes that differ from the Opus3, Platinum3, and Sonata3 while using more modified materials. Each Master3 is individually calibrated after being built.
To make the Timbre Series work as a whole, Grado created a way for Jarrah, diamonds, and a twin magnet system to integrate with their Flux-Bridge. Grado modified their four piece OTL cantilever technology to achieve a 10% tip mass reduction over the Prestige Series and use ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire in the coils. The Sonata3 uses a specially Grado designed nude elliptical diamond.
Grado has combined newly developed coil winding techniques with decades-old disciplines. A new two-step shielding process brings not only exact unison between the four coils but an unobstructed path for a cleaner signal. The music is allowed to travel undistorted through the coils, greatly reducing mechanical noise while improving tracking. There is an extreme clarity over the full frequency range, with absolutely no stridency or shrillness. Precisely hand tipped with a diamond, a great amount of care go into each cartridge Grado builds.
Built from Jarrah
After the Sonata3 cartridge is crafted, it is then placed inside a Australian Jarrah housing. Jarrah is necessary for the majority of Timbre Series with its ability to produce surgically precise clarity without losing any depth. Through a variation of thermal aging processes, the housing gains the ability to better dampen and control the resonant frequencies.
Hand-Built in Brooklyn
Each Sonata3 is hand-built by Grado's team in Brooklyn, as it has been for decades. After a specialized process that brings it to life, they are fine tuned for everything from entry-level turntables up to the highest-end stereo systems, the solid mass of the wood helps keep the Sonata3 steady and producing the Grado signature sound. They started building cartridges on a kitchen table in 1953, and every experience since then has led to the creation of the Sonata3.
Body Australian Jarrah Wood
Cantilever Machined Boron / Nude Diamond Tip
Input Load 10k-47k ohms
Cartridge Weight 10 grams
Tracking Force 1.6-1.9 grams
Channel Seperation Average 30db - 10-30k Hz
Controlled Frequency Response 10-60 kHz
Capacitive Load Sensitivity None
Builds High Output, Low Output, Mono
High/Low Output Comparison
High Output Low Output
Output 4.8mV @5 CMV (45) 1.0mV @5 CMV (45)
Inductance 55mH 6mH
Resistance 660 ohms 70 ohms