Etsuro Urushi Cobalt Blue Cartridge Stereophile Recommended Components 2021

Etsuro Urushi's moving-coil cartridge—the least expensive of its three models—features scantly wound coils, a samarium-cobalt magnet with soft-iron flux-director pieces, and a sapphire-pipe cantilever fitted with a Microline stylus, all in a Duralumin body covered with blue Urushi lacquer. Specs include an impedance of 3 ohms, output of 0.25mV, and a weight of 8.1gm. HR got the best from the Cobalt Blue by pairing it with the 1:10 version of the EMIA Phono step-up transformer, writing that during the time it was in his system, "I never once took the Cobalt Blue's beguiling occupy-the-room presentation for granted. Every day it pleased me. Every day I thought, This cartridge could compete with any cartridge at any price." HR's closing thoughts: "I could dream away my sunset years listening only with the Etsuro Urushi Cobalt Blue: It does everything I desire." "Analog is sensuous and tactile by nature, as is the character of the Etsuro Urushi Cobalt Blue," he subsequently wrote. (Vol.42 No.8, Vol.43 No.6 WWW)