The third week of February may well turn out to be a hifi news bonanza. With the Florida Audio Show quickly pushing forward on the horizon, a flurry of news items are also dropping in preparation for a renewed and refreshed product cycle prepping like the warming weather (at least on the west coast). To kick off the release-heavy week, Sumiko announced this morning that they were updating their Rainer line of phono cartridges with the addition of the Nude Elliptical Stylus Wellfleet MM Cartridge.
More info in the press release below:
SUMIKO ANNOUNCES NEW WELLFLEET NUDE ELLIPTICAL STYLUS MM CARTRIDGE
The Introduction of the Product Expands the Brand’s Award-Winning Reflection of the Rainier Collection
MAPLE GROVE, MN (February 14, 2022) – Sumiko Phono Cartridges is pleased to premiere Wellfleet, the newest addition to the Rainier collection. The brand has applied and upgraded its award-winning design of the Moonstone cartridge, retuning the suspension for optimal performance of a nude elliptical diamond with the existing generator and resonance-optimized housing found in the rest of the Rainier series.
Wellfleet utilizes a highly polished nude elliptical stylus, eliminating the bonding between the stylus tip and shank. With the new assembly, excessive mass in the shank is cut away to further reduce tip mass, resulting in a faster, more direct, and more accurate response of the stylus’ movement by the cantilever and magnet. Sonically, this increases the process speed and focuses central images, pulling them toward the listener with a heightened sense for detail.
With the Wellfleet, vocals are immediate, clear, and detailed, the warmth of human vocal work becomes more apparent with hints of rasp and emphasized subtleties, boosted by tight and well controlled bass. Backing vocals become easier to discern, and the listener is able to identify distinct instrumentation such as the rattle of snare wires, or the woody twang of a vintage acoustic guitars. Listeners will hear an improvement in surface noise and sense a more distanced backdrop, facilitating a deeply suspended image.
Flexibility remains paramount for the brand’s offerings – with (5) current stylus assembly variations currently available, capable of utilizing this generator. Rainier owners can upgrade to Olympia, Moonstone and now Wellfleet with a simple stylus swap. The Wellfleet will retail for $449 USD through Authorized Sumiko Dealers beginning February 2022.