Our Titan Mono is a low-impedance moving coil cartridge that has been designed specifically to play monaural LP records in ultimate fidelity. It is our attempt to create the very best in breed, and in one magazine article was described as the “King of Mono”.
Much great music is available only as monaural recordings, and these outstanding performances are clearly deserving of top-quality playback. Also, many of the cutting lathes used to master monaural LPs were capable of a wider frequency response and a greater dynamic range than stereo lathes. In some ways, therefore, monaural LPs can benefit more from quality reproduction techniques than stereo LPs.
The Titan Mono shares many advanced structural elements with the stereo Titan, including the one-piece machined titanium body, the full-enclosure removable stylus guard, the non-conductive front carrier, and the polepiece-less, direct flux dual-disc magnet system. However, the Titan Mono has a completely unique cantilever/coil/stylus assembly, and the electrical system has been designed and optimized for mono playback.
On mono records, the vertical axis of the groove contains no musical information, but it will frequently have noise, in the form of groove damage and dirt. The Titan Mono has therefore been designed to be completely insensitive to the vertical axis, which greatly improves the signal/noise ratio without any downside on monaural records.
Two totally separate monaural coils are used in the Titan Mono, since most monaural cartridges are used with stereo amplifiers and stereo speakers. The separate coils also help avoid possible ground loops and hum problems that could otherwise be caused if a single coil is fed into a stereo two-channel amplification system, thereby tying the two channels together electrically
If the output from one of the Titan Mono’s signal coils is connected to the left channel input of a phono preamp and output of the other coil is connected to the right channel input, each channel of the stereo system will be fed an identical monaural signal, and both speakers will therefore produce an equal mono signal.
On preamps without a balance control or separate attenuators for each channel, the Titan Mono’s coil arrangement will automatically result in a single mono “image” located centrally between the speakers. With stereo preamps that incorporate a balance control or separate attenuators for each channel, turn down either channel and you will be able to hear the mono signal from the other speaker. And for pure monaural playback with a single amplifier and a single speaker, only one of the two channels (one pair of the cartridge’s output pins) needs to be connected to the preamp’s phono input. We recommend experimentation with the various permutations possible to find the optimal results.
A diamond coated solid boron rod is used as the cantilever on the Titan mono, with a line contact profile stylus; an unusual for a mono cartridge. The stylus profile of 3 x 70 micrometers has been chosen to provide optimal playback results on monaural records as well as stereo LPs. Although it is entirely possible to play a stereo LP with the Titan Mono, the output will be in mono.
To create a precisely defined reference pivot for the cantilever, the free length of the Titan Mono’s suspension wire is kept ultra-short. This also plays an important role in improving the conversion accuracy of mechanical vibrations into electrical signals. A new compound damper system utilizes completely new damper materials to provide superior tracking, detail retrieval and minimize ringing.
The cantilever assembly has been mounted directly to the titanium body. Intermediate mounting methods such as polepieces or subcarriers have been completely eliminated. Both the cantilever and the insides of the body have been shaped so that when the two components are joined to each other, a double-knife-edge system will be created, which will concentrate as much pressure as possible on the joint area and thereby achieving a type of cold weld. This direct mounting system minimizes the number of mechanical joints between the cantilever and tonearm, and maximizes mechanical energy transfer away from the stylus and generator area. The end result is far less reflected mechanical energy, and therefore significantly reduced levels of distortion and resonance.
- Designer: Jonathan Carr
- Builder: Yoshinori Mishima
- Type: Medium weight, medium compliance, low-impedance moving coil cartridge
- Stylus: Lyra-designed long-footprint variable-radius line-contact nude diamond (3um x 70um), slot-mounted
- Cantilever system: Diamond-coated solid boron rod with short one-point wire suspension, directly mounted into cartridge body via high-pressure knife-edge system
- Coils: 2-layer deep, 6N high-purity copper, square-shaped chemically-purified high-purity iron former, 5.4ohm self-impedance, 8.8uH inductance
- Output voltage: 0.5mV@5cm/sec., zero to peak, 45 degrees (CBS test record, other test records may alter results)
- Frequency range: 10Hz ~ 50kHz
- Compliance: Approx. 12 x 10-6cm/dyne at 100Hz
- Vertical tracking angle: 20 degrees
- Cartridge body: One-piece machining from solid titanium billet, with non-parallel shaping, and body threaded directly for mounting screws
- Cartridge mounting screws: 2.6mm 0.45 pitch JIS standard
- Distance from mounting holes to stylus tip: 9.5mm
- Cartridge weight (without stylus cover): 10.5g
- Recommended tracking force: 1.65 ~ 1.75g
- Recommended load directly into MC phono input: 95.3ohm ~ 816ohm (determine by listening)
- Recommended load via step-up transformer: 5 ~ 15ohm (step-up transformer’s output must be connected to 10kohm ~ 47kohm MM-level RIAA input, preferably via short, low-capacitance cable)
- Recommended tonearms: High-quality pivoted or linear (tangential) tonearms with rigid bearing(s), adjustable anti-skating force, preferably VTA adjustment