Monday, December 20, 2021

VAL - Vinyl Audio Laboratories “Magne Focus” DST-style cartridge from Tokyo, Japan


A Corian body, triangle-air coils, no elastomer… not a veritable Neumann DST replica… nonetheless, it’s heartwarming a 64+ years old design be (successfully) revived to these days.

As I didn’t listened to this cartridge in my system, please let me point out I’m not recommending it, yet. 

If I’ll get a sampler, I’ll be happy to give you my first-hand, personal impressions, comparing it to my DSTs cartridges.

I strongly suggest any interested party to have a look to manufacturer site for prices, availability and other details.

Yet, reportedly, two VAL’s cartridges were recently and satisfactorily tasted and appreciated in this quite unique system…

Here is a translation from a recent Japanese review:

Place the coil in the immediate vicinity of the stylus tip
 Vinyl Audio Laboratory will release a cartridge that uses the original VAL "Magne Focus" system for the power generation mechanism.  The lineup is for stereo, monaural, and SP records.  Both are scheduled to be shipped in late December.  The price is as follows.

 MGF-ST1 (stereo record cartridge)
 Standard: 305,800 yen (tax included)
 Basic: 217,800 yen (tax included)

 MGF-MO1 (Cartridge for monaural record)
 Standard: 305,800 yen (tax included)
 Basic: 217,800 yen (tax included)

 Cartridge for SP record
 Standard: 305,800 yen (tax included)

 The VAL "Magne Focus" system has a structure in which a coil is placed in the immediate vicinity of the stylus chip, and a magnet sandwiches this coil.  Since the vibration of the record board scooped up by the stylus chip can be passed directly to the coil, it is said that it is possible to realize a highly fresh sound without sound loss.  It is said that it was devised based on the structure of NEUMANN's DST, which is a cartridge for listening to lacquer boards.

 The body is made of hard and hard-to-squeal Corian material from DuPont in the United States.  The cantilever is made of aluminum, and the stylus is a solid diamond needle in Standard and a joined round needle in Basic.

 All sizes are 20 x 22 x 12 mm, and the mass is about 10 g.  Impedance is 3Ω or less

Thanks to Masashi Miyake-san for sharing the above pictures and details about his handicraft..

He can be contacted at: and he will happily reply to any questions concerning his cartridges.

I wish to Miyake-san and Ohno-san the best success for their creations 🎶🎶🎶

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