As you might guess, the “Cartridge Enabler” “enables” your cartridge to operate much more effectively. Consisting of a thin material which you fit between the cartridge and headshell, this simple device is one of the most cost effective upgrades you will come across.
How does it sound?
You immediately notice improved bass fullness with added textures. Voices especially take on a tangible quality which sounds more natural and realistic.
Attaching the Enabler is like improving the suspension of a car travelling down a road full of pot holes. Resonant jagged edges which jar and detract from the performance are removed which gives a sense of increased ease and vibrancy to the music.
Interestingly the Enabler improves the sound quality of lower cost cartridges to a much greater extent than those at the higher end of the spectrum.
Cartridge Isolation Works
The idea of an energy absorbing interface for the cartridge is not entirely new. The Cartridge Man isolator has done this successfully but at a higher cost for a product that is not so universally applicable. Another alternative promoted by the Dynavector UK importer suggests 3 plastic washers placed between cartridge and headshell – this also works effectively but not as well as the Enabler.
The Key Advantages of the Cartridge Enabler are:
- It sounds brilliant.
- Easy to fit.
- Low cost at £25 (performance improvement can be valued at over 10 times this figure)
- It works with all cartridges (we’ve tried from £35 budget up to £8000 high end cartridges)
- Robust and long lasting
- Provides the ability to slightly adjust azimuth on tonearms.
Isolation Material: The specialist material used absorbs energy evenly across the audio frequency spectrum. Most materials tend to work in a fairly narrow band which leads to negative results. The material is similar to a good gasket material, flexible and robust. Not only does the material selected work where almost all others fail but we modify and treat it in a manner which enhances it’s performance.
Profile: It’s not just the type of material which matters but also the profile. The shape has been refined and tested for optimized performance. This makes the enabler slightly fiddly to fit but solutions like self adhesive, or bolt hole surround in the profile is simply too much of a sacrifice on performance (and yes we have tried these things).
Washers: The Enabler protects the topside of the cartridge from vibration but what about energy transmission through the bolts? To address this problem we supply washers made from the same material as the Enabler and then use nylon washers to spread the load of the bolt heads.