Cartridge Enabler £19
Cartridge Enabler Reviews
“With the Cartridge Enabler attached, an ageing Audio Technica OC9 seriously took on a brand new Benz Micro Glider and didn’t embarass itself, that is £320 + £19 against £895. I call that value for money.” Read the full review >
Tony Sharman (Reviewer for Hi-Fi Magazines)
“The Cartridge Enabler” – decoupler and azimuth adjustment to upgrade all cartridges.
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 £19 (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 an optimised performance.
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.
Fitting the Cartridge Enabler
The Enabler has precision cut slots which allows you to fit it acurately between cartridge and headshell without any fuss or additional tools. It adds 1mm to the height of the cartridge so your arm will be best if raised 1mm higher at it’s base.
The Enabler allows you to set up your cartridge exactly parallel to the underside of your tonearm headshell. It’s possible to simply tighten one of your cartridge bolts to compress the Cartridge Enabler slightly more on one side and thus slightly alter azimuth.
The only limitation to hearing what the Enabler will do is an inadequate phono stage which chokes off vinyl signal quality. Very occasionaly we hear from clients who say they can’t hear differences which should be obvious. The usual culprit is a poor phono stage. For more information on Phono Stages go to: Phono Stages overview.
Another major cause for not hearing differences is listening at lowish volume levels.
The Enabler is simple to fit, however the cartridge will need to be re-aligned, tracking force set and arm height adjusted. If you can do this then the upgrade is a great idea. If not then you can download generic cartridge set up instructions for beginners from our online support pages. Another alternative is to get a local dealer to fit it for you.
Money Back Guarantee if not delighted
Please note that to keep it’s cost down this item is not offered with technical support. We claim the Enabler works with any cartridge using attachment bolts and any tonearm so there is no need to ask about whether it matches your particular cartridge / tonearm. If for any reason you are not delighted with the results just return it for a full refund. The 3 week money back guarantee allows you to try it for yourself without risk.
Cartridge Enabler £19