Once again I was honored to be able to test the latest creation of the Grado Epoch. I found the first version of the Epoch to be excellent. Then I heard what is now shipping as the Epoch3 and was floored.
The highs had improved on what was already pretty darn good highs and were the most natural sounding highs I have heard - from any other cartridge. Compared to the high end MC cartridges I own or have heard for the last 17 years, this was so realistic, lacking the hotness often heard from MC cartridges on top. The Epoch3 is detailed but not at all edgy. Definition is precise without being artificial.
The mids, oh the sweet, sweet midrange of the Epoch3. The midrange reproduction truly is top notch. Add a tight and powerful (not overly so) bass and you have one of the few cartridges that can do it all very well. Tonal balance is very good - nothing gets dominated - everything in the groove comes out as the engineer intended.
The soundstage is big and deep and imaging precise.
I have a hard time finding any fault with the Epoch - and after listening for a few months the Epoch is king of our turntable here at TTVJ. Come by and hear it for yourself. Be prepared to tap your toes and hear your favorite album like never before.
The Epoch3 has become the favorite phono cartridge of those who frequent our shop and spends most of its time in the grooves of our record collection. Its our favorite too!!!
P.S. But don't just take my word for it ...
GRADO LINEAGE SERIES EPOCH3 PRESS RELEASE
"For me, a 10 out of 10 star product is the Grado Epoch."
- VPI, Harry Weisfeld
"If you have the money and are looking for an amazing cartridge for your record collection, the Grado Epoch is the one."
- American Mastering Engineer, Steve Hoffman
"The Epoch is the clearest, most transparent-sounding cartridge I have ever heard. It will compete very favorably with anything made anywhere at any cost on any record you will ever own. End of Story."
- Positive Feedback, Bob Levi
"Audiophiles should not miss the chance to audition the contender for the title of best cartridge money can buy."
Audio Art magazine, Dr. Tsai
"The Epoch did things I hadn't heard any cartridge do...put on an LP of the right music, sit down...and you’re done."
- Stereophile, Michael Fremer
This is what they said about the original Epoch cartridge. Continuing to work diligently since first introducing the Epoch we’ve now taken the Epoch3 to new levels of reproduction. Everyone who has heard the results of this hard work has been amazed. The new Epoch3, it’s not a subtle improvement but a major step up from the original version.
We have developed a four step technique of shielding, this allows for the isolation of the wire turns in the four coils. Our process creates a cleaner signal path than any other phono cartridge currently in production. The music travels unobstructed through the coils reducing any mechanical distortion to nil.
The outer casing is made from a specially selected species of cocobolo wood that goes through our own variation of a thermal aging procedure. This aging process enhances the wood housings ability to better dampen and control the resonant frequencies throughout the cartridge and its signal path.
These, along with our patented Flux-Bridger generator design results in a reproduction of music the likes that has never been heard before.
For a limited time we are offering a free upgrade to anyone who had purchased the original Epoch. All one needs to do is send us their original working Epoch and we will replace it with the new Epoch3, free of charge.
The Lineage Series of cartridges has been expanded to include our Statement model. The new Statement and Aeon models both enjoy the trickle down advances of the Epoch3, creating a series of cartridges with no rivals, at their price points, in the analog world.
All three models, the Epoch, Aeon and Statement, are available in both two channel and true mono configuration.
From Grado Labs...
The Crown Jewels
The flagship Grado Epoch3 produces a dimensional sound field giving it a truly believable presentation, and combines sapphire, gold, diamond, and cocobolo wood to produce the finest hand-built cartridge ever.
The Epoch3 brings to life an exceptional reproduction of vocals and instruments, with superlative tonal balance, dynamics, imaging, and realism. The Epoch3’s reproduction of low frequency pitch information is second-to-none, while the bass dynamics are solid and authoritative. Harmonics are extremely faithful giving the recording the correct color, and the mid-range is plush with resolution
A major step forward in phono cartridge design, the sapphire, gold, diamond, and cocobolo work in harmony to bring this cartridge to life. The specially designed diamond stylus, for the first time in a Grado, is mounted on a sapphire cantilever that connects to the stylus generating system. The Epoch3 features a unique generating system that has the lowest effective moving mass of any cartridge, tracking accurately on vinyl. Our patented Flux-Bridger generator design creates a superior balance throughout the full frequency spectrum with superb resolution and clarity, which produces an overall truer picture of the music.
The flagship Grado cartridge is nestled inside a cocobolo housing, adding solid mass and a bold yet revealing signature sound. Cocobolo, known for fine instruments and those chess sets that look too nice to touch, is some of the most beautiful and tonally pleasing woods we have ever used. This specially selected species of cocobolo goes through a variation of thermal aging processes and enhances its ability to better dampen and control the resonant frequencies throughout the cartridge. Its denseness and grain is a primary reason why it produces such a unique sound.
Grado has combined newly developed coil winding techniques with decades-old disciplines. All of the internal magnetic circuit parts are Swiss screw machined or molded metal, which have tolerances on the order of the best Swiss-made watches. A new four-step shielding process brings not only exact unison between the four coils but an unobstructed path for the cleanest signal in any phono cartridge. This creates precise balance between channels and accurate stereo imaging. The Epoch3 is wound with the finest properly sized and annealed 24-karat solid gold wire, which is the ultimate conductor for the transmission of the music from your record.
Each Epoch3 built sees final assembly by John Grado himself on his workbench, fine tuning them for the best turntable and hi-fi setups. Every experience in our history has led to the creation of the Lineage Series. The Epoch3represents the craftsmanship and unwavering dedication to sound that has been Grado’s main focus since 1953.
The Lineage Series
- Body: Honduras Cocobolo Wood
- Cantilever: Sapphire / Eliptical Diamond
- Output: 1.0mV @5 CMV (45)
- Controlled Frequency Response: 5-75 KHz
- Channel Separation: Average 35db - 10-30k Hz
- Input Load: 10k-47k ohms
- Inductance: 8mH
- Resistance: 95 ohms
- Pickup weight: 12 grams
- Tracking force: 1.6 - 1.9 grams
- Compliance: 20μm/mN
- Non-Sensitive to Capacitive Load