According to Kevin, the Kiseki’s parts are from the Netherlands, Japan, and Switzerland, with final assembly in Europe. I hope Kiseki will be able to keep up with demand without sacrificing quality. The build-quality of all three versions I have owned over the years has been superb, and I have tried all three with a variety of turntables and tonearms. Though the Kiseki worked marvelously with my Graham 1.5, ET-2, and SME V tonearms, I prefer the cartridge in my current setup with the Tri-planar U2 and Merrill-Williams ’table. It gives my reel-to-reel deck some “real” competition, and both have a freedom from distortion, coloration, and dynamic compression that helps me relax into the music.
Is the new Kiseki PurpleHeart N.S. as good as the original? Absolutely. In fact, it is even better. Are current production cartridges better than the initial release in 2012? Yes!
Kiseki in Japanese means “miracle” and it is a fitting name to associate with the PurpleHeart NS. This moving-coil cartridge is relatively easy to set up, tracks everything I threw at it, has a relaxed yet detailed sound, and puts the performers in the listening room when mated to superb speakers like the Zellaton Stage, Wilson Audio Yvette, or the original Quad ESL-57. I am so taken with this cartridge that I’m already saving for another Kiseki PurpleHeart as a backup. I can’t be without this miracle cartridge ever again.
Specs & Pricing
Body: Purpleheart wood, 30mm long
Cantilever: Solid boron
Stylus: Nude line-contact diamond, mirror polished
Stylus tip radius: 4 x 120µm
Vertical tracking angle (VTA): 20 degrees
Coil: Pure iron
Weight: 7 grams
Output voltage: 0.48mV at 5cm/s
Internal impedance: 42 ohms
Frequency response: 20Hz–30kHz ±1dB
Channel balance: 0.2dB
Channel separation: 35dB at 1kHz
Tracking ability (at 315Hz at a tracking force of 2.6 grams): 80µm
Dynamic compliance: 16µm/mN
Recommended loading: 400 ohms
Recommend tracking force: 2.0–2.6 grams
Recommended tonearm mass: Medium
Break-in period: 50–100 hours
United Home Audio UHA-Phase 12 tape deck; Conrad Johnson GATS2 preamplifier, ART150 amplifier, TEA1-S3 phonostage, and Audio Alchemy PPA-1 phono preamplifier; Modwright-Oppo BDP-105 digital player; Mytek Brooklyn DAC; MFA Venusian (Frankland modified) and BAT VK-33SE preamplifiers; BAT VK76SE and PrimaLuna DiaLogue HP monoblock amplifiers; Zellaton Stage, Wilson Audio Yvette, and Quad ESL-57 (PK modified) loudspeakers; Silver Circle Audio TCHAIK6 power conditioner; Shunyata Research Alpha Digital power cable; Nordost Tyr2 cables and power cords; Schnerzinger interconnects and speaker cables, AudioQuest Niagara interconnects and Metro speaker cables; Critical Mass Systems amplifier stands, etc.