Miyajima cacti cantilever cartridge


Miyajima’snew Saboten L is a low-output moving-coil (MC) from artisan cartridge builder Noriyuki Miyajima. It has a cactus-spine cantilever, ‘Saboten’ being the Japanese word for cactus. The Saboten is the second cartridge in the Miyajima range to feature a cantilever crafted from a natural, organic material (the first being the Madake, which uses bamboo). Miyajima is said to have spent several years searching for the ‘right’ cactus plant with a just-so strength and, once he had found it, spent several more years cultivating the cacti in question.

A line-contact diamond stylus is fixed to a short, tubular piece of aluminium, which is cemented to the end of the cactus spine. The aluminium end-piece is precisely angled for optimum mechanical linearity: it positions the stylus tip very close to the central axis of the cantilever and coil assembly. The benefits of this can perhaps be best understood by way of a comparison: consider the offset position of a tonearm headshell. The offset induces the skating force that a tonearm’s anti-skate is designed to counteract. If there was no offset, no skating force would be generated in the first place, hence there would be nothing to counteract. The Saboten’s two-piece cantilever virtually eliminates comparable unwanted forces at source, thus ensuring no adverse effects on the mechanical integrity of the cartridge’s generator assembly.

The Saboten L’s generator system features a unique patented cross-ring design in which the cantilever fulcrum and coils are exactly positioned in the centre of the magnetic field, a designed created to achieve more faithful handing of dynamic contrasts. All of which is housed in a body made of Cameroonian ebony, a wood known for its exceptional tonal and acoustic properties.

The Saboten L’s mix of natural ingredients is claimed to serve up a life-like musicality that almost defies the fact that it is hi-fi. The Miyajima Saboten L is available from Timestep Distribution for £4,275.

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