Mystic by name, but is it mystic by nature? Read our Vertere Mystic Review.
Neville Roberts finds himself spellbound by Vertere’s moving-coil cartridge
|WEIGHT||9.1g (including cable)|
|FEATURES||• Micro elliptical diamond stylus • Aluminium tube cantilever • Recommended tracking weight: 2g|
Sitting at the top of Vertere’s canridge range, the Mystic is the company’s sole moving-coil offering. The striking blue body is machined from solid aluminium alloy. This is an important pan of the cartridge’s construction – a fact that has not escaped consideration by Vertere founder and CEO Touraj Moghaddam.
The mass of the body has been tuned to the internal generator to offer optimum support and control of unwanted mechanical vibrations. The top of the body has three specifically designed contact points to provide the exact mechanical coupling to the headshell required by the Mystic cartridge. The top of the body has two threaded holes, spaced the standard 0.5in apart, to accept the two supplied stainless steel thumb screws.
In order to assist with setting the correct position of the cartridge in a Vertere tonearm, an alignment ridge on the front top is included.
The generator utilises a samariumcobalt magnet with a cross coil made of pure copper wires. The cantilever is an aluminium tube fitted with a micro elliptical bonded diamond stylus tip. The cartridge offers a wide frequency response of below 10Hz to 40kHz, which – coupled with an output of 0.5mV – should also provide a good dynamic range.
Fitting the Mystic to my Jelco tonearm is quite easy as it has a removable magnesium and rosewood headshell. The stylus’ first vinyl contact is with the locked pink-noise grooves on my Clearaudio Cartridge ‘break-in’ test record and lasts many hours. Then using an Image Hi-Fi Vinyl Essentials test record, I check the arm/cartridge resonance and tracking ability. The resonance peak comes at around 9Hz, with no resonance at 6Hz or 12Hz. The tracking ability test is a tone recorded with increasing amplitude ranging from a 40 microns peak-to-peak sinusoid cut in the vinyl to 100 microns in 10-micron steps. The Mystic clocks up to 70 microns before buzzing, which is very good for an MC cart.
I connect the output of my record deck to my valve phono stage and start auditioning with a direct-cut 45rpm LP album of Lyn Stanley and her Jazz Mavericks’ Novel Noel. On this audiophile double-LP Stanley is accompanied by a 44-piece string orchestra. Her sultry jazz style when she sings The Way You Look Tonight has loads of detail, but is also smooth and effortless. The performance is startlingly real in my listening room, with a soundstage that has great depth and a width that extends beyond the constraints of my speakers.
A newly released 45rpm audiophile LP of organ music entitled The Willis Organ Of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral Edinburgh played by Wayne Marshall is a great test of the bass performance of the Mystic. I can really feel the low frequencies on Franz Schmidt’s Prelude and Fugue In D Major in my stomach, such is the power of this organ piece. What particularly grabs me is the richness of the music and how I am completely transported to the elegance of the cathedral where it was recorded.
Fitting the Mystic to my tonearm is quite easy as it has a removable headshell
To check out how the Mystic performs with a solo instrument, I spin an LP of JS Bach’s Partita No. 1 played by Trevor Pinnock on the harpsichord. The performance is fast, engaging and very refined. The presence of the instrument in my listening room is staggeringly real, and with my eyes closed, I can really believe that Pinnock is playing an authentic instrument in front of me.
This MC cartridge will definitely feel at home across a wide range of different musical styles. Even though the price has gone up recently (hasn’t everything?), I still consider it to be extremely reasonable for a high-end cartridge that gives such an outstanding performance
Great value for a high-performance cartridge
- An elegant and refined cartridge that produces startlingly realistic performances
- Nothing at the price
Read our MOVING-COIL CARTRIDGES GROUP TEST