As early as in 1978, we introduced our IO-cartridge design.
The IO range of cartridges from Audio Note UK are world-renowned for their stunning quality and their effortless ability to reproduce music to the highest standards.
The revolutionary nature of the design runs contrary to most accepted design criteria, now, as they did then. The result is a small range of moving coil cartridges, which are second to none in dynamic range, tonal balance, separation, timbral reproduction, and lack of colouration and surface noise.
The cartridge designs do not lend themselves to mass production and as a result are not in-expensive, they require a tonearm of very substantial rigidity, and must be combined with a matching transformer, in order to achieve the best possible linearity and dynamic signal transfer without which it seems pointless to own cartridges of this quality.
All the above make the cartridges relatively costly to acquire and use correctly, but the results are so illustrious and their music making so fine that Audio Note have never found selling them a problem, generally they have been very scarce and hard to find. An annual Production of about 40 - 50 pieces speaks for itself.
All IO cartridges are hand-built in the UK to exacting standards and feature ALNICO magnets, silver-wound generator coils and a titanium cantilever with an Audio Note AN Type 1 profile, diamond stylus. The Audio Note IO 2 has generator coils wound on a Swedish-made former and is constructed with gun-metal sides. The cantilever is higher-tolerance than the IO-I and is fitted with an AN Type 1 Stylus.
The Audio Note IO Gold has generator coils wound on a Permadure-iron former and is supplied with gold-plated gun-metal sides. The highest possible tolerances are used when selecting the cantilever, stylus and generator.
The Audio Note IO Ltd is unique among cartridges in its use of a field coil for a ‘permanent’ magnet, rather than a fixed magnet. This absolutely no-compromise design requires an external power supply to drive the field coil. Please also note that tone-arm wiring will need to provide for two additional wires.