Can you provide more information? I've never heard of "Grace Level II". I own and enjoy a Grace Ruby. Thanks.
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The cartridge line came out in the mid 80's. I believe it came out at the same time as the F14. The level 11 was based upon the F8 and the F14 was based upon the F9. They had upgraded parts, styluses etc. The one that I am looking at has a Boron Cantelever and a Microridge stylus. I am not sure if they had still offered the F8 or the F9 at the same time. I believe the F8 and F9 were from the 60's and 70's. The vinyl engine's cartridge base lists these cartridges and some of their specs, but I have not been able to find out a lot more about these. I believe most of these were offered in Japan and then Sumiko brought a few in. So they are rare cartridges. The seller is asking a comparable price to the Ruby. He considers the Level ll an upgrade from the F9. I am trying to see if anyone has heard one of these. I found 2 that sold in the past year, but have not got info from them.
Given the wonderfulness of my Ruby, I would be curious to listen to an F14. The nomenclature is still a bit confusing to me. There is "Level II" and within Level II there are F11 and F14? Is that correct? I've never heard of these cartridges maybe because I have not paid much attention to those very late Grace products. However, I do think the Ruby was made well into the 80s, at least. Correct me if I am wrong.
The cartridge line came out in the mid 80’s. I believe it came out at the same time as the F14. The level II was based upon the F8 and the F14 was based upon the F9. They had upgraded parts, styluses etc. The one that I am looking at has a Boron Cantelever and a Microridge stylus. I am not sure if they had still offered the F8 or the F9 at the same time. I believe the F8 and F9 were from the 60’s and 70’s... The seller is asking a comparable price to the Ruby. He considers the Level ll an upgrade from the F9. I am trying to see if anyone has heard one of these.
I have NOS (sealed) stylus for GRACE LEVEL II cartridge (Boron Cantilever and Micro Ridge tip). It was one of the most expensive model release in 1983 (the price was 37 000 Yen), this model was in production line untill 1988, more info here. I know it can be a huge upgrade for F8 cartridge and they must be compatible, it’s even better on the Level II of course. But is it compatible with F-9 and F14 ? I have F-9 and F14 as well, but since the Level II MR/BR stulus is still factory sealed i don’t want to experiment with them. Has anyone tried the Level II Boron/MicroRidge stylus on F-9 or F14 body?
I like Grace cartridges very much and F-9F (Shibata / Discrete-4) is the best one in F-9 series (imo), but the Level II and F-14 were the most advanced grace cartridges and that’s why they are so expensive and mega rare today.
I’m happy to report about new arrivals:
A significant upgrade over the popular Grace F-9 series is the scarce F-8 LEVEL II, released by Shinagawa Musen Co.,Ltd in Tokyo in 1984 (discontinued in 1988). This ultra High-End and Extremely Rare model comes with tapered Boron (BR) cantilever and nude Micro Ridge (MR) diamond. Amazing! Nowadays the combination of tapered Boron pipe and Micro Ridge stylus tip available only in the most expensive MC cartridges. The Grace LEVEL II was indeed the next level of performance for high compliance MM cartridges on peak of analog technoligies in the 80’s.
Look what we got here: NOS (New Old Stock) Grace F-8 LEVEL II MR/BR cartridge (left box) and factory sealed RS-8 MR/BR stylus replacement (right box). Japanese heritage has been delivered with my time machine!
I have more rare Grace models such as F-14 and others, i just need time to check them out in my system.
Hope im not alone with my love to the Grace products from the 80s on this forum.
Larry, do you know the compliance of SoundSmith Ruby OCL ?
The original Grace is a high compliance cartridge, as stated by Raul the SoundSmith rebuild or just SoundSmith styli may be totally different from the original Grace specs (compliance for example).
I’m sure that SS Ruby with OCL is an upgrade for some of the F-9 models, but the luxury Level II (Boron/MicroRidge), F-12 (Beryllium Cantilever / Line Contact) and F-14 LC-OFC (Boron/MicroRidge) are amazing in stock condition. There was even Diamond Cantilever version of the Grace F-12 MM cartridge.