RE: set up tips for Cello Reference mc cartridge

Hello, rather and start to play around I thought I would ask here first if anyone has any experience with setting up a Cello reference cartridge? I thought maybe there are a few tips you could pass my way that might save me some grief? Its NOS and as you may know designed by the founder of Mayiba! It is very similiar in appearance to the old mono Mc cartridges that dont have a cantilever!Please any help would be totally charished and appreciated beyond words! That may sound corny? but if you have this cartridge or have seen one you can understand my wanting to be causious before attempting to mount it! Thanks Daren
Call Mark Levinson at Red Rose Music.
Hello Daren. I got these specs. at They are not complete. They also have the 1992 Miyabi specs (which are more complete) and the Mark Levinson specs (which are not complete.)

Type = Moving Coil
Output (1Khz 50 mm/sec) = .23mv
Freq Response 20Hz - 30kHz Output
Impedance ?? ohms
Load Impedance ?? ohms
L/R Separation 1kHz = > 26db
L/R Balance 1kHz = < 0.25db
Stylus Tip Nude Swept Elliptical Cantilever
Dynamic Compliance, 23 x 10-6cm/Dyne
Static Compliance ???
VTF = 1.5gm
Mass: 13gm
Price: $1200 USD (new)

These are not complete of course but still useful:

1.) Because of the low output, you will need a phono preamp with 68dB gain, or more. Or you can use a step up transformer into a phono preamp with 40-50 dB gain. (I personally think SUT's ruin sonics, that's my opinion ;--)

2.) You need a low to med mass tonearm (because of the high compliance and high mass of the cartridge itself.

3.) You need to measure (with a volt/ohm meter) the (coil) resistance in either the left or right channel (probably will be around 4 ohms +/_ ) Multiply by 25. That will be the best load impedance (for the preamp) to start with.

Good luck ;--)
Thanks Nsgarch and Drjoe! for your responses I was beginning to think that there isn't anybody out there that has heard of this reference cartridge. I can mount just about any moving coil but with the reference Cello not having a cantilever it kind of puzzles me! As its hard to even see aproximately where the stylus is when using a setup tool. I have a Spectral DMC10 Gamma that will be the pre-amp for it the gain should be OK? as I also use a Spectral MCR signature at the moment.This cartridge is suppose to be magic when its dialed in. I appreciate your replies and thanks again, Cheers Daren
Well, the MCR looks to have the same low output as the Cello, so if the MCR works OK w/ the DMC 10 . . . . . . . .

As for the cantilever-less Cello cartridge, the only cartridges in the world I know of that didn't/doesn't have a cantilever are some of the Deccas and the Ikeda. Otherwise, I'm not aware of any old mono MC cartridges (Ortophons?) that don't have a cantilever -- maybe you're thinking of the old piezo-crystal cartridges.

The Miyabi seems the more likely kin, only it has a cantilever. I hope I'm wrong, but did you check to see if there's a stylus?
WELL one thing I Know for sure is this cartridge was designed and hand built by the founder of Miyaba I could have his name wrong without my notes in front of me but he name was Tenaca san or something like that? This cartridge is cantileverless and maybe designed after a decca? I read that the designer was a real lover of some of the early mono cartridges! The lack of cantilever is the problem as it is very hard to see where the actual needle or diamond touchs the surface as it is very small and closer to the middle then the front of the cartridge body! having never mounted a decca type cartridge I am unfamiliar with how to approach set up! The body also slides off so you can run it nude. I will have to double check the speelling of the Japanese man who is the founder of Miyabi but its the same guy as he also designed the Mark Levinson cartridge as well as the Cello line. Thanks again for your help! There doesn't seem to be a wealth of info out there! I emailed Mark Levinson but have yet to get a reply. Cheers Daren
Daren, you might find this Miyabi article interesting:

And these Ikeda pages:
Thankyou so much for taking the time to send me the pics and other site links. The pictures of the Ikeda cartridges look very similiar if not identical to my Cello reference! It appears to be the same concept anyway and the body on mine comes off so it can be run nude which improves the sound dramatically I was told. So now that you can see what I am dealing with do you think I will be best to get set up instructions for an Ikeda cartridge? and then proceed? Cheers Daren
Daren, that's a hard question for me to answer because, as far as the electrical specifications are concerned (and assuming the ones I found are correct ;--) the Cello is more like a Miyabi.

But you say it doesn't have a cantilever, and it weighs 13gm about the same as an Ikeda. I'd go with Ikeda. Why don't you e-mail Ikeda-san? Maybe attach a pic of your cartridge for him to identify? Write to these people, they are apparently the only contact for Ikeda-san:
Hi , well I'am wondering if the Specs you found are maybe for the other Cello which had a cantilever. As when compared to the pics showed ont ehe sites you gave me they appear to be made with the same type of cantileverless design as they show the 2 copper coloured pieces that surround where the diamond tip is mounted. But I will email like you suggested as I'am sure they all are friends and maybe he can set me straight but who knows? Yhanks Daren
As far as I know, one of the Ikedas was sold for a time under the Jeff Rowland brand, maybe there was also a Cello version?

If Daren's cartridge (whatever the brand is) is a cantilever-less MC, it would have been designed by Ikeda rather than Takeda. I just had dinner with Ikeda last week, and he gave me the clear impression that there was so much specialized know-how in those designs that no one else would be able to pull it off.

As far as I have seen, Takeda prefers fairly conventional designs in terms of both cantilever and magnetics. I can't recall any design that he has done so far which attempted to push the technological envelope (not that there is anything wrong with that approach).

The specs that Nsgarch posted clearly look to belong to a cantilevered cartridge - the Ikedas have quite stiff compliance, and 23 x 10-6cm/Dyne is in comparison far too high.

"Copper-colored pieces" sounds like an Ikeda design - I know that Ikeda used copper plating on the polepieces (yokes) of at least some of the Ikeda 9 family.

Hope you solve the puzzle!

regards, jonathan carr
Dear Daren: Jonathan is right, that non-cantilever Cello cartridge was build by Ikeda.
I own the Ikeda REX9 and if in any form the Cello one has the same sound signature than mine then you will be really happy with it.

The Ikeda cartridges are really low output ones, around 0.16-0.18mv so you need not only a high gain ( with out step up transformers ) phonolinepreamp but a very low noise too.

These cartridges performs well in a medium/high mass tonearms ( which yours? ), likes to see 100-200 Ohms impedance and a VTF around 2.4 to 2.6grs.. The cartridge needs too like 200-300 hours to be at its best performance and with a minute negative VTA.

If your system are not really flat from the high midrange through the high frequencies you could be in trouble with the Cello performance in that frequency range.

I like the Ikeda I own but the audio system has to be up to the task.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Daren, email Jonathan Carr and ask him for Ikeda-san's address. Then you can send him a pic of your cart. and ask him for the specs. He'd be the best source for the information I think.
BTW, I found the 9 to be unusually sensitive to VTF. Too little and you get huge amounts of needle talk, too much and the sound loses stereo spread and the phase seems to get screwed up.

hth, jonathan carr
Hello Rauliruegus and Jcarr, Nsgarch . Thanks everyone for the help I replied last night to this thread and it has seemed to dissapear? anyway I just wanted to thank everyone for all the help as now thre seems to be a glimps of light at the end of the tunnel. I think Jcarr and Raul have it right and the Cello Reference appears to be designed by Ikeda which is fine by me as you all know he is a pioneer in the industry and his workmenship nowdays commands big bucks! It may workout very well indeed as a Cello cartridge which is indeed a Ikeda mc is even better in my books. As far as my system Raul, I hope I can use the shortform? anyway consists of a Homebuilt 2a3 tube amp that was assembled using the best parts and also uses 6dj8's as driver tubes! Lowther Mau Horn Cabinets and drivers that wiegh in at 180lbs each, a Spectral DMC10 gamma and spin on an old DDx1000 tt that has mounted 3 micro seiki 505 arms drom various periods but basically the same. At the moment I am maily using a Spectral MCR signature that is fairly low about .20 and I'am running the pre at 47K in mm mode in the phono but I believe the gamma has a low output mc section or adjustments inside for it but have yet to remove the top? What do you think Raul will the Ikeda or Cello work Ok in my system? are you familiar with the gamma's adjustments? Regards Daren