Review: Grado Platinum Cartridge

Category: Analog

I doubt that I can add anymore rave review, than what has already been said about this very fine phono cartridge from Grado. It has been reviewed countless times by nearly every major and underground audio press journal and has emerged as a clear winner in all categories. But nonetheless I shall press on and give you my candid opinion on the Grado Platinum phono cartridge.

Grado has been around long before high end even existed and they have survived the digital age to emerge even stronger than they once were. No other component one buys have such a dramatic impact on a system than the phono cartridge. Of all the cartridges I have ever owned, and it has been a countless many, the Grados always deliver the music with authority and conviction. My last Grado was the Signature One and what a glorious cartridge that one was. Of course over the years I have owned many moving coils in just about every configuration. My favorite MC is the Dynavector Ruby.

The wood body Grados are just stellar from the presentation case, to the installation process. Very straight forward.

The Grado Platinum was installed on the Oracle Alexandria Turntable with Sumiko Premier FT 3 Tone Arm. Interconnects are from Musical Concepts. Clearly one of the easiest Grados to mount, the mounting screws go through the headshell into the top of the cartridge, no little mounting nuts to fiddle with. Caution must be excercised as not to over tighten and strip out the wood mounting holes. Just enough pressure on the screws to secure to the headshell is all that is needed. Set the overhang with the MFSL Geo Disc and set the tracking force at 1.5 grams as recommened by Grado using the Shure SFG-2 Stylus Force Gauge. Loaded the Forte Model 40 preamp phono section to Grado Specifications. Took about 45 minutes to do all of this, one of the easiest installs I have ever done and I have done many over the past 47 years in audio.

Grados are very forgiving in the tone arm compliance and capactiance. Over the years have used Grados with a wide variety of tone arms and have found that the Grados have matched nicely with every tone arm I have used. Obviously the better the equipment the better the Grado will respond.

Now on to the music. The Grado Platinum is one of the most musical cartridges I have ever owned. It has pace,attack and trackability that few can match,let alone even compete with.It excels in clarity,transparency and depth of sound stage. In short the music just flows mesmerizing from the Grado Platinum. It is amazing how soon one gets lost in the music and forget the transducer itself. Surface noise is all but very absent and tracks warps with zero degradation. The Grado Platinum can be listen to for hours on end, there is absolutely no listener fatique whatsoever and that wondeful Grado sonic signature justs keeps delivering the music. Regardless of the music you listen to the Grado Platinum will retrieve the signal and give you a performance that just cannot be matched.

At $300.00 this has to be one of the all time steals in high end audio. I know of no other phono cartridge in this price range that can even compete with the Grado Platinum. In my opinion to do better the the Platinum you will spend $800.00 or better. But better yet get the Grado Sonato at $500.00 if you have the hearing to appreciate the next level up.

Grado has a cartridge and a price range from $40.00 to $2,500.00 to satisfy any audiophile with virtually any turntable you care to use and you will not be disappointed with any of the Grados. It's amazing to me on how I keep coming back to Grado phono cartridges. Makes me wonder why I ever left at times.

Believe me one can do seriously worse in this area than Grado. This is a time honored company that has always put the music first and has been around since 1953 or earlier and is one of the few that truly deserve the Hall of Fame status they have. Founder Joe Grado was inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame in 1982, and the company remains a true family business.

Your search for high quality high end phono cartridges can surely end with Grado and one does not have to make any excuses for using Grado products.

Associated gear
Click to view my Virtual System

Similar products
Dynavector,Denon,Sumiko,Shure,Pickering,Stanton,Audio Technica,plus many more that are long gone.
Interesting review. I have the same TT but a Sonus formula IV arm and was on the fence between the Platinum and the Shure V15VxMR. I chose the latter based on it's compliance and the minimalism of my tonearm. Makes me second guess my choice. Have you tried the Shure?
With the Sonus tone arm I can certainly understand the reason the Shure V15 V MR was chosen. I have heard the Shure V15 VMR and it is a great phono cartridge. My friend has 2 Michell tables running this cartridge,so I have heard this cartridge many times. It is truly excellent,but is not my cup of tea. Strictly a personal choice there. I did own the V 15 Type III and really enjoyed that cartridge. At this point in time I find the Grado Platinum more musical than the Shure V15 V MR,although the forte of the Shure is trackability and compliance.

While delving through my archival material on the Oracle Alexandria MK I & MK II the Sonus arm was not listed as a recommended arm for the Oracle Alexandria. At that time they probably did not have the necessary springs to accomodate that arm, or it was an oversight on Oracles part by not listing the Sonus arm. But nonetheless if that arm is working for you my hats off to you for getting it to work on the Alexandria.
hello ferrari... i am wondering why i keep reading from people that they have tracking issues and arm compatibility issues with the platinum? i have some experience with grado's, only prestige series, granted, but i read of people having problems with end of side distortion with the platinums (which i did also notice with the prestiges). i like the meaty sound, so i am interested in trying the platinum, but am hesitant due to the issues listed above...
I have found that the Grado Wood bodies work well with medium to high mass arms and not quite as good on low mass arms. Grados due track well, but to get the most from them the tonearm needs to be able to control the Grado. The compliance on the Grado is high compared to other MM phono cartridges.