Soundsmith Carmen mk II Phono Cartridge



Made in the USA. Rebuild Price? ~  $199 ~ 20% (or less) of MSRP, as always ! – The Carmen features a 2 year warranty to the original owner.

Created out of the desire to make a very high performance design at an affordable price, the Carmen mk II was crafted to have unparalleled purity of tone and ultra-smooth presentation. Just slightly lush with a well-developed midrange, the Carmen is surprisingly pleasing and will seduce you into long, late listening sessions.

“For those wanting a £4000 Sussurro but don’t have the money, the Carmen gets pretty close for considerably less. With its ultra-low moving mass, reasonably high output and low vertical tracking force, this is a cartridge you should have a listen to. For those who want a sensual, intuitive and detailed sound this cartridge should be just what you are asking for.” – Janine Elliot, HiFi Pig

“Well I suppose I could continue to gush about how much I enjoyed the Soundsmith Carmen Mk II’s combination of superb musicality and sonic prowess that allowed every listening session to become a musical oasis, but let me conclude instead by saying that I predict you’ll love the Carmen Mk II’s way with music, and as such I enthusiastically recommended the Soundsmith Carmen Mk II to you!” – Jeff Day, Positive Feedback – Click Here For Full Review

Welcome to the Next Level
“The Soundsmith Carmen’s ultra-low-mass MI assembly plays with more agility, is more naturally detailed, and sounds less stressed than any MC I’m aware of. Its treble is not dull or rolled off—it’s just the most authentic treble I’ve experienced from a phonographic transducer.” – Herb Recihert, Stereophile- Click Here For Entire Review

Just wanted to let you know how much I LOVE the SoundSmith Carmen Mk II phono cartridge. (more…)

Out of stock

New ES Series DEMS design : Click to learn more about these cartridges!

The stylus used is a large part of what makes it special; an ultra-low mass occlusion free nude diamond cut and polished into a true hyper-elliptical shape. The combination of low tip mass and theFixed Coil design gives the Carmen a tremendous resolution advantage over MC designs selling for more than twice the price. Housed in a handmade solid Ebony case, the Carmen delivers.


Cartridge Type

Fixed Coil

Stylus Type




Available As Dual Coil Mono


Additional Specifications

Type: • Fixed Coil / Moving Iron
Mount: • Standard ½”
Stylus: • Elliptical Nude, 0.12 mm square
Radius of Curvature: • 6 x 17 µm
Cantilever: • Aluminum Alloy
Recommended Tracking Force: • 1.3 – 1.6 g Standard (Medium Compliance)
• 1.0 – 1.2 g (Special Order High Compliance)
Effective Tip Mass: • 0.35 mg
Compliance: • 22 µm/mN (Medium Compliance)
• 28 µm/mN (High Compliance)
Frequence Response: • 15 – 45,000 Hz ± 2.0 dB
Channel Separation @ 1000 Hz: • > 26 dB
• N/A (Mono version)
Channel Separation @ 50 – 15,000 Hz: • > 20 dB
• N/A (Mono version)
Channel Difference: • < 1.6 dB
• < 1.0 dB (Mono version)
Output Voltage @ 5cm/sec: • > 2.12 mV (HIGH)
DC Resistance (DCR): • 680Ω
Coil Inductance per channel: • 190 mH
Suggested Preamp Gain: • 38 – 44 dB
Cartridge Weight: • 9.20 g (ES series)
Recommended Load Resistance: • ≥ 47kΩ
Recommended Load Capacitance: • n/a