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Audio Technica’s AT-ART1000X Moving Coil Phono Cartridge is Designed For the World’s Top Turntables

At $5,499, the AT-ART1000X Direct Power Stereo Moving Coil Phono Cartridge improves upon the AT-ART1000 with improvements in design and materials.

Audio-Technica AT-ART1000 Direct Power Stereo MC Cartridge

With Koetsu exiting the market, there are some opportunities right now for other manufacturers of high-end phono cartridges to appeal to vinyl listeners with very deep pockets. Audio-Technica has introduced of its new top-of-the-line phono cartridge, the AT-ART1000X Direct Power Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge

Building on the foundation of its predecessor, the AT-ART1000, the AT-ART1000X has some improvements in design and materials, with threaded mounting holes for easier installation.

Audio-Technica AT-ART1000X Direct Power Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge Coil and Stylus Close-Up

Direct Power System and Coils

Unlike conventional moving coil cartridges, the AT-ART1000X’s Direct Power System places its dual moving coils on top of the stylus tip rather than at the base of the cantilever. This allows the cartridge to deliver enhanced fidelity with improved detail retrieval.

The AT-ART1000X’s coils are also rectangular rather than round. This places more of their surface area in the magnetic field, providing improved reproduction of record groove modulations, along with a higher output voltage for a better signal-to-noise ratio and an expanded low-frequency range.

From Yosuke Koizumi, Audio-Technica Cartridge Engineer: “By placing the moving coils, which convert the motion of the stylus and cantilever into electrical signals, directly on top of the stylus, the effects of the cantilever’s length and material type are minimized…This design and the additional refinements we’ve made to the AT-ART1000X achieve a new level of sonic realism, with remarkable resolution, tonal and spatial accuracy, and dynamic impact.

Tech Jargon Alert! Each of the AT-ART1000X’s two moving coils is made of 20 µm diameter PCOCC (Pure Copper by Ohno Continuous Casting) wire.

The wire is hand-wound in eight turns to create a 1.1 mm x 0.6 mm (0.043 in x 0.024-inch) rectangle.

The coils are contained in 25 µm (0.98 mil) special film and housed in a 0.5 mm (0.020-inch) gap of the magnetic circuit (smaller than the previous 0.6 mm gap of the ART1000). This enables each coil to generate a higher 0.22 millivolt output with a 3.5-ohm coil impedance even though a non-magnetic core is employed.

The Stylus

Audio-Technica AT-ART1000X Direct Power Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge Stylus Replacement

The AT-ART1000X employs a special line-contact stylus and solid boron cantilever for superb accuracy in tracking the record groove. The support base for the magnetic circuit, stylus, and cantilever is made from titanium.

The base and the cartridge’s aluminum housing and hard plastic cover operate together to disperse internal resonances that affect sound quality. In addition, a special coating protects the magnetic circuit from corrosion.

AT-ART1000X Feature Summary

  • (NEW) Rectangular Coils: Newly designed rectangular coils improve the cartridge’s efficiency and extend low-frequency output.
  • (NEW) Threaded Mounting Holes: This design characteristic is designed to make it easy to match the cartridge to a headshell or integrated tonearm.
  • (NEW) Coating: The AT-ART1000X has a special coating that protects the magnetic circuit from corrosion for stable performance throughout the life of the cartridge.
  • Non-Magnetic Core Coils: This supports full-dimensional audio reproduction.
  • Direct Power System: This delivers unsurpassed transient response, resulting in reproduction of the most subtle sonic details.
  • Boron Cantilever: The special line contact stylus and 0.26 mm diameter boron cantilever is designed to ensure precise accurate readings of the record groove.
  • Magnetic Circuit: The magnetic circuit’s titanium base works in combination with the cartridge’s hard plastic cover and aluminum housing to disperse unwanted resonance.
  • PCOCC: Pure Copper by Ohno Continuous Casting coil enables pure signal transfer.

Tech Note: AT-ART1000X’s stylus assembly is not user-replaceable, but Audio-Technica offers a fee-based Moving Coil Exchange Program to properly service your moving coil cartridge.

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AT-ART1000X vs AT-ART1000

Audio-Technica AT-ART1000X vs AT-ART100 Moving Coil Cartridges
Audio Technica Cartridge ModelAT-ART1000XAT-ART1000
Price (US)$5,499.00$4,999.00
Cartridge TypeMoving Coil (Direct Power System)Moving Coil (Direct Power System)
Non Magnetic CoreYesYes
Frequency Response15 – 30,000 Hz15-30,000 Hz
Channel Separation (at 1kHz)30 dB30 dB 
Vertical Tracking Angle19 degrees21 degrees
Vertical Tracking ForceRefer to “Tracking force information” included in the box.Refer to “Tracking force information” included in the box.
Recommended Load Impedance≥ 30 ohms (with head amplifier connected)Min. 30 ohms (with head amplifier connected)
Coil Impedance3.5 ohms (1 kHz)3 ohms (1 kHz)
DC Resistance3.5 ohms3 ohms
Coil Inductance≤ 1 μH (1 kHz)1 μH (1 kHz)
Output Voltage0.22 mV (1 kHz, 5 cm/sec.)0.2 mV (at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec)
Output Channel Balance0.5 dB (1 kHz)0.5 dB (1 kHz)
Stylus ShapeSpecial line contact Special line contact
Stylus Curvature Radius1.5 × 0.28 mil1.5 x 0.28 mil
Cantilever0.26 mm (0.010″) diameter solid boron0.26 mm (0.010″) diameter solid boron
Static Compliance20 × 10–6 cm/dyne30 x 10 – 6 cm/dyne
Dynamic Compliance9 × 10–6 cm/dyne (100 Hz)12 x 10 – 6 cm / dyne (100 Hz)
Threaded HoleM2.6 × 2No
Body Material Aluminum/TitaniumAluminum/Titanium
Dimensions (HWD)0.68 × 0.67 × 1.0-inches
17.3 × 17.0 × 25.5 mm
0.68 × 0.67 × 1.0-inches
17.3 × 17.0 × 25.5 mm
Weight11 g 
0.39 oz
11 g
0.39 oz

Accessories Included (AT-ART1000X)

  • Case (wooden box)
  • Non-magnetic screwdriver
  • Washer × 2
  • Protector
  • Cartridge installation screws (M2.6)
    • (5.0 mm × 2, 8.0 mm × 2, 10.0 mm × 2, 12.0 mm × 2)
  • Brush

Initial Thoughts

Audio Technica is well-known for its Headphones, Turntables, and Cartridges that are available across just about every price point in those categories. However, the AT-ART1000X is something else. It’s definitely an example of precise engineering skill, but is the ART1000X worth the $500 price jump from the ART1000? On paper, a lot of the specs between these two are identical. 

Nobody is mounting this cartridge on anything but one of the top turntables from Kuzma, VPI, Brinkmann or Thorens which means that it is designed for those with ultra high-end analog playback systems.

Also keep in mind that in addition to your turntable and cartridge, the rest of your audio system needs to be top-notch and MC-compatible to take advantage of the record playback quality this cartridge may be able to provide.

Audio-Technica AT-ART1000X Direct Power Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge Side View

Price & Availability

Developed and manufactured in Japan, the Audio-Technica AT-ART1000X Direct Power Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge is now available for $5,499 (US).

The AT-ART1000 is available for $4,999.

AT-ART1000X and ART-1000 Support Features

Related Reading (High-End Cartridges)

Related Reading (Ultra HIgh-End Turntables)

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