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Grado BLACK3 Prestige Standard Mount Phono Cartridge
Grado BLACK3 Prestige Standard Mount Phono Cartridge

Grado BLACK3 Prestige Standard Mount Phono Cartridge

Standard Mount Cartridge
DISCONTINUED - see green3 below

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Prestige Black3 Grado Turntable Cartridge - DISCONTINUED

See related items below for Current production Green3, Red3, & Gold3

March 2023, GRADO USA has discontinued this cartridge in favor of the "green3" cartridge as the new entry level Grado prestige pickup

.:Part of the Prestige 3 Phono Cartridge Series:.

"The newly produced Alnico magnets are more powerful and also slightly smaller, but heavier. This change lowers overall distortion, reduces output a tiny bit, widens separation, increases dynamics, widens signal to noise ratio, and reduces phase/stray ambiance distortion. Clarity is increased rather dramatically from front-to-rear sound stage"......Robert H. Levi

From GradoLabs:
Both the Black3 and Green3 use a three piece OTL cantilever that has a Grado specific diamond mounted on a brass bushing. The Green3 are hand selected from Black3 production runs which meet higher test specifications. Approximately 15% of the run usually exhibits these specs and become a Green3.
Grado’s OTL, or optimized transmission line, technology provides an ideal transfer of signal from the surface of the LP to the generator of the system. This technology rejects unwanted resonances and lowers distortion preserving the fundamental and harmonic frequencies of the music. This also helps keep noise generated by the motor system in the cartridge to a minimum.

Grado’s OTL stylus/cantilever design makes records sound quieter, improves the height, width, and depth of the soundstage, and present more detail than previously obtainable.

The Black3 & Green3 are all hand assembled by our team in Brooklyn, with some builders having over 25 years of experience. With the recent development of the highly received Lineage Series of cartridges, we were able to have a trickle down of technology and bring a new technique to the Black3 & Green3. This updated series of cartridges offers Excellent tonal balance, dynamics, and realism, for a most rewarding reproduction of vocals and instruments. Our coil winding techniques, using ultra high purity copper wire which were honed during the development of the Lineage Series, have let the electrical circuits achieve unison between the four coils in each phono cartridge. This allows for a precise balance between channels and accurate stereo imaging.

As in all Grado phono cartridges the Black3 & Green3 are powered by a twin magnet system that optimizes the balance between stereo channels. All internal magnetic circuit parts are held to extremely high tolerances creating the desired stereo imaging. Grado’s patented Flux-Bridger design allows the Black3 & Green3 to have one of the lowest effective moving mass generating systems while creating an Excellent balance throughout the full frequency range.

The development of the Epoch in the Lineage Series gave us an in-depth experience with using an outer housing as a damping device. This led to the creation of a process which de-stresses the chassis and dissipates unwanted energy & resonant frequencies, allowing the desired signal to travel freely.

Note: Reviews prior to 2020 refer to Grado Prestige discontinued Black1 or black2 Cartridges.

5 Stars
Grado Prestige Black 2
I received my Grado Black 2 replacement stylus for an original Grado F3E+ today. It is the The exact same cartridge as the original FE3+, Grado Black and Grado Black 2, and is a design from back in the days of quadraphonic recordings. I use this cartridge to decode quadraphonic "CD-4" records, and it is the granddaddy of the Prestige Series. I own and play quadraphonic records which have a very high frequency subcarrier embedded in them at 30Khz. The frequency response of this stylus and cartridge extends from 10hz to 55khz. The voice is wonderful, stereo separation is simply outstanding, even in the quadraphonic decoding of records, and it simply is a very hard act to follow. After calling Grado Labs, I was directed to contact Turntable Needles to order a replacement stylus as this cartridge and stylus are exactly same as my old Grado F3E+ cartridge. I have never been disappointed by this cartridge, or any replacement stylus, and I even have another Prestige Black 2 in a p-mount configuration for my newer stereo system and have discovered all Grado Prestige cartridge bodies will accept any Grado stylus made for the series. This is one of the best values in cartridges to be found, and I love the sound. As a starting point for any aspiring audiophile, or old timer with a CD-4 record collection, I seriously recommend this cartridge. I have owned one for a very long time. The design has been around since the early 1970's. That speaks volumes to to me about the design. To upgrade this cartridge you only need to replace the stylus. Something that is very rare in any cartridge. Grado cartridges are also hand made in the United States. Something that again is very rare. There is no way to go wrong with this cartridge as a choice on a budget, or as a future choice to upgrade it to a better stylus.
Helpful?  5 of 6 Found Helpful
Reviewed by:  from Billings, MT. on 7/18/2019
5 Stars
great sound
i love it. and very responsive customer service.
Helpful?  1 of 1 Found Helpful
Reviewed by:  from New York. on 10/6/2019
5 Stars
Great needle
Got this for my 70’s-80’s era Pioneer. It’s an awesome setup and was much needed for me. Great crisp quality but slightly lacking on the low end. Overall awesome setup and worth the money.
Helpful?  1 of 1 Found Helpful
Reviewed by:  from Anchorage. on 11/23/2019
4 Stars
Grado Black 3 Cartridge
Great cartridge for the price, very good mid and low range tones, lacks a little on the high end sound and crispness.
Reviewed by:  from Tiny. on 3/15/2021
5 Stars
Excellent Cartridge
This cartridge sounds great and was very easy to install on my turntable. Very happy with this product!
Reviewed by:  from Portland. on 12/29/2021

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