OK guys, buckle up your seat belts. Here is a 60's vintage Sonotone 9TA-HC ceramic cartridge, along with several earlier variants of the 9TA series. Also seen badged as 9TAF-HC.
Sonotone 9TA-HC high compliance version with "Sonoflex" stylus, 100% OEM, NOS:
Closeup of OEM 9TA-HC stylus assembly:
Closeup of low compliance 9TA with aftermarket high compliance stylus assembly:
Closeup of earlier vintage low compliance 9TA with low compliance stylus assembly:
The 9TA went through several design refinements of the ceramic elements, stylus to ceramic element coupling spider, and the stylus assembly, which improved performance and gave magnetic cartridges a run for the money as the model 9TA-HC. In an attempt to cope with the dwindling number of preamps that had ceramic phono inputs, Sonotone introduced in-line adapters that conditioned the signal from the ceramic elements to emulate that of a magnetic cartridge. Eventually, to get away from the stigma of ceramic cartridges being associated with "cheap", the design engineers were moved into a new division and evolved the cartridge into a no-holds-barred package aimed at the high-end market under the umbrella of "Micro-Acoustics".
I haven't decided on what to set it up with yet, but I do have a Quad 33 preamp that I just re-capped and overhauled. See my photo gallery for more details on the individual shots.
For more Sonotone history and technical data, see:http://www.roger-russell.com/sonopg/sonopc.htm