Sony XL-MC1

Sony XL-MC1W

June
1 9 8 2 june 1982
1 9 8 9 1989

Probably Sony last MC cartridge development, made through the soon-to-vanish Sound Tec department.

A good way to close the circle : Sony's original MC cartridge was the mid 1960s VC-8E which already sported the user-replaceable stylus feature.
If the VC-8E was made under Satin license (one of the only five Sony rebadges over 50 years), the XL-MC series was a full in-house Sound Tec development.

Rather strangely, while Sony understood very quickly where the future was, henceforth stopping LP turntables' development earlier than anybody else, it kept producing high-end, mid-end and low-end cartridges and advertising for them a heck of a lot until 1984/85...


For the XL-MC series and user-replaceable stylus-wise, let's be honest : as the main image shows, the entire cartridge is "replaceable" since it is the body, coils and suspension included, which is detachable.
As proof, if the XL-MC1 cost 9500¥, its replacement "needle" cost two thirds as much : 6500¥ !
So let's call this feature a middle of the road point between a regular MC cartridge and the T4P mount :)

Despite the futuristic look of this nice original japanese catalog (and the other many nice japanese ads and catalogs I have around these), the XL-MC series was more budget oriented than the megabuck XL-88D could ever be - pure diamond doesn't come cheap.
Nevertheless, all models did feature the Figure 8 coil inaugurated with the XL-55 masterpiece in 1976 - see image #5 for the details about the Figure 8.


Sony produced many XL-MC versions until the mid 1980s, including high-end ones like the expensive and excellent (and physically a bit different) XL-MC7, XL-MC333E or ultimate XL-MC10. The latter even saw a T4P version (XL-MC104P) which makes for a double plug-in cartridge system - or plug-plug if you like.

The higher the better but the XL-MC3 already had a double super-elliptical nude diamond and boron tube cantilever. The XL-MC7 was even rebadged by Madrigal / Mark Levinson as Carnegie One :)

The MC1W is an MC1 finished with an enamel-like white color - very rare.


Some if not most of those were to be mated with the excellent HA-T10, HA-T30 or HA-T50 MC transformers - miniature and plug-in, again.

Sony XL-MC1, image 1 Sony XL-MC1, image 2 Sony XL-MC1, image 3
Sony XL-MC1 specifications
Title Value
Output: 0,25mV (1Khz, 5cm/s, 45°)
Frequency response : 10Hz...35Khz
Stereo separation : 26dB (1Khz)
L/R accuracy : 1,56dB (1Khz)
Internal impedance : 40 Ohm
Load impedance : 40 Ohm...100kOhm
Compliance : 20x10-6cm/dyne
Tracking force : 1,2...1,8g
Diamond : 0,3x ? double-elliptical
Weight : 3g (shell included)
List price : 9500¥ (XL-MC1)
28,000¥ (XL-MC7, 1989)
60,000¥ (XL-MC9, 1989)
XL-MC1 stylus replacement : ND-MC1 (6500¥)
Sony XL-MC1 : 0 topic
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page online since : february 2008
page updated : june 2010
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