Sota is one of those great turntable brands that is just rich with history. Their start in life wasn’t just to offer an “everyday” turntable but straight into the high end turntable realm. In fact, they were the only high end turntable manufacturer in the US when they came to the scene. And today, they are still one of the most admired turntable brands out there. The Sapphire is one of the longest running models found in any turntable brand and is still in their current lineup as a MK.VI now. The unit here we have here is a perfect example where “the whole is greater than the sum of all its parts”. Paired with a very rare Magnepan Unitrac-1 tonearm and an Audio Technica AT-ART9 MC cartridge, this became a turntable that would steal the limelight from other turntables that cost up to $5,000. Just the arm alone, we have seen it go for sale at a low $1,500 to a high of more than $3,000! So for just under $1,500 now, you are not just getting the arm but also a Sota Sapphire, a $1,000 Audio Technica AT-ART9 MC cartridge and a Planax-RX record clamp.
The Sapphire has pitch controls for 33 and 45 rpm where you can make more precise adjustments to the speed at which the record is spinning much like VPI’s ADS or the Turntable Power Line Conditioner. The AT-ART9 MC cartridge, in our opinion is one of the better MC cartridges out there that cost under $1,000 NEW. It is rated with a recommended load impedance of 100 ohm with an output voltage of 0.5mV. Weight is 8.5 grams. As with all used cartridges, we cannot ascertain its total hours of use so we always recommend having a replacement handy should the time come where it needs to be changed. But for now, vinyl listening is a bliss.
Cosmetically, the turntable looks great. Minor scuff marks from use but nothing major. One devoted owner from new. We do not have the original box but will securely pack this for safe shipping. Local pickup from our store preferred.