Yoshiaki Sugano's Legendary Supex 900s Moving Coil Cartridge

The Supex 900 Super is an iconic moving coil phono cartridge, revered by audiophiles and vinyl enthusiasts for its exceptional musical quality and significant contribution to the history of high-fidelity audio reproduction. This post delves into the creation, history, and musical qualities of the Supex 900 Super, a piece of audio equipment that has left an indelible mark on the world of analog music playback.

Supex 900s Yoshiaki Sugano moving coil cartridge

The Creation of Supex 900 Super

The Supex 900 Super was born out of the golden era of vinyl playback, a period that saw significant advancements in turntable and cartridge technology. Developed in Japan, a country renowned for its precision engineering and high-quality audio equipment, the Supex 900 Super emerged as a product of meticulous craftsmanship and innovative design.

Before creating the iconic Koetsu brand, Yoshiaki Sugano, was the mastermind behind the Supex 900 Super, and a revered figure in the world of high-fidelity audio engineering. Hailing from Japan, a nation celebrated for its contributions to audio technology, Sugano was distinguished for his meticulous approach to design and an unwavering commitment to sonic excellence. His philosophy centred around capturing the true essence and emotion of music, a principle that was profoundly embedded in the creation of the Supex 900 Super. Sugano's expertise was not just limited to technical proficiency; he had a deep understanding of the artistic and emotional components of music, which he skilfully translated into his designs. This holistic approach enabled him to create a phono cartridge that was not only technically superior but also emotionally resonant, offering an exceptionally pure and engaging listening experience. Yoshiaki Sugano's legacy is firmly etched in the annals of audio history, symbolized by the enduring reverence for the Supex 900 Super among audiophiles and music enthusiasts worldwide.

Historical Significance

The Supex 900 Super holds a special place in the history of audio technology. Introduced in the latter part of the 20th century, it quickly gained popularity among audiophiles and music lovers. Its arrival coincided with a period of intense innovation in the hi-fi industry, with manufacturers competing to produce equipment that could deliver the most lifelike sound.

In this competitive landscape, the Supex 900 Super stood out for its exceptional build quality and performance. It became synonymous with high-end audio and was often the go-to choice for those setting up a top-tier vinyl playback system. Some audiophiles still prefer it to the later, and much more expensive Koetsu Onyx Platinum cartridge available today. It influenced the design and development of future generations of phono cartridges.

Musical Quality and Performance

Detailed and musical with a frequency response that is remarkably flat from 20 Hz to 20 KH. Below is the frequency response chart that came with the original cartridge. it’s hard to find any cartridge that’s as flat. Renowned for its extraordinary musical quality, the 900s is characterized by its ability to deliver a wide dynamic range, exceptional detail, and a warm, natural sound.

supex 900s moving coil cartridge frequency response chart

Moving coil cartridge this accurate are hard to find, even the later irrespective of the price. It sounds exactly as the plot suggests, there is no emphasis in the highs or rolled off treble.

One of the standout features of the Supex 900 Super is that its tracking ability is more like a MM. It can accurately trace the complex modulations in a vinyl record's groove, ensuring minimal distortion and maximum fidelity. This precision results in a clearer, more defined soundstage, allowing listeners to pinpoint the position of instruments and vocals within a recording.

The cartridge also excels in terms of tonal balance. It offers a rich and full-bodied low end, a transparent and detailed midrange, and crisp, airy highs. This balanced approach ensures that the Supex 900 Super is well-suited to a wide range of musical genres, from the intricate details of classical music to the rhythmic complexities of jazz and rock.

Design influence

The legacy of the Supex 900 Super extends far beyond its production years. It set a high standard for analog playback quality and inspired a wave of innovation in cartridge design. Many contemporary high-end cartridges owe a part of their design philosophy and technical approach of Sugano's pioneering work on the Supex 900 Super.

In the world of vinyl playback, where the nuances of sound reproduction represent the ultimate goal, the Supex 900 Super remains a benchmark. Its influence is evident in the continued preference for moving coil designs among audiophiles and the ongoing pursuit of audio fidelity in the realm of analog music playback.

A lasting legacy

The Supex 900 Super is more than just a phono cartridge; it is a testament to the art and science of sound reproduction. Its creation, history, and musical quality reflect the relentless pursuit of audio perfection. For vinyl enthusiasts and audiophiles, the Supex 900 Super is not just a piece of technology; it is a cherished part of audio history, representing a time when the quest for the perfect sound drove innovation and excellence in audio engineering.

If you own a Supex 900s, keep it, listen to it, enjoy it.

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