Yamamoto HSA-01 headshell/head amp

During my recent trip to Tokyo, I happened upon this gadget. It is a headshell with a built-in gain stage that boosts signal voltage in the ratio 1:14. Apparently this is achieved via a tiny op amp and battery power, both seated in the base of the headshell, behind the phono cartridge mounting area. The beauty of the idea is you can thus boost the signal of a very low output LOMC right at its source, before it has had to travel over connectors, tonearm wires, more connectors, etc, to reach the first stage of gain, be that a head amp, SUT, or high gain phono stage. The op amp is designed to drive a 47K ohm input resistance and is thus suitable for MM stages or a low gain MC stage in which the load is 47K ohms. The net weight is only 12.5g, making it somewhat compatible with even high compliance very low output cartridges. I wonder if anyone has experimented with this gadget. I am about to do so myself.


@lewm   I asked because you were talking about a gain stage inside the headshell and I thought that was what a SPU may be, so I asked to be sure.  Sorry if my question upset you. 

No it did not upset me, and I apologize for any sarcasm. I now see how you might have been confused, because the SPU cartridges are built into a headshell, whereas the Yamamoto headshell only has a gain stage built into it. You have to install your LOMC of choice in order to use the gain stage/headshell. I might have triggered your confusion by mentioning that I want to try the Yam with my Ortofon MC2000, which is not an SPU but is an Ortofon product. I bought the Yamamoto out of curiosity regarding whether adding gain ahead of clips, tonearm wires, connectors, etc, which all add resistance in the signal path that could compromise a very low voltage signal might enhance the SQ of a very low output LOMC by increasing the amplitude of the signal voltage at the source. (Sorry for the long and complex sentence.)

Dear @stereo5  : Obviously with all respect.You arrived to Agon in 2008 and you have 6,283 posts that are a lot and that could means you were/are participating in hundreds of threads in the forum.

So, it is weird that from all those years you never had the opportunity to read any of the over 850 SPU references/posts in Agon.

Nothing wrong with that,only that the SPU cartridges are perhaps the most famous Ortofon cartridge models.

Never mind, it's just that I was thinking " loud " in that issue. Sorry.



SPU - Stereo Pick Up.

STEP 1 - Turn on computer

STEP 2 - Click on G O O G LE 

STEP 3 - key in SPU C A R T R I D G E 

STEP 4 - hit the E N T E R button

Takes about 4 - 5 seconds