I have loved the London Decca phonographic cartridge since my college days. Back in 2007, I had the thrill of reviewing the London Decca Reference. It recently came to my attention that these cartridges are still available for around $5,000. Considering how the prices of other reference-level cartridges have gone up over the last few years, I thought I’d share that review with you again, for there truly is nothing like a London Decca Cartridge!
History and Description
How do you say, “It’s too good to be true?” Or, maybe I’m just plain lucky. Whatever the cause, I still can’t believe my first review in the world of vinyl playback is of the latest incarnation of my favorite cartridge from my youth. There is no other audio component that I have ever thought was as revealing or as exasperating as the Decca cartridges I owned in my twenties. I owned a blue one, a gray one, and even a gold one; all with that bright red plastic part that allowed you to screw it into the headshell; and all with only three pins to connect to the four tonearm wires. I have owned as many as three at a time, hoping to always have one good, working one on hand. So, it is with great excitement and more than a little trepidation that I start to listen to the new Decca London Reference
The London Reference, previously known as the Decca Cartridge, has been in production longer than stereo has been around. As a stereo cartridge, it had it’s beginning in the seventies as the Decca Phono Cartridge.
The physical appearance of the London Reference is first class for the first time. It is simple, but elegant. Gone are the odd-shaped, odd two-tone colored Decca’s of the past, and, thank goodness, the common ground is also gone. Now, we have a normal, four-pin setup on the London,which is easy to work with.