Kendo is the outcome of Linn's engineers’ efforts to capitalise on the elements of Ekstatik which work so well; using their tried-and-true, trickle-down development methodology to produce a more affordable, high-performance cartridge which retains the same core design principles and acoustic fingerprint.
Kendo is 0.6g heavier than Ekstatik, as it doesn’t feature the machined honeycomb of the latter cut into its top surface. Its body, whilst composed of the same 7075-grade aluminium, is nickel-coated in place of the DLC-coating, resulting in a suitably rigid overall structure with a silvered appearance. Kendo features a stiff, low-mass boron cantilever with a super-fine-line stylus, which together facilitate excellent response to the modulations of a record groove.
Kendo is one of a new breed of cartridges which produce the most level frequency response of any to ever bear the Linn name. It’s not overly warm in bass, nor is it harsh in highs; its presentation is neutral, balanced, and uncoloured.
Kendo has a nickel-coated 7075-grade aluminium body. This specific grade of aluminium matches that of Linn's Arko tonearm, for which Kendo was designed to be the perfect partner. As previously mentioned, this facilitates superb material synergy throughout the tonearm system.
Also crucial to its high performance, Kendo features aluminium-bronze threaded inserts. Aluminium-bronze is often selected by bell foundries due to its desirable resonance behaviour. In Kendo, this alloy helps to convey much of the subtle warmth of vinyl playback, and levels its balance beautifully between crisp presentation and musical performance. Linn discovered that this musicality only improved as they worked to reduce the cartridge’s overall mass in search of an ultimate sweet-spot, which they found to be 7.6g.
Aluminium-bronze is not hard, but tough. This results in a desirable halo benefit: the contact area of the tightened screws mounting Kendo to a headshell is many times over that of a conventional steel-on-steel connection.
- Stylus: Super Fine Line
- Cantilever: Boron
- Tracking Force: 2.0g
- Coil Wire: Copper 4N
- Connection: Pin diameter 1.2mm, gold
- Output Voltage: 0.45mV @ 3.54cm/s
- Recommended Load: 100 Ω
- Recommended Capacitance: 1nF
- Int Impedance: 12 Ω
- Weight: 7.6g
- Compliance: 14µm/mN