Dr. Ted Tsai, the visionary behind the LS10 MKII, is a figure synonymous with innovation in the world of high-fidelity audio. Deeply engrossed in his research lab, Dr. Tsai’s relentless pursuit of excellence led to a significant breakthrough following the successful launch of the LS10 MC cartridge in 2018.
His focus? Tackling the intricate challenge of Eddy Current forces in moving coil phono cartridges.
Understanding Eddy Currents in Audio Technology
Eddy Currents are electric currents circulating in conductors like eddies in the oceans.
Image: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio
These currents are induced by changing magnetic fields and flow in loops perpendicular to the magnetic field. In moving coil cartridges, these currents are generated as the conductor moves through the magnetic field.
The Impact of Eddy Currents on Sound Quality
Eddy Currents create their own magnetic fields, which, according to Lenz’s Law, oppose the initial magnetic field change. This reaction can adversely affect the movements of the cartridge’s cantilever, impacting the overall sound quality.
Dr. Tsai’s Solution: Eddy Current Cancellation
To mitigate these effects, Dr. Tsai innovated beyond traditional methods like laminating the core or using nonconductive materials for the cantilever.
His groundbreaking solution? A unique generator design where Eddy Current forces are ingeniously aligned to neutralize each other. This system, incorporating a cross coil design, is what we now know as ECC (Eddy Current Cancellation). A debut feature in the LS10 MKII, the ECC represents a leap forward in cartridge technology.