Posted on 15th January, 2019


The cheapest audio upgrade you'll ever make: new Miyajima three-point contact metal headshell washer.

In the world of the audiophile, having deep pockets is practically a pre-requisite. But today, Miyajima, the Japanese company best known for its stunningly crafted artisan phono cartridges, has created a beautifully simple yet highly effective little audio accessory for vinyl lovers – and it costs less than your average record!

When it comes to audio accessories, it pays to be selective. Unless you have an unlimited budget, it is worth investing in those areas of the audio signal chain that make the most difference. How does an upgrade that will cost just £10 sound to you?

Admittedly, this one won't be for everybody, it is aimed at audiophiles who have a tonearm with a removable headshell. The headshell in question will have a traditional (SME / Ortofon-type) bayonet mount, which in turn will typically include either a rubber, silicone or similar non-rigid washer at the point of tonearm connection. Such washers, being non-rigid, allow for a slight degree of movement. Small it may be, but this is one of those unforgiving areas in the audio signal chain where the tiniest interference of the delicate audio signal can have quite a significant effect beyond the point of amplification. This, then, is where fine details really matter.

Miyajima headshell washers

Miyajima's new three-point contact metal washer is one such fine detail. This tiny split washer (the split serving to clear the locating / bayonet-locking pin that's part of the headshell fixing) is ultra-thin and features three indentations. The indentations are designed to enable a more rigid and less flexible joint, coupling the headshell and cartridge more tightly to the tonearm and thereby providing a more mechanically secure connection. At the same time, the three-point contact ensures optimal mechanical grounding between headshell and tonearm, improving damping and reducing resonance.

This smallest of upgrades has been shown to undoubtedly improve sound quality, with noted benefits including tighter bass and a more vibrant, dynamic and expressive presentation.

Miyajima tonearm headshell washers

So, whether your tonearm is a true vintage model (think 1960s/70s SME), or you're a fan of the modern ‘old-school' designs (Glanz, Jelco, Ortofon, Schick, Timestep),  then swap your soft washer for Miyajima's metal one for an instant, and ‘so cheap it's almost free', upgrade.

Price and availability

The Miyajima three-point contact metal headshell washer is available now priced at £10 (including VAT).


Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: miyajima  timestep