Sculpture A

SCULPTURE A refer to themselves as a “French-based enterprise bringing together a team of European craftsmen and professionals from the audio & broadcast industry.” This is true, however if you have the good fortune of meeting these people, perhaps a more accurate description would be “a group of extremely enthusiastic & supremely knowledgeable analog fanatics who build amazing sounding cartridges & step-up transformers that bring out the purity & beauty in the music and are MOST enjoyable”.

All Sculpture A products are conceived, designed, and built in Europe by Luxembourg designer Philippe Galowich, German industrial designer Hamlyn Terry, and the Hungarian team of cartridge builder Laszlo Szalai and step-up– transformer designer Zsolt Bodnar. One of the leaders is the charismatic Francois Saint-Gérand, who in 2016 left his life as a civil servant to invest himself fully in analog hi-fi and has been a major driver of the brand’s development.

The Sculpture A team decided to use the venerable Denon 103 generator as a basis for their design however they have heavily modified it. It features a nude, line-contact III stylus attached to a boron cantilever and has a much lower moving mass than the original. There are other Sculpture A versions at different price points, featuring alternate stylus profiles from spherical to Ogura PA, as well as a mono version.

The body is of vaporised and impregnated wood—a material that’s light and relatively soft with good damping properties. A brass internal stock coils, but the company offers versions with hand-wound coils of copper or silver.
The resulting sound can be described as pure, lush, liquid….natural. If you appreciate the sound of a well designed SET amplifier, you will love the Sculpture A sound.

Michael Fremer’s recent review is bringing many audiophile’s attention to the French brand, ensuring that it will no longer be a ‘secret known only to connoisseurs’. Seductive!


Who is Sculpture A?

SCULPTURE A is a French-based enterprise bringing together a team of European craftsmen and professionals from the audio & broadcast industry. Through their common history and hands-on experience in electrical and industrial engineering, their aim is to produce innovative analog audio designs combining old & modern technology with their passion for music reproduction.

Using their experience and knowledge of analog technologies and how they have developed over the years, Sculpture A aim to improve older cartridge designs with new technology. To achieve this new synergy, they combine vintage parts like coil wires and generators with contemporary damping designs, diamond tips or cantilevers. Each of their highly customisable products is tailor-made in small quantities, built to the customer’s specifications without ever compromising on technology and workmanship. Sculpture A products will provide you with years of music bliss, retrieving the most accurate signal from your record collection.

Who is sculpture A

Cartridge design principles

Sculpture A cartridge designs are guided by the following principles:

  • Low Mass
    Low effective mass of moving assemblies in phono cartridges.
  • Great tracking performance
    High tracking abilities exceeding 90 micron @ 315 Hz lateral.
  • Fine-tuning
    Fine-tuning both by ear and with distortion analysers to achieve best sonic and measurement figures.
  • Quality materials
    Inventive designs based on carefully chosen materials.
  • Continuity
    Full emphasis on the integrity of the signal path from the cartridge to phono stage.
  • Circuit
    Zero feedback circuitry.
Sculpture A cartridge closeup

The Design of the Model A.3 & A.4

From the internal structure of the legendary Denon DL-103 cartridge we have developed our own evolutions named A .3 and A .4.

Both were born from our questioning of how to best adapt modern diamond tip profiles to a 1962 design. The A .3 and A .4 retain few parts from the original DL-103 but the original AlNiCo magnet still prevails in SCULPTURE A designs.

To achieve the best synergy a new dual structure body was developed, it allows damping and shielding of the generator from both internal and external stimulations. This new structure also helps achieve specific stylus tracking angles for each of the different diamond tip profiles we use. We also modify the damper and internal settings to achieve a medium compliance of 12 µm/mN, an optimum fit for most modern tonearms.

Boron cantilevers and modern diamond tips significantly lower the moving effective mass of SCULPTURE A cartridges and provide better tracking (>80 µm @315Hz lateral), improved tonal balance, better dynamic, transient response and soundstage.

The A .4 goes even further, using hand wound copper or silver coils for impedances over ten times lower than that of the original Denon DL-103. It is the lowest impedance cross coil design with AlNiCo magnet available today and this just one of the reasons why it sounds so vivid and natural.

Sculpture A cartridge and box
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