Goldring E4 isn’t just a new moving magnet cartridge; it’s the brand new flagship cartridge of the renowned audio company’s entry-level E series, which includes the brilliant, five-star Goldring E3 cartridge.
The E4 slots in above the E3 (which currently holds a What Hi-Fi? Award for best cartridge under £100), and Goldring claims that the new E4 is “the single most cost-effective upgrade owners of budget or midrange turntables will ever make”.
That’s certainly music to our ears. We at What Hi-Fi? have long held the opinion that upgrading specific components of a good turntable (or any hi-fi system) is a simpler and more budget-friendly way of updating its performance, rather than chucking it out entirely and buying a whole new deck. So if you think your current record player needs a bit of a performance lift, why not consider updating the cartridge? And this E4 cartridge could well be the missing link.
Goldring’s E Series was created with the aim of being “the ultimate upgrade for any modern budget or midrange turntable” when launched in 2020, and the new E4 is designed to be the “pinnacle of E Series engineering and performance.”
The new E4 has a hollow aluminium cantilever with a new super-elliptical nude diamond stylus measuring 0.3 x 0.7 mil. The cartridge remains fairly light at 6.9g (the same as the E3), and Goldring recommends a 1.75g tracking weight as the sweet spot.
Coupled with the lightweight yet stiff cantilever, the new stylus’s lower mass and improved rigidity reportedly help to track high frequencies with greater accuracy and detail. Goldring’s Magnetic Duplex Technology allows the E4 to read the vinyl stereo groove with more accuracy and deliver a more convincing soundstage, and the company assures us that each E4 is made with “optimised channel balance and crosstalk settings” during the production process.
The cartridge body design remains the same throughout the E Series, but each model sports a different colour at the bottom of the body. The starter E1 is red, E2 is green, our five-star E3 is violet, and the new E4 is a fetching shade of blue.
The Goldring E4 cartridge will be available from June/July, costing £199 / €259 / $299. Meanwhile, the E4 stylus will cost £145 / €185 / $275.
If you’re heading to the High End Show 2023 in Munich (18th-21st May) this week, you can see the new Goldring E4 in action. Find them in room A (Atrium) 4.1, F110, alongside QED’s Golden Anniversary XT speaker cable and the new Q Acoustics 5000 speaker series.
High End Munich 2023: what to expect at Europe’s high-end hi-fi show next week
Read our Goldring E3 review
Moving magnet vs moving coil cartridges: which is right for you?
How to change the cartridge on your turntable