Skip to product information
1 of 2



The Master3 and Reference3 models use a five piece OTL cantilever technology achieving an additional 5% tip mass reduction over the Platinum3 and Sonata3 models. The coils are wound with...

Regular price $1,500.00
Sale price $1,500.00 Regular price
OFF Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.



Many in Stock

View full details

The Master3 and Reference3 models use a five piece OTL cantilever technology achieving an additional 5% tip mass reduction over the Platinum3 and Sonata3 models. The coils are wound with ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire. The Master3 model is mounted with Grado's specially designed nude elliptical diamond, and the Reference3 model uses Grado's true ellipsoid design diamond. These cartridges are individually calibrated.

  • Body: Australian Jarrah Wood
  • Cantileaver: Machined Boron / Diamond Tip
  • Output:
    High 4.0mV @5 CMV (45)
    Low 1.0mV @5 CMV (45)
  • Inductance:
    High Output 55mH
    Low Output 6mH
  • Resistance:
    High Output 660 ohms
    Low Output 70 ohms
  • Input Load: 10k-47k ohms
  • Cartridge Weight: 10 grams
  • Tracking Force: 1.6-1.9 grams
  • Compliance 20μm/mN
  • Channel Separation: Average 30db - 10-30k Hz
  • Controlled Frequency Response: 10-60 KHz
  • Non-Sensative to Capacitive Load
  • Builds: High Output, Low Output, Mono

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
Best Moving Iron Cartridge Ever!

This is my Third, I had the original Reference and then the Reference 2 and now the Reference 3. It is that good!

Johnny Ye
Reference3 high output

I upgraded my old sonata to Reference3, thanks to Rich Grado for a great deal. After getting reference 3,
I couldn't wait to install the cartridge, and immediately chose a few records with exaggerated sound effects to play,
As soon as the sound came out, I felt shocked, a real feeling of upgrading, like going from a high school student to a master student all at once.
The Reference didn't require a long break-in period, showing good condition after a few hours.
I don't want to talk about treble, midrange, bass... in the review, I just want to talk about the musical sense of the reference,
what I feel is the lifelike performance, all the details and dynamics enter my ears, I feel
Unparalleled musicality is the soul of Reference3.

This cartridge is exquisitely crafted and reflects the continuation of the Grado legend. I applaud Grado!

Stunning as usual

I dropped a Soundsmith Carmen mkII for this Reference 3 and what a great upgrade. But to be honest I have had many Grados over the years and they I stray and then I always comeback .. better space between instruments. tighter bass and that wonderful Grado midrange I will no longer stray from Grado I am here to stay

Sam in Western Mass
Reference High Output Early 2022

I have been a huge fan of the HO Sonata for a few years now. I love the Grado house sound - to me, Grado carts dial in on why anyone would bother with analog playback to begin with - so I wanted to try this cart further up the Grado line. Still getting used to it a few weeks in - it’s sounding much better after a good break in period, more relaxed and pleasant.

This is a more ‘hifi’ sound for sure. Air, resolution, clarity, sharper images, and great detail while remaining wonderfully smooth, lush and just plain gorgeous. This is my first cartridge at this price point, so I can’t speak to how it compares to other pricey (over $1000) MC carts. If your system is up for it, this cart will really deliver the hifi goods, with that Grado sound I think everyone buying records should hear. Increased clarity without losing the tone. As before, vocals are simply incredible. Recommended, Team.

Signal chain is: Grado Reference HO version> Well Tempered Amadeus> Wright Sound WPP200c> Pine Tree Audio passive pre> Dayens Ampino Monoblocks> DeVORE FIDELITY gibbon Super Nines.

Timbre Reference 3 High Output Cartridge

With the release of the new Timbre series, I felt it was finally time to upgrade from my Reference Sonata. The sound is more accurate, the soundstage is deeper and instruments have more space around them. Very pleased!

Let us know abour your query!