"The OC9 is astonishingly detailed and surprisingly well organized and focused. There is never any doubt, confusion, or muddling. The feeling of real deep-down clarity is particularly bottomless, helped, no doubt, by immaculate tracking." -Hi-Fi Answers review September 1987, by Alvin Gold
New redesigned " Gold Boron cantilever " The AT-OC9 MKII has the basic A-T Vector-Aligned design, but utilizes two tiny moving coils mounted at 90 degrees in place of two moving magnets.
Many serious audiophiles prefer moving coil designs, citing clarity and transparency of tone, better defined transients, precise stereo imaging and lower distortion as the reasons for their preference.
The AT-OC9 MKII features a nude hyperelliptical MicroLine stylus, PCOCC coil windings for low loss signal transmission, a high-flux samarium cobalt magnet and a low resonance, gold plated beryllium cantilever.
The Audio-Technica OC9 MKI Moving Coil cartridge was first introduced at $700. Because of very high demand and automated manufacturing, we are able to bring you this cartridge for less than half its original price.
Stereophile Recommended Component, Class C October 1992.
The best ever from Audio-Technica, said TJN. Neutral through the midrange, the OC9 is less sweet and three-dimensional than, for example, the vdH MC One, but not by much. Highly recommended (and an excellent tracker). The has very high output for a low-output MC, minimizing phono-stage noise.
The cartridge is effectively seamless, by which I mean that everything hangs together coherently as though it really is of one piece. It is a sure sign that the cartridge hasn't been set up correctly if the treble is anything less than perfectly integrated; happily, it usually is, and the bass, which is remarkable for its poise, conciseness and absolute control over both pitch and temporal cues, always sounded absolutely right.
Sounds Like Review
Sonically, I found the OC9 to be a pure delight. This is without doubt one of the cleanest- sounding phono cartridges I have ever had the pleasure of using and the OC9s significant achievement in this regard added greatly to my enjoyment of the music.
The truth is, you could easily spend twice the OC9s asking price and still not equal let alone surpass its level of musical involvement, accuracy, or purity.
In all, the Audio-Technica OC9 provides most of the performance characteristics of the best of the breed, but without the heroic price, and without having to worry whether the sample you buy is a good one.
The strengths of this cartridge are the "blackness" from which, with total control and utter yet unobtrusive detailing, the music emerges; unforgiving when the recording is so-so, but on the other hand with tracking-capabilities that are very forgiving when the record itself is bad. Very low surface-noise, also helped by a 0,4 mV output which helps lowering hiss from the MC phono-stage way beyond audibility, makes it almost rival with CD-reproduction in this respect. It surpasses CD-reproduction -in MY set- on accounts of depth and sheer oversight.
So, the OC9 in its current form is still a hot cartridge after being some 15 years on the market. Use a good arm, a basic for example won't do it justice. Almost everything from an RB 250 will probably do fine; just don't use ultra-light arms. User Manual Audio Technica OC9MKII