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Ortofon 2M Red Phono Cartridge

84 Reviews
$100.00
SKU: OR-2MRED
  
Get ready to be blown away by this phenomenal cartridge! The Ortofon 2M Red cartridge performs above and beyond its price level and is a great way to improve the sound of your set up. Built on the Ortofon principle to create cartridges that recreate sound without coloring it, the 2M Red affords an accurate, transparent and convincing display of your recordings. While being one of the best sounding cartridges at its level, Ortofon has also taken into account size and weight, designing this cartridge for easy mounting onto most common turntables. Achieve high fidelity sound at an affordable price with the Ortofon 2M Red! 2M is developed together with the Danish designer "MøllerJensen Design" from Copenhagen, Denmark - the same designer who designed the award winning cartridge MC Jubilee and the Kontrapunkt series. The inspiration for designing the 2M was related to the facets of the diamond - elegantly concentrating its contours against the grooves on the record surface. The name 2M was selected among several ideas. We wanted a modernname which should be easy to pronounce and to remember, and therefore an alpha numerical name was chosen. 2M means MM, which is the abbreviation for moving magnet. We are using the same names on our 2M series as we use at our Rondo series: Red, Blue and Bronze. The 2M Black will become the flagship of 2M. 2M was the last product of our former chief engineer Per Windfield. He has worked with the 2M for the last two years. The 2M Technology 2M are designed for precise and accurate retrieval of the information in the record groove. Our philosophy is to play the record sound as accurate as possible, without coloring the sound. We have optimized the design for ease of mounting the cartridge, weight and size to fit the most common turntables at the market today. All of the 2M cartridges feature diamonds which are polished to the highest standards in the industry. The 2M Red features a tipped elliptical diamond, while the 2M Blue features a nude elliptical diamond. The 2M Bronze features a nude Fine Line diamond stylus, which is particularly suited for demanding applications. The slim profile of the Fine Line stylus will track even the highest frequency information, making it a must for discerning listeners. Additionally, its larger footprint ensures reduced distortion and record wear. The 2M Black is the new moving magnet flagship from Ortofon. The 2M black is graced with a Shibata diamond stylus - the same diamond as on the acclaimed MC Jubilee. Its slim, highly polished profile allows an exceedingly wide contact area to the groove walls and ensures notably detailed reproduction throughout the spectrum, including even the most high frequency groove information. The 2M series has interchangeable stylus units and replacement stylus is available. To obtain a flat frequency response as with a Moving Coil cartridge we are using the slit pole pins to reduce the eddy current. The slit pole pins is an Ortofon invention which was presented in the 500 series and the Super OM series. The 2M Red and 2M Blue both have the same engine with slit pole pins. With this improved engine we have been able to increase to output to 5,5 mV. The cartridge body used for the 2M Bronze and 2M Black is manufactured from a newly-developed Noryl plastic/glass combination, a revolutionary material which ensures high rigidity while eliminating unwanted resonances. The 2M Bronze and 2M Black use a special upgraded engine, featuring split pole pins with a silver plated copper wire. 2M Series Newsletter from OrtofonDetails on Ortofon Cartridge and Stylus Installation and MaintenanceA Brief History of OrtofonOrtofon Replacement StyliiOrtofon 2M Cartridge Literature PDFOrtofon 2M Specifications PDFWinner of The 2012 Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Award! The Ortofon 2M magnetic cartridge system is designed and developed for high performance reproduction of your favorite analogue records.Ortofon has developed magnetic cartridges in various designs for many types of record players, tone arms and for special purposes throughout the last 40 years. And now - as we approach Ortofon´s 90 years Company Anniversary - we decided to combine our expertise and latest technology in the development of this outstanding cartridge design. As a result of reviewer listening tests we feel confident that you will appreciate and enjoy the unique qualities of these cartridges. 2M Product of the Year in TAS Ortofon is proud to be the recipient of The Absolute Sound's annual Product of the Year award for the acclaimed 2M Series of cartridges. Specifically awarded the distinction are our 2M Red and 2M Black cartridges. According to the article, the 2M's greatest attribute is "the way it provides a more transparent window on the world of micro-energies, permitting it to plumb the depths of soundstaging and dimensionality." The 2M Red is Ortofon's entry level magnetic cartridge, with an elliptical diamond, where the 2M Black is by contrast, Ortofon's best moving magnet design, featuring a nude Shibata stylus. Absolute Sound An Heir to The Shure? By Neil Gader, June/July 2008 Likewise, the 2M Red has nothing to be red faced about, either. In a hobby not noted for bargains the Red is a screaming deal-an entry-level cartridge at its finest. In both instances these are worthy heirs to the Shure. Tonally the Red is cut from the same midrange cloth as the Black and captures harsh recordings and enriched with a stronger midrange orientation and a slight treble roll-off. During the final movement of the Ninth, it distances the violin section slightly and brings the celli and bass boils a row or two close to the audience. Bass quality is excellent, the near-equal of the Black. Hi-Fi World Review The inexpensive Red was a very interesting proposition at its low price. It lacks the top end bite, but also top end detail of the Blue’s stylus, yet it still comes over as clear and open in its sound, with a fine tone on good material. Surprisingly, it also has more powerful low bass, making it muscular and weighty on well recorded discs. In a Nutshell then, the new Ortofon 2M Blue and Red moving magnet cartridges offer a thoroughly modern sound that suits today’s albums. Both are highly revealing and an engaging listen that is nothing other than very impressive at the price. Hi-Fi World Progress Report By Noel Keywood, May 2007 Vinyl replay has come a long way since the 1970s, with new developments seemingly every month. Ortofon’s brand new 2M Red and Blue moving magnets are the company’s latest cartridges offers, promising far superior sound to the old 520 range. So how do they compare to the thirty year old classic budget MM, such as Nagaoka’s MP11? Noel Keywood couldn’t resist finding out… Vinylengine Mid-Fi Cartridge: Ortofon 2M Red Or Denon DL110? By Pat O’Mally, May 2008 I have had both DL-110 and DL-160 and the 2M Red is more resolving, more exiting, more balanced, more open, more bass, more topend, more satisfying. Audiokarma.org Loving my new Ortofon 2M Red RastaFish, January 2009 I have been using a 2M Red with my Technics SL-D1 for a while now, and I will second the positive comments in this thread. Nice and clean top end, smooth mids, plenty of bass but not muddy at all. Very satisfying to listen to even for long periods of time. Stevehoffman.tv Ortofon 2M Red vs Blue? Daniel Thomas, May 2009 It's great to see that a great phono cart won't have to cost a fortune. And it's also great that I can step down from the Dyna 10x5 and still enjoy the music.
Specifications

  • Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec.: 5.5 mV
  • Channel balance at 1 kHz: 1.5 dB
  • Channel separation at 1 kHz: 22 dB
  • Channel separation at 15 kHz: 15 dB
  • Frequency range at - 3dB: 20-22.000 Hz
  • Frequency response: 20-20.000 Hz + 3 / - 1 dB
  • Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force: 70 µm
  • Compliance, dynamic, lateral: 20 µm/mN
  • Stylus type: Elliptical
  • Stylus tip radius: r/R 8/18 µm
  • Tracking force range: 1,6-2,0g (16-20 mN)
  • Tracking force, recommended: 1.8 g (18 mN)
  • Tracking angle: 20°
  • Internal impedance, DC resistance: 1.3 kOhm
  • Internal inductance: 700 mH
  • Recommended load resistance: 47 kOhm
  • Recommended load capacitance: 150-300 pF
  • Cartridge weight: 7.2g
  • Michael

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    I love this cartridge so much.

    Bob McWhorter

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    I had a REGA Elys in my Rega Turntable. It was sounding flat to me, an I wonder if I just didn't notice it before. I was talking to a friend who had heard about the Ortofon 2M Red. I bought one and Wow, nice tight bass, good crisp highs and nice separation. I am happy with it.

    Bob McWhorter

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    I had a REGA Elys in my Rega Turntable. It was sounding flat to me, an I wonder if I just didn't notice it before. I was talking to a friend who had heard about the Ortofon 2M Red. I bought one and Wow, nice tight bass, good crisp highs and nice separation. I am happy with it.

    Yardage

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    I just made a major upgrade. I swapped out my Pioneer Pl730 turntable to a Thorens TD 145 Mk 2 and added this cartridge comparing it to the one that came with the Pioneer. Night and day. Of course the challenge is totally unfair but nonetheless the Ortofon blows me away on the Thorens. My whole system is vintage (AR-14's and 18's) but the sound is amazing in part thanks to the Ortolan Red.

    Yardape52

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    Wow,.. I just resurrected my old Pioneer PL-730 and replaced the original cartridge with this. Running it through an Akai 2800. I'm not an audiophile but am extremely pleased with the outcome. I put on Muddy Waters Hard Again and like I said earlier. Wow. For a great cart without a huge investment it tracks and properly and sounds great.

    SteveGin44444

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    This cartridge came on my Project Debut Carbon DC table, and I have to say that it is terrible. The mids are congested, shrill, and in your face. The high treble was grainy. It tracked well, but revealed a lot of surface noise. I dialed it in as closely as I could and found little improvement. I was thrilled to put an AT120e on instead. I can't believe the praise people give this cart... I'm not hearing the good. The treble honestly reminded me of a cheap kids record player. Inner groove distortion was awful.

    Randolph Later?a

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    Beautiful cartridge, but mine always sounded a bit muffled (and i bought 2 over the years with the same results). Pay a bit more and get an Audio Technica AT120e.

    DS

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    I've owned the 2M Blue, Bronze and Black at different times in the past plus a plethora of other carts from AT,Shure,Denon,Dynavector and so on. My listening habits have changed over the past 50 years and I no longer wanted to spend a lot money for just the occasional listening session. This cartridge sounds perfect for what I want. It has a great bottom end and has a warmer sound than the other 2Ms mentioned. For $100, it is a very good value. What I always have noticed with the 2M carts is the pinpoint placement of instruments and voices and the Red is no different. Needle Doctor's service is outstanding.

    LorenY

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    I installed the 2M Red on my Project Debut III. So much better than the OM5e it came with. I had an AT 440 mla prior to the 2M Red. It had more detail and a broader soundstage, but was very fatiguing. It also picked up every scratch and pop which the Ortofon seems to ignore. Great $100 investment.

    Tom

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    Diamonds are a man's best friend, as I scored an almost-new ORTOFON 2M Red some time ago. Finally got it installed today and test drove it on my Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab's release of Rickie Lee Jones' groundbreaking debut from 1979. Now, the 2M Red is considered a budget cartridge, and yet, it just reaches down into those grooves and extracts the music embedded there with all it's intricacies and fills the room with pure ear-candy. I was still utilizing my Pickering XV 15-400e I bought in 1975. I've been able to acquire new styli, and the sound was like an old friend, but was time to retire it in favor of this worthy successor.

    Gianluca from Italy

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    I absolute agree with all the enthusiastic customers of this cart:it's a must for it's price,great sound,great balance and pleasant reproduction of the tracks.A perfect match for Technics sl 1200 and many more expensive turntables around....

    harveyW

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    Really impressive for the money. I kind of can't believe that I'm hearing.

    Roy

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    I tried this cartridge about a year ago and was very underwhelmed. I used it on a Thorens TD 316 table. I don't understand all the good reviews. Any of the Grado Prestige series of cartridges are a better value

    John B

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    I wanted to like the Ortofon Red. It came stock on my Pro-Ject Debut Carborn. I really did want to like this cartridge. But, the quest to find the perfect table with the right cartridge continued. I went through the Ortofon Red, the Audio-Technica 120 E and the Denon DL-110 cartridges and the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, Music Hall MMF 2.2 and Pro-Ject RM1 Carbon tables. The final decision was tough, but I am sticking with the RM1 Carbon and the DL-110 for the time being. However that is for another discussion, please feel free to read my reviews on each. Back to the Red. I unboxed the Debut and the moment the needle hit the table, I found a solid cartridge. The sound was crisp, a little colored in the mid-range and bass and did a solid job of replication on highs. Treble was the only range I found pretty well neutral. However, any imperfection, any static on the record, any scratch, the Ortofon Red is going to find it. It never skipped, but the stylus was so unforgiving. It almost seemed to go out of the way to crack and pop on my vinyls. Stereo separation was ok. Detail was a bit lacking. And the tracking was fair. Where my biggest issues lie, was versatility in music. I have a strange musical-palate. I started my first test with Jimmy Buffett’s Son of a Son of a Sailor. This cartridge was very impressive in reproduction of the album. My wife even chimed in on the title track when the occasional bell would ring and she felt it was rung in the room. However, I’ve had this vinyl for years and wore it thin. It popped and cracked throughout the entire vinyl. Tracking death metal was a different story. I was listening to Cannibal Corpse’s Torture record. I remember vividly the cartridge getting lost in those opening blast beats on As Deep as the Knife Will go. It just mudded up. However, going into the prog-rock genres with Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree, this cartridge did very well with acoustic passages and held its own with the prog-metal side of the albums. Overall, this is a great budget cartridge. I'd give it a 3.5 star rating, which to me is a low "C" rating. Sonically, it has a nice range on what most listeners are going to spin on their turntable. However, expect a few flaws. I could live with the lackluster reproduction of death metal. A lot of those records aren’t recorded for vinyl and aren’t going to give the cartridge a fair shot. However, the lack of forgiveness when the needle found static or imperfections was very unacceptable to me. Which is sad, because I really wanted to audition the Ortofon Blue, so I skipped it altogether. If you’re looking for a cartridge in the $100 price point, immediately I’d steer you towards the Audio-Technica 120 E. Please read my review! -John

    BigRedCajun

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    I took a chance on the 2M RED despite all the hype. Honestly how good can a $100 cartridge be? Well, After a very careful setup and a little break in time, WOW! A $100 cartridge from Ortofon can sound pretty darn good. I give it a boogie factor of about 8. I hear a lot of people complain about the treble and lack of bass. I don't know what people are listening to but I'm listening through a pair of Performa F30's. These are FULL RANGE. I can tell you that the treble is certainly informative but anything BUT to bright or brittle. The midrange and upper bass really make Upright Bass swing. The bass, bass when present is anything but tepid. Perhaps not as distinct as some more expensive cartridges but still very good. I give the bass a solid 8. If this is your first fore' into analog and you want to get as close as you can get for $100...the 2M RED is the way to go.

    adam

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    Being stock on my new VPI Nomad there is little to argue about for the price. Will upgrade to the Bronze asap. The Red seems a tad noisey on new vinyl & on some dense mixes I do believe I'm hearing what I'm guessing is inner groove distortion on vocals particularly. Listening on 250 ohm Beyer 770 Pros. Plan to upgrade to Shure 1540s or B&W P7s asap too. Yes I know those are completely different sounding cans. The Red I give 4 stars based on bang for the buck, since there isn't a 3.5.

    Flipper D

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    I bought the Red. Not a better cart instead. Blew my dough, on a cart with quality too low.

    EdP

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    Fantastic. It beat my Rega Elys cartridge by leaps and bounds.

    Ronster P

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    Crappy cart. Plain and simple. Buy a Grado or Sumiko in the same price range insted. Hype!!

    Ronster P

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    What the heck?? The 2m Red? Really? You work too hard for your money. Don't, please don't blow it on this cart! Way too much hype. It just stinks. Way over presented mid-range that will broil your brain and highs that will bring your ears to the bleeding point. No bass! None! The worst thing is all this junk is in your face. Do yourself a huge solid and buy a Grado or Sumiko in the same price range instead.

    jojopowers

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    For the price you just can't beat this. yes, there are better cartridges but you're going to have to spend 2X -3X. The Audio Technica 120 is another good one but can sound brighter on some systems,

    BOREAFON

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    this cart plain outright is bad. idc the only thing good is the bass and its not even that clean. Ha... tbh this is the most overrated, overstated deceptive cart. Want a better cart? here i can list some better ones! at 120e denon dl 110 dl 160 right now on auction on ebay AT 95E! shure m97xe old school vintage carts like the shures mp 110 you're welcome

    Demort71

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    This cartridge is a good choice for the average vinyl listener, someone who has limited experience or who is just getting back into vinyl after being out of it for many years. It is comparable to the better vintage MM cartridges out there from the late 70s and 80s. I have about 75 carts at the moment and most are vintage. The 2m is comparable to carts like the Shure M91ED, Stanton 681EEE, Pickering XSV3000 & the Ortofon FF 15 XE. I can't say it is superior to them, because I haven't broken my 2m in yet. There are some vintage carts I have that are better than the 2m. For $100, you can buy some very good vintage carts, so don't think because it's new, it is better. The industry sat on its hands for a long time without advancing the vinyl technology. So far it has a nice sound stage and decent representation throughout the tonal range. More people seem satisfied with this cart than Shure's modern M97. My conclusion is that this is a good "beginner" $100 cartridge that most people are going to be happy with for what they spent. It is better than the new $50 and $60 carts out there. Downside is the cost of a replacement needle/stylus. May as well buy a whole new cartridge, unless they come out with good aftermarket replacements.

    Kyle

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    Newer TT user here and my dads old table that we would play vinyl on crapped out so recently purchased a Yamaha YP-B4 Table that was recently serviced and had a new belt and brand new never used yet 2M Red Cart on it and coming from a JVC table from the 80's that had a 150$ cart on it put on back in the day that still sounded great until it broke well the 2M Red sounds fantastic in my books. Great all around sound. Bass, highs, mids and everything in between nice and clear and very detailed sound. Would recommend for the price and have played rock and country on it and both great!

    Damien DiAngelo

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    My only complaint about this cart is that it seems to be a little sibilant. Even more so on new vinyl. It plays vintage vinyl great. For those who complain that it's bass shy, and has too much mid range, have you let this cart break in yet? It didn't sound that great to me either, at first. Once I got about 50 hours on it, it opened up, and now I'm happy with it.