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Ortofon 2M Red Phono Cartridge

75 Reviews
$100.00
SKU: OR-2MRED

"You'll hear quieter backgrounds, a cleaner midrange, and more detail, treble, and bass. And if you're looking for a high-value cartridge to match a high-value 'table like the VPI Traveler, the 2M Red is an excellent place to start. It's exactly where I would start, delighted at the thought of eventually climbing all the way up the 2M ladder." - Stereophile

Design Elements

The 2M Series is developed in conjunction with the Danish Industrial designer Møller Jensen Design – the same designer who designed the award winning MC Jubilee and Kontrapunkt series. Inspired by the facets of a diamond, whose contours gracefully trace the grooves on a record’s surface, the 2M’s handsome elegance establishes a great combination of form and functionality.

The name 2M was selected from among several ideas. We wanted a modern name that would be easy to pronounce and remember, and therefore an alphanumerical name was chosen. 2M means MM, which is the abbreviation for moving magnet. Of course the 2M isn’t just another pretty face. It has been engineered to the highest standards and is congruent with Ortofon’s unrelenting commitment to providing the most precise and accurate reproduction possible without coloration.

Ortofon 2M Sonics

The 2M series of cartridges feature Ortofon’s trademark split-pole pins, an invention that enables moving-magnet cartridges to have a flat frequency response, as with a moving-coil cartridge. Split-pole pins were invented by Ortofon, and were originally presented in the 500 and OM Super series. We have optimized the design for ease of mounting the cartridge, and the weight and size to fit the most common turntables on the market today. The 2M Series provides excellent compatibility when used in an assortment of playback systems and with a wide variety of phono preamps.A briefing on each...
  • 2M Mono SE, 2M Mono and 2M 78 are a true mono cartridges for playing mono vinyl records
  • 2M Red is an all-purpose cartridge that delivers open, dynamic sound with a touch of warmth
  • 2M Blue adds more dynamics and resolution, sounds more open and reproduces more detail
  • 2M Bronze adds even more detail and resolution but in a very even-handed, transparent fashion
  • 2M Black is the best in all aspects - impeccable resolution and accurate insight into each recording
  • Features:
  • Improved engine (over the OM series) which provides an increased output of 5.5mV, optimized reproduction and a high level of sonic accuracy
  • Elliptical diamond and split-pole pins with a copper wire
  • 2m Red - all-purpose cartridge that delivers open, dynamic sound with a hint of warmth
  • Technical:
  • 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 colour, body/stylus: Black/Red
  • Cartridge weight: 7,2 g
  • Replacement stylus unit: 2M Red (interchangeable with 2M Blue and 2M Silver)
  • Package Contents:
  • 1 x Stylus brush
  • 1 x Screwdriver
  • 2 x Screw M2,5 x 5
  • 2 x Screw M2,5 x 7
  • Ratings & Reviews

    75 reviews

    Michael

    by

    I love this cartridge so much.

    Bob McWhorter

    by

    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

    by

    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

    by

    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

    by

    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.

    Randolph Later?a

    by

    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

    by

    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

    by

    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

    by

    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

    by

    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

    by

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

    Roy

    by

    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

    by

    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

    by

    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

    by

    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.

    EdP

    by

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

    Ronster P

    by

    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

    by

    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,

    Demort71

    by

    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

    by

    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

    by

    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.

    JayPheezy

    by

    This one is worth every penny! The dynamics that this baby picks up on my Pioneer PL-L1000 are out of this world. Used to be a loyal AT fan but the 2M has changed my brand to Ortofon.

    Tony C

    by

    I was blown away, paired the 2m red with a vintage pioneer entry level turntable, now its high end, the way to go with vintage stuff.

    Dolphin O.

    by

    I would like to retract my previous 4 star rating and give this one 5 stars. Users error is to blame. On my table with this cartridge it is Imperative the record clamp be used. This remedied every con i listed. My previous cartridge was not so picky. With the clamp used, this cartridge is a complete bargain at $100.

    Dolphin O.

    by

    Didn't want to replace another stylus on my Goldring 1022gx even though i never had any complaints at all. I thought i'd try something new. This is the first piece of audio gear i've bought without hearing... Luckily it wasn't a total mistake. Pros: detail is better than what i had Soundstage is as wide or wider drums and piano sound incrdible Price is hard to argue with Cons: Lower frequency bass is missing Vocals are a little "up front" Tracking weight is seemingly crucial and the sweet spot is small Ended up the 1.9g of tracking force and am pretty happy overall. I'm looking foward tor trying the blue stylus when the wears out. Overall, for $100, it would be stupid not to at least try it.