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Ortofon Cadenza Black MC Phono Cartridge

1 Review
At Ortofon we constantly look for new technology to be used in our products and push the performance of existing technology. Thus we assure the highest level of performance and quality. The Kontrapunkt models and MC Jubilee became market standards and are among our most popular cartridges. Nevertheless Ortofon decided to develop a new cartridge series that is even more ambitious. By carefully implementing cobalt-iron pole pieces, new improved winding process on the armature, using extruded aluminium housing in the models as well as other changes, we have been able to reveal new possibilities in performing the analogue information. It was also decided to make a more complete range of cartridges, which meant an introduction of a moving coil Cadenza Mono model to support our customers, who have an extended interest in micro groove mono records. We believe that our faithful and new customers will enjoy the playback of their precious analogue records even more now.

A little background info...

Cadenza (from Italian: meaning cadence) refers to a portion of a concerto in which the orchestra stops playing, leaving the soloist to play alone in free time, without a strict, regular pulse. A cadenza can be written or improvised. It’s usually the most elaborate and virtuosic part that the solo instrument plays during the whole piece. At the end of the cadenza, the orchestra re-enters, and generally finishes off the movement. During the 19th century, composers began to write cadenzas out in full. Others wrote cadenzas for works, where the composer had intended for the solo to be improvised, in order for the soloist to have a well formed solo that they could practice in advance. Some of these have become so widely played and sung that they are effectively a part of the standard repertoire.

Cadenza Black Details

The Black model is using a Nude Shibata stylus with a boron cantilever. The effective mass of the stylus/cantilever system is extremely low by using a very thin boron rod. This material is extremely stiff and even more lightweight compared to aluminium. It also uses the WRD (Wide Range Damping-system), controlling the high and low frequency damping separately. Cadenza Black is optimized for an amazing tonal neutrality, dynamics and purity of sound. It is high performing on areas like detail, consistency and sound staging.

Hifi World Review

"...the Black uses many moving parts of the A90...sound is weighty and satisfyingly rhythmic...The Black offered a beautifully smooth, svelte and expansive sound stage. It has generous stage depth and always sounds relaxed and in control of proceedings...

...If you are looking for an ultimately smooth and sophisticated sonic delivery from LP, Ortofon's new Cadenza Black is as good as it gets at what is a 'reasonable' price...the Black is a lovely cartridge..." — Noel Keywood, Hifi World
  • Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec. - 0,33 mV
  • Channel balance at 1 kHz - < 0,8 dB
  • Channel separation at 1 kHz - > 27 dB
  • Channel separation at 15 kHz - > 20 dB
  • Frequency range at - 3dB - 20 - 60.000 Hz
  • Frequency response 20 kHz - 20 kHz - +1,5/0
  • Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force - 90 µm
  • Compliance, dynamic, lateral - 16 µm/mN
  • Stylus type - Nude Shibata on Boron cantilever
  • Stylus tip radius - r/R 6/50 µm
  • Tracking force range - 2,0-2,5 g (20-25 mN)
  • Tracking force, recommended - 2,3 g (23 mN)
  • Tracking angle - 20°
  • Internal impedance, DC resistance - 5 Ohm
  • Recommended load impedance - > 10 Ohm
  • Cartridge body material - Stainless steel Aluminium
  • Cartridge colour - Black/Black
  • Cartridge weight - 10,7 gram
  • Ratings & Reviews

    1 review

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    Purchased new from NeedleDoctor a few months ago, utilized on a Clearaudio Master Solution w/Synchro Speed Controller. Took about 40 hours to fully settle in, and it certainly morphed a bit until that point. It now has about 50 hours on it, and is still settling in somewhat. Compared to the Sumiko Blackbird MC cartridge I had before it, the Black is much more refined, a bit more laid back, greater bass extension, a bit more refined highs, pretty much what you would expect for a cartridge @ 2.5 times the cost of the Blackbird. I would say the Blackbird was/is a bit more dynamic, but thats to be expected somewhat due to output voltages, etc. I am using a VAC Renaissance MKII preamplifier with onboard phono section. The MC board provides 64db of gain, real nice. The Cadenza Black tracks pretty well, and was a tad tricky to set up, but I have a Fozgometer and the other usual Audiophile tools for set up, so it wasn't too bad. This is definately a refined, extended, dimensional cartridge, and sounds excellent on a wide range of my recordings. I listen to Rock/Pop/Jazz, so I prefer an open, fast, exciting sound, which is what this cartridge provides, although certainly other cartridges can provide a faster more live sound. But, its all highly subjective, as we all know. More to follow as the cadenza Black breaks in. Cheers. BM