Ortofon Cadenza Blue MC Phono Cartridge
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.
Details on the Ortofon Cadenza BlueThe Blue model is using a Nude FG 70 stylus with a very thin ruby cantilever. The improved winding process on the armature ensures better channel balance. The soundstage of Cadenza Blue is wide open and grandiose straight out of the box. Micro dynamic and ambience will be evident when listening to complex compositions. It reaches a very high degree of definition in the perspective, which is very present. It is true to the music with a tremendous clarity.
Hifi News Review"...if you want a cartridge to give you detail, space, integrity and vitality and fresh insights into every old-favourite LP you put on, the Cadenza Blue will do just fine... " — Steve Harris, Hifi News
Ratings & Reviews
When I upgraded from my Ortofon OM 10 to a Super OM 30 it was like getting a whole new album collection—it was the same thing all over again with the Cadenza Blue. I hear things in the music that I had never heard before. This cartridge was the quietest of any I have tried or heard; it enables me to hear passages that would have otherwise been buried deep within the record noise. The delicate and quiet passages in “Moonchild” (King Crimson) come alive and are quite magical. It is very detailed, precise and refined. The Cadenza Blue is also very dynamic and responds very quickly to musical energy. Snares have more pop, cymbals more sizzle and abrupt dynamical changes quite startling. The driving percussion in “Anywhere You Want to Go” (Santana) becomes animated and vibrant. The bass response with lower impedance loading is tight and impressive. The low notes in “Welcome to the Pleasuredome” (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) are very solid and seem to go all the way to the basement. I can hear no distortion on loud and complex passages, like the trumpet solos in “Song for My Father” (Horace Silver Quartet). I never understood what people meant by “soundstage” until I got my new Ortofon Cadenza Blue. I thought it was just so-called audiophiles throwing around flowery, subjective language to justify the exorbitant amount of money they had just spent. The Cadenza Blue sets a musical stage where you actually feel you are in a live performance and could reach out and touch the musicians. The imaging is very precise and 3-dimensional. Now I understand what people are talking about. The Cadenza Blue does not track as well as my Super OM 30 (that cartridge could track any record I own, even the badly warped ones); however, I have been able to improve the tracking on difficult albums by increasing the tracking force towards the high end of its range. It also has a tendency to skate on me. My tonearm only has three anti-skating settings—to help with this I have fixed the string for the anti-skating weight to a position beyond its last notch with a glob of Blu-Tack—this seems to help. This cartridge is also quite heavy at 10.7 g—I had to get a different counterweight for my turntable. The stylus on the Cadenza Blue is very exposed and it is as easy to set down on a specific track as it is with the OM cartridges. I am using a Pro-Ject Audio 2Xperience SB turntable with a Pro-Ject 9cc Evolution tonearm. My preamp is a Musical Surroundings Phonomena II with a gain of 56 dB and impedance loading of 59 ohms. I am listening with Cambridge Audio SX-60 speakers with a Klipsch R-12SW subwoofer driven by an 85-watt Yamaha A-S501 Integrated Amplifier. I also listen with M-Audio BX8a Deluxe powered monitors with a BX Subwoofer, Ortofon e-Q5 in-ear headphones and Boston Acoustics CR57 speakers. The Cadenza Blue cartridge sounds amazing with any of these listening alternatives. I am very satisfied with my purchase and would highly recommend this cartridge to anyone looking for an incredible listening experience.
Looks like a spaceship and sounds like a dream.