A Briefing on Ortofon Moving Coil Cartridges Nothing demonstrates more convincingly Ortofon´s commitment to be the world´s last cartridge manufacturer than the ongoing development of new state-of-the-art models, and Ortofon will continue to refine upon the level of sound quality attainable from analogue recordings. Since 1948 Ortofon has introduced about 100 different moving coil models, and more are to follow. Contrary to other types of phono catridges, the moving coil principle is not suited for mass production. Each of the four coils contains between 11 an 24 turns of wire, depending on model, and has to be wound by hand under a microscope. The wire itself is much thinner than a human hair. The high degree of craftsmanship involved is one of the "secrets" behind Ortofon's reputation. Now all that has changed... With the introduction of the first X Series cartridges, the X1 and X3, Ortofon demonstrated to the world that it is possible to produce MC cartridges with sufficiently high output to eliminate the need for additional step-up devices-without compromising the construction principles and unique sound quality of moving coil designs.What this means to you is that pure Ortofon Moving Coil Sound is now available for the first time at "real world" prices. And now we have taken things one step further. By building on our experience with the X1 and X3, as well as our unparalleled background in MC design, Ortofon has made the supreme statement in high output MC technology, the Ortofon X5 moving coil cartridge. The X Series cartridges are extremely compact, ultra-light samples of the audio engineering art. The powerful Samarium Cobalt magnet weighs a mere 0.45 gram, a fraction of the normal two grams found in the average cartridge. While the pole pieces in most MC designs usually consist of as many as three of even four separate metal parts, the Ortofon X Series employs a single iron yoke encircling the magnet and weighing a negligible 0.35 grams. This construction detail not only contributes to the compact design of the X Series; it also provides improved mechanical integrity and an exceptionally powerful and uniform magnetic field. In addition , absolute phase is ensured by correct polarization of the magnet. High-Output Moving Coil Cartridges Four decades ago Ortofon introduced the world's first moving coil playback cartridge. Since then, the MC principle has been universally acknowledged as the ultimate sonic performance. Unfortunately, the high price of moving coil technology and the necessity of an outboard step-up device to boost the low output voltage made MC cartridges a luxury available only to the select few. The Ortofon X5 is fitted with the new, nude Fritz Gyger II diamond, with a shape and contact surface very close to the theoretical ideal, the profile of the record cutting stylus, The high end of the Ortofon X5 goes up to 45 kHz. The Moving System The advanced construction of the moving system and the employment of only the finest select components are two more significant factors in the audible superiority of the Ortofon X1, X3 and X5 over other High Output MC designs. The X Series moving system consists of diamond stylus, cantilever and armature with coils mounted to the damping system and suspension wire. The cross-shaped miniature armature for the coil windings offers dramatic improvements in channel separation. The armature is also extremely rigid with a shape which allows more windings than in conventional low output MC designs. The equivalent stylus tip mass of the X Series is kept at an absolute minimum to allow the cartridge to respond accurately and rapidly to variations in the music signal. This is achieved through the use of ultra-fine copper. Ortofon has been able to reduce the number of windings to less than half that of competitive High Output MC designs because of the high magnetic induction in the air gap. As a result of these efforts the X Series armature weighs a minuscule 0.0012 grams, with possibly the lowest equivalent stylus tip mass ever in a High output MC cartridge. The cantilever is tooled from lightweight, rigid aluminum and the damping system in all three X Series models consists of a layer of asymmetric butyl rubber to ensure the shortest possible distance to the magnet and good damping characteristics over the entire frequency range. The suspension wire is manufactured from piano wire-an Ortofon speciality-in an exclusive galvanic process mastered only by Ortofon. Details on the Ortofon MC3 Turbo The MC 3 Turbo takes high output moving coil (MC) cartridges a step further, with a high polished, nude fine line diamond. The MC 3 Turbo has a 3.3mV output, which is perfect for use with virtually any moving magnet (MM) phono preamps, included inbuilt models. The nude fine line diamond resolves a high level of detail and provides expansive stereo imaging. Jerry Raskin's Comments on the MC3 Turbo “The Ortofon MC 3 Turbo high output moving coil phono cartridge is a very satisfying performer. Its tight bass is detailed and thrilling. I found myself completely involved in the music. This cartridge has been a favorite of the Ortofon high output series for its neutrality and silky smooth performance.” Ortofon MC 3 Turbo Technical Data
Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec.: 3,3 mV
Channel balance at 1 kHz: < 1,5 dB
Channel separation at 1 kHz: > 24 dB
Channel separation at 15 kHz: >15 dB
Frequency range: 20-30.000 Hz
Frequency response: 20-20.000 Hz + 4 / - 1 dB
FIM distortion at recommended tracking force, DIN 45.542: < 1%
Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force: > 70 µm
For the price an absolute bargain. In a direct comparison with the stunning Cartridge Man Music Maker III this nice little cart actually holds it own. Set it tracking at 2g an be amazed by bass weight, liquid highs, presence and soundstage you wouldn't really imagine from a cart at this price point. My Moon Phono Stage allows to crank up the gain just a little (from 40db to 54db) which is a perfect match for the output of this cart. But I'm sure a conventional MM-setting would work as well.
Was this review helpful?
8/8/2013 9:15:00 am
Gotta concur w/ Ryan. The cart is a step-level improvement over my old AT 440 MLa as well. It sure likes the VPI Traveler tone-arm. Am still in break-in period (<6 hours) but it is absolutely painless to listen to already. Female vocals are beautifully defined, as is piano. Spun some old Beatles as well, very sweet. Save your bucks on the more expensive stuff.
Was this review helpful?
5/2/2013 5:55:00 am
I'm very pleased with this cartridge. I moved up from an AT 440 MLa. Wider soundstage, accurate bass, and nice, smooth high end in comparison. Great value!
Was this review helpful?
2/21/2011 12:32:00 am
Excellent! Deep Bass, crisp High range. Tracks very well , has great seperation. Been using this cartridge for years. Stands up to cartridges that cost hundreds more. I've compared. Overall excellent sound reproduction, excellent value.
Was this review helpful?
10/14/2010 6:32:00 pm
Very impressed by this cartridge. Smooth midrange and incredible bass - very controlled. Ortofon makes a solid cartridge. Upgraded from a 2m Red. A world of difference. Plus, this made it possible to make the moving coil jump without changing my preamp.