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Ortofon 2M Bronze 2M Black

Article Index
Ortofon 2M Bronze 2M Black
Sound Quality
Conclusion
Measured Performance
GOLDRING 2400 RIVAL
All Pages

From Hi-Fi World - November 2007 issue

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M Factor

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Ortofon's brand new 2M Bronze and Black moving magnet cartridges sound very different to one another, and indeed to the other 2Ms, finds Noel Keywood...

 

Only the other day a DVD case was tossed casually onto my Garrard 401 plinth by my young son, sliding to a halt beneath the Kontrapunkt b stylus. It missed by a hair’s breadth. I don’t know how this stylus has managed to survive for so long; it’s avoided its seemingly inevitable fate with the adroitness of a nine-life cat. If you want to avoid the financial fear of replacing a Kontrapunkt stylus, a quality moving magnet cartridge is perhaps the answer, as replacing its stylus is quick and affordable. To make choices in this somewhat limited field easier, Ortofon have just released yet another two brand new high quality moving magnet cartridges that satisfy such a role: the 2M Black priced at £350 and the 2M Bronze at £200.

 

Regular readers will know I’m fond of Goldring’s 1000 Series cartridges, for their accuracy coupled with fine dynamics and exciting presentation. The top 1042, price £165, with its Fritz Geiger S stylus has been a favourite of mine for years, but it’s an old design now. It is against this cartridge that Ortofon are pitching their new Ortofon 2M Bronze, as its price is close. Neither is a big spend by modern hi-fi standards, yet this is about as good as moving magnet cartridges get.


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At least, that was the case until Ortofon decided that above the Bronze, with its Fine Line elliptical nude diamond stylus, they would place the Black, tipped with a Shibata nude diamond stylus, as used on their £1,100 Jubilee. The stylus change comes with quite a price hike - to £350 no less.

 

Both cartridges come in modest packaging, by Shure and Stanton standards anyway. The cartridge itself is screwed to a thin, moulded plastic base, protected by a push-on clear cover, this package being protected by a cardboard outer box. Accessories included are a simple plastic stylus force gauge, stylus fluff removal brush, mini screwdriver and small instruction book. The only screws with ours were those holding the cartridge to the packing, which were just long enough to be used in a Rega arm. As the cartridge has tapped, blind fixing holes 5mm deep, screw length must be chosen carefully to span headshell thickness and accommodate this hole depth. So with a 3mm thick headshell a screw of 6-8mm would be needed - no more and no less.

 

Weighing 7gms, the cartridges are light, but safely within the common headshell weight range of 5-10gms, so all arms will accept these units and balance out. Parallel sides aid alignment in the headshell, critical in keeping distortion down, but the small front face is little help in this process. A clunky looking oblong body like that of Nagaoka’s MP11 is best in this respect, but Ortofon would doubtless prefer to avoid 1970s design functionality.

 

I was a little surprised to be told that the Bronze and Black have higher cantilever hinge compliance (22um/mN) than the less expensive Blue and Red (20um/mN), which I reviewed in our May 07 issue, so lower tracking force must be used: Ortofon recommend 1.5gms optimum, and a range of 1.4-1.7gms. It’s usually best to err on the higher side; I used 1.7gms.


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