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Article Index
Ortofon A95 MC cartridge
Page 2
Sound Quality
Conclusion
Measured Performance
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   The A95 enters this market not in virginal form; it was preceded by the A90. It is an update on a concept – to refine the structure by removing superfluous bodywork, whilst stabilising the generator in a rigid frame that doesn’t move by any method, so not even the minutest signals are lost.
    The traditional way of doing this is by using a solid machined block as the body, but that increases weight to 10gms or so – not ideal: most arms can cope, some cannot and it adds mass to the headshell that impairs warp riding.
    By way of contrast the A95 is a slip of a thing that weighs 6gm – about as light as most arms can handle without the counterweight reaching the end of its forward travel on the rear arm stub. So it might cost a lot but, physically, you get a flyweight device.


    The body has tapped screw holes and screws are supplied, so fitment is easy enough. The signal pins are clearly colour coded too.
    The generator uses a powerful but light Neodymium magnet, and the signal coils are wound from gold plated oxygen free copper. A low permanence armature and Field Stabilising Element help reduce magnetic distortion, Ortofon say.
    To damp high frequency tip mass resonance, in order to achieve smooth treble, a ‘wide range damping system’ comprising a platinum disc and two rubber pads of differing properties are used – and our frequency response graph (see Measured Performance) does confirm this system works well, by the lack of peaking above 10kHz.
    A small, specially ground nude diamond stylus uses Ortofon’s own Replicant geometry for long groove contact and it is mounted in a boron rod cantilever.
    The tracking force range is quoted as 2gm-2.5gm, with 2.3gm recommended. In tracking tests I found moving from 2.3 to 2.5 made little difference so I used 2.3gm as recommended. It was mounted in our office steed, an SME309 arm attached to a Timestep Evo turntable.



 

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