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The MC Anna from Ortofon is a luxury high-end moving coil cartridge in Ortofon's premium Exclusive Series cartridge range. This state-of-the-art product, representative of numerous Ortofon design elements and ideals, is truly capable of the highest degree of performance possible from a premium analogue hi-fi system.
The story behind the MC Anna cartridge
Ortofon has a long tradition of paying tribute to persons who have been highly influential within high-end audio culture, with models like SPU Meister, MC Rohmann, Kontrapunkt and the MC Windfeld they take inspiration from important figures to engineer premium audio products. With the MC Anna and flagship MC Anna Diamond, Ortofon has dedicated their flagship design to the operatic soprano Anna Netrebko, a virtuoso whose performance displays a formidable technical arsenal of endless versatility. With such an iconic figure in mind, the MC Anna was destined to make use of Ortofon’s finest technologies and materials.
The housing of the MC Anna is made using Ortofon’s pioneering SLM technique. In production, fine particles of Titanium are welded together, layer-by-layer, to construct a single piece body devoid of unnecessary material. Using this technique, the density of the body can be precisely controlled, allowing for extremely high internal damping. The final result provides absolute freedom from resonance, allowing the MC Anna to perfectly suit a wide array of high-end tonearms.
The finest technologies and material choices
Arguably one of the most significant advancements in the MC Anna is the dramatically higher efficiency magnet system, for which Ortofon has a patent pending. This greatly optimized geometry combined with choice materials like neodymium and iron-cobalt offers an unprecedented consistency of the flux density within the system’s air gap. Due to an increase of active material inside of the magnet system, the magnetic field strength is delivered more uniformly, allowing each coil to sense identical flux density regardless of its position. Because of this, dynamics and impulse linearity are preserved to an overwhelming extent.
The use of this optimized magnet system allows for the use of a lightweight, non-magnetic armature, which also provides noteworthy benefit to the dynamic capability of the MC Anna.
The reason for this is that the high-tech polymer-based armature does not alter the magnetic field during movement. Hence when combined with ultra-pure oxygen-free copper coil wire, it delivers perfect reproduction of the cantilever movements without compromise. Because the magnet system delivers a tremendous magnetic flux density, the need for design compromises is effectively eliminated. The magnet system has also allowed for more spaciousness within the air gap, allowing for coil windings to be done completely independent of each other, without any overlap or interaction between them. The armature then extends beyond the coils, interfacing directly with the rubber dampers, which sandwich a small heavy disc of platinum. This Wide Range Damping (WRD) system offers more consistent movement with zero unwanted resonance.
The cumulative result of these improvements simply delivers more lifelike reproduction, with nearly boundless imaging, dimensionality, and dynamics.
The best of the best
Like other Exclusive Series cartridges, the MC Anna makes use of the company’s best stylus profile. The specially polished Ortofon Replicant 100 diamond stylus profile boasts a thin and light shape, with an impressively long vertical contact surface making it as close as possible to an original record cutting stylus as possible. Cosmetically, the shape of the cartridge is unique to the MC Anna and the side profile is adorned with the "MC Anna" logo. The bottom section of the cartridge has been constructed from a special proprietary Thermo-Plastic Elastomer (TPE) material, which provides additional damping properties.
The MC Anna presents one of the most comprehensive, detailed soundstages available at any price. It is also made to be relatively easy to partner with a wide-range of tonearms and turntables.
With an output impedance of 6Ω and a low-to-medium output voltage of 0.2mV, the MC Anna Diamond is easy to partner with most phono pre-amps and step-up transformers – including Ortofon’s own ST-80 SE model. It’s also an ideal match for high-mass, high-precision tonearms with gimbal bearing systems. Supplied in a luxury case made with Japanese wood, accompanied by a comprehensive user booklet and maintenance kit, the MC Anna is a truly prestigious piece of hi-fi.
|Output Voltage (at 1kHz, 5cm/sec):||0.2mV|
|Channel Balance at 1kHz:||0.5dB|
|Channel Separation at 1kHz:||25dB|
|Channel Separation at 15kHz:||22dB|
|Frequency Response 20Hz - 20kHz:||± 1.5dB|
|Tracking Ability at 315Hz:||Typically 80μm|
|Compliance, Dynamic, Lateral:||9μm / mN|
|Stylus Type:||Nude Ortofon Replicant 100
(Special Polished Version)
|Stylus Tip Radius r / R:||5 / 100μm|
|Recommended Tracking Force:||2.6g (26mN)|
|Internal Impedance / DC Resistance:||6Ω|
|Recommended Load Impedance:||> 10Ω|
|Cartridge Body Material:||SLM Titanium|
|Cartridge Colour:||Black / Silver|
Moving Coil (MC) cartridges generate an electrical signal by moving a tightly wound coil between two magnets. The movement is created by the cantilever, which houses the diamond stylus at its end and rides within the modulations of a record groove.
As opposed to Moving Magnet (MM) cartridges, MC designs are more difficult to produce - but often result in a more nuanced sound. For that reason, they are also often more expensive and boast better components than MM designs.
For more on cartridge technology, read our informative article.
Cartridge installation takes time and requires a level of understanding for the turntable/tonearm you are fiiting to. We've created a comprehensive guide, available here, which will help you through each step of the procedure.
The Ortofon Moving Coil Cartridge Exchange Scheme is designed to help existing Ortofon customers update or renew their Moving Coil cartridge in a much more cost-effective way.
Through the scheme, Ortofon offer a trade-in value for the current range of moving coil cartridges, as well as an extensive list of discontinued models. Through this program, we are able to help customers upgrade, replace or slightly downgrade their current phono cartridge in a more economical way than usual.
As with any cartridge, setup is absolutely crucial in order to ensure the best sound reproduction capabilities. Although there are many valid paradigms that exist with regard to cartridge setup, Ortofon does not endorse a specific methodology and encourages users to explore the options as suggested by their high end audio dealer, including professional setup.
In addition to alignment, consideration must be made to adjust azimuth, anti-skating and VTA in order to maximize the potential performance of any high end cartridge. We recommend antiskating to be set according to recommended tracking force.
VTA / SRA
With a complex stylus shape like the Replicant 100, there must be special attention paid to VTA settings. The MC Anna, much like other cartridges in Ortofon’s Exclusive series, has a VTA of 23 degrees. The Stylus Rake Angle (SRA) is very important to the performance of the Replicant 100 stylus, and the long contact surface (the sharp edge) of the diamond should be close to perpendicular to the record surface when viewed from the side. A perfect starting point is always to set the arm to be parallel to the record’s surface during playback with recommended VTF, and then to optimize the SRA by making slight adjustments to tonearm height and VTF, both of which have a measurable impact on SRA.
Please correlate the colour code for the terminals on the drawing with the colour coding on the cartridge. The terminals for right and left channel have the same position as normal for Ortofon cartridges. We recommend to mount the enclosed leadwires on cartridge and tonearm before aligning and calibrating the cartridge.
Although the MC Anna will provide top reproduction right out of the box, the cartridge may slightly change character during the first tens of hours of use. This is completely normal and you may, in fact, find that this adds further refinement to your listening experience.
Ortofon does not recommend the use of solvents of any kind for cleaning of either the record surface or stylus. If necessary, records may be washed in lukewarm demineralized water with a dash of sulphonic soap. Remove dust carefully from record surfaces by using a fine antistatic brush or cloth before every use. The use of solvents on the stylus and cantilever may damage stylus cement; interior parts of the cartridge can be affected seriously by the intrusion of solvents.
The Ortofon warranty will not be valid in cases where such treatment has caused malfunction. For cleaning the stylus, use the enclosed fiber brush a few times along the cantilever in the direction of the stylus, whenever you play a new record or change sides. Record care should also be performed regularly and is of paramount importance to prolong the life and condition of the stylus. Because of this, a record cleaning machine may be considered for ease and quality of record cleaning.
With proper care we find that up to 1000 hours is possible without degradation of performance. The stylus does begin to exhibit changes after 1000 hours, but the stylus life as a whole is expected to top 2000 hours.
Proper care comprises the following key principles:
Stylus protection guard
The stylus guard provided for MC Anna is designed to be easily replaced and removed without risking contact to the fragile stylus assembly. To avoid accidental damage to the stylus or cantilever please mount the enclosed stylus guard onto the cartridge whenever the cartridge is not in use. The stylus guard should also be attached during mounting or removal of the cartridge.
The stylus guard is simply removed by holding the sides between the thumb and forefinger and pulling straight along the orientation of the cartridge. Affixing the stylus guard is of course accomplished by doing the reverse, yet still using a straight movement.
For more help and advice visit our Tech Support section
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