Ortofon are one of the last remaining dedicated phono pick-up cartridge companies, and also one of the longest running. Thanks to their extensive experience, their current range boasts a wide variety of cartridges suited to a variety of budgets and music preferences, so are a must-visit brand when considering how to improve your vinyl record listening experience.
The difference a new cartridge can make to a vinyl-based hi-fi system is only rivalled by the upgrade of a whole new turntable. The cartridge is the device that reads the information within the vinyl groove, so is vitally important to the music quality you eventually hear. It therefore helps to understand what's on offer when purchasing a new model, and that's where this guide can help.
Ortofon is made up of three core ranges, which are easily understood by their use of a colour-coded naming system. The 2M moving magnet (MM)* and Quintet and Cadenza moving coil (MC)* ranges are split into four stereo models - Red, Blue, Bronze and Black (mono models are also available).
In addition to these ranges, Ortofon also continue to offer cartridges from their long-standing OM range, which are an ideal gateway into hi-fi sound, and also perfectly suited to tonearms that require a low-mass cartridge. At the other end of the scale, the Exclusive Series represents the very best of what is possible from a high-end pick-up cartridge.
Ortofon also continue to produce a number of replacement styli for historical Moving Magnet cartridges.
*To learn more about the differences between MM and MC cartridges, visit our information page here.
2M isn’t just another pretty face. It has been engineered to the highest standards and represents Ortofon’s unrelenting commitment to providing the most precise and accurate reproduction possible without colouration. Named after the abbreviation of moving magnet (MM) and shaped to match the facets of a diamond, each 2M model features class-leading technology and exceptional value.
The Quintet range approaches the affordable moving coil market in the same way as 2M approaches the moving magnet market. Offering incredible value and quality, each Quintet model features a special ABS body, neodymium magnets and low internal impedance for ease of set-up and use, making a great entry point into the world of moving coils.
The Cadenza range is considered amongst the best moving coils available today. Following on from Ortofon's iconic Kontrapunkt line, each model features a striking aluminium housing with recessed connectors for neat tonearm mounting. With other advances in the winding and generator system design, new heights have been achieved - making true high-end playback accessible to more vinyl lovers than ever before.
All the models in Ortofon’s 2M, Quintet and Cadenza ranges are distinguished by their colour. The colour represents not only each model's price position in the range but also its unique sonic characteristics. Below, the typical sound performance for each colour is described, in price-ascending order: