Posted on Thu, 14 Sep, 2017
Posted by Bob


Ortofon 2M Moving Magnet phono cartridges offer world class performance with price points to suit every dedicated vinyl enthusiast.

In the world of Hi-Fi, Ortofon is one of the great historic brands; with a history stretching back as far as 1918. Ortofon has carved an envious reputation over the decades for producing some of the world’s very finest phono cartridges and phono equipment.

Let’s take a look at the award winning Ortofon 2M range of Moving Magnet phono cartridges…

Ortofon 2M

Ortofon 2M Red

The Ortofon 2M Red (£84.95) is Ortofon’s “Entry Level” offering in the 2M range; what should be made clear though, is that in no way is the Ortofon 2M Red an “Entry Level” cartridge. Whilst many cartridge manufacturers tout warmed over designs which are 30, 40 or even 50 years old in fundamental design, the 2M range is firmly of the 21st Century.

Ortofon 2M Red

 

As with all the cartridges in the 2M range, the Ortofon 2M red utilises split pole pins for reduced eddy current and higher output, plus an easily removable and replaceable stylus tip. The 2M Red utilises a cost effective ‘tipped’ elliptical diamond stylus for excellent detail and resolution.

The 2M Red has collected numerous accolades such as Hi-Fi news “outstanding product” and a string of 4 and 4.5-star reviews from What Hi-Fi? Hi-Fi Choice and Tech Radar.

Ortofon 2M Blue

The Ortofon 2M Blue (£184.99) improves upon the 2M Red by replacing the “tipped” elliptical stylus of the 2M Red with a nude elliptical diamond stylus. This uses a whole diamond, which has been carefully shaped to an elliptical form and carries less mass than the tipped stylus.

 

Ortofon 2M Blue

 

The benefit of reduced mass is increased and more accurate transient response, a quality which earned the 2M Blue 5 star reviews from Hi-Fi Choice and Hi-Fi World who commented that the Ortofon 2M Blue offered, “exceptional insight and smoothness allied to fine tracking [the Ortofon 2M Blue] makes… a great buy for those seeking a modern sound”

Ortofon 2M Bronze

The Ortofon 2M Bronze (£265) marks the first major upgrade to the 2M cartridge architecture; an upgraded motor assembly with silver plated copper wire is employed, and is partly responsible for the greatly enhanced bandwidth and transparency. The 2M Bronze has a quoted response of 20Hz – 29kHz, remarkable for a phono cartridge.

 

Ortofon 2M Bronze

 

Additionally, the 2M Bronze features a nude fine-line stylus, which is the epitome of “traditional’ stylus shapes and construction. The fine-line stylus extracts greater information and detail from the grooves, whilst also reducing distortion and record wear.

Another award winner, What Hi-Fi commented in its “four-star” review that, “tonally [the Ortofon 2M Bronze] is highly neutral, with treble, midrange and bass being neatly balanced.”

Ortofon 2M Black

The Ortofon 2M Black represents the flagship Moving Magnet cartridge of Ortofon’s and the top player in the 2M range. In the 1970s, the short lived Quadraphonic record format required a new stylus shape to retrieve the very high-frequency information from those records.

Whilst Quadraphonic was a short-lived affair, the highly advanced “Shibata” stylus shape (taking its name from the Japanese physicist who invented it) lived on to provide the very finest in Stereo Vinyl reproduction. The 2M Black features a nude Shibata stylus for the very pinnacle in detailed vinyl reproduction (the 2M features HF reproduction up to an incredible 31kHz).

 

Ortofon 2M Black

 

What Hi-Fi gave the 2M Black a full “five-star” review, stating that of the cartridges on test, “The most transparent and detailed stylus here…handles subtlety well, with vocals especially possessing supreme inflexion and insight”. Similarly, Hi-Fi News awarded the 2M Black an “outstanding product” award, and boldly stated that the 2M black was, “…immediately engaging, sounding powerful and vivid… delivers a holographic imagery worthy of the most sophisticated vinyl replay systems”.

 

  • Stuart Garfield

    How easy is it to replace the stylus in a 2M? Can you upgrade by changing to the next level up stylus?

    • Audio Affair

      Hi – replacing the stylus is very straightforward, you simply pull it forward (very carefully of course with the stylus guard on) and push the new one in the same manner (in reverse). In some cases you can upgrade the existing cartridge by replacing the stylus with the next model stylus up – however – we dont recommend it, as there is often a lot more that goes into cartridge design as you progress up a range than the type of stylus being used on that model – and – in many cases it costs almost as much for the next model stylus up as it does for the next model cartridge up (all things considered) so its usually much better option all round to sell the model you’ve got on eBay as used and put the funds plus that little bit extra into the next model up (cartridge and stylus!) – hope that helps.

      • Stuart Garfield

        Thanks for the information and such a prompt response