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SPU Cartridges

For the most refined sound from your turntable and record collections, an SPU cartridge provides just that. Characterised by a rich bass and heightened levels of transparency in the midrange, SPU or Stereo Phono Pickup's from Ortofon and are available in ten different high performance variations. Each one designed to give a detailed playback with expert craftmanship.

Designed in 1958 by Robert Gundmansen, a long standing veteran of Ortofon, the SPU is one of the first stereo phono cartridges. The SPU or Stereo Pick Up cartridge had little competition when it was first developed and was way ahead of what other cartridges were offering. With a rich history of providing turntable upgrades for over 60 years, Ortfon SPU models to this day still keep the basic aesthetics, original design and original construction elements of the magnetic circuit fully intact.

The name Stereo Pick-Up comes from the name "pick-up" as phono cartridges were originally referred to as. These cartridges were developed due to the popularity in stereo records, which needed a different type of cartridge for audio reproduction. A key feature of the SPU is the universal headshell mounting system which can be integrated with any tonearms, allowing for complete versatility. 

In developing the SPU, Ortofon created a stereo cutter head for record mastering and transducers to meet the standards of the day. The brand also specialised in a nickel painting process which became a fundamental part of the SPU. This cantilever and armature used in the suspension of the oscillating system has never been beaten by any other cartridge manufacturer and remains instrumental to the success of these cartridges.

The design of the SPU cartridges remained the same for over 20 years however in 1980, a luxury model for the connoisseur was introduced called the SPU Gold. This  cartridge had a mahogany box and 34 carat gold name plate within the box. Nine years later the SPU Gold Reference was introduced, and utilised the Replicant stylus which provided unparalleled detail of sound.

Hitting the 90's, the SPU cartridge was created in celebration of Mr Gundmandsen's time at Ortofon. It features a wooden box of noble tree and increased output of 75% due to a new Neodymium magnetic circuit. Next came the SPU Royal N, SPU A and GM models in 1998, with the Royal model featuring half inch adaptor for improved flexibility.

The 85th, 90th and 95th anniversary models celebrated the success of the SPU cartridges and incorporated new technologies such as AUCURUM, patent-pending magnetic system, FSE system, and SLM. These models also worked on improving internal damping and reducing unwanted vibrations in the cartridge.

In modern day, Ortofon introduced the PU #1 S and SPU #1 in 2016, SPU Wood A using Japanese Beech wood in 2017, and the SPU Century in 2018 to celebrate 100 years of expert research and manufacturing. Today the use of the Nude Shibata diamond stylus and CNC milled housing provides the SPU cartridge with a sound reproduction that is unsurpassed in its finely detailed, full-bodied and powerful music range.

SPU Cartridges

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