In the forefront of the field of technology
In this newsletter we are focusing more on the technology than the heritage. We will also finish the article about the Ortofon measurement technique, of which the first part was published in the previous newsletter. In the second part of the article we will tell you about the quality control of the test system.
Our goal is to bring the cartridge in the forefront of the field of technology, in regard to the materials, the design, the magnetic systems and everything the cartridge comprises of. We use computer modeling for the cartridge design.
We apply modern measurement techniques when controling the finalized product. We use the Measurement system Analysis to ensure the quality and consistency of the Ortofon measurement system.
Christen H. Nielsen, CEO
We think the best way to pay the product and its technology respect is to perform a test of the cartridges on the basis of principles of Repeatability and Reproducibility.
A living part of our heritage is the SPU product range. We introduce a new TA-100 tonearm that combines the familiar looks and construction with a modern design. The new Ortofon TA-100 tonearm works ideally with all the SPU cartridges, but other cartridge-combinations are also possible.
Finally we believe that the accessories and support parts are a very important supplement to the main product, but it can be difficult to evaluate the application area and the quality of the support part. We, however, provide solutions for cables, lead wires, needle pressure weights, stroboscopes and transformers, and our customers can be assured in the quality of the product, as it is carrying the Ortofon logo.
Ortofon measurement technique, Part 2
Quality control of the test chain
To ensure the quality and consistency of the Ortofon measurement system, the Measurement System Analysis is run on a frequent basis. The necessary adjustments and improvements of the test system are consistently implemented in order to ensure the quality of the test system and its performance in accordance with Ortofon requirements and specifications.
The Measurement System Analysis (MSA) is a specially designed experiment targeting to identify the component(s) responsible for producing variables in the measurement. Like any other industrial technological process, the process of obtaining measurement data may vary, thus some measurement variations can occur. By applying the MSA Ortofon is able to:
- evaluate the test method
- evaluate measuring instruments
- evaluate the entire process of obtaining measurements
This ensures the integrity of the data applied for quality analysis. Finally Ortofon can understand the implications of measurement errors for the decision making process, whether it concerns product development or the test process.
The MSA is an important element of the Six Sigma methodology, which is a quality management system.
By using the MSA the efficiency of both equipment, operations, procedures, software and personnel is analyzed; that affects the assignment of a number to a measurement characteristic.
The MSA comprises of the following
- Selection of the correct measurement
- Assessment of measuring devices
- Assessment of technological processes
- Assessment of the entire measurement interactions
- Calculation of measurement uncertainty of the individual measurement devices and/or measurement systems
Factors, that may affect the measurement system, include among others:
- Equipment: measuring instruments, calibration, head shell etc
- People related: operators, training, education and skills, care
- Process: test methods, specifications
- Samples: materials, items to be tested etc
- Environment: temperature, humidity, conditioning, pre-conditioning
Repeatability and reproducibility
Ortofon applies the R&R (repeatability and reproducibility) gauge when testing the cartridges. Three operators test ten cartridges of one specific model e.g. the 2M Black, SPU Anniversary 90, Cadenza Bronze. The test set-up is different for each specific cartridge model.
Acc. to ASTM E691 Standard Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method, at least ten operators or laboratories have to be involved in the testing in order to capture the reproducibility errors.
As for the measurements of the same cartridges, two or three operators will provide a very reliable result. In order to capture repeatability errors, each operator measures the same cartridge several times. Each measurement cycle of an individual cartridge includes a set of defined operations, incl. mounting and dismounting of the cartridge on the tonearm in the measurement system.
Test of the test process
Each of the three Ortofon operators tests each of the ten cartridges three times, meaning that each cartridge is tested nine times by three different skilled operators. A typical Ortofon operator has more than 5 years experience and routine in assembling/disassembling cartridges. In short, the test of the test system, as part of the industrial production, is a demanding process, where Ortofon works within the Repeatability and Reproducibility strategy, meaning that the variations in ALL parts of the measurement system will be minimised, if not eliminated entirely.
TA-100 - the new Ortofon 9-inch statically balanced tonearm
The new Ortofon TA-100 tonearm combines familiar looks and construction with a modern design, where the emphasis is placed on rigorous quality and maximization of the performance.
It is a static balanced gimbal type arm, which makes it easy to use and adjust for optimal VTF settings. Equipped with a standard headshell connector, the TA-100 can easily be adjusted in accordance with the included mounting template.
The TA-100 has a standard 5-pin DIN connector for the tonearm cable.
Last but not least the TA-100 works ideally with all SPU cartridges.
The standard counterweight for cartridges between 18 and 28 g. is included the TA-100 package.
However, the heavier counterweight is also important for SPU-users and can be acquired separately.
The tonearm geometry allows for a Baerwald alignment (also the IEC recommendations).
Tonearm-cartridge resonance frequency can easily be held within the recommended limits taking the variety of the available Ortofon headshells into consideration. Their different masses together with the cartridge properties give a wide range of headshell and cartridge combinations with the TA-100. Please see the examples below:
LH-9000: All Cadenza types, MC A90
LH-8000: Jubilee, MC Windfeld and 2M Black / 2M Bronze
LH-6000: Rohmann and MC A90
LH-2000: All Rondo types, MC A90 and all High Output types
SH: 2M Blue / 2M Red, OM 5E, OM M250D and OM 78
Please note that the combinations above are a guideline only, other combinations are of course also possible!
- Effective mass 5g
- Effective length (distance between the stylus and pivot point): 231mm
- Length (Distance between the pivot point and turntable center): 213mm
- Offset angle: 23,9 degrees
- Overhang: 18mm
- Tracking force adjusting range ( direct reading): 0 to 5g
- Height adjustment range: 35mm to 55mm
- Diameter of the armbase mounting hole: 19mm to 20mm
- Diameter of center shaft: 18mm
- Optional counterweight for heavier cartridge between 26 and 38g is available
- Standard counterweight for cartridges between 18 and 28 g included
- One set of cables 6NX-TSW-1010 included
- Headshell LH-2000E included
High Definition Quality of cartridge leadwires
In cooperation with a high-quality audio cable maker Ortofon succeeded in producing ultra high performance audio cables. Following countless listening sessions of many different types of music, the cartridge lead wire was selected as the best performer among numerous configurations of test cables made from the best materials available.
LW-800S is the most sophisticated lead wires composed of a pure silver and silver coated wire. The nature of the silver wire, silver coated wire transmits the very clear high tone signals, it brings the brilliant tonality. The end of wire is fastened by a rohdium plated terminal.
- 4N Pure Silver wire: 3 x φ 0.26mm
- Silver plated OFC wire: 16 x φ0.10mm
LW-7N is the hybird lead wire made of ultra high purity copper wire of 7N and 6 N. As there is no foreign particle other than copper 7N (99.99999 % purity) in the wire, the music signal is transmitted without any noise. The end of the wire is fastened by a rohdium plated terminal.
- High purity Cu wire 7NCu: 3 x φ 0.26mm
- High purity Cu wire 6NCu: 16 x φ0.10mm
LW-6N is the 6N lead wire made of ultra high purity copper wire. The configuration is very sofisticated with a different diameter of wire strand, the inside strand which winds clockwise and the outside strand which winds counterclockwise. The tight winding of the strands against each other makes the clear transmission of music signals. Clear and crisp tonality. The end of the wire is fastened by a gold plated terminal.
- High purity Cu wire 6NCu: 7 x φ 0.18mm (Right strands)
- High purity Cu wire 6NCu: 17 x φ 0.10mm (Left strands)
The Cadenza series were tested in German Stereo February 2010:
Cadenza Red : outstanding (überragend)
Cadenza Blue: very well (sehr gut)
Cadenza Bronze: very well (sehr gut)
Cadenza Black: excellent (exzellent)
Cadenza Blue was tested in the UK hi-fi news & Record Review March 2010, and the verdict was: On the evidence of this model, it looks as if Ortofon really has improved on its excellent Kontrapunkts. If you want something to make your system sound more cuddly and rounded, the Blue is not for you. But if you want a cartridge that gives you detail, space, integrity, and vitality, and fresh insights into every old-favorite LP you put on, the Cadenza Blue will do just fine. It’ll be hard to beat at that price.
Cadenza Red was tested in UK Hi-fi Choice March 2010. And the verdict was: 20 stars out of 20. The sound can be a little bright at times, but that’s really the only drawback and there is much to admire in the excellent bass, fine detail, and unfussy presentation, especially in tricky music.
In the Newsletter to come
- New products
- MC Refresher Rondo
- Interview with Leif Johannsen, CO of Acoustics and Technology