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Ortofon Newsletter



HiFi Newsletter - 2009-10

Welcome to the new Ortofon Hi-Fi newsletter

With the advent of the Internet it has now become possible to communicate directly with the end-users of our products all over the world.

It is our hope that this newsletter will keep you updated on our products, the way we work and on Ortofon as a company in general.

Ortofon is a unique mixture of heritage and new technology. With this Hi-Fi newsletter we aim to support the first and keep you up-to-date on the latter. 

We keep you updated on the Ortofon products!

CHN webkomprimeret NL 03

Christen H. Nielsen, CEO

Ortofon today: heritage and modern technology

Last year we celebrated the 90th anniversary of Ortofon as a company and as a company working with acoustics and sound. Ortofon has a long history and a rich heritage, but the important point is to have something to offer today’s consumer. It is therefore our ambition to offer an attractive proposition to today’s customers, as well as preserve our rich technological heritage. We preserve our heritage by continuously investing in technology and product development and thus introducing new cartridges, like we have just done with the Cadenza Series and the MC A90.

Today Ortofon represents the essence of a niche company. We have manufacturing facilities and R&D located in Denmark and we are globally active on three markets:

  • The analog hi-fi market with cartridges, accessories, tonearms and cables.
  • The DJ market with cartridges, headphones and accessories.
  • The Business-to-Business market, where we supply components and parts to the hearing aid and medico industry.

It is our strategy to have competences in acoustics, materials, vibration, simulations, fine mechanicals and networking. We have a strong portfolio of partners and suppliers, and believe that the way forward for a small- to medium-sized company is by focusing and networking. We are focusing on these competences and networking globally, which we believe will bring us in the forefront.

Through this newsletter we want to stay in touch with our customers, tell you what is happening at Ortofon and keep you up-to-date with our product portfolio


The Cadenza is now available

altaltCadenza Bluealtalt

The new Ortofon flagship line Cadenza Series, consisting of five models, was first shown at the Munich High End Show last May. Shipments of these new cartridges started the following August. Consequently, the Candenza cartridges are now available in Hi-fi shops. The Cadenza sets new standards for fine mechanical precision and moves the Ortofon sound accuracy yet another step further. The series also includes a mono version.

The first review appeared in UK, Hi-fi World in August, featuring the Cadenza Blue and Bronze. And the verdict was: Wonderful sound from two great moving coil cartridges, both able to give astonishing results from LP. Breathtakingly good."

More info about the Cadenzas will follow in the newsletters to come. Meanwhile, visit our Cadenza Series pages for general information and technical details.


2M Series – Red and Blue

2M red2m blue

Introduced in 2007, the Ortofon 2M Series of Moving Magnet cartridges have easily become one of our most well-received products in recent history. Far from just another MM cartridge, the 2Ms have raised the bar for cartridges in the price range of below $1000. In fact, thousands of 2Ms have been sold since their introduction with an abundance of fanfare from audio publications and aficionados alike.

Coming from a legacy of famous magnetic cartridges (such as the famous Super OM series and the respectable and well-known VMS cartridges), the engineering of the 2M Series to provide a measurable increase in performance was no small feat. Improved generator systems were developed as the core of the cartridge, raising the output voltage to 5.0 to 5.5mV (which provides similar amplitude of line-level sources). The top two models in the line, the 2M Bronze and 2M Black, were also outfitted with silver-plated copper wire along with optimized engines to compliment their use of exotic stylus profiles, bringing out more detail with powerful dynamic capabilities. In order to provide an optimum compatibility (specifically with modern contemporary tonearm designs), the weight of the cartridge body has been increased to 7.2 grams along with a completely redesigned suspension. Additional improvements to the internal damping is provided through the use of a newly-developed Noryl plastic/glass combination – a revolutionary new material that ensures high rigidity while eliminating unwanted resonances. The result of these efforts has yielded an outstanding performance; the 2M Blue is described by HiFi World’s Noel Keywood as having “…the freshest delivery I’ve ever heard, short of a moving coil.”   

Finally, a redesign of the cartridge body made by the Danish designer Møller Jensen was in order, bringing the aesthetics of the 2M Series into the 21st century. Inspired by the facets of the very diamonds whose contours gracefully trace the grooves on a record’s surface, the 2M’s handsome elegance establishes a great combination of form and functionality. Its unique cosmetics are a perfect compliment to the 2M series, providing visual characteristics which are equally appealing as its sonic character.

The 2M Red and 2M Blue, although moderately priced, deliver an extremely high price-to-performance ratio for general purpose playback of all musical genres. Perfect for casual listeners of vinyl, the 2M Red uses an Elliptical stylus. The 2M Blue dons a Nude Elliptical diamond, which provides longer life, more revealing detail and more open high-end frequency response. Neil Gader of The Absolute Sound, one of the many proponents of the 2M Series, even remarked, “[the 2M Red] is one sophisticated and musical cartridge – for the price of a nice dinner for two”. At their fairly modest prices, the 2M Red and Blue won’t serve as a replacement for true high-end cartridges, but they do make it very possible for even budgeted audiophiles to be able to enjoy the realistic, lifelike and harmonically infused sound that vinyl can provide.


Ortofon accessories  

Ortofon offers the analog hi-fi user three main product categories: cartridges, tonearms and cables. Additionally, Ortofon offers a range of useful accessories, that we will present in this and in the upcoming newsletters. In this newsletter we will present some of our headshells.


Ortofon headshells

Ortofon offers a range of headshells with SME mount. They are especially designed by Ortofon to enhance the sonic experience with an Ortofon cartridge. The headshells are quality made from a manufacturer of precision equipment in Japan. They all have copper headshell cables with gold covered contacts.

LH 2000

Solid aluminum build   
Weight: 12 grams
Mount distance min 32.5 mm max 41.9 mm 


LH 6000

Made from magnesium
Weight: 13.5 grams
Mount distance min 37.2 mm max 42.5 mm


LH 8000

Japanese oaktree with Urushi lacquer finish
Weight: 8.5 grams
Mount distance min 32.5 mm max 41.9 mm


LH 9000

Magnesium with carbon fiber
Weight: 16.8 grams


A brief history of Ortofon

1918   9th of October: the Electrical Phono Film Company is founded by Axel Petersen (1887-1971) and Arnold Poulsen (1889-1952) with the objective of developing one of the world’s first synchronized sound film system.
1923   12th of October: the first sound film recorded indoors is shown at the Palace Theatre, Copenhagen.
1924   In March the world’s first sound film recorded outdoors is made.
1938-44   During this period microphones, dynamic compressors, oscillographs, optical instruments and similar equipment & accessories are developed.
1946   The first mono cutterhead for the gramophone industry is developed. The cutterhead is revolutionary in that the level of registration of the oscillations is raised 5 kHz to 14 kHz.
1948   The world’s first Moving Coil cartridge is engineered with characteristics that match the quality level of the cutterhead.
1951   Ortofon A/S is established as a trading company under Fonofilm Industri A/S. The name Ortofon derives from the Greek words “orto” (meaning "correct") and “fon” (meaning "sound").
1957   In the transition from mono to stereo, Ortofon develops stereo cutterheads.
1957-59   During these years Ortofon develops its legendary SPU stereo cartridge.
1959   The SPU is launched. The target audience is primarily professionals, e.g. the Danish State Broadcasting Company, the Swedish State Broadcasting Company and Deutsche Grammophon.
1969   The first magnetic cartridge, the M-15, constructed on the VMS generating system is launched.
1970   The production facility is moved into a new factory in Nakskov, Denmark.
1979   Ortofon receives the Danish Industrial Design Award for its Low Mass Concorde integrated cartridge/headshell configuration.
1980   The Instrument Department is established with the objective of developing and producing advanced measuring equipment for the audio industry.
1983   A subsidiary company, Ortofon Inc., is established in Plainview, New York.
1984   Scan Micro, Ortofon’s B2B facility, is established as a separate division.
1987   A subsidiary company, Ortofon Japan Co. Ltd., is established in Tokyo, and simultaneously the Moving Coil MC 3000 is introduced.
1989   The SPU Reference and the MC 2000 II/3000 II are introduced.
1990   Ortofon introduces the world’s first 99,99999 % (7N) Superpure Copper Cables for Audio- and Speaker Application.
1992   The SPU Meister is introduced to celebrate Mr. Robert Gudmandsen’s  50th anniversary working for Ortofon.
1998-99   Ortofon obtains a leading position within manufacturing of (DJ) scratch cartridges.
2002   The Kontrapunkt series is launched.
2004   The MC Rondo series is launched. The MC Tango, MC Samba and MC Salsa have been a direct result of Ortofon endeavours.
2005   The Ortofon Concorde Q.Bert cartridge, co-developed by one of the most legendary DJs of all time, is introduced.
2006   Production further extends to TBE/B2B
2007   The 2M, which is the abbreviation for 2 x moving magnet is introduced. The 2M series, consisting of 2M Red, Blue, Bronze and Black, was engineered to the highest standards and is congruent with the unrelenting commitment of Ortofon to provide the most precise and accurate reproduction possible without coloration.

- Ortofon celebrates it's 90th anniversary
- This year MC Windfeld is launched, newly developed using state-of-the-art technology. This highly advanced design may be seen as a tribute to the departing engineer of Ortofon Per Windfeld, who for more than 30 years has been a feature of the high-end culture as head of the companies R&D.

2009   - The launch of the Cadenza series.
- Ortofon wins the HBH marketing award for its DJ marketing. It is the most prestigious marketing award in Denmark, previously awarded to companies with innovative marketing strategies.
- The introduction of the Ortofon DJ Headphones.


In the Newsletter to come

  • Measuring techniques
  • The history of the company
  • New products