Thursday, 19 March 2015

Ortofon Quintet Bronze cartridge review - full test

Ortofon have always been one of the most active manufactures in the analogue world. Frequent new ranges keep things fresh and yet they will reincarnate models or keep favourites on if the demand is there.

The Quintet replaces the Rondo range, which was a force to be reckoned with in it's own right .. but the Quintet has certainly moved things forward a couple of notches. It's body is made from a special ABS material  (Acrylonitrile/Butadiene/Styrene) which is extremely light and durable and perfect for the purpose. Neodymium magnets are used due to their small size to power ratio which allows excellent output.

Recent Ortofons ... (2M and Rondo I'm looking at you!) have been tricky to fit to some headshells, due mainly to large size and curved edges which are tricky to align. The Quintet is much easier as it is slab sided, but still large and unusually deep.

Listening was done on a Linn Sondek with Ittok arm as this is a common home for mid range Ortofons. We also briefly tried it in a Rega RP6 .. and more of this later

In the Ittok the Bronze is easy to align (as described earlier) but did require a little manipulation of the cartridge tags to allow it to sit far enough back in the headshell. Once in we set the tracking force to the recommended 2.3g for starters and played a few albums. First impression were very good, fairly quiet surface noise on even some quite old vinyl, Ortofon have used this 'Nude Fine Line' tip before and it always impresses with it's tracking ability.

Ortofons of old could be a little brittle at the top end, some customers of ours seem to still remember this and keep clear of them for that reason ...but the range hasn't had a bright sounding model for a lot of years, so it's a shame that they can get overlooked.

The Bronze has a much more expansive sound than the lesser models in the range, treble is sweeter and bass much more extended. Generally the Bronze performs above the level you would expect at this price, not actually too far behind a Lyra Delos which was next up for evaluation ... The Bronze was equally as detailed and had similar scale .. but lost out to the Lyra on pure musicality, the Bronze gives you everything on the record .. but not quite the 'soul'  ... but at half of the price this is excellent value!

VTA doesn't seem to be too much of an issue .. unlike some designs.. but due to it's tall body it does only just fit a Rega arm without bottoming out on the record .. so you may prefer to add some spacers to compensate for this.

We've always been big fans of Ortofon and it seems that the Quintet Bronze is another absolute gem

To see the range - click here

or ring us on 01270 580734

Technical Data:

Output Voltage (at 1kHz, 5cm/sec):
Channel Balance at 1kHz: <1.2dB
Channel Separation at 1kHz: >23dB
Channel Separation at 15kHz: >15dB
Frequency Range (at -3dB): 20 Hz - 25 kHz
Frequency Response 20Hz - 20kHz:
± 1.5dB
Tracking Ability at 315Hz:
Compliance, Dynamic, Lateral: 15μm / mN
Stylus Type: Nude Fine Line
Stylus Tip Radius r / R: 8 / 40μm
Tracking Force Range: 2.1 - 2.5g (21 - 25mN)
Recommended Tracking Force: 2.3g (23mN)
Tracking Angle: 20º
Internal Impedance / DC Resistance:
Recommended Load Impedance:
Cartridge Body Material:
Cartridge Colour: Bronze
Cartridge Weight: 9g

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Atlas cable with Naim Audio

We visited a good customer of ours recently to have a listen to his system.... The set up is all Naim, playing into Focal 937Be with two Sunfire subs. The slight difference to the norm here is that the all the interconnects and speaker cable are sourced from Atlas. Originally the supplied Naim leads were used, then the interconnects were swapped for Chord, which were then swapped again for Naim Hi-Line....and ultimately after some intensive listening are now all Atlas .. even the speaker cable. The Atlas cable has a much more natural presentation without losing the raw energy that the Naim cables have.

For more information on Atlas interconnects click here

For more information on Atlas Speaker cables click here

Or call us on 01270 580734

Monday, 9 March 2015

Lyra Delos now in stock

If you have ever tried to order a Lyra cartridge, you will be aware of the incredibly long waiting lists!

Well here's a newsflash... we have stock of Lyra Delos!

Ask about trading in your old cartridge

But you'll have to be quick!

Link to Lyra prices

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Van Den Hul First Ultimate - for sale

Van Den Hul First Ultimate Mk2 interconnect

Finishing on Ebay today