The Cadenza Series of high-end Moving Coil (MC) cartridges was born out of the success of Ortofon's Kontrapunkt and MC Jubilee models. Though these models are amongst the most popular Ortofon has ever produced, the Danish cartridge masters still decided to develop a new range that was even more ambitious.
The name Cadenza comes from the Italian word for cadence, and refers to the section in a concert where the orchestra stops playing, leaving the soloist to play alone in free time without a strict, regular pulse. A Cadenza can be written or improvised, but it's usually the most elaborate and virtuosic part the solo instrument plays during the whole piece. It therefore seemed fitting that such a capable and nuanced cartridge series should use the same name.
By carefully implementing cobalt-iron pole pieces, using new improved winding processes on the armature, and employing an extruded aluminium housing - amongst other changes - the Cadenza Series is able to out-perform all those that came before it. Like other modern ranges, the Cadenza Series is structured in Ortofon's preferred colour-tier nomenclature; so there are Red, Blue, Bronze, Black and Mono (White) variants available to suit varying budgets and tastes.
As with all modern Ortofon ranges, the introductory cartridge in the Cadenza Series is the Red model. The Cadenza Red is a stylish, high-quality cartridge that boasts a nude fine line stylus with a cylindrical aluminium cantilever. The stylus tip radius is r/R 8/40µm, allowing the diamond to a read significant amount of the recorded information. The internal coils are made from 6NX (99.9999%) pure silver wire for optimal signal generation, and the improved winding process on the armature allows a better channel balance for good stereo imaging.
The Cadenza Red delivers a sound performance that is open and dynamic, with a touch of warmth. It is more relaxed, homogeneous and moderately dynamic when compared to the Cadenza Blue. It also has a great space and depth in the stereo image. All-in, it is a very capable high-end cartridge.
- Delivers open, dynamic sound with a touch of warmth
- Relaxed, homogeneous and moderately dynamic with great space and depth in the stereo image
- Internal coils made from 6NX (99.9999%) pure silver wire
- Stainless steel aluminium cartridge body
- Nude Fine Line stylus profile with cylindrical aluminium cantilever
Hi-Fi News, Yearbook 2012
Score: 'Outstanding Product'
Comments of Note:
"From the start, the Cadenza Red dispensed an air of calm serenity. It was tonally neutral, with a smooth and natural mid and treble."
"It never sounded forced or hurried, but in its unstressed manner made you want to carry on listening."
"'Sultans of Swing' became a well-balanced, truly rocking performance too. The bass was not heavy but seemed absolutely solid, while the drumming had urgency and precision."
"The Cadenza Red has something approaching the outstanding qualities of Ortofon's pricier Cadenza Blue. It gives a convincing impression of correct balance and proportion, and promises longterm listening satisfaction."
Hi-Fi News, July 2012
Comments of Note:
"From the start, the Cadenza Red dispensed an air of calm. It was tonally neutral, with a smooth and natural mid and treble."
"Bass was accurate, extended and open-sounding, helping the cartridge's ability to offer realistic stereo perspectives."
"'Sultans of Swing' became a well-balanced, truly rocking performance too."
Tech Radar, February 2010
|Reviewed By:||Richard Black|
Comments of note:
“Ortofon's 'Cadenza' range replaces the 'Kontrapunkt' products that had served well for many years and the Red is the base model of four.”
“It uses a 'fine line' stylus on an aluminium cantilever, while the generator assembly uses ultra-pure copper wire and a powerful magnet, producing a relatively high output for a design of its type.”
“Like many current cartridges it has threaded holes for easy mounting, but there's an interesting subtlety in the mounting face. It has three small protuberances (left and right, rear and centre front) which in most arms will give extra-positive three-point contact, aiding stability.”
“It seems a small price to pay for the wide range of virtues the Cadenza Red demonstrates in other areas, including bass, midrange and detail.”
“Over the long term, what most impressed us with this cartridge turned out to be the midrange, which is effortlessly informative in the sort of way that makes one want to listen more, and more carefully, than usual.”
“It has a very neutral character and impeccable manners, never drawing attention to itself overtly, but the detail it presents is always clear, consistent and beautifully ordered. As a result, the Cadenza Red can make the most of the widest variety of music, from small-scale classical and folk to huge rock or opera spectaculars, with thunderous – but always well controlled – bass and some very gratifying treble clarity too, brightness notwithstanding.”
|Output Voltage (at 1kHz, 5cm/sec):||450 μV|
|Channel Balance at 1kHz:||< 1.2dB|
|Channel Separation at 1kHz:||> 23dB|
|Channel Separation at 15kHz:||> 15dB|
|Frequency Range (at -3dB):||20Hz - 50kHz|
|Frequency Response 20Hz - 20kHz:||+3 / -1|
|Tracking Ability at 315Hz:||Typically 80μm|
|Compliance, Dynamic, Lateral:||12μm / mN|
|Stylus Type:||Nude Fine Line|
|Stylus Tip Radius r / R:||8 / 40|
|Tracking Force Range:||2.2 - 2.7g (22 - 27mN)|
|Recommended Tracking Force:||2.5g (25mN)|
|Internal Impedance / DC Resistance:||50Ω|
|Recommended Load Impedance:||50 - 500Ω|
|Cartridge Body Material:||Stainless Steel Aluminium|
|Cartridge Colour:||Red / Black|
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