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Ortofon Cadenza Red MC Cartridge

Ortofon Cadenza Red MC Cartridge

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Cadenza Series

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.

Key Features:

  • 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
Reviews
Ortofon Cadenza Red, Hi-Fi News Yearbook 2012

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."

Ortofon Cadenza Red, Hi-Fi News, July 2012

Hi-Fi News, July 2012

Feature: 'Group Test'
Score: Outstanding Product

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."

Ortofon Cadenza Red, Tech Radar, February 2010

Tech Radar, February 2010

Reviewed By: Richard Black
Score: 5/5 Stars

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.”

Specs
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
Cantilever: Aluminium
Stylus Tip Radius r / R: 8 / 40
Tracking Force Range: 2.2 - 2.7g (22 - 27mN)
Recommended Tracking Force: 2.5g (25mN)
Tracking Angle: 20º
Internal Impedance / DC Resistance: 50Ω
Recommended Load Impedance: 50 - 500Ω
Cartridge Body Material: Stainless Steel Aluminium
Cartridge Colour: Red / Black
Cartridge Weight: 10.7g

 

   

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