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A new range of Ortofon cartridges is always an event! This new range is the merger of VIVO and RONDO lines. It uses some of the elements of these cartridges, without forgetting innovation, as always.
The first product in the range is the Quintet Red cartridge, replacing the famous Vivo Red. On the surface, the two models seem to have little in common. The Dexan body has been replaced by an ABS (acrylonitrile/butadiene/styrene) and aluminium sandwich. This increases the weight of the cartridge to 2g. The tracking force has increased from 1.8 to 2.3g! This means that although the compliance of the new Red is slightly better (+2 Um/mN), it is a little less versatile than the Vivo. It also requires a higher VTA, which must be higher than 19mm.
The high quality elliptical stylus is mounted onto an aluminium cantilever. The coils use a conductor made of top quality copper. The magnetic circuit comprises powerful neodymium magnets. It has gold-plated outputs and the top of the cartridge is connected to the headshell by 3 points, like the Cadenza series. They minimise mechanical vibration between the two elements.
At first sight, the new series is not very attractive! Ha! But it's always a good idea to see a cartridge with its tonearm, and once it’s mounted onto the headshell you'll see what all the fuss is all about! If you’re still sceptical, just remember that a square shape makes a cartridge much easier to align, and makes the VTA easier too.
It is assembled using screws and threaded inserts, so without nuts, but it should be noted that it cannot be mounted to certain headshells, such as the Thorens 160 or 166, etc.
This MC cartridge is easily one of the most affordable on the market, but still manages to incorporate all of the technology and expertise the Danish brand has to offer. And Ortofon is celebrating its 95th birthday! Which means that we can expect big things. And we are certainly not disappointed with this small MC cartridge. It delivers vibrant and highly nuanced sound quality, with all the spaciousness and precision expected of this technology. The textures are rich and warm, giving the music a real sense of authenticity. Naturally, it can't compete with the brand’s higher end models, but if you have an entry-level or mid-range vinyl turntable and a preamp with an MC function (100 Ohm, 52 dB), this Quintet Red definitely has a lot to offer. Highly recommended. Franck
Technology: Moving coil (MC)
Output: 0.5 mV
Channel separation at 1 Khz: >21 dB
Channel separation at 15 Khz: >14 dB
Frequency response at -3 dB: 20-25000 Hz
Tracking at 315 HZ: 65 Um
Compliance: 15 Um/mN
Stylus: Elliptical 8/18um
Tracking force: 2.1-2.5g
Recommended tracking force: 2.3g
Internal impedance: 7 Ohms
Recommended load: >20 Ohms
Coil conductor: Copper