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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 Quintet Bronze is the penultimate cartridge in this range, replacing the highly regarded Rondo Bronze cartridge. From the outside, the two cartridges look completely different! The Rondo’s impressive composite body (wood/resin) has been replaced by an ABS (acrylonitrile/butadiene/styrene) and aluminium sandwich. This choice seems to have been made for economical rather than quality reasons, shedding 1.5g off its total weight. But although this doesn’t exactly qualify as an advantage, it does mean that the Quintet Bronze cartridge can be used with tonearms that are not compatible with cartridges weighing over 10g. It also requires a higher VTA, which must be higher than 19mm.
The Nude Fine Line stylus has replaced the Rondo Bronze’s Nude FG 80, and is mounted onto an aluminium cantilever. The coils use a twin conductor made of high purity copper (99.9999%). In true Ortofon style, the magnetic circuit comprises powerful neodymium magnets. The output connectors are gold-plated. 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, this new range doesn’t seem quite as aesthetically pleasing as the Rondo - we’re definitely not fans of the resin body. However, the Quintet cartridges is a good 20% cheaper than the Rondo, and once it's mounted onto the headshell you'll see what all the fuss is 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.
From the opening bars, the Quintet Bronze cartridge proves it has the capacity to draw out even the smallest of details from every groove whilst also eclipsing all surface noise. The profile of the Nude Fine Line stylus also delivers precise sound reproduction, with a treble that flies high and low levels of distortion. The bass is everything we’ve come to expect from Ortofon over the years – deep, tight and well-articulated. It works wonders for blues, soul and jazz, bringing out remarkable detail in every bass line. Vocals and strings have presence and authenticity. When it comes to classical music, it is highly adept at reproducing all the detail of large orchestras with power and precision. It provides an accurate representation of the spaces between instruments, as well as the depth and width of the sound stage. The textures are spot-on, not to mention beautiful. We think it’s safe to conclude that this cartridge has the capacity to deal with all music genres with impressive neutrality and impartiality.
While it can’t compete with the brand’s higher end models, such as the Cadenza range, the Quintet Bronze offers exceptional value for money. We highly recommended it! Franck
Technology: Moving coil (MC)
Output: 0.3 mV
Channel separation at 1 Khz: >23 dB
Channel separation at 15 Khz: >15 dB
Frequency response at -3 dB: 20-25000 Hz
Tracking at 315 HZ: 80 Um
Compliance: 15 Um/mN
Stylus: Nude Fine Line 8/40um
Tracking force: 2.1-2.5g
Recommended tracking force: 2.3g
Internal impedance: 5 Ohm
Recommended load: >20 Ohms
Coil conductor: 99.9999% pure copper