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Ortofon Turntable Cartridge

Vinyl records have been used for playing music since the 1930s, and stereo records came along in the 1950s. Stereo systems with a turntable still remain a favored way to listen to music for some fans. Arguably the most important component of a turntable is the cartridge that contains the needle. This part directly transmits the sound from the record so that it can be played through the amplifier and speakers. Ortofon produces cartridges of a number of different types and styles.

How does an Ortofon cartridge work?

Cartridges are responsible for converting mechanical rotation into an electrical signal that can be used to transmit sound to the rest of the system. Cartridges utilize a cantilever arm that vibrates and moves a small magnet or a set of coils that are located around it as the stylus tracks in the grooves, which produces a voltage. This voltage is then transmitted to a set of terminal pins on the back of the cartridge, which travels to the amplifier to produce music through the speakers.

What different types of turntable cartridges does Ortofon offer?
  • Moving magnet cartridges: In Ortofon moving magnet cartridges, the stylus cantilever holds a tiny magnet between two sets of fixed coils. When the stylus tracks in the groove, it vibrates and causes an electrical signal within the coils.
  • Moving coil cartridges: This type of Ortofon cartridge uses a similar setup with the same components, but in moving coil cartridges, the coils are physically attached to the stylus. When the stylus tracks in the grooves, it causes the small coils of wire to vibrate, which produces a signal that can be utilized by the rest of the system.
What stylus shapes does Ortofon have available?
  • Spherical: These Ortofon styluses have a look similar to that of a ballpoint pen, and often have a slightly larger radius, which causes them to sit higher in the grooves and prevents them from having as much surface area contact with the record. This helps to reduce the wear on the tip. This design is common for DJs and for home use.
  • Elliptical: Ortofon elliptical styluses have dual radii, which allow for more contact within the grooves and better tracking. The added contact helps to increase sound quality and decrease distortion.
  • Fine line: Fine line styluses utilize a finer point at the end.
  • Microridge: These Ortofon styluses are designed with the same shape as the tool that is used to cut the ridges. When properly aligned, these products are able to track in the tiniest grooves.
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