Where do the ideas for new cartridges come from?
Over the years this has typically been either a demand from our marketing people or proposals from me, based on possible new technologies or materials observed through our network of sub-suppliers, technical institutes and universities we often use for special material investigations.
Following the material market and new technologies in processing is a very important part of research in development works and has often resulted in thorough new in- and outside designs for the cartridge models.
When it's time to look for a new cartridge housing design we rely on our highly experienced industrial designer to provide a fresh outlook as well as new ideas. Red-hot discussions about the completion of the cartridges and how to agree upon names, colors, materials etc. will arise between colleagues from different departments such as marketing, the lab or the production, who all have ideas for the design layout. All the creative ideas are put on the table for several days or weeks and, ultimately, a final decision about the new product will hopefully start to take shape.
Which cartridge do you personally like the best and why?
The Ortofon cartridge program, whether you choose the Moving Coil or the Moving Magnet, is very diverse in sound performance and price to fulfil the very broad requirements among customers. One part wants to pay the price for a linear, more than 30 kHz frequency range MC cartridge to play their precious recordings on an upscale equipment. But for the customers who feel strongly about the hi-fi music reproduction within a variety of music genres, the lower priced MC- as well as the MM cartridges will also perform a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency range.
The replaceable stylus-unit on the MM phono cartridges is also much appreciated among our customers. Most customers have also realized that different cartridges will respond differently depending on the quality of the LP-recordings, the type of music and the overall individual taste of each person when listening.
So, that's why you won't get an answer from me about which Ortofon cartridge I like the best. A review from a cartridge magazine can give you some basic characteristics about a cartridge performance, but it will never give you the full story, this depends on your own ears, the speakers, players, amplifiers, etc.
What is some of your favourite music?
That's very easy to answer, because I was brought up with music around me, with my parents playing the piano and the violin. I enjoy listening to live music as well as analogue recordings collected over the years with all kinds of music from 16th century composers to traditional jazz to modern composers, on my old lab equipment using Ortofon cartridges selected by my ears.