A fine-mechanical powerhouse

From being a development laboratory for tone films in 1918 Ortofon became an important force in fostering the gramophone industry in 40's. Since the 80's, the development of products became highly influenced by major technological progresses with regard to materials and processing technology.
Today Ortofon is a fine mechanical powerhouse, which develops, manufactures and markets the world acclaimed Ortofon cartridges and components for the hearing aids industry.

1918 9th of October: the Electrical Phono Film Company is founded by Axel Petersen (1887-1971) and Arnold Poulsen (1889-1952) with the objective of developing one of the world’s first synchronized sound film system.

1923 12th of October: the first sound film recorded indoors is shown at the Palace Theatre, Copenhagen.

1924 March: the world’s first sound film recorded outdoors is made.

1938-1944: During this period microphones, dynamic compressors, oscillographs, optical instruments and similar equipment & accessories are developed.

1946: The first mono cutterhead for the gramophone industry is developed. The cutterhead is revolutionary because the level of registration of the oscillations is raised from 5 kHz to 14 kHz.
The company name is changed to "Fonofilm Industri A/S".

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1948: The world’s first Moving Coil cartridge is engineered with characteristics that match the quality level of the cutterhead.

1951: Ortofon A/S is established as a trading company under Fonofilm Industri A/S. The name Ortofon derives from the Greek words “orto” (meaning "correct") and “fon” (meaning "sound").

1953: The first A212 tonearm in the range manufactured

1957: In the transition from mono to stereo, Ortofon develops stereo cutterheads.

1957-1959: During these years Ortofon develops its legendary SPU stereo cartridge.The SPU (Stereo Pick Up) is launched in 1959. The target audience is primarily professionals, e.g. the Danish State Broadcasting Company, the Swedish State Broadcasting Company and Deutsche Grammophon. SPU launched in A-shell and GM-shell.

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1960: Stereo Amplifier type 601 (2 x 15 watt) is a new popular product on the market.

Mid ´60s: The S-15 series were designed, the series was based on the SPU: the S 15T with an integral transformer, weighing 18.5 g and a lighter model without transformer, the SL 15, weighting 7g. Both the S 15T and SL 15 had improved channel separation and compliance over that of SPU.

1969: The first magnetic cartridge, the M-15, constructed on the VMS (variable magnetic shunt) generating system is launched.

1970: The production facility moves to a new factory in Nakskov, Denmark.

1976: AS 212 tonearm manufactured. The introduction of the MCA 76 pre-amplifier in order to match the Moving Coil cartridges and amplifiers.

1979: Ortofon receives the Danish Industrial Design Award for its Low Mass Concorde integrated cartridge/headshell configuration. Concorde 30, Concorde 20, MC 20 MkII, LM 30(H), LM 20(H), SME 30H manufactured.

1980: The Instrument Department is established with the objective of developing and producing advanced measuring equipment for the audio industry.
• VMS 10E MkII, VMS 30 MkII and Concorde STD launched.

1981: Ortofon introduces the world's first low mass magnetic cartridges LM10 and LM15 with a very high compliance andthe net weight reduced to only 2.5 grams.
• SMG 212/SKG 212MkII tonearms manufactured.
• A deluxe version of SPU - SPU Gold GM, SPU Gold in A-shell, T-30 transformer introduced.

1982: MC 2000 cartridge and T2000 transformer introduced.
MC 10 Super, MC 100 and MC 200 Universal, TMC 200 and TM 20H models introduced.

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Ortofon turns 65 years

1983: Ortofon Inc., a subsidiary company, is established in Plainview, New York.
Ortofon Instruments launches the P400 measuring instrument for the production floor test of audio transducers.
1984: The silver colored Concorde Pro and OM Pro, which combine the sound quality with the ruggedness for the professionals (DJs) is introduced to expand into a new area of business.
• OMP series including OMP 10, 20, 30 and MCP 100 Super launced.
1985: MC 20 Super introduced.
1986: Scan Micro, Ortofon’s BtB facility, is established as a separate division. Scan Micro starts the production of diamond styli.
• MC 30 Super, X1-MC and X3-MC launched.
1987: SPU Classic GM E, SPU Classic AE, T-3000 transformer for use with MC 3000 cartridge introduced.

Robert Gudmandsen on the right and then-CEO of Ortofon Eric Rohmann on the left

The company's 70th Anniversary

1988: The MC 70 Anniversary Moving Coil cartridge is introduced in October.
• Ortofon PPA 600 professional Two-Channel Power Amplifier launched among other products: MC 30 Super II, MC 20 Super II, MC 10 Super II, HMC 20 and HMC 10 cartridges.
1989: A wide range of new products introduced: SPU Reference, SPU Mono, HMC 30, T20 MkII, RMG 309 arm Limited edition, RMG 212 arm Limited edition, MC 2000 MkII, MC 3000 MkII.
• The Night Club Series for Discos featuring easier cueing, improved styli, better sound and a higher stability is introduced.
1990: Ortofon introduces the world’s first 99,99999 % (7N) Super Pure Copper Cables for Audio- and Speaker Application for Audio- and Speaker Application.
1992: The SPU Meister is introduced to celebrate Mr. SPU Robert Gudmandsen’s 50th anniversary working at Ortofon.
Mr. Gudmandsen was also personally awarded by the Danish Queen Margrethe II.
Robert Gudmandsen on the right and then-CEO of Ortofon Eric Rohmann on the left  →

Ortofon celebrates its 75th Anniversary

1993: Ortofon celebrates its 75th anniversary by introducing the top model MC 7500.
1995:
In honor of Erik Rohmann, Ortofon's long-time Managing Director, Ortofon launches the Rohmann Moving Coil cartridge.
• Based on many years' experience with producing Disco cartridges and a close contact with DJ's, Concorde DJ S with extremely high robustness are introduced.
1996:
The masterpiece of Mr.Robert Gudmandsen, the SPU Meister Silver with coil wires of 6-N pure silver is introduced. The Mono CG-Di and CA-Di cartridges engineered and introduced back in 1948 are revived employing exactly the same technology.
1997:
Ortofon is awarded as one of the fastest growing companies in Denmark.

Ortofon 80 year Anniversary

1998: To celebrate Ortofon's 80th anniversary the completely newly designed MC Jubilee is introduced together with SPU Royal.

1999: The Scratch cartridges for DJs who exact perfection are successfully introduced. Ortofon obtains a leading position within the manufacturing of the DJ Scratch cartridges and continues to be the exclusive cartridge and styli sponsor of the Technics/DMC DJ World Championship held in New York.

2000: On the day of Johann Sebastian Bach's 250th anniversary Ortofon launches the Kontrapunkt B and Kontrapunkt A MC phono cartridges.
The BACH Kontrapunkt Series of cartridges is completed when Ortofon launches the Kontrapunk C and Kontrapunkt H in 2003.

Ortofon turns 85 years

2003: To celebrate Ortofon's 85th anniversary the SPU 85 is introduced.
• Based on requests from international DJs Ortofon introduces a new cartridge for the Disco scene - the Concorde Elektro for the Techno.
2004: The MC Rondo Series: Rondo Red, Blue and Bronze models and MC Dance Series: MC Tango, MC Samba and MC Salsa are launched.
2005: Ortofon enter into a sponsorship contract with Q.Bert Thud Rumble, Concorde Q.Bert cartridge, co-developed by one of the most legendary DJs of all time is introduced.
 • SPU Synergy GM and A models launched respectively 2005 and 2006.
2006: The production is further extended to Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) products, B2B division.
2007: The 2M Series cartridges are introduced. Each of the 2M Series cartridges has its own individual sonic expression, and all models together represent the ensemble of five classic variations.

Ortofon celebrates its 90th Anniversary

2008: The MC Windfeld is launched, using the newly developed state-of-the-art technology. This highly advanced design is seen as a tribute to Ortofon’s departing engineer Mr. Windfeld, who has been a feature of the high-end culture as head of the companies R&D for more than 30 years.
• MC Cadenza Series, SPU 90th Anniversary and MC A90 are lanched. Ortofon paves the way for the use of Rapid Manufacturing technology and the SLM Manufacturing technique.
2010: Launch of the revolutionary new DJ cartridge Ortofon-Serato S-120. S-120 represents a completely new way of constructing and designing cartridges. Its breakthrough patent pending technology has been designed to provide maximum freedom for DJ performances.
• The same year Ortofon wins the HBH marketing award for its DJ marketing. It is the most prestigious marketing award in Denmark, previously awarded to companies with innovative marketing strategies.

2010: The establishment of a separate B2B division Ortofon Microtech manufacturing components to the hearing aid industry.
• Introduction of the Ortofon TA-110 tonearm with a special vibration damping rubber insert. TA-110 has gone to the next level by reducing unwanted vibrations in the tonearm.

2011: Ortofon continues to expand successful step-up transformer range with introduction of the new stunningly looking ST-80 SE Moving Coil transformer.
• Launch of the Ortofon Xpression High-End cartridge, a modern high performance cartridge with a standard headshell connector. Ortofon Xpression bridges the gap between SPU-type cartridges and High-End cartridges like the MC A90 and the MC Windfeld designed for headshell mounting.
• The new TA-210 12" tonearm introduced. Our extensive knowledge of vibration properties and characteristics in different shapes and materials has been applied for optimization of TA-210 tonearm.

2011: An exceptionally high quality headshell LH-10000 introduced. LH-10000 incorporates damping technology promoting a further reduction in unwanted resonances.
• The Ortofon’s MC Anna launched. MC Anna represents the highest echelon of Moving Coil cartridges. This state of the art product, representative of numerous Ortofon design elements and ideals, is truly exemplary of the highest degree of performance possible in contemporary analogue playback technology.

2012: Ortofon introduced an addition to the range of the 2M Series - 2M Verso models are alternative producs for the customers who own bottom mount tonearms.
• The new True MONO models 2M 78 and 2M Mono are for playback of respectively 78 rpm and Mono microgroove vinyl records are launched.
• Ortofon extended the range of proven and recognized Tonearm, Interconnect and Speaker Cables.

2013: Ortofon's 95 year Anniversary

• A new accessory to the 2M Series cartridges introduced. The new 2M PnP headshell is a practical and elegant solution for our customers who wish direct and easy mounting and replacement on their tonearm. The combination of 2M Headshell and 2M Series cartridge adds unique distinction to the turntable.
Ortofon starts serial production of the Bone Conductor - a niche product in hearing aid market. Ortofon core competences in acoustics and micromechanicals are ideally suited to the manufacture of bone conductors. A bone conductor produces vibrations that are transmitted through the skull to the inner ear where it is perceived as sound.
MC Quintet Series introduced. Each of the five Quintet Series cartridges has its own individual sonic expression, and all five models together represent the ensemble of five classic variations. The cartridges in this new series are more than worthy successors to the long line of models that has made Ortofon the global leader in the manufacture and supply of phono cartridges.

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2014: Ortofon participates in the HINMICO project (The High Throughput INtegrated Technologies for Multimaterial Functional MIcro COmponents) developing the new micro-factory concept.
The SPU 95th Anniversary introduced to celebrate Ortofonʼs 95 years of masterful analog research and technology. SPU A95 is a state of the art product representative of numerous Ortofon design elements and ideals.
The 2M Mono Special Edition cartridge is specifically created as a tribute to the new mono Beatles albums set.

2015: The new Exclusive Series Anniversary MC A95 cartridge introduced. A world class moving coil cartridge is launched to commemorate the 95th Anniversary of Ortofon’s technical leadership in the audio industry.
• Ortofon received the DTI (Danish Technological Institute) award "3D Print Series Production Prize 2015" for having been the "first movers" in mass production with the Selective Laser Melting technique - starting back in 2008.
• As a recognition of the company’s successful development and significant positive impact on local society, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Prime Minister of Denmark, visited Ortofon factory April 27th 2015.

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2016

January 4th Ortofon obtained ISO 13485 certification with a scope: Manufacturing of components in plastic, rubber and metal for the medical device industry and manufacturing of Bone Conductors.
February: Ortofon participates in the Horizon 2020 - the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme. Ortofon A/S and DTU Mechanical Engineering are working in close collaboration to provide an all-round, comprehensive and specialized training in micro manufacturing.
March: ST-7 - a new versatile MC transformer introduced. The ST-7 is a perfect match the MC Quintet Series and the SPU Classic models.
May: A new headshell model LH-4000 introduced. The LH-4000 is  is great for a wide variety of cartridges, specially recommended for the MC Quintet series.
September: The new MC Quintet Black S model graced with Shibata stylus on the Sapphire cantilever introduced. Sapphire is one of the best cantilever options that provides an excellent mechanical pulse transfer from the stylus to the coil system.

 

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2016

August: Ortofon SPU #1 models are launched. SPU #1 S and SPU #1 E cartridges are perfect all-rounders for the newcomers to the world of SPU.
October: HINMICO project completed. Ortofon in close collaboration with DTU Mechanical Engineering has been successfully working on development of HINMICO micro-factory concept. The HINMICO project's final results have enabled production of micro-components for consumer market and hearing aid industry by applying the new "integrated moulding and assembly" technology. 
December: The Ortofon Test Record is introduced. The Test record is designed to verify the home HiFi system in the most natural audio surroundings - at home. The Test Record contains special test signals developed for analyzing cartridge performance as well as its interaction with your tonearm and turntable.
December: The DS-3, a new lightweight compact digital stylus pressure gauge model introduced. The DS-3 is a miniature ultra precision non-magnetic instrument that tunes tonearm to the highest possible degree. 

 

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2017

February: Launch of the new Ortofon Reference Interconnect and Speaker cables Series designed and manufactured by Ortofon Japan.

May: Ortofon has extended the range of the Exclusives Series to include the brand new MC Windfeld Ti phono cartridge. At the heart of the MC Windfeld Ti lies a revolutionary customized Selective Laser Melting manufacturing technology pioneered by Ortofon for manufacturing of the legendary MC A90 in 2007. The use of Titanium in the MC Windfeld Ti has provided a further improvement to the overall rigidity of the structure and the cartridge weight.