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In cooperation with a high quality audio cable maker, Ortofon succeeded in producing ultra high performace headshell cables. Following countless listening sessions to many different types of music, these cartridge leadwires were selected as best performers among numerous configurations of test cables made of best materials available.
It was the year 708 AD when copper was first smelted in Japan. Since then the high-tech know how of ancient Japan made a remarkable advancement in a very short time. In 745 AD the construction of the great Buddha of Nara began. The sculpture is 15.8m (52.2 feet) height and weighs 380 tons. According to the temple record it took 14 months to make the casting mold. To cast the statue several dozen blast furnaces were built around the site. It took 449 tons of copper, 8.5 tons of tin, 2.5 tons of mercury and 440 kg of gold and 2.6 million workers to finish the work.
The melting point of copper is 1083°C, but the heat generated by charcoal is 800°C. Then a new technology made it possible to raise the temperature to 1000°C, and to lower the melting point of the copper by adding 2% tin. The stature was then gold plated. It was truly a remarkable feat that such a huge task was accomplished at that early period.
It is this knowledge that Ortofon many years later - in 1980 – used when the company started to work with different metals’ sound in the internal threads of cartridges.
Through the 1980s, Ortofon expanded the experiments with different alloys, and achieved an unprecedented sound quality. In the late 1980s, Ortofon founded its Japanese subsidiary and obtained access to a more than 1000 years of tradition and know-how. The head of the newly formed subsidiary, had believed that the metal’s purity had an impact on the sound that was transported through the coils of cartridges. Amongst others, Ortofon founded a cooperation with Dowa Mining, who was known for making ultra-pure copper (99.999999%), and PCOCC (Pure Crystal Ohno Continuous Casting) copper developed by Dr. Ohno from Chiba Institute of Technology. This unique molding process forms the copper crystals continuously without ruptures of any kind.
The positive experiences with replacing the coil threads in the cartridges with ultrapure metals gave new inspiration, and the thoughts turned to interconnect and speaker cables that are longer than the 3 cm thread typically used in a MC cartridge.