The MC Verismo set-up and maintenance

As with any cartridge, set-up is absolutely crucial in order to ensure the best sound reproduction capabilities. The cartridge makes the first and only contact with the record groove, picking up all the musical information. That's why the cartridge, is the key factor in your vinyl-based hi-fi system. 

In addition to alignment, consideration must be made to adjust azimuth, anti-skating and VTA/SRA in order to maximize the potential performance of any high-end cartridge.

MC Verismo setup

Setup video

In this video, Leif Johannsen, Ortofon's Chief Acoustics and Development, explains how to set up and align your cartridge correctly, using the MC Verismo. Leif takes you through six main steps to make sure your cartridge performs its best so you can enjoy a full experience when listening to your favorite records.

Chapther overview:
02:34 - 1. Mounting the Cartridge
06:00 - 2. Vertical Tracking Force
08:52 - 3. Lateral Alignment
12:25 - 4. Azimuth
14:46 - 5. Cantilever Angle & Stylus Rake Angle
25:41 - 6. Anti-Skating
32:40 – Recap



There are 4 sets of screws included for mounting the cartridge to your tonearm. Itis of great importance to choose the correct length of screws when mounting the cartridge. Using too long screws may stop the screws inside the cartridge resulting in insufficient mounting in the headshell. The choice of screw length depends on the thickness of the headshell, and a maximum of 2.5 mm free screw length under the headshell. Mount the cartridge loosely to the headshell during this procedure.

Terminal connections

Please correlate the colour code for the terminals on the drawing with the colour coding on the cartridge.

The terminals for right and left channel have the same position as normal for Ortofon cartridges. We recommend the enclosed LW-7N leadwires to be mounted on the cartridge and tonearm before aligning and calibrating the cartridge. The length of the enclosed lead wires will fit a distance between cartridge and tonearm terminals of 35 mm, which will work with most headshells.


Azimuth adjustments

In order to attain maximum channel separation, it may be possible to adjust the azimuth. Should the cartridge not be perfectly perpendicular to the record’s surface, the tonearm or headshell may require to be tilted a few degrees.

Correct azimuth is established by observing the reflected image of the 2 parallel cartridge front lines. The cartridge’s front lines must form a straight line with the reflected lines. A flat mirror may also be used to facilitate this process.

MC A95 SRA.jpg


With a complex stylus shape like the Replicant 100, there must be special attention paid to positioning the diamond in the groove.

The Stylus Rake Angle (SRA - see figure) is very important to the performance of the Replicant 100 stylus, and the long contact surface (the sharp edge) of the diamond should be almost perpendicular to the record surface when viewed from the side.  The angle between the record surface and the cantilever is close to 23 degrees when SRA is 90 degrees.

A perfect starting point is to set the tonearm parallel to the record surface and to use the recommended tracking force. The contact surface will be close to perpendicular to the record surface with this setting. The SRA can now gradually and carefully be changed be adjusting VTF and, if necessary, the tonearm height. The target should be an SRA around 92 degrees, determined by the listening experience. In other words, the point of the stylus should point slightly towards the tonearm base.



Correct bias or anti-skating adjustment is important in order to achieve optimal tracking ability and thereby minimum record wear and distortion. For the Ortofon Replicant stylus used in MC Verismo just set normal antiskating according to recommended tracking force.

Cartridge break-in

Although the MC Verismo will provide top reproduction right out of the box, the cartridge may slightly change character during the first tens of hours of use. This is completely normal and you may, in fact, find that this adds further refinement to your listening experience.


Do you have a question for Ortofon?

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