Discover Ortofon historical products

We offer information about the Ortofon products that are no longer in production:

The SPU Collector Box - a true collector's item

In 2011 we decided to give our SPU fans around the world an opportunity to get a collection of the four most famous SPUs, each of them being a very special collector's item: SPU Classic, SPU Gold Reference, SPU 85th Anniversary and SPU 90th Anniversary. These four most famous SPU cartridges represent the diversity of technical solutions and materials, and reflect the continuous technological development thoughout the past 50 years.

The SPU Collector box is complete with a booklet encompassing the history of Ortofon, the history of SPU and description of the products.

Download the SPU Collector box booklet

 

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These 4 cartridges are made exactly as the original models, and are as genuine as the original production units

All materials and techniques have been preserved during the manufacturing process.

The SPU introduced in 1959, pointed the way for the next 50 years of high-end cartridge design: a generator comprising two low-impedance coils, wound with very fine copper wire and crossed in such a way that the two walls of an LP's stereo microgroove can generate two discrete signals with maximum separation.

The SPU is the only Ortofon stereo cartridge that has survived since 1959 and from all over the world gained a reputation second to none for an outstanding analogue sound reproduction.

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Being the inventor of the world famous SPU stereo cartridge in 1958, most music lovers, even today, find that there is no name like Ortofon which is more involved in the history of analogue reproduction. The fact that Ortofon has kept the SPU in production for half a century says a lot about the enduring rightness of its design.

The original SPU model, engineered by Mr. Robert Gudmandsen in 1959, introduced low coil impedance concept. As a basis for reproducing superb high frequencies, this concept has been improved and refined in the decades since.

In the early sixties Ortofon was the moving coil manufacturer with the SPU range comprising three models: E (elliptical stylus), G (standard SME-fit G-shell) and T (with or without step-up transformer).

The SPU Classic

Over time the SPU in a G housing prevailed and gradually became the popular SPU Classic. Equipped with Nude spherical stylus the SPU Classic has sound that is both rich and silky. With its linearity and full body, this cartridge has remained a favorite throughout the years, both for modern and vintage high-end applications.

Features:
Cantilever: Aluminium
Stylus: Nude Spherical
Armaturewire: Copper  
Magnet: Alnico
Housing: Aluminum-Magnesium alloy

This cartridge is a perfect solution for the playback of both early and modern and contemporary stereo recordings. The Ortofon SPU Classic simply refuses to die! Read more

The SPU Gold Reference

The SPU Gold Reference, introduced in 1989, was limited to 335 units.

Features:
Cantilever: Gold plated Alu
Stylus: Replicant 100
Armaturewire: 99,99999% Copper 
Magnet: Alnico
Housing: Aluminum-Magnesium alloy

These improvements made it possible to reduce the tracking force and obtain a more linear frequency response.
Sonically, the Gold Reference is a genuine SPU, known for it’s beautiful fluid midrange, but with just a taste of extra detail. Read more

The SPU 85th Anniversary

The SPU 85's unique characteristics included an outstanding housing made of Japanese Hida Beech wood, famous for its strength and hardness. For the exclusive surface treatment, the 6000 years old Japanese Urushi lacquer method was chosen in order to achieve a hard, resistant and beautiful multilayer surface in dark maroon colour.
In order to influence sound from the motor system, a new wire concept for the armature windings called “AUCURUM” was developed, that creates extraordinarily high conductivity and environmental resistivity. Read more

Features:
Cantilever: Aluminium
Stylus: Nude Elliptical
Armaturewire: AUCURUM, a composite of very pure copper and gold
Magnet: Neodymium
Housing: Hida Beech using Urushi lacquer technique

The SPU 90th Anniversary

The SPU 90th Anniversary, from 2008 was limited to 500 units. What makes the SPU 90th Anniversary unique is the combination of following four elements:  a completely new patent-pending magnetic system, the inclusion of the renowned Field Stabilizing Element system, the direct connection between the generator system and the wooden housing (ensuring extremely high internal damping), and finally the use of the Selective Laser Melting manufacturing technique.
SPU 90th Anniversary provides reproduction of sound that is unsurpassed in its neutrality, detail and dynamic range. Read more.

Features:
Cantilever: Aluminium
Stylus: Nude Elliptical
Armaturewire: a composite of copper and silver
Magnet: Neodymium
Housing: Wood powder + Phenolic resin