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Find the cartridge that is right for you


1. Cartridges applications
2. Cartridges components
3. Concorde and VNL cartridges mounting dimensions
4. Styli interchangeability
5. Concorde versus OM model
6. The absolute best sounding DJ cartridge
7. Cartridges for DigitalVinylSystems
8. Digital to vinyl transcription

1. Which cartridge is best for my style of music?

Please see our DJ cartridges selector, which gives an explanation of each product range in our current DJ line.

Basic: MIX ,OM Pro S
Club: CLUB
Scratch: SCRATCH, OM Q.Bert
Specialized: DIGITAL

2. What are the main components of the cartridge?

A cartridge consists of three basic components: the stylus that traces the record groove, the cantilever, the part on which the stylus is mounted, and the generating system. The generating system converts the motion of stylus and the cantilever into electrical replicas of the sound, which can then be amplified and reproduced by the music system.

1. The stylus

The stylus is the only part of the cartridge to make contact with the record. A force must be exerted by the tonearm to keep the stylus in the groove while the record is spinning. This tracking force is low, usually between three and four grams. But because the stylus has a “footprint” of less than one millionth of a square inch of the record face, it exerts a tremendous pressure: 6,000 pounds per square inch. At such enormous pressure, any roughness or irregularity in the stylus would cause record damage. The stylus must also be very hard or it will wear out quickly. For these reasons, quality styli are precision made from the finest and hardest material known: pure diamond. Spherical stylus is for heavy back-cueing and scratching. Stays in the groove. Elliptical stylus is for lighter back-cueing and scratching. Best sound performance.

2. The cantilever

The purpose of the cantilever is to act as an intermediate between the stylus and the generating system. Compared to its size the stylus moves at tremendous speed while tracking the groove of the spinning record. In order that the cantilever may accurately transmit the rapid stylus movements, it should be lightweight so it can respond without inertia to the twists and turns of the groove. At the same time the cantilever should be rigid, because any bending, flexing or vibration would add distortion and sound coloration. The necessary compromise between lightweight and high strength requires great ingenuity in the design as well as the choice of the materials.

3.  The generating system

High fidelity Ortofon cartridges follow the law of electromagnetism, discovered by the Danish scientist H.C.Oersted. When material capable of conducting electricity (a copper coil) is set into motion perpendicular to a magnetic field - or when a magnet is moved near such conductive material – electrical current is generated in the circuit. The direction and speed of the movement determine the amplitude and frequency of the current. Thus the generating system of a cartridge converts the movement of the stylus and cantilever into an output signal.

3. DJ Cartridges mounting dimensions

Concorde Series
Effective length: 51.5 mm
Height: 14 mm

VNL cartridge

F - the height from stylus tip to top cartridge mounting surface - 18 mm
E - distance from stylus tip to the centre of mounting holes - 8.2 mm
D1 - cartridge length without connector pins - 24.1 mm
D2 - cartridge length including connector pins - 27.3 mm
A - distance between centres of mounting holes - 12.7 mm
B - cartridge width - 16 mm
C - mounting holes diameter - 2.8 mm

4. Are Ortofon's cartridges' styli interchangeable?

Concorde MkI and Concorde MkII styli are not interchangeable and will not even fit physically.

Physically, each series of stylus will fit on alternate cartridge bodies.  However, these combinations are not supported by Ortofon, as each cartridge series is designed with a synergistic combination in mind - that is, each stylus is made to compliment the magnet and coil configuration of each cartridge body. 
For instance, using a MIX stylus with a SCRATCH body will not provide the full benefit of either product, and might even provide undesired results, including (but not limited to) differences in output, unbalanced sound reproduction, etc.  
NB: In the case of the discontinued NightClub and DJ series cartridges, it is perfectly alright to use the respective S (spherical) or E (elliptical) version stylus.  The cartridge bodies are designed to accommodate either of the respective series' stylus types.

5. Is there a difference between the OM and Concorde series of cartridge?

The sole difference between OM and Concorde cartridges is the housing and contacts found on the cartridge.  Whereas the OM range requires mounting onto an appropriate headshell, the Concorde range conveniently attaches directly to the tonearm.  There is no difference in sound between the two ranges, within the respective series of cartridge (e.g. OM Q.Bert versus now discontinued Concorde Q.Bert).

6. What is the absolute best sounding Ortofon cartridge for DJ purposes?

Concorde CLUB boasts the best specifications and best sound from any DJ cartridge product, making it an ideal choice for any environment: studio, broadcast or club.
The CLUB features a Special-Elliptic stylus that allows for detailed sound quality: Special-Elliptic stylus fits better in the groove and therefore has more contact area with the groove itself, extracting more intricate details, than is possible with a spherical diamond.
The CLUB’s 8 mV output voltage requires less gain from the preamps, providing cleaner sound reproduction and less susceptibility to feedback in live environments.

7. DIGITAL for DVS systems  

Concorde DIGITAL is designed to extend the life of timecode vinyl and minimize errors in decoding. 
At the same time DIGITAL provides optimal output voltage and sound quality for use with conventional vinyl.
This optimized 10 mV output voltage maximizes the signal-to-noise ratio of the audio being fed to the software, which results in better interpretation of the timecode signal.
Furthermore, a decrease in the reproduction of frequencies where vinyl wear & crackle occur helps to minimize errors in the interpretation of the timecode signal and helps timecoded vinyl records last longer.

8. Transferring vinyl collection to a digital medium

The CLUB offers an outstanding platform for archival and sampling.


Do you have a question for Ortofon?

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