Ortofon Cartriges: Styli with Style
Sonic Beauty at an Arm’s Length
On the end of your turntable’s tone arm there are typically three parts that make up the assembly that converts the grooves on your vinyl record into audio. This process is called transduction and works just like the transduction process of a microphone or loudspeaker. These components are the headshell, the cartridge, and the stylus. The cartridge and stylus are the most important components of your turntable as they are directly responsible for the tonality and any coloration in the reproduction of audio from your record.
The stylus or needle is diamond tipped and found in one of two designs; spherical, which is primarily used by DJs for scratching as the physical properties allow for better tracking force, or elliptical which is the preferred choice for audiophiles looking for higher fidelity and a true to life frequency response.
The stylus comes in contact with the grooves of the record and is caused to vibrate both back and forth as well as up and down forming the left and right side of a stereo signal. This vibration is transmitted via the cantilever to the cartridge.
The cartridge is where the kinetic energy of the stylus’ motion is converted into electrical energy in the form of an audio signal. This is done by an electromagnetic induction process very similar to that of a dynamic microphone. In fact both processes are referred to as a moving coil electromagnetic induction. So you can look at the cartridge as a little microphone and just like the vast array of microphones for various audio applications Ortofon has a wide selection of cartridges and styli for every possible turntable application.
Keep On the Right Track
Ortofon specifically designs cartridges for turntable applications from scratching to digital transfer even for use specifically with Serato time coded vinyl like the Ortofon Concorde DIGITRACK and Ortofon-Serato Concorde S-120 which uses asymmetric suspension technology allowing superior tracking force and seamless response, key for controlling Serato Scratch Live while preserving the integrity of your time coded vinyl with a low wear design.
Ortofon has revolutionized the DJ cartridge industry with their all-encompassing Concord assembly which combines the stylus, cartridge, and headshell into one assembly, although the majority of Ortofon’s DJ cartridge line is also available in an OM model, which is designed to be used with a traditional headshell such as the Ortofon OM Q.BERT. Co-developed by one of the most legendary DJs of all time, this cartridge combines unmatched tracking ability and low vinyl wear with a high output level tuned with an elevated midrange that pulls the scratch front and center in a mix.
Outside of the DJ community there is a resurgence in popularity of vinyl records as both a novelty and a hi-fi alternative to the compressed digital media. This has prompted a need for both a high fidelity cartridge that is suited for digital transfer and recording such as the Ortofon CC ARKIV.
Ortofon cartridges set the standards to which all other cartridge manufactures are compared and SonicElectronix.com is proud to carry the complete line of the finest DJ cartridges in the world.