Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM – Amazing quality at a fantastic price point

Amazing clarity and balanced sound. I got fed up with my rega exact sounding wooly, too bassy, not enough treble so i forked out for an ortofon 2m black. Fitted it to my rega rp6 after sorting out the arm height. Wow, no more wooly bass, instead it was clean, precise strong. Treble was there and the detail was simply what i expected from my rp6 and this cartridge. It’s not even run in yet too.

Sounds great – a definite improvement on the ortofon omb 10. . I read several reviews that advised replacing the supplied cartridge on the thorens td 190-2 turntable with the ortofon 2m blue and i was somewhat dubious that i would be able to hear any difference, but having now fitted one, i do think the sound is ‘better’ – albeit in ways that i would struggle to put into words. Maybe ‘increased resolution’ would be a good way to describe it – i find i can discern more of the individual sounds that go into forming the overall soundscape. Some albums that previously sounded rather ‘muddy’ now come across much more clearly to my ears. A cartridge like this increases the price of the turntable by about 30%, so does it sound 30% better?. Well, ‘no’, i would have to say, but i suppose since the sound was pretty good to start with, the cost of each incremental improvement is bound to be high. Fitting the cartridge was easy – 10 or 15 mins max. It comes with screws and a small screwdriver and you will need some tweezers or thin pliers to attach the cables.

Wonderful cartridge without spending a fortune. I already had the 2m red and having bought a second record deck for another room, installed and set up the cartridge, and was impressed. So impressed that i did some research on the web and hi fi magazines and thought the 2m blue had the right balance of cost and quality. After trying two hi fi shops including my local dealer, they were out of stock and was quoted 3 weeks for delivery. Amazon came to the rescue (again ), and i had a brand new 2m blue delivered within less than 24 hours to my door. I must be getting better at setting up cartridges,- this one was installed within about 15 minutes using my sensitive tracking weight roksan scales (never trust the tracking weight gauges on pickup arms unless you have sme or equivalent, they are all inaccurate). The view from above looks as though the cartridge fixing screws are not in alignment in my headshell, (ie slightly twisted or rotated), but this is to enable the cartridge to be properly aligned relative to the groove. So don’t think the screws have to be equally spaced from the top, use proper protractors for alignment, it pays dividends. Putting on a record told me it was an improvement straight away over the 2m red. More and tighter bass and a smoother and more detailed treble which was very apparent. Here are the specifications for the Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM:

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  • Ortofon MM Cartridge

A revelation in sound reproduction. . I’ve been a longstanding fan and user of ortofon cartridges for over 30 years. I also have and used the same turntable and arm for 32 years, so i can speak with some authority about how different ortofon cartridges sound and perform. , i use a syrinx leone tonearm, which at the time it was produced was known to be a ‘difficult’ arm to match. What i’ve discovered over the years, is that means you cannot hope to stick any old cartridge onto it (including cheap ortofon cartridges, which i’ll talk about later), and not expect a good tonearm to quickly show up a cartridges shortfalls. The one thing about ortofon cartridges , moving magnet and moving coil, is that they are relatively simple to fit. They use a two screw system, which has been simplified in the 2m series, by screwing directly into the cartridge body, so gets rid of those fiddly nuts i first encountered with the vms 10, 20 and 30 series (variable magnetic shunt). My previous cartridge was the 2m red, the bottom end of this range. It uses an elliptical stylus, and i found it to be an excellent entry level cartridge for when i decided to dig out my turntable and set it up again three years ago. Its a solid performer, but after two years i decided that instead of replacing the stylus, i’d do a complete upgrade to the 2m black.

Fitting the ortofon 2m blue cartridge to a rega rb300 arm (on an old planar 3 turntable) was easy with the kit provided plus the rega alignment protractor downloaded from the vinyl engine website. The cartridge is tall (18mm from top to stylus tip) so i fitted a rega vta 2mm spacer to raise the arm base. Some posts on audiophile websites suggest 3-4mm vta adjustment may be required to perfectly level the arm, but for several reasons (e. Rigidity, interior height of the lid) i stuck with 2mm. After playing a selection of albums (just a few hours of use), the ‘out of the box’ performance of the cartridge has been excellent. It sounds great to my ears with a clear detailed sound throughout the range and the nude stylus tracks beautifully.

Reviews from purchasers :

  • Sounds great – a definite improvement on the Ortofon OMB 10.
  • 2M Bronze is a stunning cart!
  • A revelation in sound reproduction.

High frequencies are clipped compared to an at440. However, it is more involving than the at. But, not worth the extra £45 considering the excellent detail retreival and superior tracking of the at. Onwards and upwards, 2m bronze next. Said to be far superior in every way, and well worth the extra £100. Will sell the blue to someone wanting a ‘digital’ presentation.

Amazing quality at a fantastic price point. Having used this cartridge/stylus for the past year, i thought i’d give it a review on amazon. Previously, i have used the ortofon om5 and om10, and i must say that for the price, they perform their function rather well. The detail you get from the ‘entry level cartridges/stylus’ is obviously not as good as the ones at a higher price point. The 2m surprised and shocked me: at this price point i was not expecting this performanceafter installing it on my project debut sbiii (something which, i must say, is rather scary as the cabling is very fragile), i played kate bush’s ‘sensual world’ (from audio fidelity, 180g virgin vinyl) and i was blown away by the detail, depth, and overall quality of sound that i was listening to. The vocals were crisp without sounding ‘clinical’, the detail of the bell tolling in the background and the wind were clearly audible (something which was muddled with the previous carts/stylus). I then played kraftwerk’s ‘computer love’ (180g remastered version) and again, the results were not short of spectacular. All the electronic detail in kraftwerk’s tracks was brought back to life, with glorious bass and incredible definition in sound. Lastly, i played antony and the johnsons ‘cut the world’ (180g audiophile pressing). Needless to say the results were, again, amazing.

2m bronze is a stunning cart. Upgraded to the ortofon 2m bronze from the 2m red on my pro-ject esprite sb and the difference was instantly evident even without the bronze being burnt/run in, and with each play the bronze continues to tighten up and sound even sweeter. Sound wise the detail that the bronze can pull from the grooves is amazing, i can literally hear quieter parts and background sounds that i couldn’t make out on my old 2m red, the highs and lows have really tightened up and sound as clear as a bell while the midrange has a warmer clarity to it. I would highly recommend the 2m bronze to anyone thinking of upgrading from a 2m red/blue or equivalent.

I have the opposite opinion to the 1 star reviewer of this item. I now realise that it was the limitations of my grado gold cartridge that was producing the sibilance on some of my more demanding records, particularly the “andy fraser band” lp. Other records which i perceived to have had “groovewear” have nothing of the kind and now sound distortion-free using the 2m black (with a rega rb303 tonearm). I don’t have or need a microscope but i do have ears and a brain.

Wonderful cartridge without spending a fortune. I already had the 2m red and having bought a second record deck for another room, installed and set up the cartridge, and was impressed. So impressed that i did some research on the web and hi fi magazines and thought the 2m blue had the right balance of cost and quality. After trying two hi fi shops including my local dealer, they were out of stock and was quoted 3 weeks for delivery. Amazon came to the rescue (again ), and i had a brand new 2m blue delivered within less than 24 hours to my door. I must be getting better at setting up cartridges,- this one was installed within about 15 minutes using my sensitive tracking weight roksan scales (never trust the tracking weight gauges on pickup arms unless you have sme or equivalent, they are all inaccurate). The view from above looks as though the cartridge fixing screws are not in alignment in my headshell, (ie slightly twisted or rotated), but this is to enable the cartridge to be properly aligned relative to the groove. So don’t think the screws have to be equally spaced from the top, use proper protractors for alignment, it pays dividends. Putting on a record told me it was an improvement straight away over the 2m red. More and tighter bass and a smoother and more detailed treble which was very apparent.

Well, still early days, but despite a slightly ‘light’ sound in these first few hours there is no sign of mis-tracking or sibilance with this 2m blue. Not a bright or ‘shouty’ cartridge at all, not even through yamaha ns1000m’s. It is, in my opinion, a well behaved cartridge and one which reminds me of another great cartridge i had the pleasure of owning, the denon dl 304. It doesn’t have the weight of a klyde nor the incredible vocals or ‘atmosphere’ of a koetsu, but it’s a mm and at a 10th of the price of the entry level koetsu i would say for what this cartridge does it should be considered a bargain and i would recommend it, even if surface noise may be slightly higher than with some other cartridges. Mounted on an lp12 with ittok lv11 using valve pre and power amps.

A very pleasing cartridge, and a great upgrade from the 2m red. . I purchased the 2m blue stylus to upgrade the 2m red that i had set up on my pro-ject debut carbon for several years. I realised that the sibilance and general inner groove distortion i was experiencing with the red was not acceptable to my tastes, and that by many accounts in dedicated forums, sibilance and igd are absolutely not things that you *always* have to get used to and accept with vinyl playback. It was something of a leap of faith for me to buy the blue stylus, not knowing for sure if it would magically cure or drastically reduce the issues i was hearing. You can imagine how pleased i was to find that indeed it *did* drastically reduce those issuesthe blue stylus is undeniably a better tracker – a significantly better tracker – than the red, at least for the two red styli i ever used, because without changing any alignment parameters since my original baerwald alignment of the red, the blue stylus performed so much better straight out of its box. I was very impressed, and a little surprised. Not only that, but the blue seems to have a much more ‘restrained’ presentation, such that while it may not sound as ‘alive’ or ‘dynamic’ as the red, it nevertheless presents a very controlled, authoritative soundstage, rather than trying to blow you away. I think the problem with the red is that it tries to impress with sheer clout, without having the tracking ability to actually do that without severely messing up with high-frequency, high-energy information. From the red to the blue, bass is more present and tight, vocals sound more present and ‘sweeter’, and highs are more controlled and less ‘splashy’. Doubtless, there are better trackers out there – but they will probably usually cost significantly more if they aren’t the at 440 mla.

High frequencies are clipped compared to an at440. However, it is more involving than the at. But, not worth the extra £45 considering the excellent detail retreival and superior tracking of the at. Onwards and upwards, 2m bronze next. Said to be far superior in every way, and well worth the extra £100. Will sell the blue to someone wanting a ‘digital’ presentation.

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1 Comment

  1. This review is from : Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM

    Ortofon bronze – objective, neutral cart. Ortofon bronze – nice cartridge. Lends some extra insight and clarity, but we’re talking small percentages here. Oddly, on my system i really enjoyed red cartridge on bronze body – go figure, but the combo added a sense of warmth that was welcome. I characterise the bronze as objective and clean sounding. By way of example, if i compare a modern record pressing with a high resolution file (ie likely the same source) they are astoundingly close. This may or may not be to your liking, but suffice to say there is very little additive with the bronze, it just does its job without fanfare.
  2. This review is from : Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM

    Ortofon bronze – objective, neutral cart. Ortofon bronze – nice cartridge. Lends some extra insight and clarity, but we’re talking small percentages here. Oddly, on my system i really enjoyed red cartridge on bronze body – go figure, but the combo added a sense of warmth that was welcome. I characterise the bronze as objective and clean sounding. By way of example, if i compare a modern record pressing with a high resolution file (ie likely the same source) they are astoundingly close. This may or may not be to your liking, but suffice to say there is very little additive with the bronze, it just does its job without fanfare.
    1. Upgrade for a rega elyse 2, on rb303 tonearm. Firstly, vta does require shimming, 3 mm. Don’t believe the claims that it doesn’t, so buy the necessary equipment to raise the arm. Once that is done, you can look forward to a clear, open sounding presentation, with less sibilence than the previous cartridge. Improved and deeper bass, clarity across the spectrum, and reduced surface noise. All of the above is noticeable after a couple of hours use, before the cantilever has settled down, so further improvements will continue highly recommended .
  3. This review is from : Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM

    Upgrade for a rega elyse 2, on rb303 tonearm. Firstly, vta does require shimming, 3 mm. Don’t believe the claims that it doesn’t, so buy the necessary equipment to raise the arm. Once that is done, you can look forward to a clear, open sounding presentation, with less sibilence than the previous cartridge. Improved and deeper bass, clarity across the spectrum, and reduced surface noise. All of the above is noticeable after a couple of hours use, before the cantilever has settled down, so further improvements will continue highly recommended .
    1. High frequencies are clipped compared to an at440. However, it is more involving than the at. But, not worth the extra £45 considering the excellent detail retreival and superior tracking of the at. Onwards and upwards, 2m bronze next. Said to be far superior in every way, and well worth the extra £100. Will sell the blue to someone wanting a “digital” presentation.
  4. This review is from : Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM

    High frequencies are clipped compared to an at440. However, it is more involving than the at. But, not worth the extra £45 considering the excellent detail retreival and superior tracking of the at. Onwards and upwards, 2m bronze next. Said to be far superior in every way, and well worth the extra £100. Will sell the blue to someone wanting a “digital” presentation.
  5. This review is from : Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM

    Great sounding cartridge, noticeable increase in sound quality from my 5e supplied with the turntable.
    1. Great sounding cartridge, noticeable increase in sound quality from my 5e supplied with the turntable.
  6. This review is from : Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM

    Brilliant sound stage, very wide and deep. And fills in the middle stage better than the red.
  7. This review is from : Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM

    Brilliant sound stage, very wide and deep. And fills in the middle stage better than the red.
    1. I upgraded from a 2m red to a 2m blue in a project debut espirit sb turntable. Results using the red had been startlingly good for a £425 turntable, but from previous experience i knew the benefits that can come from a nude mounted stylus, such as the one used on the 2m blue. I wasn’t tempted to spend significantly more on the bronze, partly because i listen more to cd’s and partly because the budget red was so good out of the box that the incremental benefits would be small without buying a much more expensive turntable. Initially, the blue sounded awful, no treble and really murky with a booming bass, but it only took a few hours for the cartridge to ‘sort itself out’. I would describe the differences between the red and blue as follows:the 2m red is a startlingly good budget cartridge, excellent tonal balance and dynamics, individual instruments are clearly defined with good detail. The blue is very slightly brighter and more dynamic, but it’s real talent is in delivering improved detail and sound stage. On one classical album the acoustics of the recording venue were clearly defined on the blue, but almost missing on the red. The individual instruments were also more clearly defined than the already excellent red.
  8. This review is from : Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM

    I upgraded from a 2m red to a 2m blue in a project debut espirit sb turntable. Results using the red had been startlingly good for a £425 turntable, but from previous experience i knew the benefits that can come from a nude mounted stylus, such as the one used on the 2m blue. I wasn’t tempted to spend significantly more on the bronze, partly because i listen more to cd’s and partly because the budget red was so good out of the box that the incremental benefits would be small without buying a much more expensive turntable. Initially, the blue sounded awful, no treble and really murky with a booming bass, but it only took a few hours for the cartridge to ‘sort itself out’. I would describe the differences between the red and blue as follows:the 2m red is a startlingly good budget cartridge, excellent tonal balance and dynamics, individual instruments are clearly defined with good detail. The blue is very slightly brighter and more dynamic, but it’s real talent is in delivering improved detail and sound stage. On one classical album the acoustics of the recording venue were clearly defined on the blue, but almost missing on the red. The individual instruments were also more clearly defined than the already excellent red.
    1. Excellent upgrade to my music collection. Bought this to replace an ortofon red cartridge. It’s taken a few weeks to fully realize the benefits. Instruments somehow seem more musical, more “real”, acoustic guitars seem to “ring” and have greater clarity. The overall sound seems to be coming from a larger space with a sense of three dimensions. For instance, keyboards on mike oldfield’s “islands” seem to be way off in the distance (way behind the mountains) providing a backdrop to the more immediate percussion and guitars, gradually the keyboards grow closer as if you are moving through the vista. Surface noise is virtually non existent with good quality vinyl. The music has greater warmth and clarity – musicality if you will. I never new vinyl could sound this goodthe normal price for this unit is around £290.
  9. This review is from : Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM

    Excellent upgrade to my music collection. Bought this to replace an ortofon red cartridge. It’s taken a few weeks to fully realize the benefits. Instruments somehow seem more musical, more “real”, acoustic guitars seem to “ring” and have greater clarity. The overall sound seems to be coming from a larger space with a sense of three dimensions. For instance, keyboards on mike oldfield’s “islands” seem to be way off in the distance (way behind the mountains) providing a backdrop to the more immediate percussion and guitars, gradually the keyboards grow closer as if you are moving through the vista. Surface noise is virtually non existent with good quality vinyl. The music has greater warmth and clarity – musicality if you will. I never new vinyl could sound this goodthe normal price for this unit is around £290.
  10. This review is from : Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM

    Very impressed with this cartridge. Very impressed with this cartridge. I had the ortofon om 3e before, which i thought sounded pretty good but after having this for several years, it was time for an upgrade. Having read the reviews, i decided on this one and i’m so pleased i did. The detail coming from my records now is amazing, music and vocals sound crystal clear and alive and bass is really strong and tight. This cartridge is very easy to install too but you do have to be extremely careful when disconnecting the wires from the old cartridge, they are very fragile indeed. Over all i am very happy with my purchase, it looks good and sounds great.
    1. Very impressed with this cartridge. Very impressed with this cartridge. I had the ortofon om 3e before, which i thought sounded pretty good but after having this for several years, it was time for an upgrade. Having read the reviews, i decided on this one and i’m so pleased i did. The detail coming from my records now is amazing, music and vocals sound crystal clear and alive and bass is really strong and tight. This cartridge is very easy to install too but you do have to be extremely careful when disconnecting the wires from the old cartridge, they are very fragile indeed. Over all i am very happy with my purchase, it looks good and sounds great.
      1. Hi fi moving magnet cartridge. Very detailed and delicate treble and good bass with an highly musical presentationhighly recommended for the money and far better sounding than my old linn k9 which would be in a simlar price bracket if it was still manufactured.
  11. This review is from : Ortofon 2 m for LP cell MM

    Hi fi moving magnet cartridge. Very detailed and delicate treble and good bass with an highly musical presentationhighly recommended for the money and far better sounding than my old linn k9 which would be in a simlar price bracket if it was still manufactured.
    1. Well, still early days, but despite a slightly “light” sound in these first few hours there is no sign of mis-tracking or sibilance with this 2m blue. Not a bright or “shouty” cartridge at all, not even through yamaha ns1000m’s. It is, in my opinion, a well behaved cartridge and one which reminds me of another great cartridge i had the pleasure of owning, the denon dl 304. It doesn’t have the weight of a klyde nor the incredible vocals or “atmosphere” of a koetsu, but it’s a mm and at a 10th of the price of the entry level koetsu i would say for what this cartridge does it should be considered a bargain and i would recommend it, even if surface noise may be slightly higher than with some other cartridges. Mounted on an lp12 with ittok lv11 using valve pre and power amps.
      1. Well, still early days, but despite a slightly “light” sound in these first few hours there is no sign of mis-tracking or sibilance with this 2m blue. Not a bright or “shouty” cartridge at all, not even through yamaha ns1000m’s. It is, in my opinion, a well behaved cartridge and one which reminds me of another great cartridge i had the pleasure of owning, the denon dl 304. It doesn’t have the weight of a klyde nor the incredible vocals or “atmosphere” of a koetsu, but it’s a mm and at a 10th of the price of the entry level koetsu i would say for what this cartridge does it should be considered a bargain and i would recommend it, even if surface noise may be slightly higher than with some other cartridges. Mounted on an lp12 with ittok lv11 using valve pre and power amps.