AT VM750SH vs. Ortofon 2M Black?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by johnny q, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    Hi Everyone:

    Due to some recent unfortunate events, looks like I will soon be forced to shop for a new turntable :-(

    I am probably going for either the new Technics Sl-1200GR or a 2017 VPI Prime Scout. I will be selling some guitar gear to fund this.

    Anyway - when contemplating a decent cartridge, I narrowed my wish-list down to these 2 models. I would like to hear from anyone who has 1st hand experience comparing these two. Both feature a Shibata stylus. However, the Ortofon is nearly twice the price! Is it worth another 400 bucks?

    Also - if anyone cares to comment on how these cartridges would pair up with the respective arms on these 'tables - that would be appreciated as well.

    Regards

    John Q
     
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  2. daytona600

    daytona600 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    [​IMG]
    Technics fit 2M black plug & play version ( built in headshell ) at shows with the SL1200G
     
  3. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    Well, that is certainly one heck of a ringing endorsement!

    I would still like to know what makes the Ortofon $400 "better" than the AT.
     
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  4. Ozric

    Ozric Forum Resident

    Except that picture is showing what appears to be a 2M Red which can be had for around $100 or less.
     
  5. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    @johnny q You can get a big discount if you order the Ortofon from Germany. It's way overpriced at the price you will be charged in the States.

    Ortofon 2M Black Cartridge

    €529
    Less 19% VAT
    Subtotal €428.49 = $509.90 plus shipping.

    Way better than $755 here. I've purchased there before and they are reputable.
     
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  6. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    Wow! Is this like, the best kept secret or something? :)

    So Now I am thinking the Black is a "no-brainer." Both companies (VPI and Technics) have used the black on the 2 models I am considering, at their respective trade shows.

    JQ
     
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  7. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Here's the Plug and Play. Works out to about $585 delivered.

    Ortofon 2M Black PnP Cartridge
     
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  8. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    Any idea why they are so much cheaper when ordering from Thakker in Germany? I mean- that is quite a difference in pricing. They sell the stylus alone here in the US for what Thakker is charging for the complete cartridge.
     
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  9. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I have both the Bronze and the Black stylus. I think they both sound terrific.

    My Vinyl Nirvana Thorens TD-160 Super, came with the Bronze cartridge, when I bought the TT.

    I was likewise fortunate to find a slightly used Black stylus on eBay, from a seller in Germany, for $375.

    The great thing about the cartridge, you may be about to purchase is, you can buy a Bronze stylus for $270 Euro's retail.

    You could probably find one for less, coming from Germany too.

    Now, you have two different but outstanding cartridges!
     
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  10. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    You aren't paying for the US distributor is the only reason I can come up with. A few friends and I have all purchased from Thakker and all of us have been happy.
     
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  11. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    Bumping this thread to see if I can get a few more opinions on these two similar but differently priced Shibata based cartridges. Anyone a/b compare and can comment on sound, tracking etc, ease of setup???
     
  12. Here's another and cheaper option for you than the 2M Black: You can try one of these two KAB/Ortofon cartridges with the Ortofon 40 stylus, which is a Fritz Gyger stylus -- an improvement over a Shibata -- for only $350 or so. This page on the Soundsmith site does a good job of detailing the differences in stylus shapes.

    I've been using moving coil cartridges for a while, but I recently tried the KAB/Ortofon Pro S with the 40 stylus (basically a Ortofon Concorde DJ cartridge with a much better stylus) and I am really enjoying it. It has a nice punchy sound and traces inner grooves like a champ with that Fritz Gyger stylus. I previously had a 2M Bronze, and that cartridge could not get through the inner grooves nearly as well.
     
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  13. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    What a coincidence! I was on the phone yesterday with Kevin asking him the same questions I posed here and he mentioned the Pro S with the 40 stylus. Well......that just opens up the possibilities now doesn't it? Not the most aesthetically pleasing thing, but who cares if it sounds great, in particular on the SL-1200 series.
     
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  14. needlestein

    needlestein Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    If you don't like how that looks, maybe you would prefer the Ortofon 540 MKII, which is the same generator and stylus as the OM40 Super, but it's another $57 from Thakker over KAB's price for the Pro S/STY 40. Although looking at the performance specs, they aren't exactly the same. One could say they are substantially the same. The tip and compliance specs are the same.

    Anyway, your choice.

    Ortofon 540 MKII Cartridge

    Type: MM
    • Fixing: Half-inch mount
    • Output voltage: 3mV bei 1kHz, 5cm/sec.
    • Amplifier-connection: Phono MM
    • Frequency range: 20-27.000Hz
    • Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz ±1,5dB
    • Compliance: 25µm/mN
    • Material: diamond, nude
    • Stylus type: Fritz Gyger 70 r/R 5/70µm
    • Tracking force range: 1,25-1,75g
    • Tracking force, recommended: 1,5g
    • Recommended load capacitance: 200-400pF
    • Weight: 5g
    Ortofon Super OM 40 Cartridge

    Type: MM
    • Fixing: Half-inch mount
    • Output voltage: 4,0mV bei 1kHz, 5cm/sec.
    • Amplifier-connection: Phono MM
    • Frequency range: 20-30.000Hz
    • Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz +2dB/-0dB
    • Compliance: 25µm/mN (lateral)
    • Material: diamond, nude
    • Stylus type: Fritz Gyger 70 r/R 5/70µm
    • Tracking force range: 1,0-1,5g
    • Tracking force, recommended: 1,25g
    • Recommended load capacitance: 200-500pF
    • Weight: 2,5g (5g)
    Either is, IMHO, a better cartridge than the 2M Black, but you need a lighter arm as they are very compliant. The 2m Black might be a better match for a more modern turntable. I don't know much about the arm on the new Technics, but if it's like the arm on the classic 1200 you can definitely "get away" with either of these (and I do), but the usual advice is that they would do better on a lighter arm. HOWEVER, since Kevin sells them and he's the 1200 guy, his advice is probably that they are fine and the Technics arm is more than up to the task. I have had mine on lighter arms (Pro-Ject 1.2) and on my SL-1200 and I haven't observed any problems. Furthermore, I have a 2m Red and a 2M Bronze and I think these both outclass either of those, but the 2M Series has not warmed up to me. I think they sound somewhat flat in comparison to these. My Super OM is a 30, by the way, so a direct comparison with the 2M Bronze.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
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  15. If you don't like the Pro S concept then I'd suggest the OM cartridge with the same 40 stylus and use whatever headshell you want. It's better than the 2M Black for about half the price no matter how you slice it.
     
  16. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    Great advice thanks. I know nothing about setting up a traditional arm, so the less I have to fuss with the better. I am sure I could get use to the way the Pro S looks (Concorde) quite easily.
     
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  17. I just got the KAB Pro S with the 40 stylus and installed it on the SL-1200G without an issue. You're right...these are better than the 2M Black. Definitely a better stylus profile, at 1/2 the price.
     
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  18. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    Massdrop may be doing a drop with the Ortofon 2M Black soon. I'm waiting to see what price it will be. If it's more than Thakker Germany, I'll order from Thakker.
     
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  19. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    I got the Pro S cart and an Om30 because I wanted to work my way up from spherical, to two ellipticals to now fine line and next FG om40!
     
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  20. gss

    gss Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I think those Concorde carts looks very aesthetically pleasing! It's a different style then the usual, but it looks fast just standing still. :righton:

    I'm considering the same cart, btw.
     
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  21. gss

    gss Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    How might these carts compare with the fluid damped tonearm?
     
  22. luckybaer

    luckybaer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Missouri
    I have never heard the Ortofon 2M Black, but I own a 2M Red, so I can only make comparative comments on how easy it was to set up on my Kenwood KD-2070 and Ortofon SH-4 headshell vs. the set up of the VM750SH (on the same model headshell).

    Ortofon's 2M design doesn't require tiny nuts - simply take the screws included with the cartridge (or with the headshell), and attach the cart to headshell (I love detachable headshells). The VM750SH requires tiny nuts and tiny screws, so it is a bit harder to line things up on the headshell. Other than that, set up for both is easy when you have a detachable headshell and s-shaped tone arm. FWIW, I set the VTF at the low-end - 1.8 grams.

    VM750SH has nice channel separation, instrument separation, open and engaging sound, & better bass extension and definition relative to the Ortofon 2M Red. I haven't done as much critical listening as I would like to do, but those are my initial impressions after listening to comparative needle drops of Jack White's "Lazaretto," and Elvis Costello's "This Year's Model." I listened to "This Year's Model" and Gorillaz' eponymous debut album (sides A & B only) strictly via analog set-up, and was impressed by the rich, open sound of the VM750SH - again, the bass was clean and extended, not overly-emphasized or flabby.

    I'm sure I'd love the Ortofon 2M Black, but I'm happy with the VM750SH, and can't wait to get home today to experience more of what the cartridge has to offer! I don't feel the need to buy another MM cartridge, and the next time I indulge myself, I'll probably pick up a high-output MC cartridge (Dynavector 10x5 MkII or Hana SH).
     
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  23. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    Ortofon 2M Black with SL-1200GR with stock headshell is a near perfect match. No surprise Technics uses that cartridge in demos. It gives you 9.8 hz resonance. Just set VTA at 1mm, VTF and anti-skate at 1.5, and use the headshell play to make azimuth horizontal and forget about it.

    See my avatar
     
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