Ortofon 2m red to blue upgrade

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Craig Spiegel, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Craig Spiegel

    Craig Spiegel New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    08010
    Hello. I recently upgraded my ortofon 2m red cart to a 2m blue (swapped out the stylus only) on my pro-ject debut carbon with the acrylic platter and have not really noticed a discernible difference yet. I understand there is a break-in period of at least 50 hours for this stylus. So is this what I should expect at this point in time? The rest of my equipment consists of a Yamaha DSP A1 integrated amp, a dbx 3bx DS, wharfedale rubiance speakers (two floor standing for the front and two bookshelf for the rear) and a mirage 15 inch down firing subwoofer. I listen to primarily classical and jazz.

    What do you all think? Is the some adjustment I need to make (I understood that swapping out the stylus would require no additional adjustments)? Or that I just need to wait for the break-in period to be completed?

    Thanks
     
  2. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Keep listening, the improvement should be audible - at least in my experience it was. Less sibilant, smoother highs, nicer midrange.... give it a chance.
     
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  3. Craig Spiegel

    Craig Spiegel New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    08010
    Can I assume then that you started noticing a difference after the break-in period? Or did you notice a difference immediately? I also hope that my speakers are up to the task of revealing the better sound quality.
     
  4. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    It was noticeable right away. Are you using the phono input on the Yamaha? That may make a difference vs an external phono stage. Breaking in is also a factor.
     
  5. Colin M

    Colin M Forum Resident

    If you had a record which exhibited strong sibilance with the red try it with the blue. That was the immediate improvement for me, even in the break in hours.
     
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  6. Craig Spiegel

    Craig Spiegel New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    08010
    I'm using the phono input on the Yamaha. I can't recall any record that exhibited strong sibilance.
     
  7. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    It's possible that you're experiencing that these products sound different, but not always better than each other. I've listened to the Red and the Blue on the same equipment and am not one of those who uses the line "the difference blows me away" when I change carts in general. As other posters have noted, you might hear less sizzly sibilance in vocals but it's also possible that your ear isn't sensitive to these differences. If nothing else, buying the Blue gets you one step higher on the totem pole of never-ending equipment "improvements" and less likely to be sneered at by other posters for whom equipment level equals credibility. So, you have that going for you either way!
     
  8. Craig Spiegel

    Craig Spiegel New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    08010
    I haven't listened to anything yet with vocals.
     
  9. Nick Brook

    Nick Brook Active Member

    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK.
    This is an interesting thread.:)
    I've recently fitted 2m reds on on 2 older TTs , they both sound nice to my ears.
    Got a friend with a Project Carbon , he believes after swapping from red to blue there's a little more detail top to bottom .

    I've recently purchased a blue , but as yet undecided on which table to try it on.There's an RD40 that's just about run in , it sounds lush, so it could be folly to disturb anything on that.

    Also an original Planar3 , that's got a brand new red on it but as yet no amp or phono. So ...:shrug:
     
  10. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Location:
    Ohio
    Your post just made my day, as I bought the 2M Blue for my Dual 1229 and I've been extremely pleased with that purchase and now I feel like I may have some "credibility" around here, LOL. Now if I could just get rid of those useless B&W 805D speakers and that damn cheap McIntosh pre-amp and amp and buy some new equipment that is well over $20,000 dollars and then I might also get some "respect" here , while I'm at it!
     
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  11. Nick Brook

    Nick Brook Active Member

    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK.
    Very eloquently put Chris. :D
     
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  12. Craig Spiegel

    Craig Spiegel New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    08010
    Well, I just bought the Yamaha DSP A1 amp (an upgrade from a Yamaha mid level receiver of the same vintage), the DBX 3BX DS and the 2M blue stylus and I don't want to do any more upgrading at this time. I made these upgrades based on recommendations from fellow audiophiles.

    I suppose when I am ready for the next upgrade, it will be for better speakers but have no idea what to look for (maybe either Fluance or Elac).
     
  13. cmcintyre

    cmcintyre Forum Resident

    Possibly it's important to keep in mind that the stylus profile shape for the 2M Red and 2M Blue are identical - set up identically in the same tonearm on the same turntable they will both retrieve the same information.

    The difference lie in the elements that process the sound (at cartridge level) - the difference being one is diamond tip bonded to another element, the other (2M Blue) is a diamond attached to the cantilever. Ortofon ( Ortofon HiFi phono cartridges ) also describe an "improved engine" - meaning the internals differ.

    The next two step-ups in the range (2M Bronze and 2M Black) both have different stylus profiles (so three stylus profiles in total over 4 cartridges). As the stylus profile becomes more sophisticated, the information retrieved from the groove increases. My experience with the OM /Super OM cartridges suggests that's where most of the difference can be heard.
     
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  14. Ozric

    Ozric Forum Resident

    According to specs from Ortofon, the Red is an Elliptical Stylus and the Blue is a Nude Elliptical, they are not completely identical. It is my understanding that the Red & Blue have the same body and the styli are interchangeable between Red & Blue. The Body of the Bronze and Black are common to those two. You can not use a Red or Blue Stylus on a Bronze/Black body and vise versa.

    I own both a Red & Blue and the Blue definatly sounds better with better detail. It is not leaps and bounds better than the Red, but still a worthwhile improvement.
     
  15. Maccaroni

    Maccaroni Active Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    I was skeptical to the idea that a cartridge has a break-in period, but my blue sounded thin and top heavy until about the 20-30 mark when it really bloomed.

    I also find it VERY sensitive to correct alignment.

    Hope that helps.
     
  16. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Not my experience at all. No break-in, nothing like that. And very easy to get a great sound out of one.
     
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  17. Opeth

    Opeth Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    I had a blue on a debut with acrylic platter and speedbox. Coming from the red it was a nice step up immediately and after some time really smoothed out. Much smoother sounding than the red and just better detail all around. Found it to track better also. I have since moved it over to an SL1200 swapping it out with AT440 and AT150sa here and there and it's my favorite along with 150sa.
     
  18. cmcintyre

    cmcintyre Forum Resident

    Which is outlined in my post by:


    The important fact remains, the tips are identical in size and shape - the main determinant of what is retrieved from the grooves, and in turn possibly why the differences between the two are not as noticeable to the OP.

    The difference between the three stylii profile shapes in the 2M range each bring a noticeable difference in sound. The 2M Red and Blue - both sharing the same profile shape, though with different implementation, will have a smaller increase in sound quality than might be experienced between these and the 2M Bronze or the 2M Bronze and 2M Black. (In each case the turntable/tonearm needs to be of high enough quality to allow the differences to be heard).

    Possibly I should have pointed out that the difference between a bonded diamond and a nude diamond can have a difference in the ability to track the groove - Ortofon report that there is an approximately 15% increase in traceability at 350hz between the Red and the Blue. In practise I find that it's at the higher frequencies advanced stylus shapes in the Ortofon range show their ability to track ever more effectively.

    This was my experience in the VMS and the OM/Super OM ranges. Increased musicality and vastly improved HF response and inner groove tracking. Lots more "air" in the sound.

    You are correct in stating that the interchangeableness of the stylii is in 2 groupings - the red and blue, and the bronze and black. The OP would need to invest much more money to upgrade to a Bronze as the whole cartridge would need to be purchased, where in the upgrade from Red to Blue a stylus alone will create the upgrade.
     
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  19. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Location:
    Ohio
    Sounds like you have a wonderful sound system thus far! I know that each of us can only afford what we can afford and no matter what, or how great our own sound systems might be, (price be damned), that we will never be satisfied, as it's just part or being a fan of good sound and our never ending quest to find it.

    In all honesty, after being a member on this forum since 2002, that I realized a long time ago that I would never be an official "audiophile", no matter how hard I may try, as I just don't have the money or mindset to truly play that game. When I finally made it to the world of McIntosh and B&W, a world that believe me, I have no real right to be in, but I had some spare cash and selfish reasoning, so I went to town! The reason of why I don't really qualify for true "audiophile" status, is because even with this good of a system, a REAL audiophile would still not be satisfied. No, those people now feel the need to spend even more foolish money and start changing the things inside of them, like tubes and such. My wife always yells at me when we are at a really nice restaurant and I ask to have my meal somewhat modified from the way that the chef has chosen to prepare it, which means that I don't trust the chef and his professional opinion on how to make his meals. To me, changing the tubes in a quality and long-time proven high end product like McIntosh, is much like telling the chef that they are wrong and I am right and I personally don't buy it! So, if you really want to play the "audiophile" game, just be prepared to never be satisfied and to always be spending money on something, to find that "perfect" sound system, which you will sadly never find.
     
  20. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    I swapped out my red for a blue only when I began noticing the sibilance at the end of sides. It cleared it up immediately. There is a definite improvement from one to the other, so maybe your ears haven't been trained to tell the difference and you switched styluses too soon. It's one of those things that once you notice about you cannot unnotice. I bet if you give the blue a few months and then go back to the red you won't like what you hear.
     
  21. Craig Spiegel

    Craig Spiegel New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    08010
    Well I tried going back to the red a couple times after a week of using the blue and had not noticed a difference. My first thought was that it had not broken in completely. Then I thought I would post this thread and get other people's thoughts and experiences. One person noted that I would hear the biggest difference with sibilance which would be most prevalent with vocals (so far, all I have listened to is orchestral repertoire). Currently I am at the 15-hour mark so I have a couple more weeks to go for break-in period. I hope at that time and going back to the red, I will notice a difference and justify the upgrade.
     
  22. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Be careful about the advice you accept on these forums. Posters are almost always more than happy to spend your money for you, and to advocate more expensive equipment for those asking questions. There are many of us users out there who enjoy equipment that is lower cost, but you'll rarely hear from them here. The Ortofon 2m Red is a highly regarded cartridge that has gotten great reviews and provides great sound. If you enjoy it, just use it and leave well enough alone. If you heed the advice of some of the equipment crazies around here, you'll find yourself falling down the audiofool rabbit hole, and penniless for it, before long. Even if you find the 2m blue sounds different after dozens of hours of use, those differences will be subtle (or else they would have been much more pronounced to you earlier) and not necessarily better at all, to you.

    Just say no to the arms race in this hobby.
     
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  23. Cooly McDuck

    Cooly McDuck Member

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I went through the same change (debut, acrylic platter, 2m blue) a couple years ago. Among other things, I noticed better sounding hi hats on my jazz records pretty early on with the blue, especially toward the inner groove. Might be something to focus in on to see if you notice a difference.
     
  24. Craig Spiegel

    Craig Spiegel New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    08010
    The upgrade to the Yamaha DSP-A1 with the addition of the DBX 3BX DS have definitely made a positive impact on the music quality of my records and I made sure I got the best possible deal on those 2 items. I'm still evaluating the 2M red to blue upgrade for the stylus. And it was not just people on this site that made the recommendation.
     
  25. Nick Brook

    Nick Brook Active Member

    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK.
    I've just done a similar sylus swap , on an old ariston deck with a linn basic lvv arm. Virtually straight away it sound leaning towards a more detailed midrange and more definition in the lower frequencies. Not as bright at the top . I wouldn't say it's better , just different , i'll know more when it's been on a couple of weeks. The record I've been using to compare are some oldish pressings Led Zep 2and 4 and Mike Oldfield. The Led Zep is quite a slightly muddy recording and the Mike Oldfield is precise with some straight edged mid frequency sounds and well defined top end. A very good recording with a bit of everything on.
     
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