Ortofon 2m red to blue upgrade

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

  1. Danderpet

    Danderpet Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thank you, both. I think it sounds best to honor the break-in period before sending it away.
    I'll have my system for a good long while- project classic, Yaqin tube preamp, Marantz receiver, and Totem Acoustic speakers. Until I write the next Avengers movie, that's my gear.
    I just expected a kind of night-and-day difference. Not yet.
     
    Vinyl Fan 1973 and 4011021 like this.
  2. dtuck90

    dtuck90 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Silver stylus is identical to red stylus. It is the wiring in the cartridge itself that’s different so in theory a silver cartridge with blue stylus should be an upgrade over red cartridge with blue stylus.

    Mine has arrived today so I cant wait to try it out!
     
    Kristofa, HiFi Guy and 4011021 like this.
  3. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    No MM cart needs 50 hours of break in. If you want to push it some MC carts might need lets say 10+ hours of break in.
     
  4. dtuck90

    dtuck90 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Just fitted my blue stylus to my silver cartridge. First thing that’s instantly noticeable is that I have to turn the volume up louder. The second thing that is instantly noticeable is the improvement in sound. It really is a huge step above the red/silver stylus.

    I tried my U2 Wide Awake in Europe EP that was an RSD release a few years ago, this is a record I have ALWAYS had horrendous IGD and sibilance on. It is now near perfect with the blue with no IGD whatsoever.

    I think this upgrade and the acrylic platter is going to make me fall in love with vinyl again
     
  5. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    4011021 likes this.
  6. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Nagaoka publishes a 30 hour break in.
     
    4011021 and Vinyl Fan 1973 like this.
  7. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    If my thinking is correct, the Silver is the Bronze/Black body with a Red stylus. So you could put a Bronze or Black stylus on it and have the real deal.
     
    4011021 and dtuck90 like this.
  8. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Nagaoka also publishes a 200 hour expiration time. Its a matter of mistranslation, misunderstanding of the numbers and exhaggeration to cover all basis and ensure customer satisfaction.
     
  9. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    There is nothing shown in the article about why that would be the case. And Im not one to take anecdotal testimonials as a source of truth. But if thats how we play then I can source many respected hifi figures who disregard those claims too.
     
  10. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Sure, although the stylus is the part that costs, so you most likely wont be saving much. It is a nice idea if you know you will upgrade in the future though.
     
  11. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    Please do, I enjoy reading.
     
    baconbadge and 4011021 like this.
  12. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    As I said Im not one to use words of authority or anecdotes as truth but I suppose Ill post what Peter Ledermann, designer and head of SoundSmith, makers of some of the best carts in the industry wrote to me about the question.

    "This is a complex subject. I have long said that humans can get used to almost anything, as amply demonstrated by the partners we choose to marry. All kidding aside, some of it is the brain breaking in. As far as cartridges go, Moving Coil designs often ROTATE on their dampers to accommodate alignment of the stylus to the groove walls. This can take varying amounts of time dependent on the design of the MC. Often, MC's rotate OUT of position due to improper skating forces or an accident! Our designs CANNOT ROTATE azimuth, as the generator is bonded to the suspension, so once aligned and set properly they maintain their azimuth, even though improper skating forces are present or even after an accident. Elastomers DO change in cartridges as they break in and age, as can certain styli designs polish and conform on a micro scale, better to the groove. Speaker suspensions DO loosen by degree with break in as well. In electronics, dielectric absorption changes the way capacitors sound, every time they warm up. Other components change over time as well - the list is very long. Switching power supplies and digital amplifiers start degrading the moment they are used and continue degrading. My power amplifier designs are pure analog for that and many other reasons. I DO need to say that hearing changes hour to hour for us all, depending on stress, blood sugar, blood pressure, .............you get the picture. There are times when my system at work sounds very different from other times, and I know it is not the system."
    Perhaps you have heard of Michael Fremer who also largely disagrees about these extensive break in time periods. That was stated in verbal form at a conference show however so I am unable to directly quote, although Im sure I could find a video of it.
     
    Heckto35 likes this.
  13. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    In this extense quote there is nothing about how many hours does it take in average for a MM to break in, if it can take it up to 50h or not. I'm afraid it's inconclusive.
     
    Vinyl Fan 1973 likes this.
  14. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    You are right, he had 2 points in the response. 1 is that it depends on equipment. Some take longer than others, and of course there is break in. The other is that we get used to things very well over time and that we shouldnt trust our ears. I basically took it as a politically correct answer in order to not point any fingers. The question at hand was about marketing tricks to fool consumers into thinking that 50 hours is required and the answer denounces that notion and concept, while still ensuring that break in matters for some mechanisms that need it to some degree.
     
  15. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    You mean THE Michael Fremer?

    ....and I quote...

    “Here's how I proceeded: I set up each on the VPI Traveler and ran the output into a Graham Slee Era Gold MM phono preamplifier. I set VTA/SRA by eye using a jeweler's loupe figuring no one buying any of these moderately priced cartridges is spending hundreds on a digital microscope.

    Each was broken in for a few hours but not the 40 that's usually required for full break-in. That would have been too time consuming. It was time consuming enough! But all of these cartridges was auditioned under the same circumstances.”

    Read more at Multi-Cartridge Survey: The Hard Work Completed!
     
    HiFi Guy and 4011021 like this.
  16. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    What he is likely talking about is the full settle in of the vertical suspension in the cantilever, which doesnt really have much effect on the playback at all.
    Here, I found the video ( 1:05:00) :
     
  17. gfong

    gfong Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    You should have noticed a change in sound right off the bat. Lower noise floor, more defined bass with a more refined overall sound. I spent a lot of time comparing both red/blue carts and that is what I noticed. The blue did not need a lot of time to break in. Good luck with your carts.
     
  18. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    I read that and there is nothing there that suggests he's talking about the cantilever suspension. I would prefer to say it is "possible" that he is referring to that, rather than "likely", since there's no basis for any probability. He surely could be talking about that, but also about anything else.

    Anyway, I wonder if you just provided the technical explanation for what I experienced during the break in of my 2M Blue. Unlike you, I believe that a change of the vertical suspension of the cantilever may affect SRA and then it does may have effects on the playback. Let me explain. If while setting in the cantilever's suspension sags, the effect could be the same as that of an increase in VTA: it could make the cartridge sound a bit warmer, losing some treble. This effect was pretty noticeable in my experience with the Blue related a few posts above.

    Wether it would take up to 40 or 50 hours is a different question. Based on what I'm saying now, I can't conclude on any sense.

    But if Fremer is talking about this change in cantilever suspension, and if it can happen within 40 hours, and if this change may affect sound as I'm supposing here it does, than we must conclude that there can be MM cartridges that may take up to 40 hours to break in. Those cartridges would be the ones referred by Fremer in that link, which includes two in the 2M series.

    Hence it doesn't seem to be not reasonable to admit that within 40 hours the way a cartridge sounds may change. And it would be not absurd to call this 40 hours time a "break-in" time.

    However, I believe that all of this, plus our experience with other cartridges, doesn't provide a solid ground for us to assert anything about other cartridges. To say that "No MM carts need 50 hours to break in" with a solid foundation in a scientific basis, would demand the experience with every single MM cart ever made, what we don't have. It is, in my opinion, a temerarious statement, because we must admit that it's always possible to find a cartridge which does change its sound in the first 50 hours. Maybe it would be a low quality cartridge, but that, again, is a different question.
     
    Vinyl Fan 1973 likes this.
  19. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    The vertical suspension increases by about 1 degree after those 50 hours. So after 50 hours one should raise the tonearm about 4 degrees if you are really picky. It is as I see it a futile effort however as you wont really make out a difference. That 1 degree change which even if you could switch between them on the fly wouldnt make any noticable difference on most carts and if we are talking over 50 hours you as a biased listener will never pick up a difference. The amount is insignificant compared to groove modulation changes in records which of course is always overlooked. I even disagree with Fremer when it comes to some of these things, which is why I dont like to quote him anymore.

    Before I ever consider something as a possibility I need a reason for it. I know of nothing inside an MM cart that requires such long periods of break in to make a sonic difference so there is no reason for me to believe that there is a possability. But if you value hands on experience a lot then I again direct you to Fremer in the video. He surely has tested more carts, especially good ones, than you or I ever will.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  20. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    I tend not to assert a strong opinion on things I have never experienced. This is just the way I am. But of course I don't think everyone should be like me. In this case, I'm just trying to follow the logical conclusions from the premises the thread is assuming.

    I also believe that analog reproduction is all about precision. That's why I demand to any turntable that it at least keep the most near exact speed that would be reasonable to demand. That's why we want the best VTA, VTR, SRA, azimuth and anti-skate we can achieve. And why we want to have our records as clean as possible etc.

    It really doesn't matter to me if small differences are understood as audible or not by me or by anyone else. If they're there, they exist and may be perceived in ways we can not consciously understand. Or they can be perceived in the future when our listening ability gets better. The way I see it, even if we don't consciously perceive these differences, we may perceive it anyway and it may make our experience less enjoyable. Consciously maybe I can't perceive a note to be out of tune but it can affect my experience somehow. Who knows? No amount can be judged as insignificant in principle I guess. And I truly believe that, be it the cantilever or anything else, my 2M Blue sounds different now. The needledrops done before and after make a strong evidence.

    But again, that's just the way I see things. Of course I can't afford all this precision, I'm happy with a system that is very far from the ideal, but I still think it may be important. And of course I can understand why some people don't think like me and I can accept it.

    On the other hand, that quotation about how music changes depending on our physical and emotional conditions is very important. What sounds great today may not sound so great tomorrow and vice-versa. I have experienced this myself. It does happen and it maybe can be taken as one more reason not to discard some gear in the first listening.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  21. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    I agree that if my system allows for theoretically better installation then Id reason why not do it even if I cant hear a difference.
    Although in some cases it truly doesnt make a difference in theory or reality. If you have a conical stylus for example VTA, SRA and even Azimuth dont have nearly any effect on the sound or tracking. So there is no point in chasing setup perfection in a case like that.
    But thats beside the topic of wether break in happens over 50 hours or not. If you define any change as break in then sure, all your equipment slowly breaks down over time until it eventually doesnt function any more. But thats typically not whats meant with break in.
    Some people claim that they can actually hear break in happen over 100 or 200+ hours. Considering Ledermanns statement about our ears being fooled or affected by our state of mind, you have to wonder, is this person truly a critical listener if he claims to continually hear a difference over such a vast amount of time?
     
  22. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    I've never read anywhere that people claim to hear break in over 100-200 hours. I have read many members talk about it happening in the 10-50 hour range, and I have no issue with believing that.

    I'm not sure why it's so hard to believe that something like that is happening?
     
    4011021 likes this.
  23. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

  24. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    From our good friend Barry Diament:

    Folks who think it is simply one's getting "used to" the sound might want to try starting with two identical, brand new units (cartridges, cables, etc.). Leave one fresh, in the box and use the other for a week or two. Then switch to the unused one.

    If it is simply getting "used to" the sound, does the unused one start out sounding identical to the one you've gotten "used to"? My bet is that you may well have to get "used to" the new one all over again. :rolleyes:

    That said, I have found over the years (and said many times on this forum) that different folks have different sensitivities to different aspects of sound. Some folks simply may not hear a change.

    I know folks who hear benefits from green marker on CDs or lifting their speaker cables off the floor. I believe them. But I don't hear either of these. On the other hand, break-in of cartridges, cables and other gear is something I find relatively easy to hear.

    Best regards,
    Barry
    www.soundkeeperrecordings.com
    www.barrydiamentaudio.com
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
    HiFi Guy likes this.
  25. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Ive been in personal discussion with such people.

    I assume you watched the video btw?

    There are several issues with the theory, firstly that you as a listener can hear a gradual change in quality over 50 hours of play, most likely over weeks of use. The human mind is just not reliable to accurately tell a difference like that. The human mind does however get accustomed to things over time.

    The second problem is that you need to demonstrate what is actually changing in the cart over time. Something which Ive never heard of yet. Except things that dont seem to have great effect on the sound.

    I find things without evidence hard to believe. But I dont think those who say they experience break in over 50 or even 200 hours are crazy. Time and time again we see concepts survive because of their well accepted nature and support from authority which is passed on until it becomes strange to question the phenomena instead.

    Never have I once claimed that break in does not exist however. But if you want to argue that some people are just more sensitive than others then perhaps the 200+ hour break in people are just really sensitive, to music and people questioning their abilities.
     
    Bob_in_OKC likes this.

Share This Page