So is the Ortofon 2m Black that much of an upgrade/improvment over the Bronze?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Quentin Behle, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Quentin Behle

    Quentin Behle Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Iowa
    Hey everyone, I was wondering if anyone had experience with both, and if an upgrade was worth the money? I just ask out of curiosity as I'm very happy with Bronze, thanks any comments would be appreciated!
     
    Memphisflash likes this.
  2. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    I have both as well as the Red. The Bronze is nice but its not got the detail and not as dynamic as the Black. The Bronze is an excellent cart and I find it a warmer sound than the Black. Seeing you purchased the Bronze and like it...so you're wondering how much better the Black will sound.....you can alway purchase the stylus as it will fit the body of the Bronze.
     
  3. Quentin Behle

    Quentin Behle Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Iowa
    Thanks for the reponse! Would you say that the 2m black is bright I've never had any experience with shibata stylus ?
     
  4. tim185

    tim185 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    A question Im also interested in as I have a bronze thats close to its time. Is there an increase in surface noise with the black versus the bronze?
     
  5. katstep

    katstep Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Bay Area
    I've owned both and found that the black is less forgiving of surface noise that the bronze on my setup.
     
  6. Benzion

    Benzion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've just finished reading the 2017 Stereophile Recommended Component Edition. They plainly say there that the Black should only be installed on tonearms that have VTA and SRA adjustment, and even then great care should be taken in dialing it in. Others need not apply, apparently. Also, the "unforgiving of surface noise" argument seems to be commonplace on this forum and other resources.
     
  7. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I simply found the Black to be by far more trouble than it was worth and sold it to a member here. Aside from the other comments here, you will also notice in other threads that some of us experienced too much sibilance. But those that like it love it, so I attribute it all to the importance of correctly installing it. I'm just not as experienced as you clearly need to be, and life's too short. There are fine carts out there that are far less trouble to install and enjoy. And I also agree with comments about it really bringing out surface noise. I'm sure it also brings some more desirable sounds buried deep in the grooves, but that was just too much of an issue for me compared to the AT carts I now use.
     
    Strat-Mangler and k4rstar like this.
  8. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    I have both as well as the Red. The Bronze is nice but its not got the detail and not as dynamic as the Black. The Bronze is an excellent cart and I find it a warmer sound than the Black. IF you purchase the Bronze and like it...you may be wondering how much better the Black will souund. If so...you can alway purchase the stylus as it will fit the body of the Bronze.
    Bright! Well that depends on the associated gear as well as cables in my opinion. I wouldn't say bright in my system.....its very much a dynamic cart and very transparent! Ive got German designed amps and German speakers as well.....German voicing aint laid back or colored but its very clear and transparent and revealing. I've got ceramic tweeter and they don't hold back, either.....notes linger in the air. No ear bleed if that's what you mean. The entire spectrum is neutral.....but don't associate neutral with boring because a dynamic sound can be neutral. The Black is a wonderful cart in my system. The Shibata stylus will force you to clean your records....by great vinyl and take care of your records. It digs deep, give you great detail. IF you are one that buys used records from any place and don't know the grading system of used records and don't care to spend on good vinyl or take care of your vinyl....you may not want the 2MBLACK
     
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  9. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    Yes sir.....but if you have a decent...good system and take care of your vinyl, buy records that aren't worn with snap crackle and pops, clean your vinyl, as well as a good phono amp with dark black ground....you wont have any problems with the 2MBLACK. Regardless of the 2MBLACK or any cart that's forgiving....im not buying messed up vinyl.
     
    tim185 and Dennis0675 like this.
  10. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    Yes Sir.....but regardless of the 2MBLACK...aren't we suppose to be doing those things any way?
     
    DrZhivago likes this.
  11. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    With all do respect....I just cant see what the problem is with setting up a 2MBLACK cart or any cart! I've always set them up...yeah it takes time some times..some more than others, but you want the best performance out of that cart and not to just settle...and in the last 10-15 years tools have come out to help with setting up, but its not that hard...a little pain staking some time and patience is needed but its worth it. Take a little time to set it up correctly....and sit back and enjoy for much longer of a time than it took to set it up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  12. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    OM 40 outperforms the 2M Black too, A Fritz Gyger profile line contact which beats out the Shibata on tracking and on sonics.
     
  13. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    I'm a big fan of the 2MB and put roughly 2,000 hours on my last one.

    Is it bright? It really depends on the rest of the system, it certainly can be if you have a bright system. It will pull a boatload of detail out of out of the grooves. If you are interested in hearing the differences between pressings, it is a great tool for that job.

    Is it rough on SN? It can be. It will play what is there and having a RCM and VG+ records is an effort that is rewarded. I switched from the 2MB to a Lyra Delos and there is much less SN with the Lyra.

    Is it tough to set up? No. It certainly needs to be set up correctly but it is nowhere near as fussy as the Lyra.

    Is it worth the extra money over the Bronze? Hard to say. It is noticeably better but it's like bourbon that was aged 10years vs 15. they are more alike than they are different and that difference is appreciated more by some than most.

    I think the 2MB is about as good as it gets for a MM cart with the possible exception of the Clear Audio. I have come to the conclusion that if you are spending $750 on a cart, it's time to start thinking about MC if you have the phono stage that will accommodate.
     
  14. tim185

    tim185 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Dennis. As a 2m bronze user, where is the entry point for MC cartridges where I could expect a noticeable improvement on the bronze ?
     
  15. Benzion

    Benzion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Not every tonearm has these adjustments. Some are much simpler, thus, the Black would not be a good match for them.
     
    katstep likes this.
  16. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    I think you are further ahead with an Ortofon Quintet that is at that price point. The great thing about the 2m line is the high output, it is not fussy to match with a phonostage. With the MC you really have to look at that closely. I think it goes from something like 5.5mv to .4mv.

    It's all subjective and very much conditional to matching the rest of the system. I've also heard very good things about the Hana MC that costs a bit less than the 2mb.
     
  17. royzak2000

    royzak2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London,England
    Audio Technica AT33, you would need a phono stage.
     
  18. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I forgot the model of the AT I have, but it's the highly regarded one you have to get out of Japan and it's gold colored. Sorry about the lousy description; I don't see a model number on it. I think it was around $650. Do you think the AT33 would be a nice upgrade for me?? I believe my phono stage handles MC carts.

    Edit: I must be looking at the wrong on on Amazon. It's $233, but that one is mono. It does say it's MC though...seems awfully cheap. I see the AT33EV is around $475. If it's a jump up in quality, I wonder why mine was so much more, not that price has anything to do with it. I just want to make sure I'm looking at the one you are suggesting. And...I just ordered it...they only had one left! Hope I got the right one....
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  19. TheIncredibleHoke

    TheIncredibleHoke Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I installed the 2M Black on my simple as can be Rega Planar 3 with RB330 tonearm and it's been amazing. It replaced a 2M Blue and I was worried about issues with lack of adjustment and SN. Neither have been an issue. There's been a huge upgrade in retrieval, but no issues with increased SN. Though I normally listen to good pressings and avoid poorly graded vinyl.

    Lots of armchair experts online, but it does pay to try and listen for yourself.
     
  20. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    The jump from blue to black is jaw dropping and I also found there was no difference in how they managed SN.
     
  21. BKphoto

    BKphoto Forum Resident

    I have a 2M Black, upgrade from a Denon 110

    much better for me...
     
  22. TheIncredibleHoke

    TheIncredibleHoke Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    It was definitely a "whoa" moment, but have yet to be bothered by increased SN - and I am definitely not a fan of snap, crackle, or pop.
     
  23. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    Talk about a "Whoa moment". When the 2M series first came out, I purchased the 2M Red, Two months later I purchased the 2M Black...that was an eye opener for sure!
     
  24. Benzion

    Benzion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    You've had a good experience, wonderful. For every one of those, I've read about two of the other kind - from people who have tried for themselves, mind you. So, please, if your mileage indeed varies - don't just assume that it's the same for everyone. If there are opinions different from yours, it does not make everyone an armchair expert. Most of us come here to gather other people's opinions. For now, the skeptical ones outnumber the positive ones by a far margin. Based on what I have seen on this forum, I'm stopping at Bronze, regardless of how much you may love your Black. And, when I decide to to spend $750 on a cartridge, there are better alternatives, like the Hana SL, or Soundsmith Carmen, among others.
     
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  25. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I could tell the Black had a good cartridge somewhere in there. When it sounded good. On occasion, it was awesome. I have the half speed master of Streisand's Guilty album, which is a superb recording for that genre of music. It was a complete nightmare with the black. No matter where the arm was the sibilance was just terrible. I know it's a challenging recording, but it always sounded fine with both my AT catrs, and my vintage Shure Type IV. I just couldn't get it there between sibilance issues, way too much surface noise and other issues, and many have reported these same problems. I do blame my ineptness in installing it, not the actual cartridge. However, whatever the reason it was a fail for me and I had to remove it. I kinda feel bad for Ortofon but when so many people can't install it right I start looking at the mfg. I have never had a problem installing any of my Shure or AT carts, but I will give Ortofon the benefit of the doubt, based on many positive comments here, that I just couldn't dial it in correctly. I do love the sound of their cartridges.
     
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