Ortofon Concorde cartridge: Best stylus for Hi-Fi ?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by serendipitydawg, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. serendipitydawg

    serendipitydawg Dag nabit! Thread Starter

    Berkshire UK
    I seem to recall that this cartridge started life as a hi-fi cartridge, but it's longevity comes from it's relaunch as a DJ cartridge, with higher tracking force and spherical styli.

    I recently found a Concorde when I moved house recently, probably abandoned by my son and stashed away in a box, sans stylus.

    What currently available stylus would give me the best bang-for-the-buck in a hi-fi perspective ?

    I am intrigued in not having to align it. Plug and play plus inexpensive styli.
    Heckto35 likes this.
  2. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    East Coast, USA
    You still may have to align it; no guarantee it's a perfect match for your tonearm geometry. If it isn't, it doesn't allow much adjustment. What turntable/arm do you have?

    Any of the OM styli will fit.
  3. serendipitydawg

    serendipitydawg Dag nabit! Thread Starter

    Berkshire UK
    I have a Technics SL1210 ( which my son also handily abandoned).

    I also have a refurbished Goldring GL75 in a custom plinth with Rega badged Acos arm.

    I know that the styli are universal, but the nub of my question was which one sounds "best" from a non-DJ point of view.

    Just curious to see if anyone had experimented :)
  4. The Pinhead


    Those carts were MADE with your TT's geometry in mind. Direct plug&play. The styli you can fit to improve the spherical (which is darn good to begin with, mind you) are many. None is exactly cheap, mind you.

    Which cart model does your Goldring sport ?
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
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  5. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Bristol, UK
    Don't bother with the 5, DJ or Pro, get an OM 10 or 20 stylus, both represent good value for money and a decent performance.
    Robert C, The Pinhead and Gibson67 like this.
  6. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Newcastle, WA
    The best cart I had back when I still did vinyl was a Concorde. Smooth top end, velvety mids; AT's, Grado's and others I tried sounded shrill by comparison.

    I loved the fact that you just plugged it into the arm, no headshell. Setup was easy.
  7. The Pinhead


    Yet I wonder what was that poster @DoF disliked so much about it.
    DoF likes this.
  8. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    East Coast, USA
    Or the new 14 for around $70. See needledoctor.com.
    The Pinhead likes this.
  9. Gibson67

    Gibson67 Life is a Magical Mystery Tour enjoy the ride

    Diss, UK
    I went from a 5 to 20 and the difference was like night from day, the 20 rocks. Perhaps a tad bright sounding IMO but a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
    The Pinhead likes this.
  10. serendipitydawg

    serendipitydawg Dag nabit! Thread Starter

    Berkshire UK
    It sports a NOS Ortofon MC10 Super that I bought on eBay for a fraction of the shop price:)

    Thanks for confirming what I have just concluded from further research, which I was doing whilst you posted this pearl of wisdom. Ortofon Stylus 10 £40. Thanks:)
    The Pinhead and Dubmart like this.
  11. OcdMan

    OcdMan Forum Resident

    The 20 is a lot better than the 10 if you can swing it. Smoother, less harsh, lower distortion, better tracking, etc. The "best" are the 30 and 40 styli.
  12. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    I just replaced a OM5 with a 10 and the difference was quite dramatic. It went from pretty nice to Wow, this sounds great! Much smoother, detailed and realistic. I've no doubt moving higher up the OM stylus line would yield better results, but for this TT, a U-Turn Orbit Plus in my "Away" system it's quite enough, especially at $35 new via EBay.
    The Pinhead likes this.
  13. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    All Concordes are by default set to 52mm overhang. Higher mass than the DJ Concorde versions, Technics owners have fun. OM 10-40 can be used, and all DJ options on higher mass Technics arm options. Enjoy. I am an OM 10 man, use an OM body. Plan on getting a Concorde body if cheap, for my SL-D1 casual player, and can be DJ or older HiFi.
    DoF, Shak Cohen and The Pinhead like this.
  14. rod

    rod Forum Resident

    P1P 1Z2
    Do you have the Ortofon counterweight that came with the Concorde? When I used the Concorde 20 I had to remove the counterweight that came with the tonearm and replace it with the lightweight Ortofon counterweight because the Concorde weighs so much less than a standard headshell.
  15. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    Don't, but have one tonearm light enough it don't care.
    DoF likes this.
  16. ShallowMemory

    ShallowMemory Classical Princess

    I have a type 20 in mine.Sounds marvelous, tracking extremely well.
  17. Shak Cohen

    Shak Cohen Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    20/30/40 are all great stylii giving top quality hi-fi performance.
    Personally I also like to track the blue DJ PRO at 2.5g for mono and other records that need a sweeter, slightly 'fatter' sound.
    The 10 seems to be great for less than ideal vinyl, where the pressing, mastering, or condition is not audiophile.
    So I prefer having several OM stylii, it's very easy to switch between them.
  18. Pete Norman

    Pete Norman Forum Resident

    I use A Technics 1210 with an Ortofon 'NiteClub' Mk II P mount (orange shell) with the elliptical stylus. Some new styli from them need wearing in nowadays.
    Licorice pizza and The Pinhead like this.
  19. Baron Von Talbot

    Baron Von Talbot Well-Known Member

    I used the red-ellyptical tip on my Ortophon cart I had on my first Technics and liked it enough to replace it twice over the years-still got a decent RED stylus on my now dewfective DUAL CS 701.. It was the best from the DJ carts available. It was later replaced with a GOLD. But the OM 20 is even better not sure if they are such a great choice for a CONCORDE cart...
  20. bystander

    bystander Forum Resident

    I really like the “plug & play” aspect of the Ortofon Concorde, and the fact that it was designed specifically to be mated with the Technics 1200/1210.

    I see KAB offers a standard Pro S model with choices of the OM 20, 30, or 40 stylus installed.

    I am a lifelong Grado user (Black, Blue, Silver) on both the 1200 and 1210. I wonder how these models of Grado and Ortofon would compare.
  21. DoF

    DoF Less is more...

    I have Concorde Pro S (with its stylus), and OM 10 stylus, in both options it did not meet my expectations.

    I compared my Concorde OM 10 to At95e, and tried it on my AT 120 LP TT.

    I tested those on:

    George Benson: Blue Benson: https://www.discogs.com/George-Benson-Blue-Benson/release/3871278
    Motörhead: Bomber, blue vinyl: https://www.discogs.com/Motörhead-Bomber/release/2555600
    Fleetwood Mac: Rumours: https://www.discogs.com/Fleetwood-Mac-Rumours/release/613159

    These are my hearing experiences so far:

    Concorde OM 10 produces fake sound. It aligns the power of different sounds making it almost equal to one another resulting in flat, less dynamic music – no ups, and downs, all's linear. Drums dynamics is reduced and flat. Sound is less stereophonic. Less detailed and clear, veiled and buried. True, it reduces sibilance, maybe because it reduces high sounds too, so it throws the baby out with the bathwater. Overall the sound resembles cd with its major differences to warm sound of vinyl.

    I tested At95e at 2.5g (changed from recommended 2.0g) which is maximum allowed by the manufacturer, and OM 10 at 1.5g. Plus I did my best to level the platter and tone-arm right and practiced the setup. I notice less sibilance.

    Summary (to my ears):

    OM 10 sound = cd counterpart (and not the best one).
    At95e sound = it promises I can experience the performance of an artist in my room in the future.

    I don’t say OM 10 is junk, it is superior to pro s, but At95e serves my purposes way better. I know that At95e is basic, but it is a way to go, still u need to alignment it.

    In vinyl world shortcuts are not recommended.

    See here: cartridge improvement, please advise »
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
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  22. Licorice pizza

    Licorice pizza Livin’ On The Fault Line

    I started with the Concorde ProS then graduated to the Concorde Nightclub mkii. That was my set up for about a year and a half.

    A few months ago I couldn't pass up the new AT440mlb at an unheard of $150 on Amazon. I haven't gone back since. It's like two different universes. The 440mlb just digs out every last detail and the IGD is gone forever. My next step will probably be the AT150sa.

    Gotta say that the Microline cut is amazing!
    gss, The Pinhead, Opeth and 1 other person like this.
  23. bystander

    bystander Forum Resident

    Just an update, I went with the Concorde/STY-20 combo from KAB for my SL-1200MK2 and I’m very happy with the results. Set-up was super easy, I just plugged it in and balanced the tonearm, matched up the anti-skating, and eyeballed the VTA.

    I may spring for the Concorde/STY-40 combo for my SL-1210MK2 and compare the two, but so far the STY-20 sounds mighty good to these ears.
    Shak Cohen and The Pinhead like this.
  24. Heckto35

    Heckto35 Well-Known Member

    I'm using the Pro S and it's much better than I expected a spherical to do. I'd put it in a category with an elliptical because it's bright all over the record and in the inner grooves it brings out higher frequencies. Probably due to the fact that the cart, cantilever and stylus are smaller and lighter. Especially when compared to my Stanton Groovemaster's which everything is bigger than the Concorde.
    Shak Cohen likes this.
  25. DoF

    DoF Less is more...

    Using now Nagaoka MP-110 mounted on Jelco HS-25 Headshell, but will give Ortofon Concorde Pro S with OM10 another chance today.

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
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