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  1. #1

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    Default Volume change on turntable cartridge upgrade

    I upgraded my cartridge from a Ortofon 2M red (approx 1.5 months old) to a Ortofon 2M Blue. When I completed the switch, I noticed that the volume output has decreased when using the blue. I put a SPL meter on it and it has dropped 10 to 12 decibles at a set volume level.

    I called the audio store where I purchased them and they said that the output specs are the same so the volume should not have changed. They mentioned that bass and highs may have changed and will change as the cartridge breaks in. ( I had already expected that)

    I do not understand the numbers that are listed below, but does anyone see where one cart would be louder than the other from the numbers listed and why?

    Here are the specs of both cartridges: I have bolded the differences, if not bolded they are identical numbers.

    Technical data

    2M Red:
    2M Red features a tipped elliptical diamond.
    Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec. 5,5 mV
    Channel balance at 1 kHz 1,5 dB
    Channel separation at 1 kHz 22 dB
    Channel separation at 15 kHz 15 dB
    Frequency range at - 3dB 20-22.000 Hz
    Frequency response 20-20.000 Hz + 3 / - 1 dB
    Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force 70 ?m
    Compliance, dynamic, lateral 20 ?m/mN
    Stylus type Elliptical
    Stylus tip radius r/R 8/18 ?m
    Tracking force range 1,6-2,0g (16-20 mN)
    Tracking force, recommended 1,8 g (18 mN)
    Tracking angle 20?
    Internal impedance, DC resistance 1,3 kOhm
    Internal inductance 700 mH
    Recommended load resistance 47 kOhm
    Recommended load capacitance 150-300 pF
    Cartridge colour, body/stylus Black/Red
    Cartridge weight 7,2 g
    Replacement stylus unit 2M Red

    Technical data

    2M Blue
    2M Blue: features a nude elliptical diamond.
    Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec. 5,5 mV
    Channel balance at 1 kHz 1,5 dB
    Channel separation at 1 kHz 25 dB
    Channel separation at 15 kHz 15 dB
    Frequency range at - 3dB 20-25.000 Hz
    Frequency response 20-20.000 + 2 / - 1 dB
    Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force 80 ?m
    Compliance, dynamic, lateral 20 ?m/mN
    Stylus type Nude Elliptical
    Stylus tip radius r/R 8/18 ?m
    Tracking force range 1,6-2,0g (16-20 mN)
    Tracking force, recommended 1,8 g (18 mN)
    Tracking angle 20?
    Internal impedance, DC resistance 1,3 kOhm
    Internal inductance 700 mH
    Recommended load resistance 47 kOhm
    Recommended load capacitance 150-300 pF
    Cartridge colour, body/stylus Black/Blue
    Cartridge weight 7,2 g
    Replacement stylus unit 2M Blue
    Last edited by gfong; 02-15-2011 at 07:35 PM.

  2. #2

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    Default

    Well, they're rated the same; might just be individual variation from cartridge to cartridge.
    all the best,
    mrh

  3. #3

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    Both voltage outputs are the same so they should play the same loudness. Very strange indeed.
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  4. #4
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    ^ Agree...

    Only other things I can think of would be the connections you dealt with in swapping out the cartridges, i.e., poorer contact at the leads and/or, if removable headshell, its contacts with the tonearm... moreso the latter. Hard to believe both ch's would be affected the same, but certainly worth a double check. Ditto for the phono leads, if you had to disconnect those...

    Break-in??? For smoothness maybe... but for output? I'm thinking no. Time to contact Ortophon.

    Meanwhile I was googling to refresh my memory of what a Nude stylus was and came across an interesting discussion at VinylEngine.
    More later,
    Tour...
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  5. #5

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    cartridge mislabed ? specs?
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the thoughts gents, The advantage of the Ortofon Red/Blue is that the stylus are interchangeable on either body.

    The volume change is prevelent using the body of the Red with the stylus of the blue (yesterday) and the body of the blue mounted with the stylus of the red. (today)

    I can switch the stylus on either and the drop in volume is noticeable when the Blue (suposedly better) is installed.

    May be something in the stylus of the Blue.

    Retail for the Red is $99.00 and retail for the Blue is $199.00.

    I am going back to the store on Thursday and they are going to have a look at it.
    Last edited by gfong; 02-15-2011 at 09:23 PM.

  7. #7

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    Sounds like a faulty cartridge.

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  8. #8

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    A well known turntable designer said something like not every stylus is where it is supposed to be. If your arm has adjustable VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle) you can try adjusting it up and down to see if it makes a difference. I've had cartridges that were sensitive to VTA, and others that were not.
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  9. #9

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    Thanks again for the info on this, I am going to the shop in the morning and will pass on what was mentioned here if they cannot get it right. Thanks again. I will update when I get back tomorrow.

  10. #10

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    I had a brand new Sumiko Blackbird that required an extreme VTA (arm post/rear of arm very high) to sound good. I wrote to the retailer (including pictures) and they didn't read or understand the problem telling me I had the arm way too high (duh!). I wrote to Sumiko and they said something was definitely wrong and Needle Doctor stepped up and exchanged it.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  11. #11

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    Thanks again for all the support and suggestions.

    All fixed up! They think that the stylus (other end of needle) was not in full contact with the cartridge once the stylus was seated in the cartridge. Male part was not long enough to fully seat in the female part! Damn, it even happens with our hobbies! lol

    They had a new 2M Blue stylus in stock, so we swapped them out. Tried the Red to get the volume in our heads, switched to the new Blue and bam, same volume but a lot fuller and nicer sound.

    Re-tried old Blue,



    and the volume dropped and lost the punch that the new blue was showing.

    Wow! what a difference a working 2M Blue cartridge makes compared to a non working one! lol
    There is a substantial sound improvement over the 2M Red. Lower floor noise, great bass, and an all around fuller sound. Will give it a good listen later.

    Thanks again, Greg
    Last edited by gfong; 02-17-2011 at 07:24 PM.

  12. #12

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    I would think it should only improve more as the cartridge breaks in. My new Dyna sounded like ass when I first dialed her in. That cartridge just sings now.

    Congrats on the upgrade and getting it worked out, gfong. Happy spinning!

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