Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (3)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    SDA SweetSpot
    Posts
    5,366

    Default Ortofon Throws Down The Gauntlet

    In an uncharacteristically brash press release and product brochure, Ortofon has announced the availability of its latest flagship moving coil cartridge, the MC Windfeld.


    Ortofon MC Windfeld-This better be phenomenally wonderful.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    From the press release:

    "Ortofonís 75-year-old engineer Per Windfeld falls into the category of true hi-fi visionaries. His massive contribution has been a feature of the development of cartridges all over the world ever since he emerged in the mid-1970s as head of development for the famous MC 20 cartridge, which became the modern successor of the SPU model. The last 30 years have seen an incredible number of successes. This is why Ortofon is now paying tribute to Per Windfeld with a newly developed, state-of-the-art, moving coil cartridge in the absolute high-end class.

    In terms of design technology, the Ortofon MC Windfeld is of course based on many of the most important innovations and patents that Per Windfeld secured for Ortofon in the course of his work stretching back more than 30 years.

    Ortofon is a company that is built on ingenious innovations, proud traditions and incredible volumes of accumulated, precision knowledge of transducer technology. The foundations were built by the company Fonofilm Industri A/S, founded in 1918, which won international success and acclaim by synchronizing sound and pictures in the film industry.

    Nowadays Ortofon produces not only the best cartridges in the world, but also microscopic precision parts for industrial measuring instruments and tools that no one else in the world is able to compete with. You only gain the position as market leader when you base your business on know-how and precision knowledge rather than the voodoo and wishful thinking that characterizes the high-end brands of others in the industry."

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    I don't know...maybe there has been a recent management change at Ortofon. Maybe the young lions have taken over. Whatever is driving this hubris, I, and other Ortofon cultists the world over, can't wait until the Windfeld starts making the rounds with the audio reviewers who are lying in wait. It will be interesting to see how the Windfeld delivers on its high performance promise as "the world's best cartridge". When you accuse others in the industry of "voodoo and wishful thinking", you better have some strong medicine to back up such claims. Previously, Ortofon was very quiet and conservative in their product literature. In the US, their marketing has been borderline reclusive.

    The Windfeld won't be available in the US until February 2008. I can't imagine that I would be able to obtain a Windfeld for anything close to a reasonable price at any of the stateside dealers. The hype factor is too high. Fortunately, modern communications technology offers some options.:)


    Soon to be retired? My Ortofon Jubilee has been outstanding in every respect.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the performance of my Ortofon Jubilee, as I did the Kontrapunkt B and Kontrapunkt C before it. An email reply from Ortofon explained that the Windfeld is not an incremental upgrade over the Jubilee..."it is in a class above the Jubilee":

    "The Windfeld is definitely in a class above the Jubilee. Despite the Jubileeís excellent reputation, the MC Windfeld represents a no expense spared approach to best-in-class sound reproduction. The MC Windfeld is actually named in honor of Ortofonís recently retired chief engineer, Per Windfeld, who was responsible for all Ortofon cartridges from the 70s to current Ė and this cartridge represents the culmination of his research and technical knowledge.

    It should also be mentioned that the Windfeld features the Ortofon Replicant 100 diamond, a stylus profile totally unique to Ortofon and known for having extremely high tracking ability. It has only ever appeared on our very top range cartridges, including the former MC-5000."


    Time, and careful listening, will tell.

    -----------------------------------------
    ***Edit 06/06/2008***

    Time, and careful listening, did tell. My review of the MC Windfeld is here.

    -----------------------------------------
    See...? More and more you are getting sucked into the seductive, glossy black, dark side of analog playback.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 06-06-2008 at 09:47 PM.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    __________________
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (17)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    12,073

    Default

    Cool! I wonder how much in $$. Vinyl is on a comeback. You can only fool people with shiny silvery things for awhile.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (21)

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Deep Down the Rabbit Hole
    Posts
    9,610

    Default

    could there be a licorice pizza store in your town soon?????

    who would of ever thunk it.

    RT1
    REEL TIME THEATRE
    Onkyo-TX-NR5007
    B&K 7270 amplifier
    Polk SWA-500 Subwoofer amplifier
    OppO BDP-83
    Pioneer Elite 50"
    Polk LCi-RTS-105;LCi-RTS-C;LCi-RTSFx;LCi80Fx
    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


    RABBIT HOLE RIG
    BAT VK-31SE
    VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock
    Wolcott Presence monoblock
    Musical Fidelity kW SACD
    Rega P25/RB600/Clearaudio Aurum Beta
    Acoustech Phono-Pre
    Sound Lab Millenium ELS
    BillyBags Rack
    MIT S1/3 cables
    Shunyata/PS Audio/Virtual Dynamics Power Cords


    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (12)

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Plainfield, Illinois
    Posts
    5,385

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    Cool! I wonder how much in $$.
    Needle Doctor has it listed for $3,400.

    http://www.needledoctor.com/Ortofon-...2&category=378
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
    Krell KRC-HR Class A Pre w/ Reference Phono
    Krell Class A KSA-250
    Harmonic Technology Pro 9+
    Squeezebox Touch / Welborne Labs PS / I2S Out Mod
    Denon 3910 w/I2S/DSD Out
    Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC
    Sennheiser HD650
    Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive
    AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm
    AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R
    Shunyata Hydra (Original)
    NHT B-12d subs
    GIK Acoustic Treatments


    CP Showcase

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (17)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    12,073

    Default

    Not a bad price if its all they say it is. I don't see a trade-up policy listed though. That sucks.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sweet Spot
    Posts
    771

    Default

    I always wondered about these high priced carts and needles... like... I remember having to replace the needle in my cart back in the day all the time. These expensive carts look like the kind that have the needle hardwired in, and I can't imagine spending $3400 on something that is going to wear out sooner, rather than later.

    It's not like replacing a tube, belt, or something... maybe I am missing something.

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (12)

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Plainfield, Illinois
    Posts
    5,385

    Default

    All it takes is having the means and desire. The source component sets the limit for signal resolution. A better turntable/phono cartridge retrieves more information from the record with less noise and distortion compared to less expensive ones. Vinyl can be a deep, dark rabbit hole and it is up to the buyer to determine their spending limit and balance their purchases to their associated gear.

    With proper care and record cleaning, cartridges can last thousands of hours. The stylus/cantilever is not really hard wired in. It is mounted in a suspension system with the rear of the cantilever inside the cartridge pick up where the mechanical vibrations are turned into electrical energy. Some manufacturers offer discounts with a trade in/trade up policy on their cartridges, or discount for competitor brand trade ins. Soundsmith has a retipping/replace cantilever service wth prices from $150-$900, depending on stylus type.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
    Krell KRC-HR Class A Pre w/ Reference Phono
    Krell Class A KSA-250
    Harmonic Technology Pro 9+
    Squeezebox Touch / Welborne Labs PS / I2S Out Mod
    Denon 3910 w/I2S/DSD Out
    Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC
    Sennheiser HD650
    Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive
    AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm
    AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R
    Shunyata Hydra (Original)
    NHT B-12d subs
    GIK Acoustic Treatments


    CP Showcase

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (8)

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    11,499

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by madmax
    Not a bad price if its all they say it is. I don't see a trade-up policy listed though. That sucks.
    madmax
    A few bucks more than I plan on spending. Then again I don't have that much in my entire rig.
    "Just because youíre offended doesnít mean youíre right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (16)

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Six 'Burgh (Pittsburgh), PA
    Posts
    6,885

    Default

    WOW! That's a lot of cash!
    Carl

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (13)

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The Mars Hotel
    Posts
    31,287

    Default

    I know one guy that'll buy 5 of them........
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  11. #11

    Member Sales Rating: (10)

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Winfield, IL
    Posts
    1,333

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    I know one guy that'll buy 5 of them........
    :D:D:D

    Hey, don't make me scan my receipts...

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sweet Spot
    Posts
    771

    Default

    Soundsmith has a retipping/replace cantilever service wth prices from $150-$900, depending on stylus
    This is what I meant by hardwired. If you cannot replace the needle yourself. Thousands of hours... I am not sure I buy that as a long enough time to justify this. I have had some nice carts back in the day, but I remember having to replace the needle as often as one would have to replace a tube that was left on 24/7, or a lightbulb. If you do a lot of listening to vinyl, the needle is going to wear out sooner rather than later. I guess if you can afford a $3400 "lightbulb", then it doesn't matter anyway, but I do wish more makers would build in user replaceable needles.

    I am sure it sounds pretty awesome during the time that you get to use it.

    I realize that many of these are hand-wound and are as much works of art as technology. I just have a hard time spending that much money on something that is the first part of a 'table that is going to wear out. I will have to dig out my TT sometime and get back into it.

  13. #13

    Member Sales Rating: (10)

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Magnolia, NJ
    Posts
    4,084

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    I know one guy that'll buy 5 of them........
    Joe, any comment!!! ;)
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    D>SONIC M2-600M mono's / mains
    Rotel RMB-1095 / 5 channel amp
    Rotel RMB-1075 / 5 channel amp
    TEAC UD - 501 DAC
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS System
    KEF Q900 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Equitech Balanced Power Son of Q 1.5R
    Extensive room treatments

  14. #14

    Member Sales Rating: (3)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    SDA SweetSpot
    Posts
    5,366

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yashu View Post
    I guess if you can afford a $3400 "lightbulb", then it doesn't matter anyway, but I do wish more makers would build in user replaceable needles.
    The design of moving coil cartridges does not allow user replaceable needles as the stylus cantilever suspension and coil assemblies are, by neccessity, an integrated unit in the structure of the cartridge. Moving magnet designs can allow for user replaceable needles since the stylus cantilever and suspension can be designed as a removable modular unit separate from the internal pickup coils.

    Sometimes, with moving coil cartridges, the rubber cantilever suspension wears out before the diamond and some manufacturers lifetime rating is more for the cantilever suspension than for the diamond.

    Stylus (needle) lifetime ratings are typically conservative estimates based on a person who uses "average" care with record and stylus cleaning. If someone is meticulous (or fanatical) about record and stylus cleaning and does not over stress the cantilever suspension with high tracking forces, then the stylus and suspension can last many times over the manufacturer's rating. Some people use an inappropriate tonearm and cartrige combination that requires the use of high tracking forces to compensate for the mismatch. This decreases cartridge suspension and needle life.

    I don't know what the stylus lifetime rating is for the Windfeld. The Jubilee is rated for 2000 hours with "normal" record and stylus care.

    Assuming the Windfeld also has a stylus lifetime of 2000 hours, then the cost per hour of use, at a purchase price of the full MSRP, is $3400/2000 = $1.70.

    Needledoctor.com offers a 10% discount off the Windfeld's MSRP. In this case, the cost per hour of use is $3060/2000 = $1.53.

    Most people in the US, who have some consideration for their wallet, will obtain the Windfeld from a reputable dealer in Hong Kong or Germany, where the discounts are 35% or more. In that case, assuming a 35% discount, the cost per hour of use is $2210/2000 = $1.11.

    As you can see, the aqcuisition cost of the Windfeld is high, but the per hour cost of under $2.00 is much less than many other forms of entertainment (e.g. movies, shots of liquor, stripper lap dances, etc.) :)
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 01-04-2008 at 02:03 PM.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    __________________
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK

  15. #15

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    233

    Default

    One thing that I don't understand is the needle wearing out. How is this possible? The only way you can even scratch a diamond is with another diamond. How could vinyl possibly "wear out" a diamond stylus??

  16. #16

    Member Sales Rating: (3)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    SDA SweetSpot
    Posts
    5,366

    Default

    It seems paradoxical doesn't it?

    Consider that a diamond is just carbon, highly compressed carbon, but carbon nevertheless. As such, diamond has a high resistance to being scratched, but diamond is not very strong structurally and is subject to wear caused by heat and friction. Diamonds are very hard, but they will burn like other carbon based constructs and they can easily be shattered by impact (when struck with tools or even dropped).

    A phonograph record groove slides past a phonograph needle at an approximate speed of 20 inches per second. Some heat is generated by the friction between the record groove and the needle. Consider the heat generated by the friction of rubbing your hands together for less than a minute. Now consider the heat that would be generated in your hands if you were rubbing them together at a speed of 20 inches per second for a few hours at a time (as in an extended listening session).

    The vinyl polymers used in phonograph records are "softer" than diamond, but are stucturally much more resistant to contact wear caused by heat and friction. That is why a diamond needle wears out after a period of time and phonograph records, with proper care, last forever. :)

    Using a needle material with an equal or greater resistance to wear than the record would have the undesirable effect of causing the record to wear rather than the needle. Most of us would rather replace our needles or cartridges rather than our precious records...some of which are irreplaceable.
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 01-04-2008 at 10:47 PM.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    __________________
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK

  17. #17

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sweet Spot
    Posts
    771

    Default

    Diamond does wear down, as does the suspension of the needle itself.

    Think of a smooth rock in a river... it took millions of years, but water did that. The needle wears slowly, but I have noticed that several other things take place to compound this. The actual needle rod will begin to wear from the downforce, and what happens in the needle itself gets rotated slightly and rounds off the edges that are going to extract the most detail. It also can wear your vinyl down. Also, the suspension of the needle rod will get more and more loose as time goes on, causing a similar action.

    It is why I spent $200 dollars on my last cart when I had the TT hooked up and not $4,500. It really is a matter of how much you are willing to spend on each listen, like DK said. I used to listen so often that $1.50 per session would have killed me. CDs have their problems, but they don't have the mechanical wear issues at least, or not nearly the same level. TTs have the cart/needle, the belts, bearings, constant tweaking to maintain proper tracking, then you have the physical media wearing out with each play... being scraped by a diamond needle. It is both endearing of the format (music that you have to work to enjoy, and the tactile feel of it all), but also a pain in the ass.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Similar Threads

  1. Kenwood KD-550 with Ortofon X3 MC
    By hale2thechief in forum 2 Channel Audio
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-11-2007, 01:14 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-30-2002, 07:32 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts