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Upgrade from Ortonfon Red to Bronze? Stores with Ortofon Deals?


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Hi there,

 

I think it may be time to change the stylus from my pro-ject debut carbon which I have been using daily since 2015 as I just noticed a few skips on records that never had some in the past.

 

Any recommendations of stores that have sales including Ortofon? I'm thinking of upgrading from the Red to the Bronze. Open to other recommendations too.

 

Thanks!

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Were you planning to upgrade the entire cartridge, or just the stylus?

If I remember correctly, you can use a Blue stylus on the Red's cartridge as they are the same, but the Bronze has some compatibility issues. Some people say it worked fine, but others don't recommend it. For what its worth, the jump from Blue to Bronze doesn't seem to be that huge of a difference per a lot of reviews I've read. But then again, it all depends on your ears!

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https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/can-you-swap-in-a-ortofon-2m-bronze-stylus-into-a-2m-cart.283479/

https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/upgrading-my-ortofon-2m-blue-stylus-to-bronze.418594/

 

It seems like Red to Blue works because they have the exact cart. You can also use Bronze since they use the same form factor, but the cartridge from the Bronze/Black is different than the one they use for Red/Blue. So you wouldn't be using  it to it's full potential.

 

Here's a video from one of those threads, comparing the Bronze on the different carts.

 

 

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3 hours ago, mitchard said:

https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/can-you-swap-in-a-ortofon-2m-bronze-stylus-into-a-2m-cart.283479/

https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/upgrading-my-ortofon-2m-blue-stylus-to-bronze.418594/

 

It seems like Red to Blue works because they have the exact cart. You can also use Bronze since they use the same form factor, but the cartridge from the Bronze/Black is different than the one they use for Red/Blue. So you wouldn't be using  it to it's full potential.

 

Thank you for the info! I would change the whole cartridge if I went to the Bronze, surprisingly the price difference stylus vs whole cartridge is pretty small.

 

Do you have any other recommendations? I naturally looked into Ortofon since this is the cartridge I currently have but I'm definitely open if there is other interesting options a bit cheaper than the Bronze.

 

3 hours ago, Gumbo72203 said:

the folks at www.upscaleaudio.com would be really helpful for this questions :D

Thanks for the link I wasn't familiar with them, they seem to carry a ton of great brands! I originally got my pro-ject at TurntableLab.

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I second the Nagaoka MP-110 over an Ortofon but that's more a matter of personal preference.  I definitely preferred the MP-110 over the Red on my Pro-Ject. As I'm sure you've already read, the Ortofon is usually  described as clinical and dry, whereas the Nagaoka is more warm and musical. I found those desciptors apt.

If you stick with Ortofon, the Blue would be the most I would spend on a catridge for that turntable. 

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11 hours ago, Smellman said:

I second the Nagaoka MP-110 over an Ortofon but that's more a matter of personal preference.  I definitely preferred the MP-110 over the Red on my Pro-Ject. As I'm sure you've already read, the Ortofon is usually  described as clinical and dry, whereas the Nagaoka is more warm and musical. I found those desciptors apt.

If you stick with Ortofon, the Blue would be the most I would spend on a catridge for that turntable. 

Thanks for the info. I think a learning is that I shouldn't have waited so long to change my stylus. I find it a bit annoying that with Ortofon, for the Blue the stylus is $204 and the whole cartridge is $239 more (only ~$30 difference), while with Nagaoka the cartridge is $150 and the stylus replacement only $70. I think it's more customer friendly to have a stylus replacement half the price of the whole cartridge (and I like that the math persists with their higher models too).

 

Does the warmness and musicality of the Nagaoka impact the overall definition / separation of the instruments? I think I got used to hearing musing through the Ortofon Red, but I'm excited about a change.

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You might call it a loss of detail/separation but it's all about trade-offs. Another common analogy is that the Ortofon line sounds more like listening to a CD, the Nagaoka produces a more "classic vinyl sound". The only way to know which you ultimately prefer is to hear both.

I've had a Bronze on my new VPI but have found the combination dry and somewhat fatiguing. My Nagaoka MP-200 arrives Monday. 

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Update: just installed it and I'm really enjoying it so far. It's not a fair comparison since my Ortofon Red was definitely too old but Hail To The Thief sounds fantastic as a first record. Can't wait to see what happens after the 30-hour break in.

 

It was little bit intimidating changing it on the debut carbon, the pins from the Ortofon Red got stuck on the connector when disconnecting it. After a little patience everything went well. Great deal, highly recommend pro-ject users to consider it instead of only looking at Ortofon.

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On 4/24/2021 at 12:51 PM, Smellman said:

You might call it a loss of detail/separation but it's all about trade-offs. Another common analogy is that the Ortofon line sounds more like listening to a CD, the Nagaoka produces a more "classic vinyl sound". The only way to know which you ultimately prefer is to hear both.

I've had a Bronze on my new VPI but have found the combination dry and somewhat fatiguing. My Nagaoka MP-200 arrives Monday. 

I'm not familiar with the Nagoka series, but I've been using Ortofon Blue for 10+ years and don't think it sounds anything like a CD. I own many of the same albums on vinyl and CD, and most of the records sound much different/better than the CD with my Ortofon. I might have to give the Nagaoka a try to see if I notice a difference. 

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For what it's worth, I've been using an ortofon 2m black for about a year now and I listen to records way less since installing it. Still deciding on what to replace it with, but I'm definitely not a fan of the 2m sound and when A/B-ing digital vs the 2m black, they're almost indistinguishable. That's not to say that it's bad, but it's not how I want my records to sound. I've got tidal for that.

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