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edplaysdrums42's picture
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Ortofon 2M Red
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Hi All

After noticing that the stylus on the cartridge of my Planar 3 (Rega Bias) seemed to be slightly out of line i decided to take the TT into my local hifi shop and decided to treat myself to a new cartridge. I rarely get chance to get to the shop because of work etc so i had the a Ortofon 2M Red fitted. We did a before and after in the shop and to me there was definately an improvement. I got the deck set up at home and i did not like the sound at all. Its as though all the top end has gone and too much midrange. The best way i can describe is that now it sounds like i'm listening in AM and with the old cartridge it sounded like FM. I use a Rega Fono Mini at the moment. 

I have read many great reviews on the 2M red so i cant understand how it seems so bad to me? I know my ATC gear is very neutral but i'm sure something is not quite right. It may that i just dont like the sound? It sounds so different with much less detail. I can barely hear the hi hats and cymbals at all unless i use headphones, I even had to check that the tweeters were working!

If anyone has any ideas i would be truly gratefull

Cheers Ed :?

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

Ed, this is almost the opposite of what I would have expected.

Based on comments here and elsewhere I'd expect the Red to veer slightly to the bright side, especially while running-in.

A few thoughts and questions:-

1. Did the dealer raise the arm base with a spacer (2mm, I think)?

2. Have you got the TT dead level and tracking weight accurately set?

3. Is the bias /anti-skate set at no more than 1 gram equivalent (because the arm is over-biased)?

Not saying these are definitely the problem, and faulty cartridges are not unheard of.

Good luck.

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

nopiano wrote:

Ed, this is almost the opposite of what I would have expected.

Based on comments here and elsewhere I'd expect the Red to veer slightly to the bright side, especially while running-in.

A few thoughts and questions:-

1. Did the dealer raise the arm base with a spacer (2mm, I think)?

2. Have you got the TT dead level and tracking weight accurately set?

3. Is the bias /anti-skate set at no more than 1 gram equivalent (because the arm is over-biased)?

Not saying these are definitely the problem, and faulty cartridges are not unheard of.

Good luck.

 

Hi Nopiano

I bought an acrylic platter at the same so a mat doesnt need to be used, the dealer advised me that this will solve the height issue.

I think i have the TT level as i can without TT spririt level. Certainly the same as before the cart was fitted.

All settings were done in store. They are good lads at the shop and i trust them. They have a lot of experience of vinyl.

Could it be something to do with the fono mini not working with the new cart. I read on another forum that someone had a 2M red and he had to change a setting on his phono stage for the sound to come into focus and really make a difference?

Thanks a lot for your reply. I'll speak to the dealers on tuesday and see what their advice is. Maybe trade in the red for a blue?

Cheers Ed  Smile

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

Set up is critical but well worth the time and effort and Nopiano has it just about right.

 

1.  Ensure you have the VTA correct (might need spacers) also check lateral alignment.

2.  Ensure the deck is on a stable flat surface (the more stable the better).

3.  Failures do happen, but it's currently less that 1 in 500 Smile

4.  Allow around 30 hours minimum fit the cartridge to run in, you'll be amazed at the difference.

If all else fails, let us have a look at it (or take it to your friendly dealer for checking)

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

Thanks for your reply. My friendly dealer has got it back and can find nothing wrong with it. I'm going to try a 2M blue stylus next to see if i like that and take it from there. The TT was set up at the shop and was fine when they checked it out. 

Its a bit of a mystery to me, I may get my phono stage checked out if there is still a problem but i'd be surprised if it was that. 

Cheers Ed

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

edplaysdrums42 wrote:

Thanks for your reply. My friendly dealer has got it back and can find nothing wrong with it. I'm going to try a 2M blue stylus next to see if i like that and take it from there. The TT was set up at the shop and was fine when they checked it out. 

Its a bit of a mystery to me, I may get my phono stage checked out if there is still a problem but i'd be surprised if it was that. 

Cheers Ed

Been watching this thread . . . I had a similar experience with an 2M Blue, sounded terrible, I thought I had wasted £150!  However I re did the cartridge set up, that improved things, bias was critical, tracking weight is about 2.2gms.  Then played the stylus in, I think it took 30+ hours, things started to improve to a point of 'tolerable'.  I then started to tweak the system as a whole, got a fair bit of flack on here, 'its a Rega, fit and forget', dont believe it, a little time and frustration is worth many hours of listening pleasure in the end.  VTA is important, I put 3mm of shims in, things started to get 'truly better' from that point on.

I now have the sweetest of sounds, have no immediate thoughts of changing the 2M Blue, I simply want to get on with listening to my vinyl.

See here:

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/turntables-and-lps/nirvana

CJSF

PS I was with friend Tuesday, he had a 2M Red in his TT, its sounded very good to me, so I dont think exchanging the blue stylus will change things?

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

edplaysdrums42 wrote:

Thanks for your reply. My friendly dealer has got it back and can find nothing wrong with it. I'm going to try a 2M blue stylus next to see if i like that and take it from there. The TT was set up at the shop and was fine when they checked it out. 

Its a bit of a mystery to me, I may get my phono stage checked out if there is still a problem but i'd be surprised if it was that. 

What else could it be though? If it sounds fine in the shop (before and after) then there can't be anything wrong with the cartridge/TT itself. Does your phone stage have an MC/MM switch?

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

Hi Nopiano, I note you bought an 'acrylic platter' at the same time as the Red 2M cartridge . . . I suspect the TT needs setting up for the 2M/Acrylic platter, I'm sitting here listening to my P5/Blue 2M/20mm acrylic platter, happen to have Chris Rea's 'Dancing with Strangers' playing, 2nd track 'I can't dance with that' has hi hats early on in the track.  Took off the felt mat, sure enough the cymbals reduced in intensity, (but not to the point of cant hear?), high mid range stepped forward, and Chris stepped further back in the mix.

Replaced the mat, all was returned to balanced as I would expect, I have spent much time tweaking to this point . . . know, I'm a tweaker.

So, not knowing which acrylic you have purchased I cant say more than my experiences are; Try the mat on the acrylic . . . I have also shimmed my arm to raise the back by 2mm. I know its actually 3mm but allows for the 1mm pips that support the new platter off the sub platter, working like isolators, alar spikes . . . its my only explanation for their effectiveness? . . . Logical, the bearing noise will transfer through the sub platter to the platter.  This is serious, the glass platter rings, transferring noise to the vinyl, stylus . . . etc, as I say its my explanation nothing official about it.

I would not mind betting the pips would improve the glass platters performance?

So, staying with the Acrylic platter and mat means an arm height change, back to the glass platter/mat, sound degradation? I removed the mat from the glass platter, better but not fully satisfactory, at the time I did not understand acrylics or isolation pips . . . ask myself, do I understand now??????

CJSF

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

Cliff, it was Ed that bought that platter not me!

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

Hi There

I use  Rega Fono Mini and it does not have a switch. If the 2M blue stylus still sounds dull i will make sure the phono stage is ok. 

Cliff as regards to your helpfull comments, I bought the acrylic platter to be used without the mat because of the height of the Ortofon which was all set up by my local dealer who specialise in turntables. I have read many of your posts and have enjoyed them all. 

I will take it step by step and hopefully have it resolved without having to part with too much cash!

Thanks again 

Ed

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

nopiano wrote:

Cliff, it was Ed that bought that platter not me!

Whoops . . . sorry

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

edplaysdrums42 wrote:

Hi There

 

Cliff as regards to your helpfull comments, I bought the acrylic platter to be used without the mat because of the height of the Ortofon which was all set up by my local dealer who specialise in turntables. I have read many of your posts and have enjoyed them all. 

I will take it step by step and hopefully have it resolved without having to part with too much cash!

Thanks again 

Ed

 

Just my personal experience . . . I'm no expert, one gets very confused these days.  How you go about it is up to you, the dealer should know what he is doing????

. . . best of luck . . . CJSF

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

Hi All

Well i now have the 2M blue stylus and it is a vast improvement! It still lacks a little of the top end i had before but overall at this early stage its sounding promising. The Ortofons sound very different to the Rega bias i had before and i suppose i need to adjust to the sound. One thing i can say is that the bass is so much better!

The next thing to look at is the phono stage which as good as it is for the price i suspect is the weak link. While i'm on the subject does anyone have any good suggestions regarding a phono stage that would go well with my set up?

Regards to all  Smile

Ed

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

When I got my Fono mini I asked the dealer about something better - a Graham Slee.  He said unless I was spending over £250 to £300 on a cartridge he wouldn't bother.  Well, anyone with an item in stock who doesn't flog it has to be telling the truth.  In my book anyway.

The other day I played my TT to a friend with a system whose stands and supports alone cost about the same as my whole system.  The same day we heard a £120k Linn Klimax system at a specialist dealer, along with at top spec LP12SE (about £20k).  My friend was amazed how good my TT sounded, at less than a grand (inc the fono).  

So, up to you, and the Slee model (around £250 I recall) would be worth a try if you are tempted.  Or maybe those nice Henley people would let you try one of theirs?  I always fancied a tube one, as it seems right to have analogue handled that way.  But for the same money, I thnk I'd be more intrigued by a Rega tweak, like a platter, power supply and/or belt upgrade. 

 

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

I borrowed my mates Angle Audio phono stage with the virtual battery and sounded better than the fono mini. It was more dynamic across the whole range, its a nice piece of kit and is well made. He loves it and has tried a few phono stages. He had the Whest two for a while and changed it for the Angle. 

I'm going to home demo some stuff and take it from there, thanks for your input.  Smile

Cheers Ed

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RE: Ortofon 2M Red

Where did you take your TT to get the cartridge changed? i really want to fit a ortofon red but dont know of any shops that do it near me, im in bognor regis.

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