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Ortofon A95 MC cartridge
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Art Of Sound


Noel Keywood hails Ortofon's new A95 state-of-the-art Moving Coil cartridge as one of the best he has ever heard.

With a super rigid, laser-welded titanium body, boron cantilever and finely honed diamond stylus of Replicant geometry, you can guess before I begin that Ortofon’s new top Moving Coil (MC) cartridge I am reviewing here is a feat of micro-miniature engineering. You pay £3750 for the luxury of owning this fine and delicate device – a technology showcase.
    I’m forever amazed at what can be teased out of the vinyl groove and just how far we can go – perhaps still have to go – to make the most of playing LP and the A95 is a great illustration of how modern materials and technologies are being used to advance this process.
    You can see the A95 has a vestigial body frame that cradles a miniature electrical generator at its furthermost tip. From this emerges the fine boron cantilever that traces the LP groove.
    Visually, there’s almost nothing in the A95 you may think. But all MC cartridges are built to this basic pattern. The generator, a tiny coil of wire in a magnetic field, has to be as small and light as possible, so everything is of Lilliput proportions.
    One of the problems this raises, a cartridge manufacturer once told me, was that when you order in the basic materials your order is so small no one wants to fulfil it! Ortofon, like Nagaoka of Japan, actually have other businesses in micro-engineering, providing high precision parts, and this helps diversify and enlarge their business.
    Bear in mind that the LP was all but dead and buried a decade ago and cartridge manufacturers appeared to be following candle stick makers into oblivion; they would not have survived without other interests. The A95 now reminds us of what the vinyl revival is about. It’s now an historic music source that is to be treasured – even revered. Think classic cars. And the revival of cartridge manufacturing as a high technology business, is sustained by these renewed sales.



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