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Thread: Ortofon 2M Red

  1. #1
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Ortofon 2M Red

    After about two weeks with this cart all I can say is very very good for the money. The cart is fully broken in if it takes about 50-100 hours. I did read alot of negative things about the Red before I purchased as well as positive reviews, but I really look for reviews by hobbyist who seemed to be more mature in evaluating rather than those who seemed like they had no real idea about sound. I love the way you screw the cart in....no nuts to put on to a screw. As I type now, I am listening to the "Pat Metheny Group"s 1987 release "Still life talking... I have had this on CD as well but for now its all about vinyl. IF any one knows anything about The Metheny group, there is a lot of different sounds coming at you at once. The Reds tracking is out standing. No grove or inner grove distortion at all.no wobble, no hum, nothing but pure analogue sound, so as always, the set up of the cart is very important. The Reds sound is clear and very transparent. The highs are very well noticeable with no roll off and no sibilance. I suspect there is coloration from the Red, but its not all that noticeable at all like some carts. The cart seems to give it to you just as it was laid down on the vinyl. It has a nice bottom end, with the mids a little recessed but not to where you are thinking something is missing, its hardly noticeable at all. But what I did notice when compared to my Goldring Elan or "Music Tracker" On artist like Paul Desmond who is normally smooth himself , is this cart is not as smooth as the cheaper Elan. With the Elan there was a nice bottom end and a certain lush, velvet like cohesiveness to the vinyl sound, you get some of that velvet like smoothness with the Red but not as much with the Elan....the 2M Red while more "pronounced" and more intensified in each musical note played is more "forward" and more "in your face". One reviewer of the Red said the Red "made the vinyl sound better that what it really is." And because it makes music sound better than what it really is, he said its not accurate. I dont know about that...it would seem the Red just does a very good job of amplifying the sound on the vinyl or it could be the coloration that you really dont notice that makes it sound beter than what it really is. But all in all, this is a very good cart for your money. Not as smooth as teh Goldring and a tad forward or in your face, being a bit of a forward Cart. I think its an improvement and a step up from the OMB carts. So if you are in need of a good cart without spending a lot of money you may be able to nab one. The going price is $99, but I've seen them as low as $69 on clearance in a few places. Out of the box it may seem like a very bright cart with sibilance and distortion, but after break in the cart settles down nicely. A very good tracker worth the money. I am wanting to try the 2M Blue...a Goldring 2300 or better, and I have to try a "humming" Grado cart.



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  2. #2
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Nice review Frenchy. I enjoyed reading it.

    One question: How is your Verticle Tracking force? It's hard to say, but I don't see cantilever from the pick. Are you applying proper amount of VTF?

    I look forward to your upcoming reviews.
    Have Fun,

    JRA

  3. #3
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    Great review Frenchmon. To me, I wish I read this review months ago I would have picked one up. You described it as "warm" which has sparked my interest. How is it different than the OMB carts; curious, because they are the replacement of that series.

    Great pics and reviews!!!

  4. #4
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Nice review Frenchy. I enjoyed reading it.

    One question: How is your Verticle Tracking force? It's hard to say, but I don't see cantilever from the pick. Are you applying proper amount of VTF?

    I look forward to your upcoming reviews.
    Have Fun,

    JRA
    The range of the Red is 1.6 - 2.0g
    They recommend 1.8g of force.
    I have been going within the limits of the range to determine the best sound. I think when I took that picture I had it at its greatest point of 2.0g
    I like it at 1.6g
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  5. #5
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enochrome
    Great review Frenchmon. To me, I wish I read this review months ago I would have picked one up. You described it as "warm" which has sparked my interest. How is it different than the OMB carts; curious, because they are the replacement of that series.

    Great pics and reviews!!!
    Hi Enochhrome...thanks for the kind words.

    The Red is warm (er) in comparison to the OM10 which is a very lively cart. After listening to the OM10 and then switching over to the Red you notice a not so in your face and a smoother presentation but there is still a little in your face compaired to the Elan.

    The Elan (and I suspect its a characteristic of Goldring but not sure) was warm and had a certain smoothness to it that the OM10 knew nothing about, but the entry level Elan had less detail in comparing it to the Red and OM10. The Red displayed some characteristics of smoothness but not as profound as the Goldring. Thats why I am very curious to listen to a more expensive Goldring. I also get that impression with Grado.

    With the Red you get very very good detail from top to bottom. It is also very transparent and is a very good tracker as witnessed today as I listen to Pat Metheny Group which seemed to be just grooving especially in the many rhythms contained in the music. It seems there is no coloration but I suspect it has some as the music sounds so good....I do detect a little sweetness, but it also could be the emotion from the Cantons.

    How is your Grado doing?

    Cheers
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  6. #6
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    a lot easier to read THIS way

    Ortofon 2M Red

    After about two weeks with this cart all I can say is very very good for the money. The cart is fully broken in if it takes about 50-100 hours. I did read alot of negative things about the Red before I purchased as well as positive reviews, but I really look for reviews by hobbyist who seemed to be more mature in evaluating rather than those who seemed like they had no real idea about sound.

    I love the way you screw the cart in....no nuts to put on to a screw. As I type now, I am listening to the "Pat Metheny Group"s 1987 release "Still life talking... I have had this on CD as well but for now its all about vinyl. IF any one knows anything about The Metheny group, there is a lot of different sounds coming at you at once.

    The Reds tracking is out standing. No grove or inner grove distortion at all.no wobble, no hum, nothing but pure analogue sound, so as always, the set up of the cart is very important. The Reds sound is clear and very transparent. The highs are very well noticeable with no roll off and no sibilance. I suspect there is coloration from the Red, but its not all that noticeable at all like some carts. The cart seems to give it to you just as it was laid down on the vinyl. It has a nice bottom end, with the mids a little recessed but not to where you are thinking something is missing, its hardly noticeable at all. But what I did notice when compared to my Goldring Elan or "Music Tracker" On artist like Paul Desmond who is normally smooth himself , is this cart is not as smooth as the cheaper Elan.

    With the Elan there was a nice bottom end and a certain lush, velvet like cohesiveness to the vinyl sound, you get some of that velvet like smoothness with the Red but not as much with the Elan....the 2M Red while more "pronounced" and more intensified in each musical note played is more "forward" and more "in your face". One reviewer of the Red said the Red "made the vinyl sound better that what it really is." And because it makes music sound better than what it really is, he said its not accurate. I dont know about that...it would seem the Red just does a very good job of amplifying the sound on the vinyl or it could be the coloration that you really dont notice that makes it sound beter than what it really is.

    But all in all, this is a very good cart for your money. Not as smooth as teh Goldring and a tad forward or in your face, being a bit of a forward Cart. I think its an improvement and a step up from the OMB carts. So if you are in need of a good cart without spending a lot of money you may be able to nab one. The going price is $99, but I've seen them as low as $69 on clearance in a few places. Out of the box it may seem like a very bright cart with sibilance and distortion, but after break in the cart settles down nicely. A very good tracker worth the money. I am wanting to try the 2M Blue...a Goldring 2300 or better, and I have to try a "humming" Grado cart.
    ...regards...tr

  7. #7
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    i forgot to comment...

    good eval, it seems highly recommendable and the fact that you dont need nuts for the screws is excellent.
    ...regards...tr

  8. #8
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    I figured you'd like it frenchie. For the money it's a great performer. Nice write up.

  9. #9
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    I agree...nice write-up. I've been very interested to see the results from a few people I've noticed get into Music Hall and/or Goldring, lately, yourself and Jack included. For those who like the presentation of the lower end of the Goldrings, I'd definitely recommend upgrading with the Goldring line. With the Ortofon 2M series, I'm thinking the 2M Blue does not give a more-of-the-same-only-better result, the way upgrading within Goldring has for me.

  10. #10
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    Frenchmon.

    I'm enjoying the Grado more and more (listening to it now playing a weird Police soundtrack).
    The depth still grabs hold of me. I am noticing a little sibilance (spelling?) issue on the inner-grooves of G or less grade records. It's still tracks like a champ.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    humming

    the grados dont all hum, that is not in all TTs. they are unshielded and do hum in certain tables. however, i miss my grados and wouldnt hesitate to snag one if the opportunity was ripe.even the cheeeepst one is pretty good.

    i never once had the problem with sibilance (your spelling is correct). i used mine on a rabco st4 tt and also a kenwood kd500/grace 707. i DID have the grado dance which i squelched by putting a one gram blob of modeling clay on top of the headshell and resetting the vtf.

    it sounds like youre having fun, thats what this is all about.
    ...regards...tr

  12. #12
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    Hifitommy - once I mated the Grado with my Dual 505 the hum stopped. The Luxman was direct drive and the Dual a belt, so as I am sure you know, was the problem. Yet sonically,
    I think my Dual has more of a synergy with the Grado, I don't know why. Maybe Grados should only be mounted on belt driven tables?

    I am enjoying the same synergy affect with my Luxman and OM20.

    I will have an opportunity to be able to use a low output moving coil, do you or anyone else have any recommendations under $200.00? It will eventually be mated to a solid state Luxman R-3045. Planning early for a christmas gift to myself

  13. #13
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    If you're looking for low-output moving-coil for use with a low-mass tonearm you might have a hard time finding a good match for compliance. Other than an Ortofon Tango or Denon DL-103, it seems like your budget would be tough to meet, too. There must be some options out there somewhere, though.

  14. #14
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    The range of the Red is 1.6 - 2.0g
    They recommend 1.8g of force.
    I have been going within the limits of the range to determine the best sound. I think when I took that picture I had it at its greatest point of 2.0g
    I like it at 1.6g
    Hey Frenchy,

    I'm not trying to be a Jackass here, but you may want to check your VT Force again.
    You should be able to see cantilever when 2M Red is tracing groove. I'm not sure if it's just a camera angle, but base on above picture the cartridge body looks awfully close to the LP surface. 2M Red has higher compliance, so the cantilever/suspension will be on softer side, but I don't think the plastic body should be that close to LP surface.

    What force gauge did you say you are using again?

    Have Fun,
    JRA

  15. #15
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Check out their stock picture...it looks kinda low as well...then check out mine. The one pic where its just in the up position shows they don't hang very low. I think they just look like that. I have not purchased a scale as of yet, just going by the tone arms tracing scale. I need to get a digital scale though. noob gave me a link for a few scales...I think I will have to go and purchase one of those just to be sure of the VTF. Thanks JRA...good lookin out!

    And as you can see, I need to get a good brush and a good system to wash records.



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  16. #16
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    VTF Gauge is very very important......

    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    just going by the tone arms tracing scale.
    I'm really glad we are having this discussion.
    Tonearm's tracing scale is only for your reference only, and it's not accurate most of the time since most of cartridges weigh differently. From my experience, it only take a slight turn of a counterweight to alter 0.1g, once you get it dialed in within close range.


    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    noob gave me a link for a few scales...I think I will have to go and purchase one of those just to be sure of the VTF.
    If you decide to go digital, but be sure to purchase a calibration weight as well.
    Here is what I did Digital Stylus Force Gauge: Jennings Mini 300

    A reply post by Ed_in_TX seems simpler and it should be fairly accurate as well.
    The only thing I can advise is to use a piece of electrical tape to protect your stylus.

    Have fun,
    JRA

  17. #17
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Damn frenchie!! Clean that record!!

  18. #18
    You play. I listen. Enochrome's Avatar
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    Frenchmon

    Your cart looks like a sonic red dragon ready to breath some Rock n' Roll on that TT.

  19. #19
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Damn frenchie!! Clean that record!!
    Yeah man I know...shame on me. But for real...I've washed a few albums and wiped them down and with the necked eye, you don't see the dust...but when taking pic's and close up like that, with the flash on you see all dust. A soon as I get time, im ordering a nice record brush....and I like that scale that Ed_in_Tx recommended...the American Weigh Signature Series Black AWS-100 Digital Pocket Scale and the calibration weight.
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  20. #20
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enochrome
    Frenchmon

    Your cart looks like a sonic red dragon ready to breath some Rock n' Roll on that TT.
    I like that!
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  21. #21
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    .and I like that scale that Ed_in_Tx recommended...the American Weigh Signature Series Black AWS-100 Digital Pocket Scale and the calibration weight.
    http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh...ef=pd_sbs_jw_4

    Here is one for under $20 with calibration weight.
    It's up to you to decide whether you need accuracy to one hundredth of a gram.
    The way I see if, as long as you have it within 1 tenth of a gram, you are set.

    There are cheap units that are being sold for $140+ under certain brand names that measure up to 1 thousandth of a gram...

    The only advise I can give is to apply a piece of electrical tape on the tray THEN calibrate. A piece of Electrical or other similar tapes should protect your stylus tips from being damaged, than compared to bare metal surface. But who knows, maybe it's just a peace of mind and it makes me feel more comfortable. Also, a piece of electrical tape should give better control and help stylus keep in place. I would hate to see a stylus slide off of metal surface.

    Have Fun,
    JRA

  22. #22
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    One more thing, when you are lowering the stylus to the measuring surface, but sure to take off the anti-skate.

  23. #23
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Thanks or the tips. You guys are great! Between you, noob and Cool PoppaC...I've gained much needed help.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  24. #24
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh...ef=pd_sbs_jw_4

    Here is one for under $20 with calibration weight.
    It's up to you to decide whether you need accuracy to one hundredth of a gram.
    The way I see if, as long as you have it within 1 tenth of a gram, you are set.

    There are cheap units that are being sold for $140+ under certain brand names that measure up to 1 thousandth of a gram...

    The only advise I can give is to apply a piece of electrical tape on the tray THEN calibrate. A piece of Electrical or other similar tapes should protect your stylus tips from being damaged, than compared to bare metal surface. But who knows, maybe it's just a peace of mind and it makes me feel more comfortable. Also, a piece of electrical tape should give better control and help stylus keep in place. I would hate to see a stylus slide off of metal surface.

    Have Fun,
    JRA

    Hey JRA....

    I forgot to tell you, you where right. I got the American Weigh 600g x 0.1 Digital Gram Coin Pocket Scale and the 50-Gram Chrome Scale Calibration Weight all for $17 bucks last month

    I checked my tracking and I was only tracking at 1.4 grams. I was able to set the Red to 1.8 g. I can hear the improvement.
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  25. #25
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    Enochrome: "Maybe Grados should only be mounted on belt driven tables?" well, that may not be the case. i used grados on my kenwood kd500/grace 707 with the biggest problem being the 'grado dance' which i easily squelched. the grado was an fte+1 which was the forerunner to the black. AND it sounded good.

    i also had an F1+ which is the forerunner to the red or silver. a great tracker and also the sound was exemplary.

    maybe the hum problem is with technics DD TTs.
    ...regards...tr

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