Summary: The Ortofon 2M Black does a very good job of
reproducing the music engraved in the grooves of your records. That it does so at about
half the price of the best moving-magnet cartridge I’ve ever heard is icing on the
cake. This is an Ortofon, after all, a company that knows how to build a top-quality
moving-magnet cartridge at reasonable prices.
Excerpt: Ortofon has publicly stated its aim to be the ‘last firm standing’ if and when cartridge production ever dries up. Luckily that sad end seems to be nowhere in sight and the firm’s range is still enormous and easily the widest on the planet.
Excerpt: If fancy styling is your thing, then this Ortofon may be the cartridge for you. It even comes with its own tool kit – which includes a cleaning brush and scales – but sadly the unusual, angular contours of the shell hinder fitting, despite the use of captive nuts. More than with most cartridges we've tested, we found that the sound from the 2M Bronze really gained cohesion and warmth following bedding-in.
Pros: Tonally neutral, very clean sound, amazing detailing
Excerpt: With its distinctive coloured shell, Ortofon 's 2M Red fits so snugly onto the Rega tonearm attached to our Thorens turntable it's as if they're a match made in heaven. Give the 2M Red anything off Martin Simpson's lush and pastoral Prodigal Son album and it responds with a precise, insightful sound. The midrange is full and expressive, handling vocals with sensitivity and warmth.
Pros: Great resolution, expressive midrange, lots of insight
Excerpt: The 2M Black is the top of Ortofon ’s 2M range. At 7.2g it’s a heavy shelled cartridge, and has a relatively light recommended tracking force of 1.5g. Following running in, it showed real power and dynamics, as well as crisp timing. A very transparent and detailed stylus, the Ortofon handles subtlety well, with vocals especially possessing supreme inflection and insight. The midrange is expressive, and the treble is insightful and vivid.
Pros: Very detailed, impressive transparency, insightful