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New Ortofon mc 15 super II arrived today.

the thin end of the wedge

New Ortofon mc 15 super II arrived today.

Postby Spinnr » 19 Aug 2010 11:36

This is not a boast post. Not at all.

But information on the new manufactured vintage Ortofon cartridges being offered by Speakerbits from Melbourne on eBay.

This my favourite cartridge, and now no longer manufactured, so when they, and others of their wonderfully rich period in hi fi were being offerred on eBay I was very sceptical. An e-mail to Ortofon was replied to straight away with passion and with the simple explanation that these were being made out of the spares for the specific cartridges Ortofon had kept all these years.

An e-mail to Tom Manning of Speakerbits confirmed the passion of the company. To reward both their efforts in dealing with a fan with grace, and taking the time to answer stupid questions, I bid.

The package has just arrived. Only a couple of days from my payment. A 16mm by 16mm cartridge packed with the utmost care in a huge half shoe box size package. A bus could have run over it, and it would have arrived undamaged. And with registered post too. Inside there is even a hand written and dated note confirming inspection of cartridge and cantilever just before posting from Melbourne. A very nice human touch in this internet, everything-else-made-as-cheap-as-possible-in-China-because-we-only-care-about-profit age.

I am very impressed with my experience of dealing with Ortofon, and those they choose to represent them. This cartridge becomes my long term spare, and my long term reminder that the vinyl age we here are fans of is not just about the vinyl but the people in that age that treated other fans with grace, friendship, gentlemanlyness, and favoured kindness.

I am a fan all over again.

Vinyl forever.
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Postby Spinnr » 19 Aug 2010 12:30

Dave, many thanks for the interested reply.

They also had the mc 25 series (e and fl), and mc10 and mc 20 on eBay, and probably other more expensive ones beyond my range and need. So my own treasure is but one. Auction probably still going week-by-week, I haven't checked back since spending my budget.

In looking at their auctions there may be only five to ten available of any cartridge, so fans of any one could pick up a spare. My feeling in the auction success is that Ortofon will surely do classic remanufacture sometime in the future. They can't ignore the loyalty building role of the Denon 103 in their opposition. Vinyl is all about hisory, not a yearly new rework of design, colours, price point decisions, and marketing text.

I know the mc 15 super II very well, so my listening impressions will be based, and compared with, the one I use. And personal notes to partly answer your question are below.

1. My system is based on immediate dynamics. I want to hear the beginning milliseconds of each note. I want every note to have punch. The mc 15 super II does that. Not at all a smooth laid back sound. My system is build around that. It is immediate.

2. On my vinyl system I listen to jazz, mainly femal vocals and trios, and I want to clearly hear and feel the very high harmonics of voice, and the very low fingering of a stand up bass. The mc 15 super II does that.

3. And also very importantly for me, my whole vinyl system is based on the blinding super nova burst of engineering and quality build in hi fi from 1976 to 1981. The mc 15 super II was one of the raved about cartridges of that lost period.

That's what the mc 15 super II gives me. Much more than just the trance of Dinah Washingtom, or Diana Krall. And much more than the thrill of Andre Previn, or Dudley Moore.

Vinyl forever.
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Postby davidsss » 19 Aug 2010 13:33

Hey, sounds like you did well.

About 5 years ago I rode my bike to Speakerbits in Port Melbourne and got myself an MC15SuperII. I ran it for about 3 years, great cart and it certainly cost a lot to move up from that.

Enjoy.

DS
Micro Seiki BL51 TT, Stax UA7 Tonearm, RCM Sensor Prelude Phono Stage, Dynavector XX-2 MkII Cart, Rotel RCD865BX Cd Player, Melody I34R amp and Osborn Epitome Speakers.
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Postby sreten » 19 Aug 2010 13:50

Hi,

I run a MC15 5uper mkII, it is a very good cartridge. Very clean would
be one way of describing the sound, clean edges, clean vocals, clean
and clear treble. Bass is excellent, but that has got far more to do
with the arm/turntable than any intrinsic cartridge quality, so bass
can be excellent if your set up is up to the job.
Really excellent dynamics/transients with the arm/turntable tuned well.

Its a fairly faultless cartridge.
No trace IMO of any "warmth" or "rosy tinting" unless the records has
actually been made that way. IMO with a system balanced for CD it is a
trifle "brightly lit" but this is minor quibbling given its excellence all round.

rgds, sreten.
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Postby Spinnr » 19 Aug 2010 14:05

David thanks for the reply.

Riding a bike at full pelt beside the Yarra, into town down Flinders Lane, and further across town is fine for the super fit, but I hope you rode back a lot more slowly, and more carefully, with your new mc 15 super II package between your grinning teeth.

Pleased to hear you also approve of Speakerbits. I could only make judgements on what they e-mailed. But words say a lot.

Your three years of use says a lot, they are a very well built cartridge. The one I listen to was bought in 1981. Still as good as new. This new one is just a spare for when my diamond eventually wears out. But I do very regularly soft wash all my vinyl, and I have the cartridge set up very well. So very, very little wear. If anything, I would say it just gets better, not more softer, but more immediate. Which is what I seek in my system.

Vinyl forever.
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New Ortofon mc 15 super arrived today.

Postby Terry Robinson » 19 Aug 2010 14:16

Hello Mr. Spinnr:

Congratulations on your new Ortofon MC 15 Super. I won an MC 25E two weeks ago, and it arived just like yours did a few days later. I hope your MC 15 is just what you expected.

I also won one of Speakerbits' Vinyl Maintenaince Kits last Sunday, but it has not arrived yet. Let's hope it arrives tomorrow (Friday).

Cheers,

Terry.
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Postby Spinnr » 19 Aug 2010 14:17

Thanks for the reply sreten.

I totally agree with you. If you are using it fronting a downstream system based on the bright information coming out of a cd then it will split your head in two like a diamond axe.

That is why I have two systems. The cd system is neat. But I could never plug the mc 15 super II into the source of it. It really needs a system tuned to the features you rightly note, like clarity.

I am sure it would have an equally devout following just as keen as the Denon 103, if it had been continually in manufacture since 1981.

Thrilled to hear you are a fan. It really is a special cartridge that represens a special time in hi fi history.

Vinyl forever.
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Postby Spinnr » 19 Aug 2010 14:26

Thanks for the reply Terry.

The mc 25e is one hell of a cartridge so I have read, way beyond my budget in 1981, and a little beyond it now. I would be very interested to read your listening notes. Do post.

The mc 25e has an eliptical diamond, while the mc 15 has a fine line. The mc 25e also has better build specs, and not just pushed out the door at a price point.

Do post your immediate listening thoughts here, and also as it breaks in, I'd be keen to hear.

Vinyl forever.
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Postby sreten » 19 Aug 2010 15:53

Spinnr wrote:Thanks for the reply sreten.
Thrilled to hear you are a fan.
Vinyl forever.


Hi,

I have not not compared many in my system so I can only say what I
think of it. My MC history in my current Rega arm is a Stilton Audio
Technica ATF3, a Goldring Eroica LX and then the Orfoton MC15SmkII.

Of the three I think the ATF3 sounded the best balanced in my system
but not the most "hifi". The Eroica LX was a real disappointment, it did
not sound bad as such, I used it until it wore out, but the MC15 Super
mkII restored whatever the Eroica LX was lacking, it was something.

Another reason I bought the MC15 super MkII was that its fine line stylus
should last ~ twice as long as ellipticals, that does seem to be the case.

rgds, /sreten.
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Postby mtbguy68 » 19 Aug 2010 22:05

Spinnr,

Good to hear from another Ortofon fan. I have always bought my Ortofons from Speakerbits while I was at home. When I saw that they were auctioning these new manufactured cartridges I jump at the chance to get the MC30 Supreme which is still at my parents place waiting for me to pick it up. I had an MC10 previously.

Where abouts are you in Sydney? I am coming home for a month so if you would like to hear what the Supremes sound like let me know.

Cheers
Alan
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Postby Spinnr » 20 Aug 2010 10:59

Many thanks for the reply sreten.

I didn't know that elipticals wear out more than fine lines. Just learnt something new again. My mc 15 has certainly lasted a long time, and still singing sweetly. Makes sense though, less boulder to hit the black valley walls as it is dragged through at near scale supersonic speeds.

And many thanks mt.

A guess there are a lot of us Ortofon fans. They seem to have embraced the new ease of communication era very well. I like their newsletter. They have always had a passion, and now they have the ease of getting their messages out. I liked the way that in the darkest days of the new format called cds they said that they would continue to make great cartridges. They hove to and weathered the digital storm.

If I liked your supreme series, I would have to rush out and buy one, or at least put it on my must-have list, so politely decline your offer. It would be way beyond my budget. I am currently saving up for a change in speakers after all these years with the Linn Indexes.

Vinyl forever.
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Postby kcc123 » 20 Aug 2010 12:39

I have an Ortofon MC15 mk2 as well and it is a cartridge that compares well with the AT OC9 and Denon 304.
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New Ortofon MC 15 super arrived today.

Postby Terry Robinson » 20 Aug 2010 13:25

Hello Mr. Spinnr:

The MC 25 E is a very great pickup. It has made poor records "listenable", and very good records excellent. The treble is clear, but not "steely", and the bass is very good. I used to think our Ortofon SPU was the best pickup I had ever heard: the MC 25 is better and , of course kinder to our records with a VTF of just 2 grams.

Cheers,

Terry.
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Postby Spinnr » 20 Aug 2010 14:35

Kcc that's good background.

I have read a lot here on the magnificent AT OC9 and the revered Denon 304, and wondered if I was missing something special. It is very satisfying to hear that the mc 15 super II is in their same league.

Terry did you get your vinyl maintenance kit too?

And what was in it? The kind of maintenance I need is a little more practical like a steady hand as I drop the mc 15 onto the first groove, someone to pour my wine, the cars to stop driving by outside, the dalmatian to stop trying to get dad's attention for a play, and everyone in the city to stop turning their appliances on and off so I get a pure power feed.

Vinyl forever.
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New Ortofon mc 15 super II arrived today.

Postby Terry Robinson » 21 Aug 2010 01:42

Hello, Mr. Spinnr:

The Maintenaince Kit arrived yesterday morning and, included in the Kit, was an Ortofon Overhang Gauge (inner null at 66 mm); Stylus Cleaning Fluid; AM Record Brush; Thorens "Bubble"; small screwdriver; Headshell leads; small brush; small screwdriver and an Ortofon "downforce" gauge.

The Ortofon downforce gauge is surprisingly accurate. I was able to check it against a new Digital gauge, and it was 'spot-on'.

The leatherette case it came in is a good, qaulity case.

Cheers,

Terry.
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