AKG P15MD vs Ortofon OMB 5E

the thin end of the wedge
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NC Tom
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AKG P15MD vs Ortofon OMB 5E

Post by NC Tom » 01 Aug 2019 03:05

After 20 years in a box I have resurrected my Harman Kardon T45C turntable. Still running the same NAD 7155 I bought new back in 1985 (same for the Turntable). Anyhow, the cartridge I bought at the time was an AKG P15MD, which I always enjoyed, but never really thought much about.

T45C has a Microrace by Ito tonearm, and it really works well.

Somewhere along the way I installed an Ortofon OMB 5E (that I got from my dad, as I recall). Now I have just purchased a NOS AKG X15S stylus for my P15MD...and I'm wondering if replacing the Ortofon with the AKG is a smart move or not, or at least what to expect.

I also tried a Grado ZT Plus that I have here, but I really seemed to have a significant hum vs the Ortofon, so maybe I will need to sell that one.

Anyone out there who knows these cartridges?

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Re: AKG P15MD vs Ortofon OMB 5E

Post by raphaelmabo » 01 Aug 2019 11:26

Grado cartridges has an unshielded design, this means that they will hum on some turntables - it depends on the turntables construction. They don't work on all turntables.

The Ortofon OM5 was my first cartridge, it came pre-installed on my Thorens TD280 Mk II but I quickly changed stylus to OM 20 because i found the sound as being a bit, well, uninspiring. :) It's clean, clear, well balanced but a bit lacking in drive, rhythm and timing, and with a bit coarse character. OM20 improves with better details, more insights into the recordings, larger soundscape and overall a more pleasing sound - but still a bit lacking in rhythm and timing. A bit laidback.

I have no experience of AKG cartridges, but out of curiosity I did a bit of research and found this:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/master/mbrs/recor ... nology.pdf

From a technical perspective, the AKG 15 seems quite above a standard OM5 so I would keep the AKG. :)
But most important is how they sound, and only you can decide which one sounds best for you.

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Re: AKG P15MD vs Ortofon OMB 5E

Post by 62vauxhall » 01 Aug 2019 23:04

I hope the NOS AKG stylus was not an arm and a leg. The unique method used to suspend the cantilever has a strong possibility of being deteriorated over time.

I owned three AKG's including a P25, didn't really care for them so sold the P25 and P10.

I kept a new in the package P6 to use if ever I needed something inconsequential to put on a turntable should I ever sell one. That eventually happened but immediately after mounting, discovered one coil was dead so in the trash it went.

For those reasons, I don't believe AKG cartridges, are much sought after these days.

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Re: AKG P15MD vs Ortofon OMB 5E

Post by Delta667 » 02 Aug 2019 14:31

AKG is one of the few MM that has left most of the MC in the dust :)
Only you in vain bought an NOS stylus. Its damper has dried and lost elasticity.
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NC Tom
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Re: AKG P15MD vs Ortofon OMB 5E

Post by NC Tom » 03 Aug 2019 14:27

Yeah, the more I read the more I understand that this was the big problem with this design. The NOS stylus is coming from Western Canada, so maybe the cool, dry climate preserved it a bit better! Here’s hoping. Any easy way to tell if the damper is OK or not? I guess just listen to it...

NC Tom
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Re: AKG P15MD vs Ortofon OMB 5E

Post by NC Tom » 19 Aug 2019 23:42

Well, for anyone following this post, the new stylus arrived and it seems to work GREAT...so maybe being in original packing and stored for ~20 years in Western Canada (cool, dry climate) meant it didn't deteriorate too much? Anyhow, with the NAD 7155 and my little Magnat Vintage 710's, it produces a nicer more musical effect than the OMB 5E. Paid $100 for the X15S stylus and was a bit worried, but happy now!

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