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Ortofon Cadenza Red
Phono Cartridge
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Normally  $1,699
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Goldring maybe able to trace their roots back further than Ortofon, but they (Ortofon) are still considered part of the hi-fi 'establishment' and definitely have the reputation as the kings of the phono cartridge department - both by us and most of the free world.


Ortofon invented the Moving-Coil Cartridge just after World War 2, 1948 to be exact. That definitely puts them in the 'legend' status and if that's not good enough, then the fact that one model - the Ortofon SPU - has been in continuous production since 1959 with only minor tweaks!

For those familiar with Moving-Coil or in fact Cartridges in general, they will appreciate that there are variuos tonal qualities that can influence the end result. Add Tonearm, Amplifier and Speakers into the equation and the variations are almost infinite. This may go part way to explaining Ortofon's huge range - currently as this is written nearly 40 models - which is truly amazing. Now although we can access all of them, we have chosen models that suit the systems that we (and our customers) like best. Most of these are quite affordable.

Cadenza Red

This model 'RED' from Ortofon's Cadenza series is the entry level model in this series and offers a taste of high end phono cartridge performance at an accessible price. The Cadenza Red replaces the Ortofon Kaontrapunkt A Cartridge which was one of our favourites - offering better channel balance and stunning dynamics.

Features include nude fine line stylus with a aluminium cantilever while the generator assembly uses ultra pur copper wire and a powerful magnet that produces a relatively high output for this type of design. However, it still needs the services of a dedicated phono preamplifier or transformer with Moving-Coil input capability.

The body is made up of aluminium and stainless steel and the overall weight is 10.7 grams which is on the heavier side. In most tonearms the resonace measurement is about 10Hz.

In The News

As Ortofon is the main player in the world of Phono Cartridges, their products have featured in the Electronics and Hi-Fi Press for decades. Here are some excerpts on the Cadenza Red as recorded by Richard Black.

"This is a distictly lively Cartridge and a slightly bright sounding one too....In fact, over the long-term, what most impressed us with this Cartridge turned out to be the midrange which is effortlessly informative in the sort of way that makes one want to listen more, and more carefully than usual.

It has a very neutral charachter and impeccable manners never drawing attention to itself; but the detail it presents is always clear, consistent and beautifully ordered. As a result the Cadenza Red can make the most of a wide variety of music, from small-scale classical and folk to huge rock or opera spectaculars, with thunderous - but always well controlled - bass and some very gratifying treble clarity too, brightness not withstanding. - Hi-Fi Choice Magazine

Our Take

With a wide, open soundstage, and a high level of detail, it's a musical and enjoyable cartridge which is smoother and more musical than most 'lesser' moving coil cartridges.

International Orders

You can purchase this item via our PayPal account. Standard post (10-14 days) costs an additional A$25; Express post (3-5 days) costs an additional A$55. Please send an email to stating model number and preferred postage option and we will process via PayPal.

  • Output voltage at 1 kHz: 5 cm/sec 450 uV
  • Channel balance: < 1.5 dB
  • Channel separation at 1 kHz: > 23 dB
  • Channel separation at 15 kHz: > 15 dB
  • Frequency range at -3dB: 20 Hz - 50 kHz
  • Frequency response at 20 Hz - 20 kHz: +3/-1dB
  • Tracking ability (at recommended force): 80 um
  • Compliance, dynamic, lateral:12 um/mN
  • Stylus type: Nude fine line diamond
  • Cantilever: Aluminium
  • Stylus tip radius: r/R 8/40
  • Tracking force range: 2.2 - 2.7 grams 
  • Tracking force recommended: 2.5 grams 
  • Tracking Angle: 20º
  • Internal Impedance, DC resistance: 5 Ohms
  • Recommended load impedance: 50 - 500 Ohms
  • Cartridge body material: Stainless steel/aluminium
  • Cartridge Colour: Red/Black
  • Cartridge Weight: 10.7 grams
  • Warranty: 12 months - cartridge only

Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE

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Ortofon Cadenza Red
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