Last one available in the US
Ortofon Century: $12,000
Designed in honor of Ortofon’s 100th anniversary by Leif Johannsen, the company’s chief officer of technology and acoustics, the limited-edition MC Century is offered as the finest Ortofon cartridge to date. Its titanium body, made using selective laser melting (SLM), conceals a motor whose armature-damping system is claimed to provide “complete elimination of unwanted resonance.” That motor also contains a diamond cantilever fitted with a “nude” Ortofon Replicant 100 stylus tip and a magnet system made in part with an iron-cobalt alloy. Specs include a low (0.2mV) output, a 6 ohm internal resistance, and a recommended vertical tracking force of 2.4gm. As one might expect from any pricey cartridge, the MC Century’s sound was found by MF to be “free of any mechanical artifacts, bright edges, or etch,” and its bottom end was tighter than that of the hallowed Ortofon MC Anna yet no less voluptuous. The MC Century also “delivered solidly three-dimensional images” and “tracked vocal sibilants as well as any cartridge” that Mikey has heard, leading him to conclude, “I can’t imagine how Leif Johannsen can ever top it.” (Vol.41 No.9)
- The housing and the body of the cartridge are made in Titanium with SLM technique.
- High performance iron-cobalt alloy is applied for some parts of the magnet system.
- The armature damping system provides complete elimination of unwanted resonance.
- Ortofon Replicant 100 diamond, thin and light, with an extraordinarily large contact surface, tracing accuracy unparalleled by any other needle in existence.
- The crystal structure and exceptional hardness of the new Diamond cantilever ensures the best possible interface between the stylus and the armature.
- The combination of Nude Ortofon Replicant 100 diamond on Diamond cantilever provides extremely responsive and transparent sound reproduction.
Magnet and coils system and damping
The optimized geometry of the high efficiency magnet system combined with choice of materials like neodymium and iron-cobalt offers an unprecedented consistency of the flux density within the system’s air gap. Due to an increase of active material inside of the magnet system, the magnetic field strength is delivered more uniformly, allowing each coil to sense identical flux density regardless of its position. Because of this, dynamics and impulse linearity are preserved to an overwhelming extent.
Using expensive ultrapure oxygen free copper allows for zero-loss transmission of the diamonds movements via Diamond cantilever. This configuration combines low moving mass with an extremely high degree of rigidity.
The MC Century also uses a new degree of control over vibrations by a way of a newly-improved wide-range armature damping system (WRD). By extending the armature beyond the coils, it can interface directly with the rubber dampers, which sandwich a small heavy disc of platinum. This offers more consistent movement, and thereby better stereo perspective and transient delineation.