Ortofon SPU #1S Stereo Cartridge

£425.00

Ortofon’s latest, low priced SPU #1 stereo cartridge, here with a spherical stylus tip.  Excellent balance of the traditional SPU musical virtues, with more affordable pricing.  UK sales only, with free shipping.

Only 1 left in stock (can be backordered)

SKU: ORT-SPU1S Category:

Description

Ortofon SPU #1S Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge

Ortofon’s SPU cartridges have long been cherished for their musical prowess, remaining resolutely old-fashioned in terms of weight, low compliance and heavy tracking force.  Have a read about the 60 year history of the SPU on Ortofon’s website here.   While there are SPU variants that can be used in tonearms having fixed headshells, most SPU models come with integrated headshells, now fashioned from ‘ground wood and resin’.  So, to use an SPU, you pretty much have to use a tonearm with a removable ‘SME’ type headshell connector, but fortunately most of the tonearms that we like and sell fall into that category.  Furthermore, the new Jelco tonearms have revised geometry which means an SPU will be aligned correctly to Ortofon’s recommended geometry (Löfgren B, we think).

So, the SPU #1 cartridges are perfect for the newcomers to the world of SPU.  The SPU #1 S and SPU #1 E feature respectively Spherical and Elliptical stylus, High Purity Copper armature windings and terminal leads and a housing of grinded wood and resin composite.  Sonically, the SPU #1 models are genuine SPUs, known for their full-bodied and powerful music image, minimum of intermodulation distortion and an impressive channel separation.   In Ortofon’s quaint words, “with their linearity and full bodies, the SPU #1 models are a perfect solution for the playback of stereo recordings.”  We can’t argue with that.

Anyway, these are lovely things, and the SPU #1 models offer more than just a taste of what SPUs are all about.  Don’t take our word for that – have a read of Michael Fremer’s piece in Stereophile (September 2016):

“…To this day, Ortofon SPU cartridges enjoy cult followings in Japan and elsewhere. …There are many variants of the basic, iconic SPU design, but most are highmass, low-output, heavy trackers known for their old-school warmth and musicality…

…when I played my first record with the SPU #1… I immediately, and much to my surprise got what the SPU cult is all about. Most of what seemed to be missing were playback artifacts that ride along with the detail, along with the “visual” elements that help produce spatial context, including reverberant trails, initial transients, decay elements, etc. What was left were vivid, generously sezed, richly drawn aural images laden with textures and harmonic vitality. Whether you hear this as thick and slow or as a rich and full is a matter of sonic perspective…

…I’ve got plenty of mono and vintage stereo LPs. I spent a few days playing them through these SPUs (SPU #1 S or SPU #1 E – red.), and they all just sounded right and “of a time”…

…If you’re considering buying one of these (SPU #1 S or SPU #1 E – red.) – and assuming you have a compatible tonearm, in terms of both the SME collet and a medium to high effective mass – I suggest using a tubed phono preamplifier and a loading of less than 100 ohms. Unloaded, the new Ortofon SPUs could sound bright on top; that, in combination with their rich, full bottoms, produced an unpleasant discontinuity of sound.

I’m still not thrilled to track stereo LPs at 4 g – but the sound was so rich, warm, flowing, and relaxing, the images so round and so generously sized, that I conquered my fears of worn record grooves and spent many pleasant evenings drinking wine and visiting the 1950s and ’60s. If only I knew then what I know now!”

Technical Data

Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec. – 0.18 mV
Channel balance at 1 kHz  –  1.5 dB
Channel separation at 1 kHz  –  20 dB
Channel separation at 15 kHz  –  10 dB
Frequency response – 20-25.000 Hz –  ± 3 dB
Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force *)  65 µm
Compliance, dynamic, lateral – 10 µm/mN
Stylus type – Spherical / Elliptical
Stylus tip radius – R 18 µm  / r/R 8/18 μm
Tracking force range – 3.0-5.0 g (30-50 mN)
Tracking force, recommended – 4.0 g (40 mN)
Tracking angle – 20°
Internal impedance, DC resistance – 2 ohm
Recommended load impedance  > 10 ohm
Cartridge body material – Ground wood and resin composite
Coilwire material – High Purity Copper (OFC)
Cartridge colour – Shiny black
Cartridge weight – 30 g

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