The latest Ortofon SPU Wood A combines an exquisite housing precision machined from Japanese Beech wood, famous for its strength and hardness. For the exclusive surface treatment, Ortofon chose the 6000 years old Japanese Urushi lacquer method to achieve a hard, resistant and beautiful multilayer surface in dark maroon colour. It really is a beautiful thing, impeccably finished. The lacquered wooden housing has a strong influence resulting in a very pleasant, open, dynamic, straightforward and tonal expression very much in the fabled ‘SPU character’. SPUs are rightly revered for their compellingly musical character – they really do give you a great big musical ‘hug’ that we find refreshing after listening to most modern moving coil cartridges which often seem to have a hard etched and clinical edge.
No other company has ever retained a phono cartridge design in their product range for so many years, but the SPU A design was originally used by early broadcasting companies to achieve the coveted, so-called “Ortofon sound“ in their work. Now, more than 50 years later, the newest cartridge in the range – the SPU Wood A – is a perfect combination of Japanese and Danish craftsmanship. This Moving Coil cartridge is beautiful in both finish and form, as well as in its sonic expression.
We also offer the APJ-1 adaptor for SPU A-shell type cartridges. The APJ-1 adaptor extends short SPU A-shell models to standard GM-length. The SPU Wood A mounted on the APJ-1 adaptor ensures the ability to mount the cartridge in a wider range of tonearms with universal (SME) mount, for instance all the latest Jelco TS and TK series arms, as well as Ortofon’s own TA-110 and TA-210 arms. Please ask for guidance if you are unsure about whether the APJ-1 adapter will be required with your tonearm.
Art Dudley said this of the SPU Wood A in December 2018 Stereophile magazine:
“…the Ortofon SPU Wood A excelled at conveying instrumental and vocal colors and textures… after break-in it played music with an excellent and altogether natural-sounding sense of flow. That said, the Ortofon’s dynamic, impactful sound was there from the word go.
…Where the SPU (Wood A – red.) reigned supreme was in its ability to communicate nuances of musical performance, and in doing so tease poetry from mere sound…
…The orchestra’s sheer sense of sweep was also greatest with this generally large-sounding pickup, and the Wood A produced the most physical sounding timpani taps of any stereo pickup in the house…
…I was impressed by the SPU’s ability to pull me into the performance and never falter in fostering the illusion that I was hearing human hands stopping and bowing those strings, and not a bumpy plastic valley being dragged past a subminiature rock…
…The Wood A’s timbral balance was consistently lovely. Brass had bite, but not too much, and stringed instruments, fretted or bowed, were warm but not excessively so… The Wood A’s sound was tactile, dynamic, meaty, and colorful, with a great sense of scale. Notwithstanding its spherical stylus, the Wood A strikes me as the most accessible SPU I’ve heard…
… its musical and sonic strengths were enough to satisfy an SPU connoisseur. A distinguished new member of a very fine family.”
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 range at -3 dB 20-25.000 Hz
Frequency response – 20-25.000 Hz
Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force* 70 µm
Compliance, dynamic, lateral – 10 µm/mN
Stylus type – Spherical
Stylus tip radius – R 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 – 2.5 ohm
Recommended load impedance > 10 ohm
Cartridge body material – Wood
Cartridge color – Dark maroon
Cartridge weight – 31 g
* Typical value