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Audio-Technica AT-OC9
10 Reviews
rating  4.4 of 5
MSRP  400.00
Description: MC phono cartridge


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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Martijn Giebels a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 4, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I have been using the OC-9 sice 1993. I have also been using other carts below and above this pricepoint. I had different experiences with the AT and it all depends on the system and front-end. I have had bad results with a Michell Gyro/SME309. The sound was technical, uninvolving, no low end. Also extremly good results with a Linn Basik/Akito and an all tubed Audio Note system. At it's best this cartridge gives you a big soundstage, sweet voices and tight and satisfying low-end. It sounds realistic and outperforms many cartridges I've heard in this price range. But be aware not all cartridges suits your system or your ears. Listen to them first!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paul Conrad a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 17, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I have used the AT0C9 in both original and ML version, and have to admit I subjectively preferred the sound of the original cartridge. It has been used on both Rega RB300 and Roksan Tabriz arms mounted on a number of different decks, including a Michell Synchro, Rega Planar 3 and Ariston RR80SL.

I rate this cartridge very highly. It is detailed, transparent and highly accurate. Some thinness experienced in the bass and a splashy treble is normally down to a lack of synergy between other components in the system.

I have replaced my ML version recently with a Sumiko Blue Point Special. This gave me some extra weight, power and control in the bass, at a trade-off against a lack of refinement in the top end and less depth to the sound. A change of speakers (currently Rega ELA) to something a little less forgiving would probably resolve this.

Needless to say it (ATOC9) is a great cartridge in my opinion. It seems happy at home in far more exotic systems than I have had the pleasure of owning. Robust and durable. Currently being discounted out by some dealers on the net it makes a great buy for the money (£250 - £300 UK Sterling).

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Purchased At:   Gift



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Peter L Coolsma a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 7, 2002

Bottom Line:   
The latest incarnation of AT's legendary OC-9; my sample is the AT-OC9 ML/II.
ML is for Microline, the stylus-shape; II for the solid, gold-plated boron cantilever.

After careful set-up; initial impressions were of tremendous speed, oversight, authority and transparancy; however, it took the cartridge a dozen records or so to loosen up a little in the extreme upper-highs. Every cartridge needs to be broken in so nothing to be concerned of, and it's already settling nicely.

The supplied Bruel & Kjaer frequency response read-out indicates a flat response up to 5 kHz, after which it gradually climbs to + 1,5 dB at 20 kHz. Not bothersome at all, but I'm not sure whether this has been done on purpose or not.

Tracking ability, capability of extruding amazing levels of detail, a relaxed presentation and a relatively low -the vinyl will love the OC9- tracking-force of 1,5 grams are the cartridge's strong points. The difference this cartridge makes over my -very- old Dynavector Karat Ruby 23, the Mk.I version so to say; is definitely substantial.

The current set-up of the relevant equipment in my set is now:

*Rega Planar 3 - ± 18 years old,
Linn Akito/2B with Linn Analogue Interconnect - 4 years old (makes sense when you know that this P3 was initially supplied with a Linn; the Basik LVX), and the AT.
*Accuphase E-206,
*Rogers LS 3/5a,
*Stax Lambda.

At its price-point, I think the OC-9 still can hold its own very well. Recommended!

(Model year is 2002, probably shown is 2001.)

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $380.00

Purchased At:   www.phonophono.de -



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dave Johnstone a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 18, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I’m writing this review with praise while also trying to bite my tongue at the same time. You see, the price of this cartridge has just jumped to $399 USD, which, I am told by a certain on line ordering company, is because of some benefits that have been “added” to the latest version of this cartridge. However, I could not get a straight answer when asked if the cartridge was indeed in production again. I find the increase in price not a favorable thing. Needless to say, Audio Advisor got my business instead of the “other” guy!

Enough of my harping on and on, let’s get to the sound of this MC. The sound is very open and detailed, as is to be expected of a well designed MC. I wasn’t expecting much for the price, and was suitably impressed by the speed and finesse in which the OC-9 handles high-level modulations. It ALWAYS seems to be in control of the music- something that my last purchase (Grado Prestige black) did not do well at all.

I decided to ompare and contrast the OC-9 with the Grado, as well as my former reference, the venerable Linn K-9 MM cartridge. The Linn’s sound is coming to me strictly form memory, as Linn no longer offers a replacement stylus for the K-9. The Grado, even being the budget jockey here, is a good cartridge to begin with. I purchased it as a interim replacement while pondering the OC-9’s purchase. The Grado has a VERY warm sounding bottom end and smooth treble. However, I was warned about the “Grado Sound”- a particular character in the upper mid region that, with some ‘tables, can sound like mistracking. The Axis laid this out immediately! My Linn K-9 has always been a PRAT (Pace, Rhythm And Timing) king, but never was the best tracker out of the stalls, even when new.

Needless to say, when I first installed the AT OC-9, I was shocked! I didn’t hear the deep bass (read: fluffy!) bass I had come to expect from the Grado. After about 20 hours, the bass seemed to arrive and the cartridge came together very well, displaying a reasonable and realistic sense of space and depth. Some people slam the OC-9 for being to analytical, but I have never heard some records sound so lifelike on my system. The acoustic guitars on Joni Mitchell’s “Court and Spark” (particularly “people’s parties”) were in my room, very present with wooden bodies and Joni in the middle with a full and ample (!) chest tone. Neither the Grado nor Linn ha

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $199.00

Purchased At:   AudioAdvisor



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Vidar Pedersen a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I have used my AT-OC9 on-off for ca.7 years, current system is a post-Cirkus Linn LP12/Lingo/Naim Aro, Audiolab 8000 Q/PPA/4xM's driving Monitor Audio Studio 20SE via Tara Labs RSC Master Gen.II. Anyone familiar to this kind of system will know that it's highly "touchy" about the front end. A lesser cartridge will make the whole sound lesser, a great cartridge will make it blossom.
Therefore, I'm happy to report that the AT-OC9 doesn't leave me wanting very much when it comes to openness, integration, rhytmic drive and all the things audiophiles cheerish. Indeed, other pick-ups in this price bracket has always left me with the feeling that I don't get to hear all.
It's more 3-dimensional than my Linn Arkiv, with deeper soundstage and more "recording-venue echo", it also has a more open bottom than the Arkiv, far clearer and more detailed and assured than the Linn K9, has far more rhytmic pace than the Denon DL-304 and Ortofon MC30 Supreme. It also has deeper, more substantial bass and a sweeter top than the AT-OC5.
I usually load it with 10-20 ohms instead of the recommended 100, I feel it makes the sound more blooming and warm, and slightly larger; although with a slight price to pay on soundstage depth and pin-point focus. I guess this would be a personal and a matching issue.
Also, I like to tilt the VTA a tiny bit backwards to smooth out the sometimes uncompromising top of the AT with lesser recordings/pressings.
In the right system (ie. high transparency, low coloration) it sounds extremely "sharp" in a positive sense, pumps out far more detail, soundstage and power than the price gives it any right to. The integration is seamless.
It's not a sweet honeydripper, and listeners seeking to "warm up" their sound is best advised to look elsewhere, as it has the potential to sound rough when poorly matched.

Highly recommended for truth-seeking audiophiles on a budget, and for high-enders seeking a low-cost top-class MC!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   HiFi-Klubben, Norway




Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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