ORTOFON MC Salsa Cartridges

ORTOFON MC Salsa Cartridges 


  • Frequency range at - 3dB: 20-35.000 Hz
  • Stylus type: Super Fine Line
  • Tracking force range: 2,0-2,4 g (20-24 mN)
  • Internal impedance, DC resistance: 7 Ohm
  • Recommended load impedance: > 20 Ohm


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[Dec 15, 2018]


Neutral sounding , decent tracker ,


Neutral sounding ? What ever that means ? Knowing beforehand what a good sounding low output Moving Coil can do I wanted one for my new system . Had bought a second hand Audible Illusion with its optional John Curl Gold phono stage I knew I could not skimp on the cartridge . But I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg knowing that the good ones were very expensive . The obvious choice would be a high output moving coil as they.were less expensive but the added mass of larger and heavier coils always has an impact on the sound . Along came one day my friend which had bought a Ortofon Salsa but could not get it to sound to his liking in his setup . Having heard once a Ortofon MC low output , MC-10 I think it was I bought his Salsa with about 50 hours on it for 50.00 dollars ( cost him 375.00 ) . Hey , he offered the price so I went for it . First , no low mass arms need apply , it could work but tracking will be compromise . At the very least a medium mass arm is required as a project tonearm or better yet a Rega . The profile of the stylus is line contact , known as Shibata in some circles . The point of contact in the record groove is a very thin line , not a dot , a line . That means that the orientation of the stylus in the groove has to be perfect . So setup is all . If not you will hear it as higher then normal distortion as all styluses , except those from linear tracking arms has distortion , only difference being when correctly set upped distortion is minimal and not audible . Vtf is very good with this cartridge , just get the tonearm parallel with the platter and you nail it . That means that quality control was spot on when put together at Ortofon . You don't have to tweek much this cartridge , as long as you set it up by the books you will be ok . A testament to Ortofon as many good sounding cartridges need a little hear or more negative VTF or whatever to get it to sound correctly because of poor aligning . How does it sound ? What we have hear is a 375.00 cartridge that tries to give you the performance of top tier cartridges without really getting there . It gives you a highlly balance performance with any part of the spectrum jumping out at you . But what it does give you is very rewarding for the price as it punches way out of its price range . The fact that it is so balance helps in getting you into the music easily . It doesn't prefer one type of music over the other as it gives you the meat of the performance but if you rather go

Price Paid:
Model Year:
[Sep 17, 2014]

-This Ortofon Salsa mc cartridge is my second low output moving coil cartridge, after years of many moving coil cartridges.
-It is also my first other than elliptical stylus, a line contact type.
-For the last 2 years I have been enjoying a Denon DL 301 Mk ii teamed up with a pair of Shure step up transformers ($ 50.00/pair on ebay). This cartridge (the Denon) really delivers the goods, especially on a well recorded LP. I did not know how good the bass could be on an LP, and again the Denon delivers.
-Last month I got a chance to by a low hours Ortofon Salsa (20 hours-claimed). When received, a microscope view of its stylus confirmed that this was a low hours cartridge. The square shanked line contact stylus is just beautiful.
-After mounting the Salsa into my beloved VPI Traveler version 1, I gave the Salsa about 5 full LP albums before taking a serious listen to her.
-This Ortofon Salsa is really a nice sounding cartridge, and is definitely a step up from the Denon DL 301/ii.
-Most noticed were the cymbals. The line contact stylus on the Salsa is just wonderful, forward, and real sounding in this area.
-At first I thought the Salsa was just a little more polite sounding than the DL301/ii, but is is just more accurate, and musical. It is a better listening cartridge on my lesser quality albums, making them enjoyable, where as the Denon made them more so show to be almost unlistenable.
-Am very happy with the Ortofon Salsa, and for its price give it 5 stars.
-Equipment Marantz 7c and 8b into a pair of 1980 Klipsch LaScalas (alnico).
-Also, the Ortofon Salsa shows how really good the Shure step up transformers are.
-The Salsa is now a discontinued cartridge, and I feel lucky to have found one with low hours.
-If you see one for sale, buy it!!!!!!
-Thanks for reading, Bruce

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