ORTOFON Super OM30 Cartridges

Super OM30

Super OM30 moving magnet cartridge
compatible with Super OM10 and OM20 stylus

User Reviews (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2  
GoldenEar2007   AudioPhile [Mar 05, 2008]
Strength:

Great way to play "audiophile" without worrying your cartridge cost as much as a week in the Bahamas... You can learn a ton about how to set up vinyl playback and really get great sound for your troubles and did I mention that low low price?
Almost a must have if you have a light weight tonearm that must be used with a light weight light tracking high compliance (above 20cu) cartridge. The late great Shure V15 is gone gone gone...they don't make it anymore so this will do perfectly as an alternative.

Weakness:

When you are ready to mess around with the complications of a better quality moving coil cartridge and the big increase in expense to keep noise down and tracking up...well go for it. But you may be pretty content to just ride along on this baby as it is easy to replace if it wears out or gets a damaged stylusa and it is a terrific tracker right out of the box.
With much greater cost and a fair bit more hassle learning about transformer types and ratings, better arms, more expensive quieter and more powerful phono preamps...wel sure you can do better. But do you WANT to do much better than this?

This started out as an Ortofon OM10 and then I bought the better stylus to upgrade it to full OM30 performance. I have a nice turntable a Pro-Ject RM9 which comes with an extremely light weight tonearm making it a great match for the Ortofons. Initially I tried running moving coil type cartridges but the arm was so light their extremely stiff needles wouldn't sound right---the arm just wouldn't hold the cartridges steady and get some tone happening. Instead these all sounded horrible---very tinny and harsh!

The Ortofon cartridges changed all that. They are completely ideal for the light arm and the proof is that with the better of the two needles (Stylus 30) I can actually track the toughest torture test track on the HiFi News test LP without more than a hint of mistracking. And resonance is the ideal 9hz in both planes.

Having said that I find the 30 needle benefits from being raked back a tiny tiny bit which the Pro-Ject allows for as the arm can be installed high or lower than level according to best sound.

All in all this cart has wonderful detail, not a track of hardness, even a bit of "bloom" which you normally expect only with a moving coil type. Add to that it runs well on a much less complicated and quieter moving coil phono pre amp than that you would need for a moving coil type setup. No muss and practically no fuss.

Bottom line is with this cartridge I can clearly hear every little improvement from using it without my record clamp (it sounds move alive that way) to closing the door on my bookshelf unit (tightens up the midrange!) and of course it absolutely creams even my best CD setup with outboard DAC. CD is simply no match for high performance vinyl. And this relatively affordable and replacable needle thus proves to be a no brainer for quality in an entry level price point.

Similar Products Used: Sumiko Blue Point Special. Denon DL-103. Shure V15.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Woochifer   Audio Enthusiast [May 16, 2005]
Strength:

Superlative all around performer, with an engaging sound. Very enjoyable sound -- lively and detailed, without harshness. Excellent bass extension with a very tight sound. Easy to setup. Versatile and works with a wide range of tonearms, including low mass tonearms, because of its removable weight plate. Easy upgrade -- simply swap out the stylus to move up to a higher model (all of the OM series cartridges use the same body)

Weakness:

At list price, not quite as good a value as the OM20. (At price I bought it for, it is a great value and my rating reflects that) Sound might emphasize the highs too much for some tastes.

After an unwise side trip with a Sumiko Black Pearl, I decided to go back to a tried and true commodity for my turntable, the OM30. I'd used the OM20 for about 15 years before, and after much deliberation with other options (including Ortofon's MC cartridges), I decided to make the upgrade to the OM30. After a couple of months with this cartridge, I can safely say that it is an absolute joy to listen to. My vinyl has never sounded better, and the OM30 is even more revealing than the already excellent OM20. The OM30 builds on the liveliness and detail of the OM10 and OM20, and takes it to an even higher level. Some listeners might consider the OM30 bright sounding, but it has such a smooth edge that I just consider it more revealing. The tracking on this cartridge is excellent, and it exhibits minimal sibilance. The biggest improvement with the OM30 is the bass extension -- deeper and tighter than the OM20. It also has better resolved midrange. In general, the OM30 is a very engaging cartridge that demands to be heard. If you want a polite and mild mannered cartridge, look somewhere else. Overall sound is like the rest of the OM series -- listenable and tight. Only weakness with the OM30 is its lofty $290 list price. I bought it on sale for $160, and at that price, the OM30 is an unquestionable bargain. At its list price, the value definitely takes a hit. The OM20 is probably a better overall value, and its somewhat mellower sound might suit some people's tastes better. Either way, the OM20 and OM30 are a great way to rediscover your vinyl collection. The sound can more than hold its own against a lot of CD versions, and the OM30 in particular is a great performer that works well with a huge variety of sources.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-2 of 2  

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