Monday, January 4, 2010
Ortofon SPU A: better choosing a brand-new or a vintage one?
I always loved those dinosaurs: the old, bakelite bodied, Ortofon's SPU A... I owned a couple of SPU Type G, a Shindo long body and a GM, both using conical diamond and a SL15 with JS built-in transformers (great cartridge...), BUT the SPU A only has "the magic", to my ears.
Look at the very informative, well-done mr. Bruil's drawings (thanks a lot, Rudolf: your site is a true goldmine...) they're built in a completely different way!
The extra long coil, the HUGE magnets, the extra short cantilever, leaf-like shaped to avoid resonances, the nude conical diamond... also the weight isn't a fake -i.e. some lead plate to add mass... it's sheer power, with its little "rare earths" - like they called Alnico and the like in the hey days - i.e. little bullions as mighty, impressive magnets.
The sound of an original "green label", genuinely Made in Denmark, SPU A is nothing short of awesome... it's dynamic like my Lumiere DST, airy like ALLNIC's Verito and dramatic like a Decca London...
It's a very special cartridge which needs a 13 inches arm, like Ortofon RF-297 "à la Shindo", or a Thomas Schick's Type A "long version" or an Ortofon RMA 309 (any vintage) and it will mandatorily need an iron hand in velvet glove - i.e. a VTF of 3,5 grams to properly track grooves.
The sound is its hidden treasure, under the humble, unassuming, yet classy vintage looking bakelite cubic body.
The most recent "SPU's" are a different breed... nicely, sometimes superb sounding cartidges, it's my opinion they simply lack that "see-through notes/I'm here at the performance" only the very best carts own.
When you listen to them, you understand... no way to be fooled.
Posted by twogoodears at 1/04/2010 11:17:00 PM