Extremely high-end materials benefit new coil technology
Using Ortofon’s Aucurum coils of gold-plated, 6NX oxygen free copper allows for zero-loss transmission of the diamond’s movements via its boron cantilever. This combination combines low moving mass with an extremely high degree of rigidity.
A specially designed armature is used to achieve extreme precision in each coil turn in all layers. This enables the MC A MONO to achieve a higher degree of channel separation, while simultaneously offering lower distortion and better channel balance. The armature is made in a metal alloy which is much less magnetic than normal iron, which boosts the dynamic capability of the cartridge.
Coil wire protection has been constructed from our special high damping proprietary TPE (Thermo-Plastic Elastomer) material, which enhances the total damping properties of the cartridge.
The magnet system is based on an extremely strong, compact neodymium magnet, which makes the generator system both compact and lighter through its minimal dimensions. Inspired by the elements of MC A95 design, the MC A MONO makes use of a specially designed armature comprised of a metal alloy which is much less magnetic than normal iron. This provides noteworthy benefit to the dynamic capabilities of the cartridge since the armature has almost no influence on the magnetic field during movement. When combined with the Aucurum coils, it delivers perfect reproduction of the cantilever movements without compromise.
Any trace of remaining magnetic influences that would create distortion is prevented by the use of a Field Stabilizing Element (FSE). Ortofon’s FSE, a small cylinder of conductive material strategically placed inside the magnet system, guarantees that the force field remains stable regardless of the movement of the armature. FSE improves the channel separation, while at the same time minimizing dynamic distortion and intermodulation.
Adding to the list of important components is Ortofon’s Wide Range Damping (WRD) system. In this system, a small, heavy platinum disc is sandwiched between two rubber absorbers, both with different properties. This ensures not only an exceptional tracking performance, but also creates a perfect damping through the entire frequency spectrum. Because of this, distortion and resonance are virtually eliminated entirely.
The WRD system, which was originally introduced in the MC 20 Mk II in 1979 and then was also consequently used in the entire Exclusives series cartridges, is one significant reason why the MC A MONO, while achieving the most linear frequency response and the highest upper frequency limit ever, at the same time tracks a fantastic 90 μm at a vertical tracking force of 2.3 grams.
One of the preconditions for linear reproduction with a wide frequency range and optimal tracking performance is a diamond - the shape of which is as close as possible to the original cutting stylus. As in the entire Exclusives series cartridges, the MC A MONO makes use of Ortofon’s Replicant 100 diamond, known for its thin and light profile and extraordinarily large contact surface.
Since the Replicant 100 is closest to the shape of the cutting stylus, it can trace with accuracy unparalleled by any other needle in existence. Special polishing of the diamond along with the use of a Boron cantilever offer remarkable transparency, speed, and responsiveness beyond that of any other combination.
The stylus guard provided for the MC A MONO is designed to be easily replaced and removed without risking contact to the fragile stylus assembly.
To avoid accidental damage to the stylus or cantilever please mount the enclosed stylus guard onto the cartridge whenever the cartridge is not in use. The stylus guard should also be attached during mounting or removal of the cartridge.
As illustrated by the below drawing, the stylus guard is easily removed by grasping the sides using the thumb and forefinger, tilting down and pulling straight along the orientation of the cartridge. Affixing the stylus guard is of course accomplished by the reverse movement: hold the stylus guard obliquely, push it into place, and tilt it up as indicated by the arrows
In order to attain maximum channel separation, it may be possible to adjust the azimuth. Should the cartridge not be perfectly perpendicular to the record’s surface, the tonearm or headshell may require to be tilted a few degrees. Correct azimuth is established by observing the reflected image of the 2 parallel cartridge front lines. The cartridge’s front lines must form a straight line with the reflected lines. A flat mirror may also be used to facilitate this process.
There are 4 sets of screws included for mounting the cartridge to your tonearm. It is of great importance to choose the correct length of screws when mounting the cartridge. Using too long screws may stop the screws inside the cartridge resulting in insufficient mounting in the headshell. The choice of screw length depends on the thickness of the headshell, and a maximum of 2.5 mm free screw length under the headshell. Mount the cartridge loosely to the headshell during this procedure.
With a complex stylus shape like the Replicant 100, there must be special attention paid to positioning the diamond in the groove.
The Stylus Rake Angle (SRA - see figure) is very important to the performance of the Replicant 100 stylus, and the long contact surface (the sharp edge) of the diamond should be almost perpendicular to the record surface when viewed from the side. The angle between the record surface and the cantilever is close to 23 degrees when SRA is 90 degrees.
A perfect starting point is to set the tonearm parallel to the record surface and to use the recommended tracking force. The contact surface will be close to perpendicular to the record surface with this setting. The SRA can now gradually and carefully be changed be adjusting VTF and, if necessary, the tonearm height. The target should be an SRA around 92 degrees, determined by the listening experience. In other words, the point of the stylus should point slightly towards the tonearm base.
Performance with a range of compatibility
With optimal weight and compliance to suit the vast majority of modern tonearms, the MC A MONO is easily compatible with a seemingly endless array of modern contemporary high-end turntable equipment. Low internal impedance makes the MC A MONO less sensitive to load and therefore ensures compatibility with the Ortofon ST-80 SE transformer, as well as with the widest range of preamps and transformers.
By combining the utilization of the SLM process, our patented WRD system and zero-resonance spikes, we are confident that the perfect mechanical integration of this cartridge with your tonearm will result in a significant and breathtaking increase in dynamics, resolution and richness in detail.