On the 9th of October 2018, Ortofon A/S celebrates its 100 years anniversary. Specialising in the manufacture of phono pick-up cartridges, the Danish company have announced the newly developed MC Century limited edition cartridge. It is now available in the UK through Henley Audio.

Simon Powell of Henley told us: “Inspired by previous Anniversary designs (such as the MC A90 and MC A95), the MC Century breaks new ground for Ortofon, combining proven technologies from previous exclusive designs alongside newer technologies that sets the MC Century apart as a truly unique piece in the market. Capable of the highest degree of performance, this is a new flagship capable of true accuracy in sound and represents the most expensive cartridge Ortofon has ever produced”.

The housing of the MC Century is made using Ortofon’s SLM technique. In production, fine particles of Titanium are welded together, layer-by-layer, to construct a single piece body devoid of unnecessary material. (Because of the nature of SLM based construction, each cartridge body is cosmetically unique and will show small dimples or lines under close examination). Using this technique, the density of the body can be precisely controlled, allowing for high internal damping. The final result provides freedom from resonance, allowing the MC Century to suit a wide array of high-end tonearms.

Like previous Ortofon flagships, the MC Century makes use of “the finest diamond in the world”. The specially polished Ortofon Replicant 100 stylus profile boasts a thin and light shape, with a long vertical contact surface making it as close as possible to an original record cutting stylus as possible. For the first time, Ortofon have mounted the stylus onto a diamond cantilever with a crystal structure and density that ensures the best possible interface between a stylus and its armature.

Simon from Henley told us more about the construction: “The stylus and cantilever are connected into a new generator system, heavily inspired by the MC Anna design, with a high performance iron-cobalt alloy applied in some parts. The specially designed precision moulded non-magnetic armature is strong and rigid, and also benefits from extreme precision in each coil turn on all layers. The armature design then allows for a very well-defined interface with the rubber absorbers in the suspension system. Elsewhere, the armature damping system completely eliminates unwanted resonance and only ultra-pure oxygen free copper (OFC) is employed throughout for crystal clear audio reproduction with zero loss. Cosmetically, the shape of the MC Century is unique in the current Ortofon range but shares similarities with classic designs like the MC Rohmann. To display its unique standing in the range, it is then emblazoned with the Ortofon logo on the front panel, and the special Ortofon Anniversary logo on the side. The bottom cover has been constructed from a special proprietary Thermo-Plastic Elastomer (TPE) material, which provides extremely high damping. Installation is made easy thanks to the clear markings on the cartridge rear, and the body’s unique shape on the top panel creates a rigid, multi-point contact with the tonearm for perfect mechanical integration. With an output impedance of 6Ω and a low-to-medium output voltage of 0.2mV, the MC Century is also easy to partner with most phono pre-amps and step-up transformers – including Ortofon’s own ST-80 SE model”.

The MC Century is limited to only 100 pieces worldwide SRP £8,500.00

Technical Information

Output Voltage (at 1kHz, 5cm/sec):          0.2mV

Channel Balance at 1kHz:                         0.5dB

Channel Separation at 1kHz:                     25dB

Channel Separation at 15kHz:                   22dB

Frequency Response:                                20Hz – 20kHz ± 1.5dB

Tracking Ability at 315Hz:                          80μm

Compliance, Dynamic, Lateral:                  9μm / mN

Stylus Type:                                                Nude Ortofon Replicant 100

Cantilever:                                                  Diamond

Stylus Tip Radius r / R:                               5 / 100μm

Recommended Tracking Force:                2.3g (23mN)

Tracking Angle:                                          23º

Internal Impedance / DC Resistance:        6Ω

Recommended Load Impedance:             > 10Ω

Cartridge Body Material:                            SLM Titanium, TPE

Cartridge Colour:                                        Silver / Black

Cartridge Weight:                                        15.0g

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