The Cadenza Series of high-end Moving Coil (MC) cartridges was born out of the success of Ortofon’s Kontrapunkt and MC Jubilee models.
Though these models are amongst the most popular Ortofon has ever produced, the Danish cartridge masters still decided to develop a new range that was even more ambitious.
The name Cadenza comes from the Italian word for cadence, and refers to the section in a concert where the orchestra stops playing, leaving the soloist to play alone in free time without a strict, regular pulse. A Cadenza can be written or improvised, but it’s usually the most elaborate and virtuosic part the solo instrument plays during the whole piece. It therefore seemed fitting that such a capable and nuanced cartridge series should use the same name.
By carefully implementing cobalt-iron pole pieces, using new improved winding processes on the armature, and employing an extruded aluminium housing – amongst other changes – the Cadenza Series is able to out-perform all those that came before it. Like other modern ranges, the Cadenza Series is structured in Ortofon’s preferred colour-tier nomenclature; so there are Red, Blue, Bronze, Black and Mono (White) variants available to suit varying budgets and tastes.
As with all modern Ortofon ranges, the introductory cartridge in the Cadenza Series is the Red model. The Cadenza Red is a stylish, high-quality cartridge that boasts a nude fine line stylus with a cylindrical aluminium cantilever. The stylus tip radius is r/R 8/40µm, allowing the diamond to a read significant amount of the recorded information. The internal coils are made from 6NX (99.9999%) pure silver wire for optimal signal generation, and the improved winding process on the armature allows a better channel balance for good stereo imaging.
The Cadenza Red delivers a sound performance that is open and dynamic, with a touch of warmth. It is more relaxed, homogeneous and moderately dynamic when compared to the Cadenza Blue. It also has a great space and depth in the stereo image. All-in, it is a very capable high-end cartridge.