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Thread: Ortofon Cadenza Black

  1. #1

    Ortofon Cadenza Black

    I'm thinking of upgrading from my Quintet Black S.

    I'm looking for first hand opinions on the Cadenza Black, to compliment my soon arriving VPI Prime Signature Rosewood.

    Current gear- VPI Prime----Plinius Koru-----Pass Labs Int 60----Martin Logan Montis

    Most of my vinyl is Rock-Jazz-Female Vocalist-Blues

    Any and all opinions would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Addicted to Best! miniguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    San Diego area
    With all that solid state and the electrostats, Id be headed to the Cadenza Bronze

  3. #3
    Addicted to Best! audio.bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Chicago suburbs
    I second miniguy's suggestion, even more so due to your musical tastes since the slight warmth of the Cadenza Bronze complements jazz/female vocals/blues. Another advantage is that when properly setup the CB's Replicant 100 stylus profile is stunningly silent when tracking, making most groove noise virtually disappear. If you go with the Black you'd probably be very happy, but I honestly think the Bronze would be a better choice in your setup. Enjoy the tunes and please let us know what you decide on.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the replies. I wasn't even considering the Cadenza Bronze...I will now.

    How much of a step up is it from the Quintet series to the Cadenza???

  5. #5
    Addicted to Best! audio.bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Chicago suburbs
    Quote Originally Posted by krelldog View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I wasn't even considering the Cadenza Bronze...I will now.

    How much of a step up is it from the Quintet series to the Cadenza???
    It's a pretty large step up in performance going from the Quintets to the Cadenzas, commensurate with the increase in price. I find that both offer great values and are competitive with more expensive cartridges from competitors, but the Cadenza series is on an entirely different performance tier and uses much of Ortofon's more advanced design technology.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jackelsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Allow me to disagree slightly on the Black vs. Bronze. I had to decide on one of them a few years back and was in the lucky situation to have both of them side by side as demo cartridges at home for about two months before I had to pull the trigger on one.

    Both cartridges are amazing performers at their ca. 2k price point and definitely a huge step up from a Quintet Black. I wouldn't call one of them superior over the other, they are just catering to different needs.

    The Cadenza Black is the higher resolving, more analytical, delicate cartridge, but still with this special "warm" or "shimmering" touch that a Shibata diamond tends to create (I'm really not sure whether "warm" is the right adjective here...). It has the bigger, deeper and more realistic soundstage compared to his sibling and simply extracts more details from the grooves.

    The Cadenza Bronze is the more dynamic of the two in the sense of being more of a "rocker". It is a bit more lush and powerful and paints colours with a broader brush. It screams energy and muscle.

    I found both cartridges to be incredibly realistic and musical performers for the money. The Bronze is somewhat more in-your-face in a good way while the Black is more of a sophisticated mind that adds this tiny bit of realism. The Black usually had me listen at higher volume levels than the Bronze.

    I would really be hesitant to talk about better or worse in regard to these two cartridges, to me they are just different. For pop/rock only I would almost agree that the Bronze is the more appropriate system. It's not quite as ruthlessly revealing as the Black without really leaving the listener with the want for more, it's a bit more colourful and punchy. The Black on the other hand is this exciting bit more realistic, open, airy, natural. With classical music and most jazz for example this is simply amazing - if recording and pressing are good.

    Back then I chose the Cadenza Black over the Bronze because to me it seemed to cater to a wider range of music. But I can also clearly understand that the preference for others might swing into the other direction. I sold the Cadenza Black a few months ago because in the mean time it had become my "smallest" cartridge and didn't get a lot of air time anymore. But it was always an extremely pleasing cartridge to me and personally I still consider it to be a sort of a best buy at its price point.

    Personally I think that with cartridges - at least when staying in the range of one manufacturer - one can usually tell the money spent. And a 2k cartridge will usally always leave a cartridge half that price in the dust. Well, it should, otherwise a manufacturer would really need to do a bit of homework.

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    Edit/PS: just as a side note, I always found the Cadenza to be one of the least tonearm dependant cartridges I ever came across. Tonearms obviously have a big impact on the performance of a cartridge. With the Cadenza Black being my longest staying cartridge ever I had a chance to try it in quite a few different tonearms over the years. And it never reacted quite so drastically like some of its contenders did.
    Last edited by jackelsson; 05-17-2018 at 06:29 AM.

  7. #7
    Jack...WOW -Thank you for that wealth of information. I'll certainly use your experience to help make a final decision.

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