Best Ortofon SPUs to sample

awsmone

Active Member
Apr 7, 2014
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Canberra Australia
#1
I was wondering ....those with experience might help direct my aural travels through the SPU labyrinth

All suggestions and practical guides gratefully accepted
 

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
1,556
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Sydney
#2
Imo the Classic GM E. This gives you more than a taste of the SPU sound.
 

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
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Sydney
#4
Have you compared this to the SPU a95?
Nup. Only against Royal GM. In many respects I prefer the much cheaper Classic E. It posses life and vitality the spu way, whereas the Royal just sounds like another lomc.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#5
Nup. Only against Royal GM. In many respects I prefer the much cheaper Classic E. It posses life and vitality the spu way, whereas the Royal just sounds like another lomc.
The SPU a95 was much better than the a85 on all fronts in a direct compare on a Schick arm. When I visited he Swissonor he had a SPU a90 but he said the a95 was much better and he preferred it more. I do not know the traditional SPUs, but the a95 retains the flow and body and tone of the other two mentioned with more detail and dynamics (90 - 95 feedback from swissonor)
 

ALF

New Member
Mar 15, 2012
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Southwest
#6
The SPU a95 was much better than the a85 on all fronts in a direct compare on a Schick arm. When I visited he Swissonor he had a SPU a90 but he said the a95 was much better and he preferred it more. I do not know the traditional SPUs, but the a95 retains the flow and body and tone of the other two mentioned with more detail and dynamics (90 - 95 feedback from swissonor)
Hey Awsmone and Ked

The a95 is super, I also really like the a90. As mr. XV-1 mentioned, the E is also a wonderful way to get a feel of the SPU dynamics. The SPU Meister Silver GM MKll is an all time favorite...give them a try.

Cheers!
ALF
Dealer Disclosure
 
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ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,444
4
38
Utah
#7
I was wondering ....those with experience might help direct my aural travels through the SPU labyrinth

All suggestions and practical guides gratefully accepted
Vintage too or only new ones? Tonearm?

david
 

Tango

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Mar 12, 2017
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Bangkok
#8
Vintage too or only new ones? Tonearm?

david
Dear Khun David,

I don’t have any experience in vintage SPU. Can there be any generalization in or what is the sonic difference of vintage and new spu given they are Ortofons on 3012r.

Kind regards,
Tang
 

gian60

Active Member
Apr 17, 2016
1,255
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#9
A shop in Italy very expert in analog told me for him the best SPU,except the anniversary model,is the Synergy
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,444
4
38
Utah
#11
Dear Khun David,

I don’t have any experience in vintage SPU. Can there be any generalization in or what is the sonic difference of vintage and new spu given they are Ortofons on 3012r.

Kind regards,
Tang
Dear Khun Tang,

If there's one generalization it's body or less/lack of it in the new models compared to the original SPU. There are different versions of the vintage SPU with differing sonic character specially those with built in transformers, among the modern ones the Classic is closest IMO but still different then you have all the variations that I find they have little in common with the original. I'm not saying they're bad, just different. You shouldn't underestimate the 3012-R because of it's age it's still a top notch arm tonearm!

david
 

rockitman

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Sep 20, 2011
6,868
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Northern NY
#12
Dear Khun Tang,

If there's one generalization it's body or less/lack of it in the new models compared to the original SPU. There are different versions of the vintage SPU with differing sonic character specially those with built in transformers, among the modern ones the Classic is closest IMO but still different then you have all the variations that I find they have little in common with the original. I'm not saying they're bad, just different. You shouldn't underestimate the 3012-R because of it's age it's still a top notch arm tonearm!

david
David,

are you talking about Ortofon SPU Classic GM E MKII ? Do you recommend I buy one for my incoming 3012R's ?
How about for SPU Mono ?
I like how affordable they seem to be....

This review seems to be useful for SPU newbies
http://www.tonepublications.com/analogaholic/ortofons-spu-at-least-one-of-them/
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,444
4
38
Utah
#13
David,

are you talking about Ortofon SPU Classic GM E MKII ? Do you recommend I buy one for my incoming 3012R's ?
How about for SPU Mono ?
I like how affordable they seem to be....

This review seems to be useful for SPU newbies
http://www.tonepublications.com/analogaholic/ortofons-spu-at-least-one-of-them/
Hi Christian,

I wasn't making any recommendations one way or another just saying that the Classic, now GM E MKII sounds closest to original SPU but it's not actually the same and the other variants even less so. The SPU mono is a great cartridge and definitely recommended if you want one. The 3012-R is a universal tonearm, it will sound great with many different cartridges old & new.

david
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#14
https://www.ortofon.com/spu-a95-p-366

Quote from Art Dudley


Btw I own the SPU a95, bought new, used for a compare, don't use it since don't have a tablet, and can let go for 1300 Euro, same price I bought from an Italian dealer introduced by Gian. I will move the money to a restored TD 124
 
Dec 18, 2013
214
0
16
San Diego area
#15
Regarding SPU Mono, note that there are two versions: SPU Mono GM MkII, which is a high output (3 mv) with 1 mil spherical stylus and the SPU Mono CG 25 Di MkII, which is medium low output (1.5 mv) requiring a medium gain SUT in most cases. These are two very different cartridges, though both intended for playback of early microgroove records designed for 1 mil stylus. The latter has only one coil and has no vertical compliance so it is a true mono cartridge in vintage fashion. However, you must be careful not to use it on stereo records as damage result. The former has two appropriately rotated coils for sensitivity only to lateral groove modulations. But it does have vertical compliance so no problem accidentally playing stereo records.
I have the SPU Mono GM MkII. It is a terrific cartridge for its primary purpose and will easily see off most any stereo cartridge at any price.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,825
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London
#16
Regarding SPU Mono, note that there are two versions: SPU Mono GM MkII, which is a high output (3 mv) with 1 mil spherical stylus and the SPU Mono CG 25 Di MkII, which is medium low output (1.5 mv) requiring a medium gain SUT in most cases. These are two very different cartridges, though both intended for playback of early microgroove records designed for 1 mil stylus. The latter has only one coil and has no vertical compliance so it is a true mono cartridge in vintage fashion. However, you must be careful not to use it on stereo records as damage result. The former has two appropriately rotated coils for sensitivity only to lateral groove modulations. But it does have vertical compliance so no problem accidentally playing stereo records.
I have the SPU Mono GM MkII. It is a terrific cartridge for its primary purpose and will easily see off most any stereo cartridge at any price.
Did you try against Miyajima zero, how was it?
 

awsmone

Active Member
Apr 7, 2014
1,061
2
38
Canberra Australia
#17
thanks for advice

to get some sort of handle classic and gm e have vintage spu sound, a95 spu is top of the heap, silver meister an interesting diversion
 

awsmone

Active Member
Apr 7, 2014
1,061
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38
Canberra Australia
#19
Dec 18, 2013
214
0
16
San Diego area
#20
Did you try against Miyajima zero, how was it?
No but I have used the Miyajima Premium Mono BE. It also has no vertical compliance like the Zero. It is a fine sounding cart on microgroove records but I had some distortion issues with it on some modern mono reissues which evidently have some vertical artifacts as the result of mastering or pressing. That's why I switched to the SPU Mono GM MkII which is IMHO an equally fine sounding cart for playing early monos. An added benefit is no SUT required and can be run into standard 47K MM input.