Ortofon SPU Century

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
5,881
3,260
870
Utah
It is now available. Anyone know the price. I like the fact they have gone back to a 2 ohm internal impedance coil. Anyone interested besides me?
Don’t know the price yet but I have several on order for myself and a few others here.
david
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
5,881
3,260
870
Utah
Yes and we never get the quantities that we order.
david
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
5,881
3,260
870
Utah

UEM

Well-Known Member

miniguy

Well-Known Member
Dec 18, 2013
398
135
275
San Diego area
What’s interesting about the design is that the SLM technique is used only for the aluminum part of the hybrid metal/wood housing, unlike the SPU A90 and SPU A95 whose motor structures were SLM. The motor of the Century is the same as the one in the SPU Classic GM MkII, with recommended 4 g stylus force, except the Century has a Shibata stylus mounted instead of the elliptical or conical of the Classic and the coil is wound with silver plated copper instead of copper.
Also, there was no change to the coil DC resistance from the previous two anniversary models which were 2 ohms.
 
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byrdparis

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2015
335
155
150
Israel
I had the opportunity to hear the prototype at munich in may.
it was FANTASTIC! best SPU i have ever heard.
the price is indeed 4.5K-EU.
i also think about getting one...
 

byrdparis

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2015
335
155
150
Israel
Have you heard the SPU Wood A?
sorry for the late reply,
i didnt heard the wood A yet... also on my list. but i'm afraid that my list is so long it will be almost impossible to have them both...at the same time..
 

Ovenmitt

Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2017
267
352
150
Art just reviewed the SPU century too.... nice write up. I think he liked it.;)
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
1,148
1,549
330
Cologne, Germany
after some hours with the SPU Century I like say, that this cart is by far the best SPU I know. In my Ikeda 345 tonearm the performance is just great. As step up the Ikeda 201 is used, or the Century is just connected directly to my Boulder 2008 (100ohm), using a simple vdh 502 xlr cable.

Anyone else here in WBF listening to the SPU Century?

Anyone else likes to share their point of view about this cart?
 

Ovenmitt

Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2017
267
352
150
Hi Shakti,

I’ve had the SPU 100 in my system for about a month now. I use mine on an SME 3012 Series 1, running into an Auditorium Hommage SUT ahead of m EMT JPA-66. I also have the SPU 90th anniversary, and Classic GM-2.

Comparing the 100th anniversary to the 90th, the first thing I notice is that the 100 has a narrower sound stage. Everything is between the speakers as opposed to the 90th that’s more of a wall to wall presentation. The 90th is also a bit sweeter and smoother tonally. I think both are equally extended top to bottom. The 100 has a meatier midrange.

I don’t know if the 100th is fully broken in yet. At this point I’ve gotta say I prefer the 90th, but I’m hoping the 100 keeps improving - by the way, it has improved a lot since new.
 
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shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
1,148
1,549
330
Cologne, Germany
I only can compare with A90, Synergy and Royal type of SPU, after 50h with the Clearaudio Cartridge burn in record the SPU Century plays better than my other SPU in all areas of comparable performance. But it took some time for fine adjustments. The other SPU were not that sensible. Would assume, that the Shibata needle is the critical path...., reminds me on setting up a vdh Colibri. Wich is clearly unusual for a SPU Cartridge.
 
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Ovenmitt

Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2017
267
352
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How many grams are you tracking at? I have mine at 4grams right now. When I first put it into the system I noticed a lot of top end sizzle and did have to play with VTA and also loading. I’m not sure how much was attributable to break-in vs. adjustment, but the top end has certainly smoothed out.
 

Ovenmitt

Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2017
267
352
150
Listening now and in the moment.... 90th is definitely more color saturated. More forceful and dynamic. 100th is “maybe” more resolving, more polite. 90th Sounds a bit more SPU-ish - whatever that means. 100 might be more modern or hi - fi.... I like them both and for some music one would be preferable to the other. At this moment, I am listening to Leon Redbone, “Double Time”.

The moral of this story: SPU’s rule! What other cartridge(s) is this much fun? Cartridges that I can swap in and out while drinking a very nice Barolo and digging the tunes;);)
 

UEM

Well-Known Member
after some hours with the SPU Century I like say, that this cart is by far the best SPU I know. In my Ikeda 345 tonearm the performance is just great. As step up the Ikeda 201 is used, or the Century is just connected directly to my Boulder 2008 (100ohm), using a simple vdh 502 xlr cable.

Anyone else here in WBF listening to the SPU Century?

Anyone else likes to share their point of view about this cart?

Thanks to Jürgen (Shakti), who sold me his last copy, I now have the privilege to enjoy this new “toy”.
Since a few days, a CENTURY is playing in my system (Thorens TD520, SME 3012R)
I can only support SHAKTIS view, even though up to this moment I only compared the Century to the SPU A95, and I can’t find a single element, where I would NOT prefer the Century.

As I listen to head phones frequently, I tested the two SPUs also on my “acoustical magnifying glass”, a STAX set-up, which is virtually a transistor-free chain (all tube-amps, incl. an SUT) and here the Century simply excels. (BTW: on my speaker system as well, of course !! ; but on the STAX it’s even more important for me)
Choral music and operatic voices sound just excellent: musically correct & natural and detailed, but without ever going “analytical”. One of my favourite LPs is a rather "oldish", meaning rather well worn-in DECCA from 1964: “The Age of Belcanto ", with Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge.
https://themusicgala.com/opera/age-of-bel-canto-sutherland-horne-conrad/
Here the above mentioned virtues of the Century really shine; but also on orchestral “tuttis”, with drums and timpani, etc., out in full force, the A95 lacks some of the proper attack, which is just right with the Century.

With such “high-resolution” cartridges, there is always the question of “noise, pops & crackle” on older records: I could not find any difference between the A95 and the Century; to the contrary, I find that the superior overall musical performance of the Century compensates perfectly for any perceived - or real ? - additional noise floor. (an effect I found with other "Hi-Res" cartridges as well)

Hence my advice to you SPU lovers:
IF you get your hand on one of those "Centuries“ - and you have the cash to spare ;) - GO for it !

Regards

Urs

PS: just one word of complaint:
Why do all the new "HIFI bits and pieces" have to be shipped & sold with all the absurd and useless “Luxury” packaging ? A simple, but solid little box for save and easy keeping would not only be cheaper, but more environmentally sustainable as well….. BTW: The Century is not the only "HIFI-toy" I got recently, with such “wrapping rubbish”
 
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Asa

Well-Known Member
Dec 30, 2012
77
35
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Don’t know the price yet but I have several on order for myself and a few others here.
david
Hi david. Just surfing around and saw this old thread. What did you eventually think of the SPU Century? I have a 3012-R that I'm looking for a cartridge for, thought I might do the SPU dive with the Century, if I can find one around. Sounds fun. And my 301 plinth is on its way from overseas, so need to get off my duff and make a cartridge decision. Thanks, Mark
 
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