Review: Ortofon MC Quintet Red

The balance artist

Ortofon MC Quintet Red is the obvious choice for those who want a neutral sound image.

Karakter
Ortofon MC Quintet Red
We think
Balanced sound image with almost completely neutral sound. Easy to assemble.
The dynamics do not sparkle, and the sounds lack a little depth.
Specifications
  • Type: Moving Coil
  • Weight: 9 g
  • Recommended pin pressure: 2.3 g
  • Output voltage: 0.5 mV
  • Recommended resistance:> 20 Ohm
  • Elasticity: 15 “m / Mn lateral
  • Channel balance: <1.5 dB
  • Channel separation: 21 dB / 1 kHz
  • Frequency response: 20 – 25,000 Hz
  • Grinding: Elliptical
  • Needle arm: Aluminum
  • Vertical tracking angle: 20 degrees
  • Pickup: ABS
  • Coil material: Copper
  • Magnetic material: Neodymium
  • Replaceable pin: No.
Ad
forfatter

Most people who have one, or have owned a turntable, have heard of Ortofon. The 100-year-old company has been making cartridges longer than most. The angled Concorde cartridge, which has stood on thousands of DJ players, is among the best known.

This one, The Ortofon MC Quintet Red, is made for discerning ears, and is a pure Moving Coil cartridge.

However, the MC Quintet Red is one of the more affordable motorcycle cartridges from Ortofon. The Quintet series consists of five models, and this is the entry-level model.

The red cartridge is relatively heavy and weighs in at nine grams, while the pin pressure should be 2.3 grams. It delivers 5 mV output and needs an MC input on the amplifier, or an MC phono stage.

With threads on top of the red housing in ABS plastic, the cartridge is easy to mount. The pin guard can be on while turning, and the straight sides make it easy to fine-tune the cartridge.

Quintet Red fits perfectly in tone arms with medium mass. In other words, those who are on most turntables in the price range Ortofon cartridge belong.

Balanced

The red Orthophone cartridge is a successful compromise. The tuning of cartridges is an art Danish master, and here they succeed with a balanced soundscape where everything is in place. But it also does not excel in any particular area. It just does a decent job, without compromising on a sound ideal or a musical style.

It sounds nice on Radka Toneff’s Fairytales, and the piano sound comes out well in the soundscape. The vocals do the same, but there is something gray about the presentation. The focus on detail is subdued here, and there are not as clear sound nuances here as e.g. at Denon- or Audio-Technica. Bob Dylan’s Oh Mercy sounds dynamic enough to give you a sense of the rhythm of Political World.

So it does not squirt the sound here, but control is a good thing. In classical and jazz, the fine balance in the sound ensures a fairly believable presentation, but it lacks a little communication ability.

The orthophone cartridge is so well balanced that it is almost a bit boring. For some it is perfect, for others not.

Conclusion

Ortofon MC Quintet Red is a good choice for those who need to lift the sound from the vinyl collection, but are not looking for special qualities. The qualities of the orthophone cartridge lie in an outstanding balance, almost completely neutral sound and a rock-solid presentation of all music, even of complex music as well as classical. An acoustic boost for most turntables.

Also in this test

Audio-Technica AT-F7

Refined sound master

This cartridge will sweep into the record collection like a breath of fresh air, opening up for sounds you have not heard before.

Superb richness of detail, beautifully focused midrange and good dynamic contrast.
Slimmer bass than the competition.

Sumiko Olympia

Affordable multi-artist

Sumiko Olympia is an affordable all-rounder that will clearly be experienced as an upgrade for many.

Rhythmic and dynamic sound with rich sound.
Slightly muted detail and relaxed treble.

Denon DL-103

Classic sound from Denon

The Denon DL-103 is worth every penny and almost perfect as an all-round cartridge.

Open sound image with sparkling dynamics and sharp focus.
Loses some of the definition in the treble.

Grado Gold 1

Rocks your record collection

Grado Gold 1 is an obvious choice for those who want a colorful sound image with more impact.

Full-bodied sound and potent bass reproduction.
Lack of resolution, dynamic contrast.

Also check out

The integrated Linn Majik DSM plays like a dream with built-in room correction, and has everything you need built-in.

Denon has never made a better surround amplifier, than the anniversary model AVC-A110.

For those who can afford it, it should be difficult to get a better sound from the digital collection or streaming services.

Marantz's latest CD player is also a network player, and an internet radio, and a DAC, and a preamplifier, and a….

Ledvance has joined the battle to provide smart lighting for the smart home. It's easy - and not very expensive.

Geneva is back with a sparkling stereo speaker in a stylish retro cabinet.

It is not quick, it charges slowly and does not drive far on a charge. But the Mazda MX-30 has a sound system that will be the envy of many.

Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is among the few wired smart bells that work with all power systems. And you do not need a subscription for full functionality.

Audeze's gaming headsets benefits from the planar technology, inherited from the company's luxury headphones.

The robot vacuum cleaner is a self-propelled computer that can remove the dust, wash the floor - and keep watch.

The Fujifilm X-T200 is a perfect entry camera for aspiring photographers.

Unique laptop for creative professionals on a limited budget. The screen is nifty, but the price is daunting.

The Sony zoom costs a lot, but the technical performance justifies the price.

The Asus ZenBook Flip S UX371 is among the best hybrid laptops that money can buy right now. Especially the screen is absolutely amazing.

Slim speakers with full-grown bass are not easy to find, unless they are called PMC.

Sony has shrunk its best all-round camera, with both positive and negative results.