View Full Version : Anyone ever bought an Ortofon high end m/c new?


colasblue
04-01-11, 10:04 AM
I've just ordered a new Kontrapunkt-b from William Thackker.

(note to British retailers - business you could have done but haven't because your prices are uncompetitive! the Danes make money, the Germans make money and you get closer to bankruptcy).

My question is what am I likely to get in the box regarding mounting hardware, and in particular are there likely to be any plastic washers to protect the headshell?

flapland
04-01-11, 10:15 AM
I've just ordered a new Kontrapunkt-b from William Thackker.

(note to British retailers - business you could have done but haven't because your prices are uncompetitive! the Danes make money, the Germans make money and you get closer to bankruptcy).

My question is what am I likely to get in the box regarding mounting hardware, and in particular are there likely to be any plastic washers to protect the headshell?

2nd... Its shame that even with the low euro exchange rate its cheaper to buy hi-end Cartridges from Germany. Of course you buying from a major supplier who I suspect goes straight to Ortofon for his stock and leaves out a middle man agent. I suspect the current three tired model won''t last and either dealers will go straight to manufactures or dealers won't exist and we will go to the big on-line suppliers somewhere across the planet.

sq225917
04-01-11, 10:19 AM
let's hope the middle men get the squeeze. The company I work for handles sales direct to our 400+ worldwide dealer network, no reason why a hifi company can't do the same if they got their arse in gear, sorted out their production pipeline and took pre-orders to help break the back of the process.

starbuck
04-01-11, 10:22 AM
My question is what am I likely to get in the box regarding mounting hardware, and in particular are there likely to be any plastic washers to protect the headshell?

Captive mounting screws of two different lengths, from memory, a little silver screwdriver, stylus cleaning brush and a set of headshell leads - I don't remember there being any plastic washers but it's been a few years since I bought it (and am no longer in possession of it to check). Very nice cartridge, by the way.

__mark__
04-01-11, 10:26 AM
You get a brush, two mounting screws a small screwdriver. In the UK some carts have risen 200-300 in the last two years!

colasblue
04-01-11, 10:27 AM
I agreee entirely. In this case the "problem" is Henley Designs, who also don't do Roksan many favours. How many dealers here have radius 5.2's with Nimas on at about 1200 to 1300 only to see the 5.1's leaking onto ebay at less than 600 a pop.

PMC are also very successful in ensuring that Bryston have virtually no UK presence.

But what I'd really like to know is whether I'm getting any plastic washers, to which it looks like the answer is probably not.

starbuck
04-01-11, 10:29 AM
If you don't, and are stuck for getting any, there are two pairs included in these Nagaoka screw sets:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Nagaoka-BN-7-Black-Cartridge-Mounting-Screw-Kit-/230567777882

colasblue
04-01-11, 10:34 AM
Actually Mr Dappletoft has them in his set of bits and you get more for slightly less.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/34-PIECE-A2-STAINLESS-STEEL-CARTRIDGE-FITTING-KIT-/290482580288?pt=Turntable_Parts_Accessories&hash=item43a21c6b40

flapland
04-01-11, 10:40 AM
Mr Dappletoft is excellent to deal with and the kit is excellent quality and value. I have used various bits of the kit to mount Dl103,301,304, ZYX R50 and Ortofon OC9 to my rega based arm.

Vinylnut
04-01-11, 10:54 AM
It amazes me how arrogant some sellers are out there who will not give any discount whatsoever. In these times that attitude is no good. I would not pay RRP for anything if I can, I know markup's are large.
However I have dealt with some dealer's who are more than willing to haggle a bit and offer great service so shop around and don't be afraid to ask.

Jack Barriere
04-01-11, 10:57 AM
OC-9 GOD awful on a Linn.

colasblue
04-01-11, 10:58 AM
That may be true but I'm really not interested in contacting a whole load of different dealers to find out what sort of "behind the bike sheds" deal they may be prepared to do.

In the modern world you need to get your best price into the public domain on the web, and if yours isn't the best one out there expect no business.

Strangely enough Mr Thakker has several slightly different prices on different parts of he web so I chose the cheapest one which seemed to come directly from his shop rather than ebay and involved Euros.

RustyB
04-01-11, 11:40 AM
OC-9 GOD awful on a Linn.

Where do you get this nonsense?

The LP12 balances out the lean OC 9 beautifully.

Jack Barriere
04-01-11, 12:34 PM
OC-9 GOD awful on a Linn.

Where do you get this nonsense?

The LP12 balances out the lean OC 9 beautifully.

Personal taste. BORING. I gave it a great deal of time also to see if it would ever let go and get on with it. It never did in my case, even on a cirkus, lingo Ekos. The best fighting chance at time I do belive on a Linn.

guey
04-01-11, 01:19 PM
Nice cartridge (I'm running one myself, for the next week or so anyway, until the Cadenza Blue shows up). I'm guessing he must have been hoarding them, as they were superceded by the Cadenza Blue a while back.
I've just found the fitting instructions, and there's no mention of plastic washers, but apparently three different lengths of screw.

Robert
04-01-11, 01:23 PM
Isn't the Kontrapunkt range discontinued and end of line, replaced by the Cadenza range?
Might explain why some are discounting it.

colasblue
04-01-11, 01:45 PM
Yes but its been like that for a couple of years now. There seem to be supplies appearing every now and again and most dealers have it listed as available still.

Its the right balance of price & performance for the job, and its a safe bet since I know it will work OK on the Linn if the Orbe doesn't stay around.

I'll bet it isn't very much different to the Cadenza blue!

guey
04-01-11, 01:48 PM
I'll bet it isn't very much different to the Cadenza blue!

I'll let you know in a couple of weeks, but I'd guess you're right. In fact, I'm hoping you're right, as it suits me and my system very well.

Henley Designs
05-01-11, 01:18 AM
I agreee entirely. In this case the "problem" is Henley Designs, who also don't do Roksan many favours. How many dealers here have radius 5.2's with Nimas on at about 1200 to 1300 only to see the 5.1's leaking onto ebay at less than 600 a pop.

PMC are also very successful in ensuring that Bryston have virtually no UK presence.

But what I'd really like to know is whether I'm getting any plastic washers, to which it looks like the answer is probably not.

I wouldn't normally respond to this type of post but this is such a damning statement without any facts.

Thacker buys from the German distributor (not direct) and he, from time to time, gets deals and offers them on the net. We also do this with our dealers which is why you see products that we distribute on sale from time to time. On the whole, UK retailers prices are similar to these of most EU retailers.
The Roksan Radius 5.1 are old stock and are being sold, at a loss, with our blessing to clear a discontinued model - where's the problem?

There really is no conspiracy.

I'd be happy to discuss this but, please don't hide behind a forum.

Laurence Armstrong
Henley Designs.

sq225917
05-01-11, 01:46 AM
Let's not also forget that Germany is a larger market than the Uk and as such the German distributor can very probably manage better deals from Ortofon than the UK distributor can. This comment is not to damn Henley, it's simply a fact of life that you can negotiate bigger discounts with larger orders. However that doesn't alter the fact that the UK is seen as 'treasure island' by distributors in many trades who add precious little value for their take.

I can only say the two times I've required service from henley they have earned every penny of their margin by not only being proactive and helpful but also because they actually hold the things they sell in stock for warranty- unlike some distributors we could mention in the trade. I know of no better spares service in the UK than Henley's.

darrylfunk
05-01-11, 01:50 AM
i'll second that henley are an excellent company to deal with.

ecknertz
05-01-11, 04:09 AM
Hi,

i bought an Ortofon Jubilee from William Thacker a few years ago. It came in its original box with all needed accessories. The price was really a bargain.

My example had a modified serial number. One number was changed with a ball pen. I realized this as it was broken and the insurance company said that Ortofon could not find the serial number. The insurance company paid anyway, so i had no loss. But i don`t know what Ortofon would say if i wanted to have this one repaired. I still have it at home and use another cartridge now.

You might have a look at the serial number of your new cartridge...

Have a lot of fun with it!!!

colasblue
05-01-11, 04:29 AM
Interesting point you make Laurence, and its refreshing to see that you have a reasonable level of support in terms of the quality of your service.

As it happens, which in fact is my original point, is that I would very much have liked to experience that for myself, but unfortunately I can't see my way towards paying 500 extra for the privilledge, and that is the figure we're talking about.

The insight into the internal dealings between Ortofon and its various distributors is probably no different form my expectations, but utterly irrelevant to my purchaing decision.

It may interest you to know that actually Thakker isn't the best possible price. That comes via Mr 2Juki on ebay, though with him it will take slightly longer for the cart to arrive and you take a chance on whether it sucessfully ducks UK import duty or not, though in practice his "unofficial" record of achieving that is quite good.

Now far be it from me to tell you how to run your business, but if I were in your position I'd be on the 'phone to Messr's Ortofon saying "look this Thakker is ruining my business, I can't compete on price and consequently my dealers are losing out on current and probably also futre business. What special deal are you going to cut me to enable me to be at least on terms and make sure that UK customers at least talk to UK retailers? How about special offer on Cadenza blues for a limited period??"

And if they come back saying he sells more than you so gets preferential treatment you should consider why that's the case. Could it be that he's selling in volume by discounting on the internet by any chance? To your customers ??


I think that would do you a lot more good than whinging on a forum whenever somebody points out the obvious price discrepancy.

The situation with the Roksan Radius looks even worse from a consumer point of view, and by your own admission is done with your connivance.

How do you think it makes your retailers look when the official channels are userped by an eBay grey market of your own creation? OK the radius 5.1 is discontinued but if I wanted a Nima (a product with quite a lot of support here) I think I'd buy a radius 5.1 on eBay, take the Nima off and resell the 5.1 armless, and by so doing I'd have neatly sidestepped the entire official market and not made any of those valuable dealer contacts.

Even worse If I wasn't interested in buying a Radius 5.1 or a Nima I've still seen the ebay deals compared to dealer prices for something fairly similar, which can only lead me to the conclusion that dealer prices are probably totally bogus for all Roksan equipment, hence edestroying the credibility of the network and reducing the chances that I'll ever talk to them about anything.

Would it not have been slightly more sensible to distribute the discontinued 5.1's through the normal dealers who could then have advertised them on their own websites and got poeple into their shops to see all their other wares, as well as the cracking deal they can do on the Radius?

You take offence when I say that I think ther's a problem with the way you do business Laurence. I'm sorry but on the basis if what I've seen and what you've said in your own defence I'm even more convinced that actually there is a problem, and its the usual one of believing that you can still do business today on the same basis as it was done 20 years ago.

Taking an analogy from my own line of work, 20 years ago we mostly bought car insurance through local brokers, and we valued their advice, personal service and added value. Now I think you'll struggle to find anyone who doesn't deal either by internet ot by 'phone and the local brokers all gave up on individual car insurance becaus ethey couldn't compete on price. Does any of this sound familiar?

darrylfunk
05-01-11, 04:33 AM
most dealers don't want 'old' product.

the nima was i believe part of the upgrade to the .2 version - henley or roksan may confirm this.

sq225917
05-01-11, 04:50 AM
Colasblue, one of the reasons that many manufacturers use distributors is because it allows them to sidestep the European courts ruling on price offers. If Ortofon sold direct to retailers then by law they have to offer all their dealers the same deals, stock allowing, they can't not offer a deal given to one dealer to another if the dealer requests it.

Having that middle tier effectively allows for regional pricing and that reduces competition and keeps prices higher in some locations than would be the case otherwise.

There's nothing wrong with selling off remaindered stock cheap as long as everyone knows it is coming and those with shelf stock are compensated.

colasblue
05-01-11, 06:37 AM
Colasblue, one of the reasons that many manufacturers use distributors is because it allows them to sidestep the European courts ruling on price offers. If Ortofon sold direct to retailers then by law they have to offer all their dealers the same deals, stock allowing, they can't not offer a deal given to one dealer to another if the dealer requests it.

Having that middle tier effectively allows for regional pricing and that reduces competition and keeps prices higher in some locations than would be the case otherwise.

There's nothing wrong with selling off remaindered stock cheap as long as everyone knows it is coming and those with shelf stock are compensated.

So we agree then, whats going on with distributors is a mechanism for creating a cooperating oligopoly and hence sidestepping fair market competition legislation.

Do I think that stinks? - absolutely

Is there inherently anything wrong in offloading discontinued items cheaply? Absolutely not I've got a number of bargains that way.

But it is impossible to simultaneously operate two types of marketing with incompatible price structures without creating problems.

I've no doubt I've got a bargain and its quite possible that no UK dealer could match the price, but that being the case what's the point of being a UK dealer?

This situation hasn't exactly arisen overnight and doesn't seem to be all that temporary. The price differential in question has existed for a good few years as testified to by a number of others on here, and if the UK lot aren't actively seeking to protect thier own position, set competitive prices and actually do some business as opposed to none then they deserve to go bust.

colasblue
05-01-11, 06:47 AM
most dealers don't want 'old' product.

the nima was i believe part of the upgrade to the .2 version - henley or roksan may confirm this.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ROKSAN-RADIUS-5-1-NIMA-ARM-NEW-BOXED-MAPLE-/130471821066?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiF i_Turntables&hash=item1e60b9ff0a

Looks like one of us had our facts straight before we posted!

If I sold hi fi for a living I'd be only too keen to have a loss leading bargain in my shop direct from the distributor since I might at least make a profit on a cartridge for it or something and I've got a customer on my database.

Your suggestion is like a double glazing salesman saying to his suppliers "Oh I don't want any new leads if I have to sell them a front door cheap as part of your package deal"

John
05-01-11, 08:08 AM
Colas,

If I'm not mistaken you have an Ekos, if you get a chance, can you take a picture of the Ortofon cartridge once you have it mounted on the Ekos. I'm curious how it fits size-wise on the head shell.

A needle drop would be great also as I'm curious how it sounds on your deck.

Thanks,
John

colasblue
05-01-11, 09:28 AM
Well actually its intended first destination is my Graham 2.2 on my new secondhand orbe, but I'm sure it will end up on the Ekos at some point.

I also suspect a number of bake off needledrops will be forthcoming from a variety of combinations of TT arm and cart.

I just need a linn armboard for the Orbe and as SME one for the Linn.

sq225917
05-01-11, 09:45 AM
So we agree then, whats going on with distributors is a mechanism for creating a cooperating oligopoly and hence sidestepping fair market competition legislation.



Partly it is now, originally dealers gave you access to far flung territories where local knowledge was key to sales success, they could place product in retailers for you, help manage your sales channel, take some amortisation for you, provide local warranty back up and sales support- these days many of them do SFA.

That said, as someone who works for a manufacturer of products in an unrelated field, yet with identical pressures and paths to market I have seen the harm done by retailers driving others of business by adopting a sales at any price methodology. The drop their margins, competitors go out of business and then they eventually drop the brand having devalued it in the market completely and made it effectively unsaleable as they have effectively decimated the MSRP such is the expectation of price with that brand.

I'd like to avoid this with my brand, but I have few legal methodologies to ensure we aren't used as a loss leader. I see no reason why a minimum price agreement shouldn't be legal in markets where no monopoly exists, as a consumer I just don't buy the brands that are too expensive- so no one is hurt. Minimum pricing self polices, if you price to high you go out of business.

DevillEars
05-01-11, 10:12 PM
Colas,
If I'm not mistaken you have an Ekos, if you get a chance, can you take a picture of the Ortofon cartridge once you have it mounted on the Ekos. I'm curious how it fits size-wise on the head shell.


While not an Ekos, the Ittok pictured should give you some idea of Kontrapunkt ('h' in this case) on Linn arm (cartridge wiring is messy - sorry):

http://i961.photobucket.com/albums/ae93/DevillEars/My%20Main%20Audio%20System%20-%202010/Kontrapunkt.jpg


A needle drop would be great also as I'm curious how it sounds on your deck.

Still a work in progress - am skeptical about the real relevance of comparing analogue subtleties after original signal has been bitched, buggered and bewildered through ADC and compression...

I hope that is of some use...

:cool:

Joe
06-01-11, 12:13 AM
OC-9 GOD awful on a Linn. Personal taste.

I have put these together for you. Maybe you could have?:)

Chops54
06-01-11, 12:52 PM
I've had a Kontra B for a good few years now and I've only just started to enjoy it recently. I've had it in an Ittok where it sounded grey and uninspiring, then an Audiomods Rega where it was better but nothing to shout about and finally only recently I installed it in a Mentor Point One where it now sounds very nice indeed. The Mentor is a unipivot too so I'll be very interested how yours sounds in both your Graham and your Ekos arms.

sm1907
25-01-11, 06:31 AM
Has anyone out there actually heard any of the Cadenza cartridges on an Ekos, in particular the aluminium cantilevered Red or Bronze versions.

I've been impresssed with a very low output Rhomann on my Ekos and am considering the Cadenzas because they should sound similar and they have a higher output.

Ortofon have a special 20% discount promotion running this month which makes the Cadenza blue around the same price as a Linn Klyde (and the Cadenza red about 200 less).

guey
25-01-11, 06:54 AM
Has anyone out there actually heard any of the Cadenza cartridges on an Ekos, in particular the aluminium cantilevered Red or Bronze versions.

I've been impresssed with a very low output Rhomann on my Ekos and am considering the Cadenzas because they should sound similar and they have a higher output.

Ortofon have a special 20% discount promotion running this month which makes the Cadenza blue around the same price as a Linn Klyde (and the Cadenza red about 200 less).

Closest I can help you with is a Cadenza Blue on an Ittok, which I've had for a few days now. It's still running in I'd say, but I'm very impressed - it's fast, detailed, involving, and even handed with everything I've played so far.

Chops54
25-01-11, 07:12 AM
The one thing I didn't like about my B was the raised line at the front on the mounting surface for azimuth adjustment. Mine doesn't have it anymore.

Have you got your cartridge yet Colas?

Lefty
25-01-11, 07:21 AM
I'm a happy owner of a recently purchased Kontrapunkt A.

399 delivered from Germany :)

Lefty

sm1907
25-01-11, 07:28 AM
Really? That's one of the reasons I'm interested in the Cadenza range. IMO Azimuth is more important than VTA for corerct set up.

sm1907
25-01-11, 07:29 AM
Great price for the 'A'. Who was the German dealer?

Chops54
25-01-11, 08:10 AM
I never realised that this ridge existed until I took my B out of the box and I always felt it compromised the mounting interface though I suppose some blutak would have cured that but I never liked it. I had ( still have) azimuth adjustment at the headshell/armtube interface so out came the knife ;)
I even had azimuth adjustment with my Ittok courtesy of Audio Origami.

oceanobsession
25-01-11, 09:01 AM
Not me, and after speaking to the guy at expert stylus i never will,he said to me
that even the most expensive cartridges only cost 300 in materials, you look
at the ortofon rohmann you dont even get a boron cantilever 1100.00 pounds rip off,you are better off getting an expensive cartridge retiped by
expert stylus.

sm1907
25-01-11, 10:03 AM
Materials are not always a guarantee of performance. I have a boron cantilevered AT OC9 III that the aluminium cantilevered Rhomann left for dead (at low to medium volume!)

I only paid 150 for the Rhomann which still has 300 hours or so left in the stylus. EMC quoted 260 all in to service/retip making it about 400 for a 'new' equivalent - as you say much better value than buying new, but as it would still have had the same low output I sold it on to a member who has a suitable phono stage for it.

sm1907
25-01-11, 10:04 AM
Doesn't the Kontrplunkt have 3 ridges - one at the front and two at the back that form a 3 point contact with the headshell?

sm1907
01-02-11, 08:49 AM
Almost went for a Rhondo Bronze but couldn't justify the extra cost (even with 20% discount) over a new KP A (399). Delivered from Germany in 2 working days - Easy fit in Ekos and simple azimuth and easy alignment/VTA set up - running in but still wonderful.

Lefty
01-02-11, 10:04 AM
Yup - 399 is a bit of a steal for the Kontrapunkt A. I am really enjoying mine :)

Lefty

James
01-02-11, 10:48 AM
Not me, and after speaking to the guy at expert stylus i never will,he said to me
that even the most expensive cartridges only cost 300 in materials, you look
at the ortofon rohmann you dont even get a boron cantilever 1100.00 pounds rip off,you are better off getting an expensive cartridge retiped by
expert stylus.
I'd like to see you build a cartridge for 300. Heck, I'd even pay you for the privilege, but you must guarantee it better than my Lyra. There is clearly no value in design, testing, production overheads or profit, is there?

colasblue
01-02-11, 11:09 AM
The one thing I didn't like about my B was the raised line at the front on the mounting surface for azimuth adjustment. Mine doesn't have it anymore.

Have you got your cartridge yet Colas?

Yes its here.

Initial impressions are very good on the Orbe/Graham but I've had to reduce the loading on the mc boards to get the best of it. 50 ohms is right.

Overall the sound is quite a lot "darker" than the Lp12/ekos/troika but this may be in part due to me using the standard zetex transistors on the orbe's phono boards, which I don't on the Linn's

Until i've got the same transistors and caps on each phonostage I don't think its fair to be definitive in comparisons, but cetainly the orbe is allowing me to enjoy most records, particularly those which were formerly very bright on the Linn. There are however some losers, which sound too dull.

Hopefully a transistor upgrade may reveal a very acceptable middle ground.

the ridge is still on mine but I agree its useless, particularly as the graham has adjustable azimuth. Then again "linn tight" is not a requirement for that arm.

Bemused
01-02-11, 11:13 AM
I have had a new B and C over the years, not a lot in the box, infact not a lot of box for the money. Seem to remeber just a little stubby screw driver and fixing hardware.

colasblue
01-02-11, 11:16 AM
I did a bit better than that - there is a little brush and a set of headshell leads.

I thought it was quite a good box. I already had a box like it which has sent my troika to and fro for rebuilds a couple of times.

ellamoo
01-02-11, 11:23 AM
I've had 3 Kontrapunkt B's - wouldn't use anything else now - be aware the sound gets better from new with burning in - though there are those that may feel there is no such thing

johnfromnorwich
01-02-11, 11:55 AM
I'm looking at replacements for my DL304. It's been used pretty hard and in my system is a little lean. 399 looks pretty attractive for the Ortofon but I'm wondering about compliance in an SME IV. Maybe a little on the low side?

Bemused
01-02-11, 12:25 PM
I did a bit better than that - there is a little brush and a set of headshell leads.

I thought it was quite a good box. I already had a box like it which has sent my troika to and fro for rebuilds a couple of times.

Its quite a while ago and my memory fades, the box was robust but plastic not the nice high end wooden boxs you see. But its contents not packaging that were buying.

I dont use brushs since I blaged one of the old audiotecnic ultrasonic cleaners and that little gloopy box of onzo, both great for stylus cleaning, had mine for many years now and love my C, used to love my B but hergoodself cleaned the end away whilst dusting one day, thats how I came to upgrade to the C.

Hope you have a good long relationship with your Kontrapunkt. Just dont let your wife dust around it :)

sm1907
03-02-11, 03:13 AM
Now I've set up the 'A' and matched the pre-amps input impedance I think 'Ortofon tight' is just fine in the AOEkos. It's definitely not 'Linn tight' as I left the ridge in place to enable azimuth adjustment since the Ekos has no way to adjust it (now I wonder if azimuth errors contributed to the frequent poor performance (in my experience) of non-Linn carts. in A/B comparisons using Linn arms, since the Linn carts. were designed to sit optimally when 'Linn tight' in the headshell?)