Review : Ortofon Quintet

Posted on 11 June 2014

Ortofon Quintet cartridges reviewed in The Absolute Sound by Neil Gader

Read the full review here :

Conclusion :
In some areas, the leap from the entry-level Red to the top-gun Black was smooth. Certain basic traits made the transition, namely the speed, the enriched bass response, and broad soundstage. The Black took these virtues and amplified them, while at the same time minimizing the Red’s modest vices. Specifically, the Quintet Black conveyed a more settled and even neutrality across the tonal spectrum, while adding a bit more midrange warmth. It has both a lighter touch and a more commanding sense of control.

In comparison to the Red, the Black’s upper-octave edges have been rounded off and polished. Violins are more fluid and airy. It also sweetened and clarified treble information more completely. For instance, Joni Mitchell’s soaring vocal in “A Case of You” [Reprise] had more bloom and warmth, which focused the performance more precisely. The Black also lifted the dulcimer beyond a dull drone and fully illuminated the many acoustic and transient facets that Mitchell wrings out of this quintessentially American lap instrument. There was also a shift in bass response during the Ritchie and Lewis 45rpm remixes. Both were a bit tighter, more controlled, and better defined in pitch. There was certainly a reduction in midbass coloration and more bottom-end extension.


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