We are back with another review from Ortofon’s 2M lineup, this time it is the 2M Bronze. The 2M Bronze is the next level up from the 2MBlue. While I am not entirely sure how Ortofon came up with the naming convention of their 2M line up I can assure you the Bronze is not a 3rd place cartridge. One of the added items to the box is the little scale. If you don’t have a digital scale the included scale works pretty well, though a bit difficult to use at first. It is also accurate, I test it with against my digital and it came in accurate to the tenth. I have been listening to this cartridge for a while now and we have teased you with pictures and video’s enough. It is time to get into the review of the 2M Bronze from Ortofon.
The Ortofon 2M Bronze uses the same stylus construction method as the 2M Blue in that it is a nude mounting. What this means if you don’t recall is that the diamond styli are mounted to the cantilever directly and the whole stilus is diamond. A big difference between the Bronze and Blue is the shape of the stilus. The bronze uses a nude fine line and the Blue has a nude elliptical stylus. It should also be noted that the Red and Blue styli are not compatible with the Bronze cartridge, though the 2M Black is. The motor coils and magnets of the Red/blue differ to that of the Bronze/Black cartridges, which is why they are not compatible even though they would actually fit each other. I am not sure what would happen if you did decide to try mounting a Black stylus on the Red body, I can be sure you would not be getting the most out of either.
2M Bronze Sound:
So far the 2M Bronze is my favorite of the line up that we have reviewed. It offers a refinement over the blue. While the 2M Red to Blue was more dramatic of an upgrade the Blue to Bronze is something else. The Red to Blue is like going from a good blended Scotch to a single barrel 15 Year old Scotch, the bronze is like then going to a 21 year Scotch of the same distiller. It will have familiarity to it, but it has certainly matured into something smoother with more nuance. The 2M Bronze captures more detail and offers better imaging with it’s narrow line stylus. It pics up higher frequency from deep in the groove. The tonality is brighter than the Blue due to its ability to pick up on the higher frequencies with more ease. Though it should be said that it does not miss out on the rich bass to get there. It has a nice overall footprint to help feel all along the grove. The 2M Bronze offers a full bodied listening experience. It really brings music that has a lot of highs to life, think of crystal clear high hats, violins, piano, or higher frequencies in electronic music. If you are like me and listen to wide variety of music I can say you should be happy with the Bronze for the money you spend. Just like any piece of equipment it has areas where it really shines right? Well I played some NWA and Red Hot Chili Peppers to see how it did with music that has more focus on low and mid tones and it sounded great, arguably better than the Blue. I also played Buddy Rich and Tchaikovsky as both have a lot of high tones and I notice the perhaps a bit more difference between the Blue and Bronze in the detail of high notes. When listening to NWA the bass does tighten up, also you will likely catch some extra little detail in the beat you may have missed the first time around. The Ortofon Bronze certainly does do well across the board, it is a sensible upgrade from the Blue. No matter your musical preference it will sound great that is for sure.
2M Bronze Technical data
Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec. – 5 mV
Channel balance at 1 kHz – 1 dB
Channel separation at 1 kHz – 26 dB
Channel separation at 15 kHz – 15 dB
Frequency range at – 3dB – 20-29.000 Hz
Frequency response – 20-20.000 + 2 / – 0 dB
Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force – 80 µm
Compliance, dynamic, lateral – 22 µm/mN
Stylus type – Nude Fine Line
Stylus tip radius – r/R 8/40 µm
Tracking force range – 1.4-1.7 g (14-17 mN)
Tracking force, recommended – 1.5 g (15 mN)
Tracking angle – 20°
Internal impedance, DC resistance – 1.2 kOhm
Internal inductance – 630 mH
Recommended load resistance – 47 kOhm
Recommended load capacitance – 150-300 pF
Cartridge colour, body/stylus – Black/Bronze
Cartridge weight – 7.2 g
2M PnP MkII cartridge with integrated headshell weight – 20 g
2M PnP MkII cartridge with integrated headshell length – 52 mm
Replacement stylus unit – 2M Bronze (interchangeable with 2M Black)
- Marantz SR7009 for preamp
- Nakamichi PA5 Power amp
- Martin logan LX16 Speakers
- Audio Technica LP7
- Gear it Speaker Cables
- Factory Power Cables
- AudioQuest Evergreen Interconnects
As with every review we like to look at the value and best customer for the product. I would say this is a great option for listeners with with upper mid level gear. If you are listening on an entry level table such as Project Debut or similar tables, you may not get as much out of this cart. I am listening on an Audio-Technica LP7, which is certainly a mid level table in the grand scheme, and the Bronze sounds amazing. If you are using an entry level table there is nothing wrong at all with that, I would recommend the Red or Blue if you are looking to upgrade your stock cart. It may be hard to justify 440 dollars U.S. for cart unless you have a table and a system overall that will let it shine. If you feel as though you could benefit from a cart upgrade on your table I can say the Ortofon 2M Bronze should be on your list. If possible see if you can listen to one at a local shop on system that is as similar as possible to yours. This may be hard to do right now with the current Covid-19 Pandemic, however we cannot stress enough how important is to always listen to equipment before buying when possible, also buying locally is great way to go. So is the Bronze worth the green? For me I would say absolutely, as I mentioned before it is my favorite 2M. If I was still listening on my older turntable it may not be the case as it was a very basic entry level Onkyo. I would have loved to try this out on the VPI Cliffwood as I think it would have been a great fit for that table as well.
To find a dealer near you check out:
If you are in or near Ohio, Sound and Vision Inc, is a dealer For Ortofon and stocks most if not all of the 2M series
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