Ortofon 2M Black- Graham 1.5/Rega/Origin Silver

I'm a fan of moving magnet cartridges and the new ORTOFON 2M BLACK has caught my attention.
I was wondering if the Ortofon would be suitable in either a Graham 1.5, a Rega 300/1000 or an Origin LIve Silver. I like the idea of the Graham, but I'm not sure of the compliance issues and the overall match. Your thoughts?
The 2M black is on my radar as well. I am not a fan of MM carts, but the review in TAS has sparked my interest.
Please share your opinions/review if you happen to get a hold of one.
When did TAS review it? I wonder if that's the issue they missed sending me? :(

The Ortofon MM carts tend to have a compliance around 20-25, which should match well with a tonearm with 12-14g effective mass.

The Origin Live Silver has an effective mass of 14g and I'm pretty sure the Regas are in the same ballpark. Compliance of the 2M Black is 22 and its weight is 7.2g.

If you put it through the formula allowing .5g for mounting hardware, the resonant frequency is around 7.23 Hz. A little low, but not bad, depending on other factors.

Also, I could be wrong about this, but it appears that the shape of the 2M series cart bodies are shaped just like the headshells of the Rega tonearms, and most of the pics I've seen of mounted 2M carts are on them, with the front of the cartridge exactly flush with the front of the headshell. Could it be that Ortofon shaped this cart for extra-easy alignment on RB tonearms?

I have TAS March 2008 analog issue, but didn't find a review for the 2M Black. There is a nice one in Hi-Fi World. Go here for a link to a pdf of that review.
Here's a thread on Vinyl Asylum you might find helpful. The poster/2M Black owner has it mounted on a VPI JMW9 tonearm, and he has owned quite a few upscale MM carts over the years. He considers the 2M Black the best MM he's ever used or heard.

A JMW 9 has an effective mass of 8.7 g, so the resonant frequency with an Ort. 2M Black would be 8.23 Hz, which is in the same ballpark as with the heavier RB300 or OL Silver.
The 2M series work very well with low to medium effective mass tonearms.

I would not use it in the Rega (Origin) tonearms; it is a bad match. The resonant frequency of 7.23Hz is not a "little" low. It is low; substantially below the magical 10Hz bogey number.

Moerch, Hadcock, and VPI among others are far more compatible.

Dealer disclaimer.
The 2M is reviewed in the current (just got it yesterday) TAS.
05-15-08: Oregon
The 2M is reviewed in the current (just got it yesterday) TAS.
I just got mine yesterday too. I'll look it up.

Hello everyone,
Thanks for the responses. No, the 2M is not a good match on the Rega/ Origin Live type of tonearm. The Vinyl Asylum link was helpful, thanks. So, no one thought the Graham 1.5 was a goer? Methinks the Hadcock is marvelous option. I will investigate.
Sssoooooo, what DID the TAS review say about the 2M Black??? My TAS sub ran out years ago... I hooked up cable internet instead. There is a real buzz regarding the 2M Black. What high output it has too.
To all: I have been running the 2M black for the past 3 months, two arms - the RB600 and an older SME3009ll. My main cart is the Clearaudio Maestro Wood, now 1 yr old. On the RB arm the 2M is a little flat where the Maestro has more of a soundstage. Now on the SME arm, the 2M really sings. To compare the two, the 2M has more punch in the bass and is very open plus a higher output. The Maestro is more delicate and detailed. I like them both but still hold the Maestro as a better cart. 2M is a great deal at $600 or so.
Hello DSA,

You mean the 2M black is not a good match to Rega (RB300) ? I heard exactly the opposite, that´s is perfect for this arm.I think that even in the Ortofon website there is a picture showing a 2M black assembled in a Rega´s tonearm...

Thank you,


Sssoooooo, what DID the TAS review say about the 2M Black??? ... There is a real buzz regarding the 2M Black. What high output it has too.
The TAS review tested the two 2M cartridges at the top and bottom of the range--the bonded elliptical Red and the nude Shibata Black--on an SME V, which has an effective mass of 10g. Running it through the standard formula gives you a resonant frequency of 8 Hz, and reviewer Neil Gader gave them both rave reviews. 8Hz doesn't seem to be too much better than the 7.23 Hz resonance of an RB300 or OL-Silver, but the SME V's fluid damping might minimize the 8Hz "bump" in a way that an undamped arm would not.

Anyway, The review mentions how linear and extended the 2M Black is without a hyper-detailed, tipped up treble. He sees it as the ultimate successor to the Shure V15 series, and that Shure diehards should be able to migrate to the 2M Black, retain what they liked about the Shure and pick up some smoothness and detail. He also said it should be a consideration for anyone on the MC/MM fence.

One of the most telling elements of the review, however, is what he said about the humble $99 Red. He called it a "screaming deal." In comparing it directly to the Black, I got the impression that they were *very* similar from the lower midrange on down, that the Red also had much of the Black's midrange clarity and transparency, but didn't quite have the Black's upper octave refinement, air, delicacy, whatever. He said the Red sounded a little drier, but I got the impression that the two sounded remarkably similar given that one is six times as expensive as the other.

I've often heard that the 2M Blue kicks ass. For the second $100 you get a nude elliptical stylus. I'm dying to check out a Blue on my Technics. Review-wise, the whole 2M line sounds promising. Ortofon's own literature states that by using split pins for the 4 output terminals, it reduces eddies or capacitance or something and keeps the treble response from rolling off the way a typical high output MM does.

For a low-cost entry-level TT rig, I nominate the Audio-Technica ATPL-120 plus Ortofon 2M Red for a grand total of $301.

And yes, these things have a prodigious output. I've seen some test out as high as 7 mV. *That* should make a good match with the low gain of the Bellari VP-129.
Thanks Johnnyb53 for the detail and comment on the 2M series and the TAS review.
For those following my trek in turntable, tonearm and cartridge land (and those who might me interested)- I have bought a Technics direct drive SL1210 turntable.
Folk on this site and Kevin from KAB suggest that I should keep the stock tonearm and buy the KAB fluid dampener. The stock tonearm is good match for the Ortofon 2M series. I am still exploring my tonearm options, but I will be going with the 2M as my cartridge of choice.
The Hadcock was a tonearm I was considering for my Nottingham TT. In what is perhaps a first (hehe), I'm looking the possibility of fitting either a Hadcock 224 (the long one) or a 242 (the shorter one) to the Technics SL1210. I'll start a new thread on this matter so this doesn't get too confusing.
Very good explanation Johnntb53..I should try the 2Mblack in my RB 300 tonearm and I will put my impressions as soon as I get it.....


A poster suggested a Schroeder Arm as an alternative to the Hadcock and the Graham. Since I am exploring unusual options, I thought it might make an interesting thread. So, I will start a thread on the Schroeder Model 2 arm, its compatibility with the Technics, and its compatibility with the Ortofon 2M Black.
I bought the Ortofon 2M Black, running in a Planar 3 and RB 300. What an amazing sound !!!! I recommend to anyone looking for a new cardridge in the market.....
Anyone know about the perforamnce of the 2M Blue ($199) which is two steps down from the Black. I want to pair it up with a Project Debut III table and hoping for better than entry level results. (I would go with the Rega P-2, but it is too expensive and rarely sold used) Is it too heavy for the arm on the Project Debut?? The 2M Red got a decent review in TAS, but not sure how much better the Blue is
The difference between the Red and Blue is that the Red is a bonded stylus and the Blue is nude-mounted. So you should realize the same sort of improvement you'd get going from the OM10 to the OM20 or equivalent.

To me, going from bonded to nude is one of the first significant steps in improving transparency and musical involvement. For a bonded design such as the Red to have received such a glowing review says a lot about how good this cartridge engine is.

For $200, I bet the Blue just *kills.*
Great info. Anyone care to comment on the performance and sound between the 2m black and the 540mkll. I'm nearing the time to replace the stylus on my 540mkll, and wondering if I should invest in the 2m black. Best Regards.

putting any cartridge on a Project Debut III and "hoping for better than entry level results" is wishful thinking. You'd be better off getting the Red and spending the other $100 (or more) on a better table. You will still be getting entry level results, but better than the other way around nonetheless.


8 may not seem much better than 7.23 but it is within the acceptable range of 10 + or - 2Hz, albeit on the low end of it. I think your assessment of the damping may well have merit though.
Hi All,
I'm reporting back on the Ortofon 2M Black. The cartridge is still wearing in, but even at this stage I can say that it is a very fine cartridge -potentially a giant killer. Very even spread of sound, although not ruler flat. Big output. Tracks very well. Revealing without being finicky, cold or hard. Overall presentation very neutral. Did I say big output? A bargain. Much better than the high output MCs out there. Buy one now!

As for the poster who was asking about his Pro-Ject turntable- that is a good entry level TT (I used to have one- I think in some ways it's a better TT than the Rega I also owned). Read the reviews on the Ortofon site. The other models in the 2M range might be quite a good match for your set-up.
I'm thinking of putting a 2M Black on a Project 9.1 which has a tonearm mass of 8.5g. Is this a good match?

Also, I'm a newbie at this, so could someone please explain how resonant frequency is calculated and its significance?
>>A bargain. Much better than the high output MCs out there. Buy one now!<<

Do you get a cut of each one sold or what? Seriously, the price at Needle Doctor is now $669. That is some serious coin for a MM cart and not a "bargain". When it comes time to replace the stylus, that is $500.

There are so many great cheaper MMs to choose from. Also, at that price one is moving into Glider territory.
i recently read a review comparing the bronze w/the black & it was not complimentary to the bronze. it said it was not as some cartridges in a line similar to each other w/the black offering more extended range but had different sound. since i have not had the pleasure of hearing either cartridge but being interested in the price point of the bronze, it did not make me want to go out and buy one. an ortofon dealer i spoke to was not a fan of the black feeling it was kind of analytical in sound compared to the clearaudios.

anyone have thoughts on the om40 or 540mkII compared to the bronze or the black?
the 2m blue is quite an awesome cart! heard it at a dealer showroom. very nice & musical to say the least.
I have the Bronze and have used it on a Thorens TD-160 and now the Linn LP 12 w/Basik Plus which I plan on upgrading. I have heard quite a few MMs in the upper price range and found the 2M Bronze to be a real pleasure to listen to. I did hear the black and it has its advantages in structure and slam. The Bronze however was the top of my budget at the time, and it was highly recommended by the owner of the shop.

I'm planning on upgrading to the RB 700 from my Basik Plus and using the Ortofon on that until it dies ;). Is the RB700 much different than the 300 as far as matching up with this arm?

I actually had a manufacturing defect in my Bronze and the entire cartridge was replaced by Ortofon free of charge and pain. The price at that point was really great!

What was wrong with your Bronze? I've recently moved from a P3 to a P5 and transferred my 2M Bronze from the RB300 to the RB700. No difference in mounting. I've also upgraded to the 2M Black stylus. Still breakin it in.
Somehow the diamond actually became unglued from the stylus. Crazy thing! Ortofon said they hadn't seen it happen unless someone was back-queuing records, which obviously I wasn't. Anyhow it only took a week or so and I had a new one! Let us know how you liked switching up from the Bronze to the Black! Do you like the match up with your arm?

I might possibly consider doing that as well after how much I've enjoyed my Bronze, but am also going to consider going to a MC.