Ortofon Per Windfeld Load Impedance?

I'm curious to hear what load impedance other PW owners are using for this cartridge. My manual recommends > 10 kOhms which I suspect is a print error. I notice that the dealer sites are recommending >10 Ohms.
Taylor, I have heard this guy and his little btother Jubilee at 100 ohms. If your pre allows the adjustment, and you have a phono cable in the same league as both of these giant killers, keep dropping the impedance.
A good rule of thumb (i.e. place to start) is 25 times the coil resistance of the cartridge. That generally winds up somewhere between 100 - 1000 ohms as most moving coils have an internal resistance between 4 and 40 ohms. Then you can vary it up or down 50% (from the 25 times number) until you get the best results.

I have both the Jubilee and Windfeld here and in 5 different phono stages including Manley Steelhead, Art Audio Vinyl Reference, Atma Sphere MP-1 (phono version), and Oracle Temple the ideal loading should lie between 125 and 175 ohms.

Pay no attention to the first post's obvious lack of experience.

Dealer disclaimer.
Zieman, Would you care to characterize the differences between the Per Windfield and the Jubilee? I've been thinking about one or the other myself. Thanks.
Thankyou Audiofeil for the advice, just what I was looking for. I previously owned the Jubilee and just recently upgraded to the PW. I ran the Jubilee at 100 Ohms with great success and I am presently running the PW at 100 Ohms also but was looking for suggestions before trying another load setting.

Zieman, your advice was also suggested for my Jubilee and I know of one owner that lowered it to 75 Ohms and was very happy with the sound. I think that the PW is a different beast than the Jubilee, having similar qualities but the PW is a noticeable improvement on most of them, larger soundstage, more weight and bass. Hope that helps answer your question Lewm.
Dear Taylor: That Ortofon DC resistance is 4 Ohms so loading it at 100 Ohms is a good to start value but like almost everything on audio and specially on phono cartridges the quality performance is system dependent, good cartridge set-up and user ( you ) music sound reproduction priorities, so don't be " shy " about and try from 75 Ohms to maybe 250 Ohms and then choose what even your priorities.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Taylor, Thanks for the info. I am sorry to learn that I will have to spend "all the money" to get what I want. Raul, have you heard these two? Zieman, do you agree with Taylor's characterization of the two cartridges? If this usurps the thread, I apologize, and please ignore me.
Dear lewm: Only the Jubilee that I think is a good performer.

I will look the opportunity to hear the Windfeld, I like Ortofon ( MC/MM ) that are cartridges with very high build quality. As a fact the 7500 is one of my MC reference cartridges that I'm loading at 100 Ohms.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Gettig all this Fail?
I mean getting. And just you Fail.
1 year, 50 times = Fail. When calculating impedance you always add the phono cable. C'mon Fail, vinyl membership is small enough without you giving bad advice... Again...
IMHO, the Winfield is a hot rod Jubilee. The diminishing return thing applies here, very well. Jubilee kills at the price point. The Windfield is better, sure, but at 3500, there are now more players. The choice gets a little tougher.
I don't want to embarrass you further but the impedance of any phono cable is negligible. I'm sure you don't know this based on your posts.

Most phono cables have impedances of well under 2 ohms; some are as low as 0.15 ohms (Zu Xaus).

The only time the phono cable impedance comes into play is when it's value exceeds the internal impedance of the cartridge. Which is seldom and never.

The bottom line is to ignore phono cable impedance.

Check this out with any cartridge, phono stage, or cable designer. I hope you learn something from this.

Now the question is, how do you fit both hands in your mouth where both feet seem to reside frequently.
Audiofeil, In fairness, Zieman may have been thinking of cable capacitance, which does play a role in loading the cartridge but which is less of an issue with MC cartridges, as opposed to MMs. "Impedance" comes from both resistance and reactance, the latter due to capacitance or inductance, which I am sure you know. So the pure DC resistance of a phono cable does not tell the whole story.

On another note, where are Ortofon cartridges manufactured? I'm used to thinking of them as English, but I may be wrong. Maybe Japan?
Fail, the whole world is at 100 or less. You, all alone at double that. Same story different product... By the time you assemble a system, every parameter an order of magnitude in the wrong direction, explains, perhaps, why you also drive a 40 year old car... Get your ears cleaned and tested, send me the bill if you don't have coverage. We would welcome you to the same (front) page club.
I routinely change loading with different phono cables. The differences are not subtle. Perhaps Fail can clear this up, I was pretty sure the cartridge is the only thing driving the cable?
FWIW when you have a loading resistance of only 100 ohms, the capacitance of the cable can be neglected. To illustrate this point, even if your capacitance was as high as 0.001uf, the frequencies affected would be measured in MHz.

There **might** be some audible quality of the cable, but in the case of a 100 (or even 500) ohm loading value, the capacitance of the cable will have nothing to do with it.

Result: you can ignore the phono cable as a variable.

I recommend against using the cartridge loading as a tone control. Instead, the cartridge should be loaded to what is known as 'critical damping'. This is the point wherin the loading value damps ringing, but does not roll off the normal response of the cartridge. An excellent way to do this is to 'ring' the cartridge with a squarewave generator and observe the output on an oscilloscope. A ringing waveform will be seen in an unloaded cartridge. Installing a loading resistance will reduce the ringing until a bare amount of overshoot is seen, this will be at or near critical damping.

Once this is done the cartridge can be installed in the arm without fear that the arm or interconnect will be affecting the determined value. Once the cartridge is then set up properly and broken in, then and only then can the phono interconnect be evaluated. **If you use the loading value to 'tune' the phono cable, you are introducing colorations!** I considered capitalizing that but I don't like to shout.

Thanks Ralph,
You've validated my position concerning irrelevance of the phono cable as it relates to cartridge loading.

This is Vinyl 101 and I hope others pay attention.
Dear zieman: +++++ " I routinely change loading with different phono cables. The differences are not subtle. " +++++

as Audiofeil and Atmasphere posted almost always ( nothing is perfect ) the cable resistance value per meter is too low for take in count on cartridge loading and I agree with them.

IMHO what you are hearing is due to own differents cable colorations but certainly not mainly because its cable ( really low ) resistance. As a fact you, like everybody, don't want a high resistance cable where you can loose the signal high frequencies ( between other things ), normally a cable designer almost always works on a very low resistance cable.
Of course that maybe in one of those cables that you already try it its resistance could be really high but that is not the standard, as I told you: we are looking for a very low resistance cable as a rule.

Btw, the other subject that I always support is what Atmasphere posted: don't use the cartridge loading like a tone control/equalizer to compensate for " errors " somewhere in the audio chain.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Right, so when was the last time you saw a 5 meter phono cable? Try one with a .25 output MC. Then we can talk about what happens in vinyl 102. I believe I can hear going too low as well as too high. This confirms Atmas measurements.
Zieman, since our preamp is balanced we tried exactly that, since the cartridge is a low impedance source. The result- no difference. Single-ended; hard to say what you might hear since single-ended cables tend to be more susceptible to coloration.

You can indeed hear the effect of the load being too low or too high. **That** is why you need to load the cartridge at critical damping *before* you mess with cables!
Atmasphere, Can you, or have you, done the "ring" deal at the end of the phono lead? VS. the cart pins? Have you measured any huge differences that would have you deviate from mfgrs' recommendations regarding loading? What three syllable word is applicable to cart and cable in sum? I know I read this somewhere... I do appreciate reading about measurements that confirm my listening results.
...the cartridge should be loaded to what is known as
'critical damping'. This is the point wherin the loading value damps ringing,
but does not roll off the normal response of the cartridge. An excellent way
to do this is to 'ring' the cartridge with a squarewave generator and observe
the output on an oscilloscope. A ringing waveform will be seen in an
unloaded cartridge. Installing a loading resistance will reduce the ringing
until a bare amount of overshoot is seen, this will be at or near critical

Atmasphere (Threads | Answers)

Atmasphere knows his analog like few others considering he builds his
products around the (balanced) analog source signal.

However, I have to wonder how 98% of audiophiles who don't own square
wave generators and oscilloscopes can ever hope to properly load their MC

I use the 25 times internal resistance +/- 50% method (taught to me by
member Nsgarch), and it works quite well.
Duh... By ear? By utilizing the MFGRs recommended starting points? By posting for advice on audiophile forums?
Here's what you can do, if you don't have a scope and a generator. Buy a Cardas test record and a digital multimeter. They are both good tools for any audiophile to have and can be bought for not much moola. The Cardas has a band that plays a 1kHz tone at 0db. (DON'T play it over your spkrs, unless the volume is turned off or way down.) Start with a load resistor that is way higher than what's likely to be "critical". While playing the test tone, measure AC voltage at the output of your phono stage and record it. Now reduce the value of the resistor stepwise, and keep measuring ACV at the output of the phono stage, until you first detect a drop in voltage. Go back up from there by one step and you've probably got a pretty good approximation of "critical damping".
Thanks Lewm. Very helpful.
Dear Zieman: +++++ " Right, so when was the last time you saw a 5 meter phono cable? " +++++

just for curiosity: which kind of trade-off(s) are you " trading " to accept that long phono cable?

Regards and enjoy the music.
HUH? I have installed higher performing phono cables that allowed a lower input impedance. I find that very low output MCs like to see a lower load. Lots of discussion on other sites got me to try it. Makes sense. I don't recommend long phono leads with low output MCs. I guess I had better dig out the white paper(s) that explained the "cart plus cable" deal. Looks like I am just one of a few here who bothered to read it.
First, my apologies for this thread going OT...

Zieman, perhaps a discussion of cables is appropriate here.

Cables have what is known as 'characteristic impedance'. This value is an impedance such that when the cable is terminated with this impedance, there will be no reflections in the cable. The characteristic impedance of any cable is a combination of its resistance, capacitance and inductance, plus dielectric constants, lead spacing and geometry. The formula for predicting this value is a bit tricky, and measuring it is best done on a Time Delay Reflectometer.

The place where this cable quality really comes into play in audio is speaker cables, not so much interconnects. There is a termination standard in place for balanced line (600 ohms) but for single-ended there really isn't a standard (although single ended cables would benefit from one). This lack of a standard causes single-ended cables to exhibit audible artifacts, which has given rise to the high end audio cable industry, and is the primary reason we decided to produce what was at the time the first balanced line preamplifier for home audio.

The termination of the cartridge at the input of the preamp will also take care of most cable issues. The reason I stress doing the loading properly is I have seen audiophiles compensate for a bright amplifier, amp/speaker mismatch, poor room acoustics and the like by messing with the cartridge loading. The problem is, you can't get it right and the result is often blamed on other equipment which is not at fault.

You can set the load for the cartridge by ear- to do so, you need a variable resistance across the input of the preamp, which starts out very high. It is then decreased (noting that there will be less high frequency energy as this is done). If any change in volume is detected you have gone too far. This is a less accurate technique but IME I have not seen the cable play a role in the final value.
Ralph's point about characteristic impedance is a very important one. IMO, it is another reason why some cables sound different from others and why cables that sound good in one system may sound awful in other systems. I have found for example in my system that low characteristic impedance (<10 ohms) is very important for good sonics. I think this is why Nordost cables, the early ones of which had very high characteristic impedance, were just unbearable in my system, so bright they could make my ears bleed, as the saying goes. Characteristic Z is independent of cable length, by the way.
Independent of length? How come some cable mfgrs change geometry at different lengths in the same model? Res, cap, and ind, are per foot or whatever measure, yes? Surely you lose more than volume (not the word I want) as length increases, particularly with so little to drive it? Like a low output MC. Cartridges that were developed AFTER Fail learned everything... Go slow and use little words please. I read the white papers, I didn't say I understood them...
Amplitude, surely you lose more than just amplitude at longer lengths?
Zieman, the traditional problem with long interconnects is loss of high frequencies. I say traditional because the case of a low output moving coil is a special case. The source impedance of the cartridge is very low- often only a few ohms. Although they don't make much **voltage**, they do make quite a lot of **current**, else it would not be possible for one to drive a 100 ohm load with no loss of output. Try doing that with a tube preamp (the only one I know of that can do that is our own MP-1...)!

So- this is what you have to understand: **There will be no loss in volume, even if the cable is 50 feet!** The source impedance of the cartridge will be unperturbed by the very slight resistance of only a couple of ohms presented by a long cable. The load of the cartridge remains the important variable, and it is here that you will likely hear more difference on account of the quality of the resistor than you will the cable.

You will also hear changes that have little to do with the cable- just pulling the cable out of the back of the preamp and plugging it in again can result in a change if you have any corrosion on your connectors (gold notwithstanding...), plus minor changes that resulted from your messing with the connection at the base of the arm.

This is one of the reasons I like the Triplanar- the only connection is at the cartridge (no removable headshell) and at the preamp- the cable is integrated. The variables of connections are eliminated.
OK, If you're a triplanar fan you must have something going on upstairs. Tri has explained this issue to me in person. Including the limited choices in arm wire. So what is the brand name of this pre?
So what is the brand name of this pre?
Zieman (Threads | Answers)
You're kidding, right?

Atma-Sphere...as in the moniker of the man posting the reply, and who wote:

11-20-08: Atmasphere
...(the only one I know of that can do that is our own MP-1...)!

the Windfeld, like other Ortofons, has a low internal resistance of 4 ohms only.

In Germany, many vinyl-junkies use the formula of the load impedance being at least 10 times the value of the internal resistance, Bill Feil gave you the rule of 25 times. That seems to be about right for a lot of cartridges, including from Ortofon - but not for the Windfeld.

I own the Ortofon Vienna, which is produced for the German market only, and which was until the Windfeld the best cartridge Ortofon ever made. It has internal resistance of 4 ohms, too.

I cannot comment myself on loading values, as my McIntosh preamp includes an Ortofon-built internal step-up transformer, and excluded both the neccesity and the possibility to experiment with different loading values.

However, Matthias Böde, editor of German magazine Stereo and a hard-core-vinyl-lover, found the Vienna to sound best with a load impedance of 80 ohms - as other Ortofons before.

The Windfeld, however, seems to be a different beast.

Dirk Sommer, editor of image hifi, an experienced vinyl reviewer in the mold of Michael Fremer, found the Windfeld to sound good when offered a load impedance of 500 ohms, which was the hightest value his Einstein phono preamp offered.

Stefan Gawlick, in another review in magazine HiFi&Records, wrote that the Windfeld sounded best when offered a load impedance of close to 1000 ohms, using several phono preamps.

Florian Hassel
Thanks for the info Florian. It was suggested by a reliable source when I first bought my PW to load it at 1000 Ohms. I have to admit, I was sceptical. Since the load is hard wired on my phonostage, I thought I'd get a few suggestions from other PW owners before switching the load from 100 Ohms. Hopefully, I will be able to adjust the load via rotary switch in the near future ... that will make load comparisons much easier. I have to admit, I'm one of the 98% of audiophiles who don't own square wave generators and oscilloscopes and will have to rely on my hearing to determine which sound I like best.
Dear taylor514: +++++ " and will have to rely on my hearing to determine which sound I like best. " +++++

Your hearing almost always be your best " judge ". The measures tools help to tell us what is happening in our system ( links ) because like in the cartridge load impedance it is common that what you like at hearing are not close of what it should be in theory through measurements and this could help you to try and find where in your system is a " trouble ".

From my experiences and IMHO loading a cartridge with a internal resistance of 4 Ohms , like the Windfeld, with a preamp set-up of 1000 Kohms makes no sense to me, this could tell me that maybe something is not totally fine in that audio system, unfortunately I don't have that cartridge to test it in my system and I can't be sure about.

Regards and enjoy the music.
That comment Raul about relying on my hearing was said in good humour of course and I understand the need of reliable tools to help trouble shoot a system. I look forward to comparing different settings when my phonostage is upgraded and changing load settings is a bit easier. Thanks for all the interesting comments and advice.
No, I am not kidding. Figured he had some other wonderful reason for the name. I wouldn't think principals of anything but garage companies would contribute here. My goof. So T is this pre in the same league as your buddy Raul's? Same performance history as your other hero Alex? Nevermind, I'll check it out myself... Meanwhile, I keep foraging for that white paper...
I've followed this thread. At times, it was informative, humorous, and enlightening.

Now, my question is; My Grado has a resistance of 2 ohms, they say to load it at 47K. Should I load it at 50 - 100?

Think I'm going to go try it...
11-21-08: Zieman
So T is this pre in the same league as your buddy Raul's?

I have no relationship with Raul, nor do I have any experience with his
preamp. Nowhere have I ever posted as such.

It appears you're attempting to throw out another insult as you put Atma-
Sphere together with APL...suggesting Atma-Sphere somehow has poor
customer service. Anyone with even marginal experience in high end audio
would know this is is as far from the truth as could be possible.

With each successive, ill informed post, you to lose credibility.
I've already posted to Audiogon on the subject of loading in the past ('cept that I can't get the search engine to work!), but to reiterate, my approach to loading is similar to Jim Hagerman, and I recommend studying this page at length.


When a cartridge delivers signal to a phono stage, the cartridge's coil inductance will react with the sum of the capacitances between the cartridge and phono stage (including cable capacitances) to form a substantial resonance peak.

Depending on the cartridge builder, part of "cartridge loading" may involve the electrical damping of mechanical resonances in the cartridge, but the truth is that at least some MC cartridge builders prefer to damp mechanical resonances mechanically and not rely on electrical means. Low-impedance MC cartridges in particular have such a high electrical resonance frequency that damping the electrical peak will not have a direct effect on the audible frequency band (such a peak could reside above 500kHz, and be 20dB or more in amplitude).

An important part of what happens when loading a low-impedance MC cartridge is to resistively bleed off the electrical resonant energy so the phono stage's input circuit doesn't go berserk and generate IMD (which we can hear). IOW, what you are primarily loading is the input of the phono stage rather than the cartridge (hence my use of quotations around "cartridge loading"). Proper loading tends to change according to the individual situation, because although the cartridge coil inductance may be the same, the cable capacitance may be different, and different phono stages have different degrees of suceptibility to RF resonances. IME, if a given phono stage combines very linear behaviour with high overload margin in the RF region, or if it has heavy input loading so that RF frequencies are effectively blocked from entry, it will audibly be considerably less sensitive to input loading than otherwise.

What you want to know is the inductance of your cartridge, and the net sum of all capacitances that lie between the cartridge coil and phono stage input (including cable capacitances). Then plug them into Jim Hagerman's on-line calculators, set the loading accordingly and listen.

Note that with MMs, MIs, IMs, high-output MCs and other higher-inductance cartridge designs, the resonant peak created by the interaction between coil inductance and cable-plus-input capacitances is much more likely to fall closer to the audible band, and chances are greater that the choice of input loading will have a direct effect on what you hear.

regards from another garage company (grin)
I remember promising Fail entertainment value... T, don't mess with my Triplanar buddies...
T, don't mess with my Triplanar buddies...
Zieman (Threads | Answers)

Triplanar buddy? 'Ya mean the guy whose reference preamp ya didn't know
about two days ago even though his comp'ny name is his Audiogon moniker?

Hee-haw! Thought the one messin' was you, Cleetus. Cain't figger yer
writin' out sometimes. Hard to reckon who-n-what yer talkin' 'bout.

Get back to us terreckly on that white paper, 'ya hear.
Thank You J. The whole idea behind these forums T is to assist folks like you in getting up to speed. Thanks to you again, J.
11-22-08: Zieman
Thank You J. The whole idea behind these forums T is to assist folks like you
in getting up to speed.

When you've provided some bonafide help, insight or education, I'll be the first
to offer my genuine thanks and appreciation. Thus far though, too many of your
contributions have been ill-informed or incorrect, and unreliable. Therefore, I
read them with due caution.

Still waiting for the white paper report on phono cable impedance.
I can defer to J and Atmas for now... And the Hagerman guy too!
Weak exit from a weak mind.

Jonathan Carr,

Thanks for your explanation. I thought Mr. Karsten's comments about there being one right loading, in terms of proper electrical dampening of the cartridge made sense, but, it did not exactly square with my experience that the best loading of any particular cartridge seems to differ depending on the phonostage. I can see how both comments are not incompatible.
Larryi, if you just use your ears for loading a cartridge, you will indeed arrive at different values for different phono sections. That is because different phono sections sound different, some are brighter than others due to the use of negative feedback or the like. That is why I recommend a more exact method, so that the loading is not used as a tone control to counter other effects that should be dealt with in other ways.