Do you refer to the Ortofon of that name? If so, I own an MC7500, father to the Windfield which is father to the A90 which is father to the Anna (or maybe I missed one in this lineage). The MC7500 is a very neutral cartridge that I like very much.
Stringreen, not sure what you specifically want to know, the Winfeld is a very musical, detailed and natural at the same time. Certainly among Ortofon's best and one of the top modern cartrigdes. It's also relatively affordable for a highend cartridge by today's standards.
I realize that writing here might look like a sales pitch, but that's the truth about the Winfeld.
Thanks Dkarmeli......VPI recommended this cartridge to me (I now have a Benz LPS which I've had for awhile and am looking for a replacement). I have been looking at an Atlas or Etna, but VPI said in the real world this Ortofon is a great cartridge.
I have the Windfield and the A-90. Set up correctly, they are excellent. I use them on my Avid Volvere TT with origin Illustrious tonearm and it is a spectacular paring. I know for a fact that I have much more than 1200 hours on both carts and have never had a problem
Benjie great system you have, question - did you ever own an Ortofon Jubilee? Wondering what the gap in performance is, I have owned the Jubilee for several years and it has be a great and reliable performer.
Pops, The Winfeld is superior to the Jubilee which was one of my favorite Ortofons. It has more body, its more dynamic and most importantly more natural sounding than the Jubilee. But they share a common family sound signature.
It's hard to say what a cartridge will sound like in an unfamiliar system. Plus the fact that although we all enjoy music our bias' are different. So,keeping that in mind I find the Windeld to be the most enjoyable cartridge that I have owned.And thats 40 plus years of analog. Again, this is with my ears and in my system
Pops, Jubilee was/is a great cartridge and as I mentioned one of my all time favorites, The Winfeld is from the same family, just better. I can demo them side by side for you if you're ever in Southern Utah.
12-29-14: Pops Thanks David, I have many years of enjoyment with the Jubilee, once I work out a couple of system changes the cartridge will be next. I have used the jubilee almost a lifetime in audiophile years!
Pops, I've had 2 Jubilee's and rate it highly. I replaced mine with the similarly specified Ortofon Cadenza Black.
The Black has some of the generator/coil refinements of the Windfeld but uses the same Shibata stylus as the Jubilee. I like that because the Jubilee had super long stylus life and a very consistent sound. Like the Jubilee, the Black is a fabulous tracker. The Black is an overall more transparent cartridge, more dynamic, lively and finely detailed. I find the Black's highs much superior to the Jubilee. I also owned the A90 for 5-6 months (loved it) and the Black sounds closer to the A90 than the Jubilee.
Tobes, thanks for the feedback. I love the ortofon sound. I have heard the bronze many times on many different systems at shows. I am a big fan of the Shibata stylus also. The Jubilee has been a great tracker and reliable over a long period of time.
I have read where some believe the Black is a little too detailed but your experience does not reflect that impression. I am impressed you had 2 Jubilees!
I like a fat midrange, and I suppose what would typically qualify as a "warm" sound for MC cartridges. In the past I went down the upgrade road of: Kontrapunkt "c" => Jubilee => Windfeld. I loved that "c" and felt that the Jubilee "upgrade" was a complete mistake; I then immediately proceeded to the Windfeld, which was obviously technically superior to the other 2 carts (resolution, bass, speed, etc) -- in fact, it's quite astounding and thrilling the first time you hear this level of competence. However, I still missed the warmth, midrange, musicality, and forgiveness of the "c". Especially when the speakers I owned at the time were a tad bright, and the TT was also less high end and less dial-in-able than my current Innovation Wood + Graham.
I ended up selling those Ortofons and running Koetsu Platinum (very sparingly; only for "primo" listening sessions) for the next 4 years. Obviously, the Koetsu are significantly warmer than any Ortofon. To my ears, the Kontra "c" and Cadenza Bronze are what I consider neutral, while the Jubilee/Windfeld are slightly bright/analytical, and the Koetsus are all various shades of warm. Other ears would categorize the Jubilee/Windfeld as neutral, the "c"/Bronze warm, and the Koetsu as overbearingly warm. Someone else categorized the Windfeld as warm, and based on my past experience I'd hate to encounter a cart they consider bright -- we all have different systems and preferences :)
I've upgraded my TT and speakers in the last 2 years -- I still have the Koetsu, and they still sound amazing, but are possibly just a bit too warm in the new ecosystem. More recently I've been trying out a very nice Cadenza Bronze, which has now finally been dialed in to make a really wonderful sound. It truly hits my ideals of neutrality and musicality -- but then, some of the subtle refinements and details of the better (more expensive) cartridges (including Koetsu, Windfeld) are missing. That said, it's hard for me to imagine a more ideal match for typical pop/rock recordings than this Bronze -- and these comprise a significant portion of my music collection. The Bronze features a great balance of resolution, liveliness, and forgiveness.
I now grapple with whether to give the highly rated Cadenza Black a shot (an improved Jubliee...and it would need to be improved for me to like it), or even to give the Windfeld another chance. However, given my past experiences, and how neutral my ears now find the the Bronze, I worry whether I'll hit the same upgrade frustrations all over again. I don't think so, but then again it would be a fairly expensive trial.
Mulveling, I have not heard the Cadenza Bronze but by all accounts it is a fine, essentially neutral, cartridge with a dash of warmth. If the Bronze seems ideal to you in your system, then perhaps the Black would be less ideal.
I didn't found the Jubilee "slightly bright/analytical" - in fact I thought the Jubilee was slightly reticent in the highs though quite well balanced overall. The Black has more clarity and energy in the highs (more like the A90) but never 'bright'. Note that I've used Harbeth speakers - 3 different models - for the past 8 years and they have a rather smooth top end balance.
I find the Black to sound quite robust and realistic with acoustic instruments and voice - which is important to me - and I thought the Jubilee was similar though without the same overall clarity/transparency and liveliness.
In a nutshell, if you're expecting more warmth from the Black vs the Jubilee I don't think you'll find it.
Stringreen -- I've definitely flirted with idea of Ruby Z or LPS, but never dove in. It's not a bad idea at all, but the last few years' supply issues made me more wary.
I started out in analog with a Glider L2 (GREAT starter cart) and also later tried a Wood M2 and Ref 3. At that time I was comparing against the Kontrapunkt a/c, which were clearly the better technical performers at their respective price points, and I preferred the Ortofons. That said, the Benz carts do have a nice musical balance with a touch of warmth in the midrange (I did wish their treble was cleaner). If the higher Benzes maintain that Benz sound combined with technical abilities beyond that of a Cadenza Bronze, I would certainly like that very much!
Stringreen, Thanks for the generous offer, but after careful consideration I'm ~99% decided on a new Windfeld, to give it another shot in my evolved system (better speakers, better TT and arm). I had treble peakiness issues (i.e. ear- sear) with it in my last setup, but in retrospect it's more likely that the speakers were at fault -- I had to throw a lot of warm stuff behind them to tame the treble, including a Koetsu cart. And I'm feeling myself drawn back to the memory of the Windfeld's epic resolution and bass -- that would go nicely with my current setup.
There's been a lot of good things said about the Windfeld in this thread, and I guess that's helped rekindle my fondness of its strengths. My only remaining reservation would be about the midrange, and whether I'll still hear a slight digital-like lack of soul -- whereas the Cadenza Bronze definitely has soul in the midrange -- but currently I'm enjoying the Bronze, while yearning for and craving more refinement & resolution that I know the Windfeld can supply in spades.