AT-VM95L/H v Ortofon 2M Blue

DT79

Well-known Member
Perfect, you can have the two carts on different headshells and easily swap them over to compare. You may even find that you prefer different carts for different records or genres.
 

andycc72

Active Member
The Blue has arrived and I've been playing my most familiar LP's for the last hour. definite improvement on the Red. Bass seems tighter and the soundstage slightly wider. An audible improvement all round.

The VM95ML also arrives today. I'm going to leave the Blue on for a while before I set up the VM95ML as I want to get a proper feel for the Blue before comparing.
 
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Khankat

Well-known Member
I'll be interested to hear what you think of the two cartridges. I think you will find the AT more to your liking.

On the Nagoaka MP200 that was mentioned: it may be 'just' an elliptical stylus but they sound sweet. Plus, elliptical means they are a littlle more tolerant with setup. Generally, the finer the type of stylus, the harder they are to setup correctly.
 

andycc72

Active Member
I'll be interested to hear what you think of the two cartridges. I think you will find the AT more to your liking.

On the Nagoaka MP200 that was mentioned: it may be 'just' an elliptical stylus but they sound sweet. Plus, elliptical means they are a littlle more tolerant with setup. Generally, the finer the type of stylus, the harder they are to setup correctly.
I'm loving the Blue so far compared to the Red, but there's no doubt it does have a digital sound like gingersnaps alluded to. I do love the digital sound but from the TT I would like something different, hopefully the AM will provide that. Despite that I'm currently the happiest I have been with the sound coming from the TT so all is well :)
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
If you wanted to move the blue up a slight notch then it fits on the 2M silver cartridge (if you can find one) - Silver + Blue is the top of that particular tree (note silver stylus is the same as red) before jumping into the Bronze/Black line.
 

andycc72

Active Member
I had planned to leave the 2M Blue on for a couple of weeks before setting up the VM95ML but being the impatient fecker that I am I installed the VM95ML yesterday morning.

Now this is how I imagined vinyl would sound when I decided to get back into it. I say imagined because I have no point of reference, I only know one person with a decent system and he doesn’t have a turntable and back when I had records they were played on a Technics mini system.

The detail is superb but there’s now more depth to the sound, the instrument separation is better as is the sound stage. Over the moon with the VM95ML, I think it’s achieved the sound I wanted, the warm side of neutral.

I still think the 2M Blue is a decent cart and I’ll be keeping it as a spare but the 2M Red stylus will not be seeing the light of day on my TT again. Not that it’s utterly terrible but it’s just been trounced by both the 2M Blue and the VM95ML.

so glad I bought the version with the headshell as set-up was easy. It came at 52mm so need to even loosen a screw.
 
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oscroft

Member
I had planned to leave the 2M Blue on for a couple of weeks before setting up the VM95ML but being the impatient fecker that I am I installed the VM95ML yesterday morning.

Now this is how I imagined vinyl would sound when I decided to get back into it. I say imagined because I have no point of reference, I only know one person with a decent system and he doesn’t have a turntable and back when I had records they were played on a Technics mini system.

The details is superb but there’s now more depth to the sound, the instrument separation is better as is the sound stage. Over the moon with the VM95ML, I think it’s achieved the sound I wanted, the warm side of neutral.

I still think the 2M Blue is a decent cart and I’ll be keeping it as a spare but the 2M Red stylus will not be seeing the light of day on my TT again. Not that it’s utterly terrible but it’s just been trounced by both the 2M Blue and the VM95ML.

so glad I bought the version with the headshell as set-up was easy. It came at 52mm so need to even loosen a screw.
Excellent! 😀
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Great news, that seems to concur with most reviews, the Blue is a bit sterile but detailed and the AT doesn’t have the brightness that the older 440ML had but keep the detail. IMO the best bang for buck cart/stylus around giving the standard version can be had for £129 Or pick one up with 200hrs on the clock for £75ish off eBay. The other benefit is that the ML stylus should last 2-3 times longer (rated at 1000+ hours) than the elliptical Blue/Red and supposedly does less damage to the records. Win all round.

For info there is also a hack to fit the ML stylus to a Clear Audio Virtuoso cartridge that is supposed to be another step up the ladder and an alternative to the 540/740ML.
 
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DT79

Well-known Member
Great result. Enjoy!

I have to admit I’ve never been a fan of the Red after receiving one with my 1210mk2 when I got back into vinyl about 8 years or so ago. I found it generally underwhelming and it suffered from terrible IGD no matter what I did with set-up. I simply cannot fathom why they don’t supply the 1500C with a better cartridge.
 

oscroft

Member
Just one thought on the 2M Red... use it for first play of any second hand records you might buy? I use my old OM10 stylus for that, and it's saved me from a few heart-stopping clicks and thumps that I'd have hated to play with a more expensive stylus.
 

andycc72

Active Member
Just one thought on the 2M Red... use it for first play of any second hand records you might buy? I use my old OM10 stylus for that, and it's saved me from a few heart-stopping clicks and thumps that I'd have hated to play with a more expensive stylus.
That's a good idea, my only concern is that it requires effort, re-aligning, etc (which I might add is nowhere near as scary as I thought once you have done it a few times) :)

I'm not a delicate person in any way shape or form, I suspect that I will go through stylus's quicker than your average person. Already the stylus has shot across the middle label, I went to pick up the needle as on the odd record the auto lift doesn't work, must have knocked it somehow and much to my horror the needle shot across the middle of the record. I'm going to really try to be careful with this one.
 
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oscroft

Member
That's a good idea, my only concern is that it requires effort, re-aligning, etc (which I might add is nowhere near as scary as I thought once you have done it a few times) :)
Nah, as long as the two carts are aligned the same in their headshells, all you need to do is swap them over and change the tracking force. (And swapping 2M stylus is the same - they're both aligned the same with respect to the cart).
 
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andycc72

Active Member
Great result. Enjoy!

I have to admit I’ve never been a fan of the Red after receiving one with my 1210mk2 when I got back into vinyl about 8 years or so ago. I found it generally underwhelming and it suffered from terrible IGD no matter what I did with set-up. I simply cannot fathom why they don’t supply the 1500C with a better cartridge.
The IGD on the Red is really bad, better on the Blue, pretty much gone on the VM95ML.

Agreed, I'd have been happy to pay slightly more to have a decent cart installed, or slightly less to go off and buy one of my own choosing.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
Agreed, I'd have been happy to pay slightly more to have a decent cart installed, or slightly less to go off and buy one of my own choosing
Me too. Not going to happen though. Ortofon sell a shed load of carts by making sure theirs is the default.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
Good news about your cartridge. I thought you'd enjoy the AT. I have a 2M Red. It came with some other stuff I purchased. Even though new and with a few hours on it, I can't abide it. Like @oscroft, I use it for first time playing and groove cleaning.
 

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