If you’re like me, when you first started listening to music on vinyl, you may have opted for something cheap and cheerful. After all, it’s only the turntable that was expensive; why spend more on the cartridge?
Well, I’m here to tell you that this shouldn’t be the case. If your turntable is good enough for your needs, then so should your cartridge! So, if you’re looking to upgrade, there are plenty of great options out there.
Today, I’ll compare two of the most popular choices on the market: the Ortofon 2M Blue vs. Nagaoka MP 110.
Let’s get started!
Ortofon 2M Blue vs. Nagaoka MP 110 Overview
The Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge offers an airy and crisp quality to records. On the other hand, the Nagaoka MP 100 gives an old-timey feeling to the LPs.
Both cartridge manufacturers use elliptical-shaped diamond styli. However, the Ortofon uses a nude diamond stylus, which can track the record grooves more accurately than the bonded stylus of the Nagaoka MP 110.
Ortofon 2M Blue
Nagaoka MP 110
What Is the Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge?
The Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge is a high-end cartridge that’s been designed to deliver the best possible sound to music enthusiasts. It’s made by Ortofon, a Danish company that’s been making high-quality audio equipment for over 90 years.
The 2M Blue is a part of the classic 2M series, which is highly popular among audiophiles. It uses the same body as its predecessor, the 2M Red, but features an improved stylus design that boosts tracking ability and reduces distortion.
What Is the Nagaoka MP 110 Cartridge?
The Nagaoka MP 110 cartridge is a phono cartridge made by the Japanese company Nagaoka. It’s great for music lovers, especially those who are into vintage music.
The MP 110 is also a part of the MP series produced by Nagaoka. It’s one of the most popular cartridges in its price range, and for good reason.
The MP 110 is capable of producing a remarkably rich sound with a nice impactful bass response. The quality of this cartridge is almost unmatched in its class, which makes it highly sought-after by audiophiles and casual listeners alike.
How Are the Ortofon 2M Blue and Nagaoka MP 110 Cartridges Different?
In the audiophile world, Ortofon’s 2M Blue and Nagaoka’s MP 110 are two of the most popular cartridges. Though they’re both excellent, they’re each different in their own way.
If you’re trying to decide between the Ortofon 2M Blue and the Nagaoka MP 110, here’s a list of their main differences:
Sound is an integral part of the experience of listening to music on a turntable; it’s what brings you closer to the music itself. The Ortofon 2M and the Nagaoka MP 110 cartridges are both good choices for audiophiles. There are, however, certain differences in the way they offer their tunes.
The Ortofon offers vocals as crisp, clear, and fresh as those of a mountain breeze. The smooth highs are perfect for those who like to hear every nuance of their favorite singer’s voice.
The midrange is also rich and full, but not overly boomy or muddy. The bass is tight and well-defined, but not overpowering. The cartridge has one drawback, though.
Some listeners find the precision a little too harsh or abrasive.
On the other hand, the Nagaoka MP 110 offers you the best of both worlds. The MP 110 is a great choice for anyone who wants to experience the warm, vintage sound of old vinyl while maintaining clarity.
The more assured sound that comes from using this cartridge means your records will always play back as they were meant to—with a depth and vividness that’s missing from digital recordings!
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Before I get into the nitty-gritty of these two products’ differing abilities in this area, let me first explain what a tracking force is.
The tracking force refers to how much your cartridge weighs on a record while you’re playing music. To measure the quality of audio playback on their turntables, most audiophiles perform a tracking test.
The test looks at how well the needle in your cartridge follows the groove in a vinyl record as well as how heavy it sits on the LPs. This is an important part of how good your music sounds!
When it came to the Ortofon 2M performance, on the first track on the outer edges, it had a slight buzz but it wasn’t too much.
Toward the middle of the LP, the Ortofon 2M really sounded its best with nearly no buzzing and clear sounds. It then returned to some buzzing in the final test track toward the inner circle of the record.
Nagaoka was clean as a whistle on the first track test and then again on the second and third!
While the Ortofon may track smoothly, the surface noise might be a bit much for experienced ears. Hence, the winner here is the Nagaoka MP110 cartridge!
Most people don’t realize that the stylus is the most important part of any turntable cartridge.
In fact, the stylus is the part of a turntable cartridge that actually reads the grooves on an LP, and it’s usually made of diamond or sapphire.
Both the Ortofon 2M and Nagaoka MP 110 have an elliptical-shaped diamond stylus. The elliptical shape helps the needle fit better into the grooves, which, in turn, helps it extract more musical detail from the record.
However, the way the diamond is installed in the products is very different.
The Nagaoka MP110 has what’s known as a bonded diamond stylus. In this type of stylus, the diamond tip is fixed onto a shank made of aluminum or steel, then that shank is glued onto the cantilever.
Now, it’s important to remember that the mass of the tonearm and cartridge must work together in order to achieve optimal results. Unfortunately, a bonded stylus adds just a little more mass—and that can negatively affect your turntable’s transient response.
The Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge, on the other hand, has a nude diamond needle. This means that the entire stylus is completely made out of diamond.
Hence, there’s no extra steel or aluminum to add to the cantilever, which allows the cartridge to track the LP more accurately. Obviously, the Ortofon 2M Blue is clearly in the lead here!
How Are the Ortofon 2M Blue and Nagaoka MP110 Similar?
Both cartridges deliver high-performance and quality sound reproduction. They can be used for DJing, listening to music at home or in the studio, or tracking vocals.
They’re both made by reputable companies with a long history of making quality audio equipment.
Furthermore, both cartridges use diamond-tipped needles that help them to handle great volume levels without scratching or skipping.
In addition, both needles have a similar design—an elliptical stylus tip for picking up all the grooves on the record with minimal distortion.
Users also read: Ortofon 2M Bronze vs Blue
So, if you’re looking for an affordable cartridge with no compromises on sound quality, either one of these cartridges is a great choice.
What’s Better About Ortofon 2M Blue?
The Ortofon 2M Blue is certainly a better choice for any audiophile who wants to hear every detail of their music. It has a clear, crisp sound that makes every note come alive in your ears.
Its sound separation is great, and the use of a nude diamond stylus helps make sure that you can hear even the subtlest changes in tone.
This means that your music will have more depth and detail than ever before!
What’s Better About Nagaoka MP 110?
The Nagaoka MP 110 cartridge is the way to go for the warm, vintage sound it gives. Moreover, the tracking force is amazing, which allows for better handling with the grooves and less surface noise.
It’s also very forgiving on old LPs—almost as if it was made in another decade! This makes it perfect for listening to vinyl records that have been played over and over again without causing any damage or distortion.
Who Should Get Ortofon 2M Blue (And Why)?
The Ortofon 2M blue is the best cartridge for precision. It’s a great option for anyone who wants to get the most out of their turntable, including:
- People who want a cartridge that can hold its own in terms of sound quality and dynamic range
- Turntablists who need a cartridge that’ll stand up to the rigors of their workflow
- DJs who are looking for a cartridge that can handle even the most demanding mixdowns and transfers
If you’re looking for something that can really let your records shine through, then this is definitely one option worth considering!
Who Should Get Nagaoka MP 110 (And Why)?
If you’re looking for a cartridge that can bring back the glory days of vinyl, look no further than the Nagaoka MP 110.
This cartridge has a rich, warm tone that’ll make your heart sing and your toes tap. It’s perfect for any old LPs in your collection, and it comes at a very reasonable price.
If you’re into jazz, classical or 80s rock then this cartridge can do wonders for your listening experience!