The Ortofon Xpression High-End cartridge
The state of the art product, the Ortofon Xpression represents a combination of three elements very characteristic for Ortofon:
Utilising these three elements we created a new product in order to support our customers of the SPU cartridges and Ortofon tonearms.
The Xpression cartridge bridges the gap between the SPU-type cartridges and High-End cartridgeslike the MC A90 and the MC Windfeld designed for headshell mounting. The result is a high-performance moving coil cartridge with the convenience of a standard headshell connector, which provides a simple and elegant method of directly connecting the generator and tonearm via the Xpression’s one-piece body.
Available on backorder
Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec. – 0.3 mV
Channel balance at 1 kHz – < 0.2 dB
Channel separation at 1 kHz – > 28 dB
Channel separation at 15 kHz – > 22 dB
Frequency response – 20 Hz-20 kHz +0.5 /- 1.5 dB
Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force – 90 µm
Compliance, dynamic, lateral – 11 µm/mN
Stylus type – Special polished Nude Ortofon Replicant 100 on Boron Cantilever
Stylus tip radius – r/R 5/100 µm
Tracking force range – 2.3 -2.8 g (23-28 mN)
Tracking force, recommended – 2.6 g (26 mN)
Tracking angle – 23°
Internal impedance, DC resistance – 4 Ohm
Recommended load impedance – > 10 Ohm
Cartridge body material – SLM Stainless Steel and Special proprietary TPE-compound
Cartridge colour – Black
Cartridge weight – 28 gram
When combined with Ortofon’s world-class knowledge in analogue sound reproduction, the Xpression will undoubtedly provide sound which is literally unsurpassed and simply has to be experienced!
The presentation of the Ortofon Xpression is a continuation of the new paradigm in engineering and manufacturing introduced by the MC A90. Because total freedom from resonance in the audible frequency range is a precondition for optimal sound quality, the design of the Xpression has been dictated by the complete elimination of unwanted resonance,
An engineering feature adding to the damping capability of the Xpression cartridge is the Selective Laser Melting process in which fine particles of stainless steel are welded together, layer-by-layer, to construct a single piece body devoid of unnecessary material. Using this technique the density of the body can be precisely controlled, allowing for extremely high internal damping.
The final result provides absolute freedom from resonances existing in the cartridge body material and allows for the Xpression to be perfectly matched with an extremely wide array of different tonearms.
By combining the utilization of this SLM process and our WRD system, we are confident that the perfect mechanical integration of this cartridge with your tonearm will result in a significant and breathtaking increase in dynamics, staging, resolution and richness.
Also helping to achieve the Xpression’s accuracy and sonic purity the ultrahigh purity silver is used for the internal wiring between generator and standard headshell connector.
Finally, the bottom cover has been constructed from a special proprietary TPE (Thermo-Plastic Elastomer) material, which provides extremely high damping.
Also included is an easy-to-grab finger lift as well as a simple to use stylus guard.
The Xpression, although derived from the materials and techniques employed with the A90 cartridge, finds a superb sonic balance between the literal precision of the A90 and the powerful dynamics and fluid body of its SPU predecessors.
Because of the nature of SLM-based construction, each cartridge body is cosmetically unique and will show small dimples or lines under close examination.
The magnet system is based on the designs used in such acclaimed cartridges as the MC Windfeld and the MC A90.
The magnet system is based on an extremely strong, compact neodymium magnet, which makes the generator system both compact and lighter through its minimal dimensions.
Ortofon’s Field Stabilizing Element, a small cylinder of conductive material strategically placed inside the magnet system, guarantees that the force field remains stable regardless of the movement of the armature. FSE improves the channel separation, while at the same time minimizing dynamic distortion and intermodulation. The result is the fantastic dynamics and even more elbow room between the musicians.
You simply experience more drama and greater breadth, height and depth in the sound scenario!
Adding to the list of important components is Ortofon’s patented Wide Range Damping (WRD) system. In this system, a small, heavy platinum disc is sandwiched between two rubber absorbers, both with different properties.
This ensures not only an exceptional tracking performance, but also creates a perfect damping through the entire frequency spectrum. Because of this, distortion and resonance are virtually eliminated entirely.
The WRD system, which was originally introduced in the MC 20 Mk II in 1979 and was also used in the MC A90, the MC Windfeld and many of Ortofon’s other top-tier cartridges, is one significant reason why the Xpression, while achieving the most linear frequency response and a high upper frequency limit, at the same time tracks a fantastic 90 μm at a vertical tracking force of 2.6 grams.
The Xpression features an ultra-fine and extra polished version of the unique Ortofon Replicant 100 stylus on Boron Cantilever. Replicant 100 is also used in theMC A90, MC Windfeld, MC Anna and MC Cadenza Bronze cartridges, providing more responsive and transparent sound reproduction.
One of the preconditions for linear reproduction with a wide frequency range and optimal tracking performance is a diamond – the shape of which is as close as possible to the original cutting needle.
This diamond is incredibly small and light, but has an extraordinarily large vertical contact surface despite its minimal radius of rounding. Correctly fitted at a vertical angle of 23 degrees, an Ortofon Replicant Stylus 100 will read the musical information in the grooves of a record with a greater degree of accuracy than any other kind of needle.
Using expensive Aucurum coils of gold-plated, 6NX oxygen free copper allows for zero-loss transmission of the diamonds movements via its boron cantilever. This combination, which has also been employed for use in the MC A90 and the legendary MC Windfeld, combines low moving mass with an extremely high degree of rigidity.
The specially designed armature, created for the MC Windfeld and the MC A90, achieves an extreme precision in each coil turn in all layers. This enables the Xpression to obtain a higher degree of channel separation, while simultaneously offering lower distortion and better channel balance.
A low output impedance of 4 ohm and a medium output voltage of 0.3 mV make the Ortofon Xpression a perfect partner for most step-up transformers as well as active MC pre-amps.
The Xpression ships with a newly engineered stylus guard which is designed to be easily replaced and removed without risking contact to the fragile stylus assembly.
The new stylus guard design offers a safe and effective functionality. To avoid accidental damage to the stylus or cantilever please mount the enclosed stylus guard onto the cartridge whenever the cartridge is not in use.
This also includes whenever the cartridge is being mounted or removed from the headshell. As illustrated by the drawing, the stylus guard is simple removed by taking hold of the sides using the thumb and forefinger, and pulling straight along the orientation of the cartridge.
Affixing the stylus guard is of course accomplished by the reverse movement, but still using a straight movement as indicated by the arrows.
Ortofon does not recommend the use of solvents of any kind for cleaning of either record surface or stylus. If necessary, records may be washed in lukewarm demineralized water with a dash of sulphonic soap. Remove dust carefully from record surfaces by using a fine antistatic brush or cloth before every use.
The use of solvents on the stylus and cantilever may damage stylus cement; interior parts of the cartridge can be affected seriously by the intrusion of solvents. The Ortofon warranty will not be valid in cases where such treatment has caused malfunction.
For cleaning the stylus, use the enclosed fibre brush a few times along the cantilever in the direction of the stylus, whenever you play a new record or change sides. This will take all normal dust and most of the slick release agent from new records.
With proper care we find that up to 1000 hours is possible without degradation of performance. The stylus does begin to exhibit changes after 1.000 hours, but the stylus life as a whole is expected to top 2.000 hours.
Proper care comprises the following:
– Cleaning of record by means of fibre brush before and after every use. Cleaning of record by using record cleaning machine once in a while.
– Cleaning of stylus by means of a fine antistatic brush. Please remember to remove dust from the diamond tip before and after playback of each record.
– Proper adjustment of antiskating, azimuth and tracking force.