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Thread: Please help! Ortofon 2M Bronze on a PL-71

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2018

    Location: Maine, USA

    Posts: 29
    I'm Dave.

    Unhappy Please help! Ortofon 2M Bronze on a PL-71

    Hey guys. Im having a super hard time getting my 2M Bronze to sound right on my PL-71 turntable. I have just upgraded from a 2M Blue that sounded pretty good to me. I have about 10 hours of tweaking and adjusting on the Bronze with no success. I have read countless threads on cartridge alignment and setup. I just can not for the life of me get this thing to sound right. Here is what I have done so far. I have my 2M Bronze mounted to a Pro-Ject Signature headshell. Im wondering if maybe my problems stem from the fact that the headshell @ 12 grams is too heavy for my stock Pioneer S shaped tone arm. Maybe someone can chime in on this? My 2M Blue is mounted to a $40 Ortofon standard silver headshell. I went with the Pro-Ject Signature headshell (aluminum version) so I could adjust Azimuth. Plus I figured the 2M Bronze would love a more solid headshell. I have adjusted the alignment with the Hi Fi new Test record protractor. I used the 2 point protractor. To get the inner and outer points dead on, I am at about 53mm from the back of the O-ring on headshell to stylus tip. I have adjusted Azimuth with a guage as well. I have the VTF set to 1.7. I have read that running the Bronze at the higher end of the VTF range (1.5-1.7) gives the best sound and least amount of mistracking and distortion. I found this to be true with the 2M Blue running the VTF at the higher end of the scale. My anti skate seems to be best at 2.0. I have played around with it on the test tones and I get the best results at AS set to 2.0. The imaging seems nices and centered to me so I have left it there for now. I think my problem may be with VTA. S you may or may not know the PL-71 is horrible to set VTA with. There are no guide lines to measure off of. I use digital calipers to measure the height of the arm assmbly right where the anti skate knob is. This gives me an idea of how low or high of an adjustment I made. I have a clear Azimuth gauge with the grid lines on it. I use this to measure VTA directly at the headshell. Right now I have it ever so slightly and I mean SLIGHTLY tail down. It seems like from totally horizontal to slightly tail down I lose vocals a bit. They seem to be in the background. Thats the best way I can describe it. If I move the tail up the highs get a little overpowering and screechy. The SSSSSSS are too smeared and the bass disappears.

    On a side note..... When I first installed the new cart it sounded so amazing! I have the VTA perfectly horizontal. After a few days (4 records) I noticed that I lost some bass and the highs were a little too bright. I rechecked the alignment and found that the VTA had changed! The front was down, tail up. Maybe the stylus broke in a bit? It does not ride low to my eyes. Seems to ride the same height as my Blue. I reset my VTA and VTF and AS. Not sure why the cart dropped the VTA. Maybe someone has some ideas?

    So thats where I am at right now. Im very frustrated. I like tinkering and finding the sweet spot but that has yet to happen and I feel defeated. Maybe the PL-71 is not the best TT for this cart/headshell combo? Maybe I need a better more accurate protractor? I have no idea how to plug in the numbers for an ARC style protractor. I have measured my spindle to tone arm pivot and it is indeed 209.5 as stated in manual. But I have no clue what other values need to be plugged into protractor calculators or what style protractor I need to get this sweet spot I keep hearing about. Pleas help guys! Im new to this and I know how good it can sound but I cant seem to dial it in. This post is my last chance to get this figured out before I question this TT is the right one for me. I have spent way too many hours searching the net and reading about alignment etc. PLEASE HELP!

    Thanks for all your time!
    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 36,257
    I'm Geoff.

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    How old is the Bronze? If it's new, it may want more running in before it 'comes on song'.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2018

    Location: Maine, USA

    Posts: 29
    I'm Dave.

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    I have run 7 records through it so far.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2015

    Location: Pulborough, West Sussex, UK

    Posts: 892
    I'm Ian.

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    I haven't used a 2M Bronze but I had a 2m Black for some time and they are very, VERY fussy about set up. VTA was the really critical part, just the slightest movement up or down would completely change the sound, I found that it liked to be slightly tail down but the difference between a great sound and just wrong was minute. It really was just trial and error until I found the sweet spot. I had the VTF set at 1.8. The 2M's are very frustrating to set up but pay dividends when you hit that sweet spot.
    My stuff; Toshiba SR-370/Mission 774 /Ortofon Quintet Black, Cambridge CXC CD transport/Musical Fidelity X DAC/Musical Fidelity X10v3 tube buffer, Musical Fidelity A3, Nakamichi CA-5E pre amp, Acoustic Solutions FM/DAB tuner, Mordaunt Short Signifer, Klotz MC5000/MS audio, NVA LS5

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2018

    Location: Maine, USA

    Posts: 29
    I'm Dave.

    Default

    Thanks for the info! Is it ok to run the VTF @ 1.8 even though the max recommended is 1.7? Why did you choose to run it @ 1.8? Was there a benefit in sound quality? Thank you for your help!

  6. #6
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 3,359
    I'm jamie.

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    its horses for courses dave,i ran my 2m black at 1.7g and also at 1.5 towards the end of ownership.it tracked well at both settings.
    My System/ Yamaha NS1000M speakers ,Pioneer PLC-590 turntable,Pioneer PA-5000,Alphason HR-100S-MCS,Zeta tonearms,Denon 103SA Cartridge's,Denon HA-500 Head Amp, John Wood KT88 Valve Amp,Sony 700ES Amp,Sony X555ES CD Player, Nakamichi ca5 pre amp ,

  7. #7
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 543
    I'm Svend.

    Default

    Dave, a couple of thoughts to add to this... I have a 2M Bronze as well, and Ian is quite correct that it is sensitive to VTA, VTF and AS. It is also more compliant than the Blue, so given the fact that you're using a heavier headshell may have pushed it over the edge wrt. to resonance. Is the arm a medium mass arm? Not familiar with that deck, but the whole mass might be too much for the compliance of the stylus. You might want to try mounting it on the lighter headshell (I know, more time and effort, but might be worth it). Check out the cartridge resonance evaluator over at Vinylengine: https://www.vinylengine.com/cartridg..._evaluator.php Plug in all the numbers for your arm, headshell, and cartridge weight, and then see if you're in the green range.

    Next thought -- it has a different motor than the Blue, so it's possible there's a capacitance thing going on. I seem to recall reading that the Bronze and Black are fussy about cable and preamp capacitance. Is there any way you can adjust or change this? Swapping phono cables? Adjusting a preamp setting? Swapping preamps (borrow from a buddy if need be)?

    Finally, you might want to look at the headshell wiring... Recheck the tightness of your headshell leads on the pins. When mounting/unmounting and yanking away on these delicate connectors and wires, it's easy to bugger things up. Also worth doing is a continuity test from RCAs to cart pins to make sure it's all clear and there's no break anywhere, and do the ground as well. And then check that all the cart pins are wired to the right headshell pins -- sorry, not being insulting here by stating the obvious, just trying to eliminate what is a very easy mistake to make.

    Best of luck with this. Hate to say it, but there's more work ahead to figure it out.

    Let us know how you do with it.

    Cheers,
    Svend

  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: London

    Posts: 3,140
    I'm Robert.

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    Hi Dave, no exactly how you feel.

    The 2M Black drove me to near self combustion at times trying and trying and trying and (crying) then trying somemore to nail that sweetspot.

    But percsevere we must and do.

    I learned so much about set up due to that thing it is untrue.

    One thing I will never ever not have is on the fly. Even then it aint easy but with the carts I really enjoy ie: Shibata clad Ortofons, I find that the window for the sweetspot after all the other set up parimeters have been addressed is really really tiny and even dialling in ever so carefully has to be done smoothly and carefully, (no sausage fingered cack-handedness will do) whilst listening ever so intently as if your life depends on it and then -bingo AND tighten / lock it in without getting losing where it's at, containing the excitement til its locked in and done - Yeeehaww always follows

    I've always wondered how others with incremental manual adjustment get on with carts like the Ortofon Blacks and the Replicants stylus whcih re also tricky to nail
    The Bronze I dont believe is as hard to nail, it's not a theme I'm aware of reading like the Black whcih is well known.

    Make sure you set things to manufacturers recommended settings to start with.

    If you are using digital scale try and make sure that when the stylus sits on the platform the height is represtive of where your record on the amt would be ie: real world playing height position - get up close and check.

    If you find a big difference then remove the mat and put the scale on the platter, do what you have to to set tracking force at the right height otherwise your tracking force will be well off when it comes to it.

    I'm sure you have the amp, everything nice and warmed up and the stylus too ie: you've played a side or two (turn the volume down as your not doing it to listen but to just to warm things up. I cant listen with the volume up until the thing is right anyway )

    Do you know what you're listening for ? Not being funny but it's really hard if you dont. I've become very good at just hearing that point, it's very subtle though and even then I've not got it every single time I've thought I had - there's been the odd occassion where I've had to go again .

    And yes do check out the resonance figure. I used this one for my Cadenza Black and bought an appropriate headshell as a result https://www.ortofon.com/support/supp...ance-frequency

    Stick with it Dave and good luck, it'll happen
    My System:
    Amplification - Sansui AU-alpha 707 DR
    Turntable - Modified Technics SL1210 MK5G
    Mike New precision bearing, bearing base plate, ETP Platter
    Micro Seiki MA-202 tonearm, rewired, hybrid ceramic bearings
    Ortofon Cadenza Black moving coil cartridge
    Yannis Tome 423.5 Silver-Litz tonearm cable with KLEI Pure Silver Harmony plugs
    Ebony armboard
    Audio Technica MS-8 Magnesium headshell, Ortofon pure silver headshell leads
    Isonoe Isolation Feet
    Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules), DCSXL pure-silver DC lead with Jaegar low impedance connector
    CDP - Pioneer PD-91
    Speakers - Spendor D7
    QED Silver Spiral speaker cable, Airlock plugs - bare wire amp end.
    Mains - Ultra Pure silver plated un-switched socket, Missing link EPS 500 silver plated plugs with Hi-Fi Tuning gold plated silver ceramic 13 amp fuses

  9. #9
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 1,194
    I'm Russell.

    Default

    I got this off the Ortofon website. According to them, the 2M Bronze needs a 20 degree tracking angle, so I searched and found this on their site to explain.


    2.4. Tonearm level, vertical tracking angle

    Cartridges are constructed so that cantilever angle corresponds to the 20 deg. record cutting angle, when the cartridge is loaded with recommended tracking force and the cartridge base is parallel with the tonearm and this again is parallel to the record surface.

    So, you need to get your VTA to get the bottom of the cart parallel to the record surface, while at the recommended tracking force. If the cantilever is not at 20 degrees, adjust the tracking force to make it so.

    A trick Ive used, with much success, is to get a magnifying glass and look directly at the needle as it sets in the groove. It should be leaning forward, at about 92 degrees, ever so slightly over straight up, leaning away from the tonearm. 92 degrees was right for my cartridge, but you may need to experiment with the 2M since they do not list this angle on their site.

    And if your preamp is adjustable, try different settings on the capacitance. It will sound different but it wont hurt anything trying different settings. The website says 150 to 300pf, if that helps any.

    Good luck with it! It may take 25 Records to break in, so have patience.

    Russell

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: London

    Posts: 3,140
    I'm Robert.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alphaGT View Post
    I got this off the Ortofon website. According to them, the 2M Bronze needs a 20 degree tracking angle, so I searched and found this on their site to explain.


    “2.4. Tonearm level, vertical tracking angle

    Cartridges are constructed so that cantilever angle corresponds to the 20 deg. record cutting angle, when the cartridge is loaded with recommended tracking force and the cartridge base is parallel with the tonearm and this again is parallel to the record surface.”

    So, you need to get your VTA to get the bottom of the cart parallel to the record surface, while at the recommended tracking force. If the cantilever is not at 20 degrees, adjust the tracking force to make it so.

    A trick I’ve used, with much success, is to get a magnifying glass and look directly at the needle as it sets in the groove. It should be leaning forward, at about 92 degrees, ever so slightly over straight up, leaning away from the tonearm. 92 degrees was right for my cartridge, but you may need to experiment with the 2M since they do not list this angle on their site.

    And if your preamp is adjustable, try different settings on the capacitance. It will sound different but it won’t hurt anything trying different settings. The website says 150 to 300pf, if that helps any.

    Good luck with it! It may take 25 Records to break in, so have patience.

    Russell
    Tracking angle stated same as the Black then. Always found a slightly negative rake is where the sweetspot is at, never parrallel with any of the Blacks Ive had and Ive had all three 2M, Quintet and now Cadenza - all 20 deg.
    My System:
    Amplification - Sansui AU-alpha 707 DR
    Turntable - Modified Technics SL1210 MK5G
    Mike New precision bearing, bearing base plate, ETP Platter
    Micro Seiki MA-202 tonearm, rewired, hybrid ceramic bearings
    Ortofon Cadenza Black moving coil cartridge
    Yannis Tome 423.5 Silver-Litz tonearm cable with KLEI Pure Silver Harmony plugs
    Ebony armboard
    Audio Technica MS-8 Magnesium headshell, Ortofon pure silver headshell leads
    Isonoe Isolation Feet
    Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules), DCSXL pure-silver DC lead with Jaegar low impedance connector
    CDP - Pioneer PD-91
    Speakers - Spendor D7
    QED Silver Spiral speaker cable, Airlock plugs - bare wire amp end.
    Mains - Ultra Pure silver plated un-switched socket, Missing link EPS 500 silver plated plugs with Hi-Fi Tuning gold plated silver ceramic 13 amp fuses

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