The state of the art Ortofon Xpression cartridge represents the perfect combination of three distinct characteristics pioneered by Ortofon:
1: Use of the cutting edge SLM materials, a technology pioneered on the MC A90 and SPU 90th Anniversary models.
2: Modification of the all-new generator system introduced with the MC A90 and the MC Windfeld models.
3: Ortofon's design tradition.
Utilising these three elements, Ortofon have created a totally new product in order to support their SPU cartridge customers, and the many owners of Ortofon tonearms around the world.
The Xpression cartridge bridges the gap between SPU-type cartridges and High-End cartridges like the MC A90 and the MC Windfeld, which are designed for headshell mounting. The result is a high-performance moving coil cartridge with the convenience of a standard headshell connector. This method of connection provides a simple and elegant method of directly connecting the generator and tonearm via the Xpression’s one-piece body.
Since the cartridge length is identical to that of an SPU, the Xpression can easily be fitted onto tonearms without additional concern for proper alignment. The cartridge height is likewise identical to the SPU height, which makes further VTA adjustments unnecessary.
The length of the cartridge ensures a proper match with SME-mount type tonearms (e.g. SME, Grace, Fidelity Research, SAEC and Micro Seiki brands), while the mass and compliance properties of the Xpression ensure that a proper match will be achieved with any SPU-compatible arm. The Xpression can ideally be combined with the new Ortofon TA-110 tonearm.
The presentation of the Ortofon Xpression is a continuation of the new paradigm in engineering and manufacturing, introduced by the MC A90. Total freedom from resonance in the audible frequency range is a precondition for optimal sound quality, and the design of the Xpression has been dictated by this requirement from the very beginning.
An engineering feature adding to the damping capability of the Xpression cartridge is the recently developed Selective Laser Melting (SLM) 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. Because of the nature of SLM-based construction, each cartridge body is cosmetically unique and will show small dimples or lines under close examination.
By combining the utilization of this SLM process and our patented 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 is the use of ultra-high-purity silver for internal wiring between the generator and headshell connector. 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.
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.
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.
Another precondition 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. To achieve this, the Ortofon Xpression uses an ultra-fine and extra polished version of the unique Ortofon Replicant Stylus 100.
This diamond, which is already known from products such as the famous MC Windfeld and the MC A90 cartridges, 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.
Moving Magnet / Moving Coil:
2.3 - 2.8g (Recommended 2.6g)
10Hz - 60kHz (-3dB)