Review: David Price
"A decade ago, Ortofon paid homage to its retiring design chief with a pick-up bearing his name. A hard act to follow, this new successor has had more than a makeover.
For decades we have seen constant new thinking on cartridge body materials, with all kinds of wood, alloys and plastics used – and sometimes even skeletal designs with no conventional body at all. For the MC Windfeld Ti, Ortofon has chosen to stick with the alloy and stainless steel construction seen in its predecessor, but add a new inner structure made of titanium (hence the suffix), using a process the company calls Selective Laser Melting (SLM). First seen in 2008’s MC A90 [HFN Sep ’09], the idea is to present the strongest and most rigid cartridge assembly to the tonearm’s headshell. The thinking is that any lost energy here can never be recovered, resulting in a diminution of dynamics and detail. The unique SLM process welds fine particles of titanium together, layer upon layer, to construct a single piece body devoid of extraneous material, says Ortofon. The technique is claimed to give precise control of the density of the body material, allowing for extremely high internal damping. The result is a lighter, quieter and yet more rigid cartridge compared to its already sturdy predecessor.
There’s no shortage of high-end moving-coil cartridges and to earn its rightful place the Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti has to offer a distinctive proposition to buyers. This it does in no uncertain terms – it has power, scale, precision and poise, while never being an overly ‘showy’ performer. It serves up a ‘matter of fact’ sound in a more compelling way than one might think possible, giving it an admirably wide appeal."