Ortofon's Leif Johannsen Introduces the New 100th Anniversary Century Cartridges

First thing Friday morning at High End Munich 2018, AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer sat down with Leif Johannsen, Ortofon's Chief Officer of Acoustics and Technology, who for more than a decade has been in charge of designing the company's phono cartridges.

The photo accompanying the story shows the MC Century mounted on one of a new series of Swedish Analog Technologies tone arms that debuted at the show as well as the new SPU Century mounted on a 12" Ortofon tone arm.

In the hour long interview (edited here) Mr. Johannsen shows and discusses the three new cartridges created to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary: the MC Century, the Concorde Century and the SPU Century. The designer shows the three cartridges and explains the rationales behind each one.

Using a bag full of 3D printed shapes, he also shows how the company creates OEM cartridges for other manufacturers.

Prices and release dates approximate but the MC Century's projected price is $10,000+, the Concorde Century's around $600 and the SPU Century's not yet determined .

HoDu's picture

I'd be willing to bet that I'm not the only reader who'd like to know without having to spend nearly three-quarters of an hour to find out. Why not just tell us the prices and expected release dates?

Zardoz's picture

"Prices and release dates approximate but the MC Century's projected price is $10,000+, the Concorde Century's around $600 and the SPU Century's not yet determined "

Michael Fremer's picture
After reading his comment I changed the final sentence!
Jonathan Tinn's picture

US Pricing is $12000. The $10000 is euros.

Can't wait to hear it!

Wimbo's picture

Deep Purple's Made in Japan. Wicked :)

Ortofan's picture

... forthcoming regular production models of Concorde hi-fi - as opposed to DJ - type cartridges? They would be an excellent match for the recently revived Technics turntables.

HelenMiller73's picture

Now I realize professional audio equipment is expensive, But still.. this is pricey...
Thanks for the edit, price was really the factor for me.

Ortofan's picture

... are very close to not providing enough adjustment to properly align the SPU Century cartridge, or should the tonearm have been mounted somewhat further back on the turntable?

Cohnaudio's picture

I have this cartridge mounted on a Kuzma 4Point and after listening to a bunch of albums, I can say this is the finest cartridge I have heard. I am amazed at what I am hearing from this cartridge. Mikey, your review nailed it.

davip's picture

assuming an (optimistic) 1000-hr life, at $10k this cartridge would cost $10/hr to run. While I don't automatically chafe at the cost of high-end equipment, any cartridge that costs more to run per hour than the vinyl that it is playing is something of a non-starter. Doubtless it sounds fabulous, but this sort of money would be better spent on the TT then the tonearm for ongoing (i.e., non-consumable) SQ improvements -- if you already have the acme of those, pieces of equipment then spend that 10k on records...