Ortofon MC-2000 MC phono cartridge JGH returned to the Ortofon MC-2000 in August 1985

JGH returned to the Ortofon MC-2000 in August 1985 (Vol.8 No.4):

Other than price, hum susceptibility appears to be the only real liability of this otherwise excellent $1000 MC cartridge. Its output is so extraordinarily lo1 that even the proximity of an AC cord to either of the tonearm cables can cause severe hum,

When used with an early-model Pink Triangle turntable, whose drive motor power transformer is in the phono unit itself, the cartridge picked up hum directly even when on its rest post. This should not be a problem with the later PTs—the transformer is now physically isolated from the turntable—but similar hum problems may be encountered with the MC-2000 on any turntable whose drive motor is not well shielded.

The MC-2000 works superbly even with early mono LPs and is the only MC cartridge I have encountered in over two years that has prompted me to pull out some of my oldest recordings and enjoy them all over again! This is one honey of a cartridge, but there are few step-ups with adequate gain and/or low enough noise to use with it. Unfortunately the best step-up I've found is Ortofon's own T-2000 transformer which costs another $1000. This combination makes LPs sound more like their CD counterparts than any other phono unit I've found (footnote 1), but for the $2000 combined price tag you could buy three good CD players. Hmmm.—J. Gordon Holt

And Again in December 1985 (Vol.8 No.7):

Still the best-sounding—and most accurate—cartridge I've found, the Ortofon MC-2000 has demonstrated durability that belies a reputation Ortofon cartridges had earned some years ago for going sour after a few months. A year of constant use has my sample sounding as good as the day it was installed. And my concern about the very compliant cantilever folding up (you'll recall from my original review in Vol.8 No.2 that the distance from the cartridge body to the record surface dropped in half after six hours of use) was apparently unjustified. No further collapse has occurred; aside from gunk buildup on the stylus, the MC-2000 has performed flawlessly.

Paired with its own step-up transformer, this is the cartridge to use if you want the spectral balance of your phono front end to sound as much as possible like your CDs. The only problem is hum (because of the MC-2000's exceedingly low output); the lowest I've gotten is barely audible, and you may be unable to do that well, depending on your other components. At $2000 for the cartridge and transformer, this is horribly expensive—but worth it.—J. Gordon Holt

Footnote 1: I'm again afraid that analog-lovers, digital-haters will be put off by this last comment. Serves them right, maybe? I don't think so. The Ortofon does make analog sound very much like CD, particularly in tonal balance. Another way to look at it is that, if you balance your system around the sound of the Ortofon, you will not be rudely shocked by CD. Even on JGH's system I still find the sound of analog particularly through the Ortofon, to be superior to CD, but it's a small margin.—Larry Archibald
Ortofon Inc.
500 Executive Boulevard, Suite 102
Ossining, NY 10562
(914) 762-8646