What took so long? Ortofon SPU without headshells.

A couple of years ago Ortofon introduced "Naked" SPU cartridges without their iconic headshells. 
You can mount these to any tonearm that doesn't have SME (Or Technics) type of quick release mount.
They mount with a little adapter plate.
Makes you wonder why this didn't happen before.

There are 3 models in the Ortofon Catalog and one extra model made for the 40th anniversary of ATR one of their distributors in Germany. I tried the ATR C40, with a bonded elliptical stylus (It is equivalent to the SPU #1E with headshell) which sounded great. Full, liberated, physical, fun.

It lead me to move one step up with the Classic N E,  that has a naked elliptical stylus and is similar to the Classic GE MKII. The highs go higher with more detail while everything else remains the same. Other than the price point it is hard to see any advantage to the bonded stylus.

The price point is not to be neglected though. Like a Denon DL103 it is an MC cartridge that is a little less worrisome to use. The fear and consequences of wiping out the cantilever are lower. It does 96% of the job for 40% less money and worries.

A mono model would be nice!


SPU ATR C40, Similar to the SPU #1E (Bonded Elliptical Stylus).

SPU Classic NE, similar to the SPU Classic GE MKII (Naked elliptical Stylus).