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Go Old School With Bang & Olufsen Turntable Cartridges

Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has been making high-end audio equipment since the 1920s. During the 1970s and 1980s, this company made a well-known range of turntable cartridges. These cartridges are a favorite of collectors and audiophiles, and sometimes music just sounds better on vinyl than digital devices.

What are some features of these phono cartridges?

These cartridges use proprietary Bang & Olufsen technology to deliver high-quality audio. Common features include:

  • Stylus: These cartridges were generally all-in-one units. Replacement stylus needles were generally not available. The needles were often elliptical, highly polished diamonds. Diamond styli are much more durable than alternative materials, including sapphire.
  • Cantilever: The cantilever is the little arm that attaches to the needle itself. In most brands, this piece is made of aluminum. B&O tended to use premium materials including beryllium and titanium for its cantilevers.
  • Mount: They generally feature a 1/2-inch standard mount and usually require no adjustment. Bang & Olufsen record player arms were carefully engineered so these devices could plug right in. In fact, only B&O cartridges can be used with B&O turntables. However, an adapter is available so these can be used with other brands.
What are some models of Bang & Olufsen cartridges?

B&O made a range of phono players and accessories. Many of these were designed for use with the company's line of record players. Cartridges were designed to plug right into Bang & Olufsen's specially engineered turntable arms.

  • MMC20E: This model was produced from 1979 to 1985. It uses a standard 1/2-inch mount. The stylus was a highly polished diamond. It is known for its sound quality and fidelity. It is not as sensitive to environmental changes as other B&O cartridges.
  • SP12: This unit features an elliptical diamond stylus. It reproduced sound faithfully, exceeding requirements for high-fidelity certification. This model plays records with little to no distortion even in the treble ranges.
  • MMC5000: This unit features a titanium cantilever and a Shibata-style stylus. It is designed to provide optimum sound quality when playing both quadraphonic and SQ records.
  • MMC6000: This vintage unit was produced from 1974 to 1979. It features a beryllium cantilever and uses an elliptical Pramanik diamond stylus. It was developed for use with four-channel records. The stylus is integrated into the unit and can't be replaced independently.
What does MMC stand for?

Most brands label their cartridges as MM (moving magnet) or MC (moving coil). As a premium brand, Bang & Olufsen liked to think differently. MMC stands for moving microcross. If you have a non-B&O turntable, use them with the MM audio input.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Bang & Olufsen.
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