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.
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.
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.