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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor jayo's Avatar
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    Default Shure M44-7H vs Ortofon Nightclub Concorde

    So I will be getting myself a set of 1200's after chrsitmas and want to get a fresh set of needles and carts. The ones I've mentioned seem to be the major players, now what I'm wondering is if anyone can make a solid argument to justify spending an extra $100 on the Ortofon's. Or if there is anything else I should consider?
    Thanks.
    A&H Xone 42, 2 x X1's, A6, Sony MDR V-700's
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  2. #2
    Tech Guru papo's Avatar
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    if you are going to be using DVS, save yourself the money and get the m447's.

    I have used them since last year and have no complaints. they gave great tracking.

  3. #3
    Tech Wizard
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    I'll second that. I've got both, but don't use time coded vinyl. The 2 have a different sound, I find the Shures a bit more "banging" and the Ortofon more smooth and sophisticated! I find the Shure can be a bit fatiguing after an hour or so, whereas the Ortofon I can listen to all day no dramas! The feel is important too, I prefer the long nose of the Ortofon, you may not, so try before you buy. Ortofons are quite fragile and expensive to replace, so this may be a factor too. If you're gonna go the ortofon route, get the nightclub 2, with the go faster stripes on the side, they have a greatly improved sound for "modern" mastered dance records. The nightclub 1 is a very old design!

    Another contender is the Stanton 680 SA, the former production manager at the Ministry of Sound used to swear by them, rating the sound more than either Ortofon or Shure. I haven't used them though so can't comment.

    Basically you'll be happy with either, but unless you've got loads of spare cash and a fat stack of wax, the extra cost of the nightclubs is hard to justify!

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor jayo's Avatar
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    cool and thanks, thats just what I was hoping to hear.
    A&H Xone 42, 2 x X1's, A6, Sony MDR V-700's
    http://soundcloud.com/louischancellor

  5. #5
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    M-447s for DVS. Period. Sound quality is almost irrelevant, and those styli last for freaking ever and stick like glue if you take 30 seconds to set up your tonearm.

    As far as playing real vinyl, I always kinda preferred shure whitelabels to ortofons. But I haven't heard nightclub 2s. M44-Gs were very decent as well and way less expensive than orts.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru Ross's Avatar
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    I have the nightclub mk1s and they skip quite a lot...
    Pioneer DJM 700 / Traktor Kontrol X1 / 2 x Technics SL1200MK5 / Traktor Scratch Pro 2.6.7 / Ortofon Concorde Nightclub MK1
    Audio 8 DJ / Sennheiser HD 25-1 II / Magma Traveler / IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R155 / KRK RP6 G2 / Vinyl

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard
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    I use the M44-7's. For DVS they're on point. Mine very seldom skip (and only will because my sub is right underneath my tables and if it's turned up too loud pretty much any needle will skip). As for casual listening... I don't really have a basis for comparison, they're the first and only needles I've ever tried. They are definitely a bit bass heavy though. I'm considering getting a spare cart and needle that's more suited for listening vs DJ'ing and just switching them out when I'm not mixing.

    The M44-7's are just so much cheaper. I'm curious to try the ortofons with the large nose though. My biggest complaint of the M44-7's is that they seem to accumulate a lot of dust right around the stylus, I've heard the Ortofons are a lot better at cutting down on that.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru djproben's Avatar
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    I use M44-7s and yeah there's no point in using anything else if you're doing mostly DVS. Sound quality is irrelevant since you're not gonna sit and listen to the timecode. But for real vinyl M44-7s are still pretty damn good needles. They do emphasize the bass and they're built to stick in the groove and do an awesome job of it, without corresponding record wear. I also own some Ortofon Scratch needles (the pink ones). They do sound a bit better than the M44-7s but not enough that I would lose any sleep over it; and in my opinion the extra record wear is not worth the tradeoff. Those needles led to noticeable and immediate record wear when I back-cued an old (and cheaply made) record from the 1960s; whereas I did not have the same problem on the same record with the Shures. I can't speak for other Ortofons but that experience alone led me to shy away from their needles. That, and I hate Concorde shaped cartridge/headshell combos. The ones I got were not Concordes; I installed them on regular headshells; most of the concordes I've seen end up broken and they're annoyingly light to use when trying to drop the needle on the record. The sound quality difference between the Orts and the Shures was really minimal; the Shures still sound great to me, and both of them seem to color the sound and emphasize the bass. (And as for dust bunnies, I've gotten them with both needles; the Orts may be a bit better because of their shape but you're always going to have that issue I think).

    If you want an affordable cart just for *listening* to vinyl (or for archiving it) I'd recommend the Shure M97xe. It's got a built in brush which is nice for the dust issue, and it does a much better job than the M44-7s or the Ortofons in terms of reproducing sound as neutrally as possible, without boosting the bass or making everything louder. But you don't want to be back-cueing or scratching with that needle. I picked up mine for about $45 off amazon but I think they're more expensive now.
    "Art is what you can get away with." - Marshall McLuhan

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor
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    M44-7. I prefer the tonearm setup with the Technics headshell over the integrated Ortofon units. I think the geometry is better. Never even once had a issue with timecode. On music, they are bass heavy, which is preferable in a club, I think. You can always EQ it out, but, it is difficult to add. You can get them pre-loaded on Tech headshells for $65/ea if you look around. Amazon, even.

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor HighTopFade's Avatar
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    Using DVS most of the time, I would use Shure if they weren't so unattractive. Looks like I'm laying a brick on the record. I used Concordes for a little while and didn't like how close the arm (I think that's what it's called) of the built in headshell is to the tonearm. Using an Ortofon OM cartridge with the stock Technics headshell is also something to consider. My personal favorite is the Ortofon OM mounted on an early 90s Stanton Headshell where the arm is inline with the needle.
    Used Record Shopper

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