Historical Product

MC Century

In a very limited edition of 100, Ortofon released its no-expense-spared anniversary model – the MC Century. Only the year before, Leif Johannsen, Chief Acoustics and the Head of R&D, had designed an updated version of the cartridge made as a tribute to Ortofon’s chief engineer called the MC Windfeld TI. “We want all our exclusive cartridges to have a body made by Additive Manufacturing. We did not do that for the original Windfeld.

Ortofon design elements and ideals

The housing and the body of the cartridge are made in Titanium with SLM technique and a High performance iron-cobalt alloy is applied for some parts of the magnet system. The armature damping system provides complete elimination of unwanted resonance.

The MC Century features an Ortofon Replicant 100 diamond, thin and light, with an extraordinarily large contact surface, tracing accuracy unparalleled by any other needle in existence. The crystal structure and exceptional hardness of the new Diamond cantilever ensures the best possible interface between the stylus and the armature. The combination of Nude Ortofon Replicant 100 diamond on Diamond cantilever provides extremely responsive and transparent sound reproduction.

Advancements in technology

An engineering feature adding to the damping capability of the MC Century cartridge is the Selective Laser Melting process in which fine particles of Titanium are welded together, layer-by-layer, to construct a single piece body devoid of unnecessary material.

Using this technique, the density of the body can be precisely controlled, allowing for extremely high internal damping.

The final result provides absolute freedom from resonances existing in the cartridge body material and allows for the MC Century to be perfectly matched with an extremely wide array of different tonearms. Because of the nature of SLM-based construction, each cartridge body is cosmetically unique and will show small dimples or lines under close examination.

Magnet, coils system and damping

The optimized geometry of the high efficiency magnet system combined with choice of materials like neodymium and iron-cobalt offers an unprecedented consistency of the flux density within the system’s air gap. Due to an increase of active material inside of the magnet system, the magnetic field strength is delivered more uniformly, allowing each coil to sense identical flux density regardless of its position. Because of this, dynamics and impulse linearity are preserved to an overwhelming extent.

Using expensive ultrapure oxygen-free copper allows for zero-loss transmission of the diamond's movements via the Diamond cantilever. This configuration combines low moving mass with an extremely high degree of rigidity.

The MC Century also uses a new degree of control over vibrations by a way of a newly-improved wide-range armature damping system (WRD). By extending the armature beyond the coils, it can interface directly with the rubber dampers, which sandwich a small heavy disc of platinum. This offers more consistent movement, and a resulting better stereo perspective and transient delineation.

The MC Century technology

In 2018, Ortofon celebrated its 100 year anniversary with the company’s most ambitious cartridge ever. In a very limited edition of 100, the no-expense-spared excusive anniversary model the MC Century was launched. The MC Century represented the absolute top of Moving Coil cartridges. This state of the art product was truly exemplary of the highest degree of performance possible in contemporary analog playback technology.

Extremely high-end materials

The specially designed precision moulded non-magnetic armature achieves an extreme precision in each coil turn in all layers. The armature design allows a very well-defined interface to the rubber absorbers. The material applied for the armature has very high strength and rigidity. The bottom cover has been constructed from a special proprietary TPE (Thermo-Plastic Elastomer) material, which provides extremely high damping.

As in the Exclusives series cartridges, the MC Century makes use of Ortofon’s Replicant 100 diamond, known for its thin and light profile and extraordinarily large contact surface. Since the Replicant 100 is closest to the shape of the cutting stylus, it can trace with accuracy unparalleled by any other needle in existence. Special polishing of the diamond along with the use of a Diamond cantilever offer extremely transparency, speed, and responsiveness beyond that of any other combination.

Reviews quotes

Stereophile.com September 2018 By Michael Fremer

"... The MC Century is a perfect match for a high-mass, high-precision tonearm with gimbaled bearing...

... While the MC Century delivered solidly three-dimensional images, it left none of them hanging unnaturally in space. Instead, it presented the best recordings “whole” without obscuring detail. Its resolution of low-level information—hall reverberation and instrumental decays—was as good as I’ve heard from any cartridge, and better than most, without spotlighting ... The Replicant 100 stylus profile is among the most radical, but when properly set up it will deliver resolution of fine detail without any mechanical additives ... Of all of the costly and magnificent-sounding cartridges I’ve reviewed, the MC Century gets out of the way better than any—and, like the Transfiguration Proteus D, does so without producing the boredom of some of the softies-but-goodies ... The MC Century is supposed to be Ortofon’s finest cartridge to date ..."

Retrieve your copy of the review

Flexibility and performance with a range of compatibility

Output impedance of 6 Ohm and a low to medium output voltage of 0.2 mV make the MC Century a perfect partner for most phono preamps and step-up transformers, including the Ortofon ST-80 SE.

Ortofon high-quality headshells LH-8000 and LH-9000 are recommended for the MC Century. 

When combined with Ortofon’s world-class knowledge in analog sound reproduction, the new MC Century will undoubtedly provide sound which is literally unsurpassed and simply has to be experienced.

The Ortofon MC Century
Technical data

Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec.  -  0.2 mV
Channel balance at 1 kHz  -  0.5 dB
Channel separation at 1 kHz  -  25 dB
Channel separation at 15 kHz  -  22 dB
Frequency response  -  20 Hz-20 kHz +/- 1.5 dB
Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force  -  80 µm
Compliance, dynamic, lateral  -  9 µm/mN
Stylus type  -  Special polished Nude Ortofon Replicant 100 on Diamond Cantilever
Stylus tip radius  -  r/R 5/100 µm
Tracking force, recommended  -  2.4 g (24 mN)
Tracking force range - 2.4-2.8 g (24-28 mN)
Tracking angle  -  23°
Internal impedance, DC resistance  -  6 Ohm Recommended load impedance    > 10 Ohm
Cartridge body material  -  SLM Titanium
Cartridge colour  -  Silver/Black
Cartridge weight  -  15 gram 

LW-800S leadwires enclosed the package.

Download the MC Century brochure
Download the MC Century userguide