Ortofon's new 2M (for MM) range of interchangeable stylus moving magnet cartridges has a body shape that's modelled on the facets of a diamond.

In the case of the 2M Bronze, the diamond stylus tip itself is a Fine Line shape designed to track up to very high frequencies. This is the penultimate model in the 2M range and shares its Noryl plastic/glass body material with the black version that sits above it. Both also have slit-pole pins and silver-plated copper wire.

Energetic sounds

The former is an Ortofon invention that reduces eddy currents and is said to deliver a more neutral balance. Recommended tracking force is a gentle 1.5g, which should suit most oftoday's tonearms and the output is a robust 5mV, so it will work with any MM phono stage.

Easily installed on our DPS2/SME IV turntable and arm, the 2M Bronze delivers a lively and vivacious sound that makes up for what it lacks in refinement with zest and energy.

Pace is clearly delivered, as is the midband, but the treble is not quite as clean as some rivals.

Budget solution

The bass, while tuneful, also lacks the power found with the MCs, which tends to suggest that they are better suited to the tonearm we used, while the Bronze will be happier with lighter arms such as the Rega and its variants.

Next to CD there is little to choose in terms of tonal balance, but the Ortofon wins on the timing and vigour front. If you are after an upgrade for a budget turntable it's well recommended.