Ortofon Kontrapunkt A Review

Posted by the dood on Friday, March 20th, 2009

I’ve owned this cartridge for a while, and this is my first moving coil cartridge, so please keep that in mind while reading my review. Inflation and other factors have driven the cost of this cartridge up to the $1000 range now, while it used to be in the $600 range only 5 years ago. While that seems like a hefty investment, this cartridge really impressed me with it’s detail and balance. I am running it with a Project 2 Xperience Turntable and a Pro-Ject Phono Box SE.


The Kontrapunkt A is a low-output, moving coil cartridge with a nude fine line stylus with aluminum cantilever. The nude fine line cartridge makes a huge difference especially tracking on the inner grooves, producing none of the strange acoustics that sometimes are evident in lesser stylii.

I upgraded from a Grado Sonata Moving iron cartridge that has a elliptical stylus, which while still being very good, did not track quite as well.

The Kontrapunkt A has the most amazing bass of any cartridge I have owned, but also keep in mind that it is the highest end cartridge that I have owned, and the only Moving Coil I’ve owned. I have heard many moving coils in my time, however, with many of them sounding a bit brittle and hyper detailed. These were cheaper MC carts, however. The Bass with this cartridge is phenomenal to me, very articulated and low, with none of that muddiness that is common with the cheaper cartridges I have heard. Nor is the cartridge thin-sounding like the OM series of Ortofons that turned me off the brand early in my listening career.

The midrange on the Kontrapunkt A is also very impressive, with a good musicality to it, without any hard edge to it. This is not too surprising however given that it is vinyl. The midrange is true, and female and male vocals are both very impressive in reproduction.

Treble is airy, and liquid, just like it should be. No rounded off treble like I have noted with previous catridges that I have owned. The treble is one of the things I have noticed about MC cartridges in the past… it is more detailed. This Ortofon is no exception.

Bottom line, I really love this cart, and I still have my Grado Sonata as a backup, but the Kontrpunkt A remains on the tonearm.

2 Responses to “Ortofon Kontrapunkt A Review”

  1. Hi dood. we somehow share the project class, mine being perspex6. Your sound might be limited by Pro-Ject Phono Box SE. Phono pre-amp should be about the same price as the MC…check out Electrocompaniet or Shigaraki phono, and you will notice a BIG improvement in every aspect-the size of the sound, soundstage, imaging…
    Pro-Ject Phono Box SE is actually too weak even for a Rondo Red..not to mention the Kontrapunkt A.

  2. Thanks for the heads up… this has been my suspician for quite a while, but I haven’t been listening to music as much lately simply because I’ve been busy so I haven’t been as motivated to get a new Phono Stage. But thanks very much for confirming the suspicians in my head!!

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