Famous phono cartridge manufacturer Ortofon has released a turntable, the Ortofon Century, that can play back 78 rpm shellac records.
The Ortofon Century is a belt-drive turntable with an electronic speed change available between 33.33 and 45 rpm platter speeds. However if you manually move the drive belt to the top stage of the drive pulley, and select ‘78’ on the turntable’s subchassis, the platter will rotate at 78 rpm. Ortofon rates wow and flutter at 0.1% at 33.33rpm and rumble at –71dB.
The Ortofon Century’s platter is made from TPE-damped aluminium and the chassis is a sandwich construction using layers of metal and MDF. The S-shaped aluminium tonearm has an effective length of 230mm (nine-inches) and an effective mass of 15.5 grams. As you’d expect, it’s fitted with an Ortofon moving-magnet phono cartridge, one developed specially for this turntable/tonearm combo, called the Concorde Century. Ortofon rates this cartridge with a frequency response of 20Hz to 29kHz (–3dB), channel separation of 26dB at 1kHz and an output voltage of 5.5mV (at 1kHz at 5cm/sec.).
The Ortofon Century turntable is made for Ortofon by Pro-Ject. ‘The Century is based on the Pro-Ject Classic SB but we’ve given it a few tweaks which result in even better performance,’ said Christen Nielsen, CEO of Ortofon.
The Ortofon Century is available for sale in Europe, where it retails for €2,990.00. Local Australian Ortofon (and Pro-Ject) distributor Interdyn says that it currently has no plan to import and distribute the Century in Australia. ‘We have no plans to bring in the Century turntable at this time,’ Interdyn’s Ginger Valentine told Australian Hi-Fi Magazine. ‘We may end up with a single unit, but it won’t be a regular feature of our range.’