Ortofon SPU # 1 S & E moving coil cartridge

Ortofon SPU # 1 S & E


What we Say:

The Ortofon SPU # 1 is an exceptional MC cartridge and an ideal entry into the world of SPU. SPU stands for stereo pick up. It is the modern day equivalent of the original SPU launched in 1958. It is effectively a cartridge and headshell in one so really suited to arms with a bayonet connector.

The Ortofon SPU # 1 is available in two variants, S & E which have spherical and elliptical stylus profiles.

The content below is from the SPU brochure.

The SPU was launched back in 1958 in response to the demand for cartridges to reproduce the new
stereo records. The term “SPU” stands for “stereo pick-up” as phono cartridges were called “pickups” in the 1950s and 1960s. Mr. Robert Gudmandsen, one of Ortofon’s then leading engineers, took
a principal part in developing this cartridge.

Based on Ortofon’s already 10 year old technology and experience in mono cartridges, the SPU immediately set the
standard for professional and audiophile applications and pointed the way for the next 57 years of high-end cartridge
– a generator comprising two low-impedance coils
– wound with very fine copper wire and crossed in such a way that the two walls of an LP’s stereo microgroove could generate two discrete signals with maximum separation.

The so-called “Ortofon sound“ became synonymous with the sound from the SPU, at an early stage. The sound of the SPU cartridge is characterized by a rich bass and a transparent treble range plus those extra qualities, which are
so hard to define, but so easy to appreciate when they are realized.

With no other cartridge over the course of half a century, have we ever had to take so much care in respecting this original sound when improving technical data, as with the SPU model.
As a result and in order to show considerations for this goal, our customers will after 59 years still find the basic visuals, the original design, as well as the original elements in the construction of the magnetic circuit kept fully intact.
Evidently, the product has changed throughout its lifetime. New possibilities in regards to housing materials, diamonds and magnetic & damping systems have been employed to improve the SPU and its performance, whilst at the same time we remain faithful to the original concept.
A key SPU feature is an integrated headshell, designed to mount directly into classic tonearms with detachable
headshells – tonearms such as the SME 3009 and 3012, and other tonearms with similar “universal” tonearm mounts. Quite simply, there is no finer complement to a classic tonearm with a detachable headshell than an Ortofon SPU.

Back in 1958 the Ortofon SPU sounded like no other cartridge because it was way ahead of its competition. Today the SPU still has a sound that is definitely its own and it enjoys a remarkable following – in particular among audiophiles whose systems are comprised of vintage valve equipment and horn or reflex speakers.


For more Ortofon products available from DNA audio.


Enquire about the Ortofon SPU # 1 S & E moving coil cartridge >

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What they say:

Perfect all-rounders for the newcomers to the world of SPU

The SPU #1 S and SPU #1 E feature:
–    Respectively Spherical and Elliptical stylus. The SPU #1 E elliptical stylus profile provides more detailed sound reproduction and expansive imaging.
–    High Purity Copper armature windings and terminal leads
–    Grinded wood and resin composite housing

These SPU cartridges embodies the essence of the original Moving Coils and are a perfect solution for the playback of both early and modern and contemporary stereo recordings.  Excellent price-to-performance ratio.

SPU #1 S and E Technical data

Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec. – 0.18 mV
Channel balance at 1 kHz  –  1.5 dB
Channel separation at 1 kHz  –  20 dB
Channel separation at 15 kHz  –  10 dB
Frequency response – 20-20.000 Hz ± 3 dB
Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force *)  – 60 µm
Compliance, dynamic, lateral – 10 µm/mN
Stylus type – Spherical / Elliptical
Stylus tip radius – R 18 µm  / r/R 8/18 μm
Tracking force range – 3.0-5.0 g (30-50 mN)
Tracking force, recommended – 4.0 g (40 mN)
Tracking angle – 20°
*) Typical value

Internal impedance, DC resistance – 2 ohm
Recommended load impedance  > 10 ohm
Cartridge body material – Ground wood and resin composite
Coilwire material – High Purity Copper (OFC)
Cartridge colour – Black matte
Cartridge weight – 28 g

Download the SPU series datasheet

Download the SPU series brochure

SPU 1S_Goldenes Ohr award 20018 stereoplay.jpg


The readers of the German HiFi magazine STEREOPLAY voted for the best Hifi products of the year. With votes coming in from across Germany, the SPU #1S won in the category phono cartridges. Almost 150 industry members attended the Award ceremony in Munich.