Continued misadventures with Ortofon 2M carts

I posted a while back that the Ortofon 2M Black cart lost left side gain while playing on my new Denon DP 3000NE. I checked connections, played it directly through the phono stage on my amp (Cronus Magnum 2) as well as the phono stage I use (Parasound ZPhono USB). No joy. I swapped it with an older Ortofon 2M Blue. Same, left channel barely there. Also have a Grado Gold. That one played both channels, but with an audible hum. 

To update: I got a good deal on a Denon DL103R. That one plays beautifully. Both channels fine, no hum or buzz. 

Because the Ortofon 2Ms didn't really fit into the Denon head shell, I bought some generic head shells that were completely flat, & fitted the Blue & Black into them. Now it's the other side, their right side, on both of them (they're different brand head shells) that lack gain. (And the Grado Gold still hums). 

One of the generic head shells is clearly a poor fit for the tonearm because it sets with an uncorrectable wrong azimuth. The other lines up okay. But I get the same symptom with both. Can anyone make any sense of this?

Andy y


Not every aftermarket headshell will mate properly with every tonearm that has a “standard” mount for a removable headshell. You could be running into that sort of mismatch, leading to new problems. It’s a matter of trial and error. Stick with the DL103.


Could be the pins on the head shell are not mating properly with the pins inside the tonearm bayonet fitting.

The pins inside the tonearm bayonet fitting are normally spring loaded and when you remove the head shell they should come back out - check and make sure none of them have been pushed in and are stuck.

I do not think it is the cartridge. What phono section are you using with each cartridge? 





Since you have the Denon cartridge that works, you have something to listen to, I suggest you contact Ortofon and request that they check your 2M cartridge.  Send it to them in the headshell if possible.  Their US office is located in Ossining, NY.  If the cartridge is verified to be OK, then ask both Ortofon and Denon for their recommendations for a solution.  If the cartridge and the arm are both in good working order, then you are dealing with an interface problem.