Ortofon Kontrapunkt C vs. Cadenza Bronze

I enjoyed the Kontrapunkt C for many years, but now its stylus is well-worn. I replaced it with a Cadenza Bronze, understanding that the Bronze was the closest to it, a direct descendant if you like. I think the top member of the Cadenza range, the Black, is more like a descendant of the Jubilee.

The Kontrapunkt C had an amazing ability to make me want to keep on listening, always wanting just one more side before bed. I'm not noticing that with the Bronze, which is very good, but not addictively so.

So I'm thinking I might send the Kontrapunkt C off to VAS to get re-tipped. There is a difference in stylus between these cartridges, the older one has a "nude FG 80" and the Bronze has a "Replicant 100." Given that Steve Leung can pretty much put any kind of stylus on there, what do you think I should order up? My feeling is to ask for whatever is closest to the original, if I am to re-create what I loved about it before.


Yes, but can Leung really source an FG80 stylus? Some of those Ortofon shapes are proprietary. If he can’t, you might try Expert Stylus in the UK.

He can put an FG2 on it, he tells me, for $350. Does anyone know how this varies from the FG80?

Dear @dogberry  : You have other excellent alternative through J.Long ( @needlestein  ) who is an expert retipper too and can help to paired your Knontrapunkt with the replicant stylus tip and maybe the 100 that's better than the 80. 

Call him and decide what you want: 860-338-0153 or by email:


He has several options for you.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


How likely is it that the different styli are making me prefer one over the other? To fit the Kontrapunkt C with a Replicant stylus would make it like the Bronze, I think, and that's not what I'm aiming for. I assume there are other internal changes between the generations that may be more important, and either for better or worse.

Nothing else has changed in the system - same table (well, same model but a second example), tonearm, phono stage, preamp etc. So all I want to achieve is the sound from it that I used to have.

Dear @dogberry  : Even that it " looks " as the Bronce could be its close " bro " to your C you can be sure that both cartridge motors are different.


Now, if you want as you posted exactly the same C quality performance any re-tipper you choose ask to change only the stylus but NO the cantilever because then what you like in that cartridge will change for ever instead the improved stylus tip gives you only more of what you like.

In other thread we ask @jcarr  ( Lyra designer ) which is more important for the overall cartridge quality performance, in that thread almost all of us believed that the stylus shape but he said the first than all it's the cantilever: is more important. So be carefully about. You can ask J.Long which stylus shape could be " mounted/inserted " in the C cantilever because different stylus shape has not the same top " plate " dimensions and that could affect the final cartridge sound. J.Long is very friendly, just try and ask about and please read this post by him:




Btw, @lewm , yes you are right Expert stylus is very good re-tipper too but its prices are higher too.



Dear @dogberry  and friends: Due that a little trouble with Agon @jcarr  can't post this time and he sends to me this personal post to be shared in this thread:


The Kontrapunkt and Cadenza seem fairly similar in overall design, which allows us in this specific case to ignore the influence of the myriad construction choices that typically affect how a cartridge sounds, including body material and construction, polepieces vs. magnet only, magnet material and design, armature size and shape, coil material, cantilever rake angle, cantilever length, etc..

When the major design choices are the same or very similar (as with the Kontrapunkt and Cadenza), the choice of cantilever material and design, but also the pairing with the dampers, will have a substantial effect on the sound.

Every cantilever (material, length, diameter etc.) has its own unique colorations, and will be best used together with dampers (which again have their unique colorations) that will accentuate the positives and minimize the negatives of the pairing. The choice of dampers will be guided by the experience and sensibilities of the cartridge builder, but also his goals for the cartridge model (does he intend for it to have a fun, energetic and physical sound, or give a contemplative insight into the music?)

This is why cartridge manufacturers keep quite a wide variety of dampers, with raw materials, additives, foamed vs. solid, diameter, thickness, flat vs. tapered all being deliberate variables.

If the cantilever is changed to a different material, my experience is that it should be paired with a different damper to bring out its best. If the diameter, or length are changed, up to a certain extent the same damper can be used, but too big of a change is again likely to benefit from different dampers.

While I agree that the stylus shape has comparatively less effect on the sound (than the cantilever-damper pairing), keep in mind that the diamond block carrying the stylus comes in different dimensions and may be intended to be affixed to the cantilever in a specific way, which will affect the sound (and stylus alignment).

Also, some stylus shapes are simply more demanding to set up than others, requiring more time, precision, and trial-and-error.

A stylus with a larger major radius (70µm, 80µm, 100µm etc.) and smaller minor radius (2.5µm, 5µm etc.) may give less satisfaction than a more forgiving stylus until the setup becomes optimal.

Also, how the stylus is affixed to the cantilever has a significant effect on the sound. The most extreme example is when the stylus and cantilever are made from a single diamond with no glue between the two (as seen on Sony's XL-88D from the 1980s, and more recently Audio-Technica's AT-MC2022, and DS Audio's Grand Master EX).

But even when the stylus and cantilever are the typical separate pieces bonded together, the choice of adhesive used between stylus & cantilever and cantilever & joint-pipe, can affect the sound quite noticeably, which can be a useful tool for the cartridge manufacturer to tailor the sound of a cartridge model.




Very interesting. The FG2 will be on the same cantilever (tapered aluminium) and mounted nude. The only difference I can find is that it has a larger measurement of 70µ instead of 80µ.

Thank you all for your input, I have sent the cartridge off to VAS. I will report back when it is here.

Thank you, Raul. Audiogon staff were able to sort out the technical issue, and I am able to post again.

I used to own the Kontrapunkt "c" and later owned 2 Cadenza Bronzes. I still have a Bronze. I share many of your feelings -- the Kontra seemed a bit more fun and satisfyingly musical somehow. The Bronze offers a slightly more restrained and "proper" audiophile sound. That said, their design is highly congruent (Bronze directly supersedes "c") and they still share 90%+ the same flavor of sound which you will not find in other cartridge models! This is due to sharing the same generator motor design and (IMO crucially) the tapered aluminum pipe cantilever.

What’s changed in Bronze is the Replicant vs. FG80 stylus, aluminum vs. plastic inner structure, and Acurum (gold plated copper) vs. pure silver coil wire (Kontra). I suppose there could be other minor changes that might not be documented. Hard to say what is most impactful of the listed changes, but I’d suspect the silver coil wire and plastic inner body might be more important players than the stylus?

Anyways, you can perhaps tilt the Bronze a little more into "fun" territory with phono stage matches. It’s an excellent cartridge in its own right, and remains one of my favorites. I’m listening to it on a high-end Stax setup right now! But certainly, I regret selling my Kontra "c" many years ago (it had a LOT of life left). Wish like anything I’d kept it. I still look out for one on the used market, occasionally.

In short, I would NOT seek out a retip on the Bronze to try and make it sound more like the Kontra "c". It’s kind of its own thing for a few reasons, and retipping that cantilever seems like it might degrade its integrity.

I also owned Kontra "a", a very nice little cart in its own right but man the "c" was way better. Cadenza Red is its successor, and I’d say in that case the Red is a clear improvement. That said, I think the Kontra "a" started out listing for $600 or $700, and wow that would be a stellar option if available today!

In short, I would NOT seek out a retip on the Bronze to try and make it sound more like the Kontra "c". It’s kind of its own thing for a few reasons, and retipping that cantilever seems like it might degrade its integrity.

Nor would I. It is the Kontrapunkt C that is going to get a new stylus!

Nor would I. It is the Kontrapunkt C that is going to get a new stylus!

Oops! That's what I get for reading fast and sloppy, sorry. Yep, that's exactly what I'd do. Get the Kontra retipped and hope for the best. Whatever FG you can get. I wouldn't hang up on the difference between 70 vs. 80. Ortofon used both of these in their lineups back then. 

I have a few experiences behind myself of comparing various types of the Kontrapunk b, these experiences are shared in other threads.

These have been original spec' with a usage life between 300ish - 1000+ Hours. Other models compared have been with a retip and a full rebuild with uprated Ortofon parts and Ogura Beryllium Cantilever with Ogura Vital + Styli.

A Selection of the above have been compared to a Windfeld and the Ortofon Vienna, of which the Vienna is quite a rarity and has been described as the fifth member of the 'bach' family of Cart Models. 

The demo's have all taken place on a set up that has the same Headshell Material, TA>TT and system.

The general shared thoughts as a outcome of comparative demo's has been that a different styli, is not too much of a impact on a sonic. A detail retrieval might be detected as having a difference, and compared to a original styli, the other styli in use, certainly refined the presentation, which is a more attractive experience.

The general shared thought between attendees at a demo' has been that the structure of the Signal Path of the Cart', is seemingly the area responsible for creating the most noticeable change to a Sonic. 

The original K'b to a retipped K'b are very very similar, even though the FGS Tip is a refined experience and worth consideration at the time of a retip, certainly more attractive than a original with a longer usage life. 

The rebuilt K'b jumps out in front and sits very well in the Company of the Windfeld and Vienna.

Aucurum Wire is rosy in tone, when A/B compared to the Vienna and K'b Silver Coil Wire.

There is not many who would give the Windfeld a description as being rich, but in the company of the K'b and Vienna, that is how it comes across.

The Vienna had a FGS and the Windfeld the Replicant, I did not see the Tips being responsible for the differences in sonic being detected.

It might be the Aluminium Armature and Silver Coils on the K'c are the parts that create your X Factor. The Aucurum and Aluminium Armature on the C'br, might not be your attractor.

I would seriously consider the FGS for your Aluminium Armature of the K'c, if the marriage is a compatible one, as a exchange tip on a K'b, it substantially tidied up the presentation over the originals.    


The cartridge has arrived at VAS, and now I have to wait for it to get to the top of Steve's to-do list. It will be very interesting to compare it to the Bronze when it returns. I tend to use the Ortofons for classical records, and the Decca Reference and MP-500 for more modern stuff. When I first had the Kontrapunkt C it replaced a BM Ruby 3, and I initially felt it was overly-detailed (I may have even described it as 'scratchy') but I guess in retrospect that I was influenced by the the cartridge that had gone before which was rather rich and glowing in its sound. Indeed I became accustomed to it and grew to love it. When I got it out again during my long search for a replacement for the Reference when it looked like there would be no more service for it, I was surprised at how very good it was. But it was clear that the stylus was worn under a microscope (I keep a nice old Olympus binocular microscope that I used to use in the office for urine microscopy!) and hence the switch to the Bronze.

If it comes back and I can't tell the difference from the Bronze....well, at least I have yet another spare cartridge! But that isn't what I'm expecting to happen. I remain very happy with the Cadenza Mono on the remaining tonearm.

It's back, and mounted on a headshell for an SME 309 arm. It definitely has, as far as psychoacoustics lets me tell, that addictive quality I remember. How come the Cadenza Bronze just doesn't sound as good? Who knows or cares?

I'm about to do something that some will criticize. Two more tonearm pods, one with an SME IV, and one with another SME 309. One will house the Sussurro MkII, and the other the Grado Statement 3. Then I shall be running four MI cartridges and two MC cartridges.

Dear @dogberry  : Good that you already has re-tipped your C.

Now I I read that comes with the FG2 that's similar to the Replicant 100 and when I posted that that was the best for your C your answer was almost " anal " that that is not what you want it but the stylus shape similar in your C.


Here you can read about that FG2 by other retipper post,Joseph Long:



Anyway, the important issue is that you are satisfied and thta's what it counts. Good.





Raul, I'm not sure what you'd find "anal" about my desire to re-create the sound I loved from the K.c. If the stylus shape makes any difference to sound, it is reasonable to try to fit one as close as possible to the original (and the Replicant 100 on the Cadenza Bronze may even be part of why it isn't satisfying to me.)

@dogberry My Post prior to this one, expresses my thoughts based on my findings through A/B comparisons of very similar in design Ortofon Cart's, especially Cart's that share elements design, that are the same, even though the timeline for the release of the Carts, does suggest the Models are using varieties of evolving Ortofon Technologies.

As stated " The demo's have all taken place on a set up that has the same Headshell Material, TA >TT and system. "

There were others in attendance whilst comparisons were carried out and not all attendees were the same at each of the comparison demo's.

There was a common thought shared by attendees at the demo's which they had received, which is stated in the following:

" The general shared thoughts as a outcome of comparative demo's has been that a different styli, is not too much of a impact on a sonic. A detail retrieval might be detected as having a difference, and compared to a original styli, the other styli in use, certainly refined the presentation, which is a more attractive experience. "

" The general shared thought between attendees at a demo' has been that the structure of the Signal Path of the Cart', is seemingly the area responsible for creating the most noticeable change to a Sonic. "

With this experience being indelible for myself, and having a good knowledge of the Ortofon Technologies that have created the Cadenza Range of Cart's. I standby the notion I am suggesting, that it is the Coils and other structures in use on the K'c that are the elements that are capable of producing the sonic that is off such an attraction to yourself. 

The extremely Good News is that there is a Service now discovered that can assist with keeping this experience ongoing for yourself, if my Math is correct, and using the 1000 Hours as a predicted life for a Styli, the experience should be had for approx' $00.35 cents per hour of usage.

Note: I have been informed by individuals keen to keep a Kontrapunkt in use, thet there are Third Party Services that are charging a Premium for working on Kontrapunkt Models. The idea behind the premium being the Model of Cart' is one that presents additional challenges.

I am also aware through the same communications as above, that a newly modified Kontrapunkt was needing to be returned to the Third Party Service shortly after it being received by the US based owner with the modifications said to be completed and identified as not being so.  

As long as supplied info comes from a certain source (which is a very small group of advocates of the Kontrapunkt) I believe all the info I receive. The sharing of info, is one to help steer the dedicated owners to valuable supporting services when required.

Your Story,  is now is one that I am quite happy to pass on, especially as Cadenza's are seemingly becoming valued for their 'Trade In' value, and are not typically to be found at a cost to be suitable as a donor model for undergoing a Third Party Service inspection and assessment for refurb/rebuild.

Global Searches over the past year and prior to this have discovered Kontrapunkts for as little as £60, well worth a Punt, if the additional work to return it to a functioning model is to come in at approx' $350.

A friend bought a K'b with a guestimate of 1000 hours usage for a pittance, the intention was to demo' the Cart' and exchange to the PW Windfeld, to make an assessment of the failings of the K'b.

The outcome being, the K'b, was such a enjoyed experience, it was given the opportunity to be kept in use for the whole of the time allocated for the listening experience. The Windfeld was to show off on another occasion vs the K'b.   


@dogberry  : Yes, that Replicant 100 and I understand exactly what you was looking for to your C model.

My post was in reference that you said that the cartridge was retipped with the FG2 and this stylus shape is similar to the Replicant 100. This you can confirm in tthe link I posted to you.


I posted " anal " because in one of my first posts in the thread I told you that the Replicant 100 could an upgrade and you said: NO Replicant 100. Tha's all