sumiko rainier vs ortofon 2m blue

Sumiko Rainier vs Ortofon 2M Blue: Choose The Right Cartridge!

Although the era of vinyl is old. But, you can’t deny the beauty of its aesthetic. 

The cartridge is a small component translating the information in record grooves into an electrical signal. It is then amplified to music.

So, are you here because you are confused about which popular cartridge you’re gonna pick? Our lucky guess is it’s between Sumiko Rainier vs Ortofon 2M Blue.

Sumiko Rainier has an elliptical diamond stylus whereas Ortofon 2M Blue has a nude one. Sumiko’s frequency response is 12-25,000 Hz while the latter has 20-20,000 Hz. However, their tracking force only differs by 0.2g. Also, Ortofon has an interchangeability option and is pricier compared to Sumiko.

That’s not the entirety of the differences. Now, we will challenge it to head-to-head comparison. 

Scroll the full article to read the full review difference between Sumiko Rainier and Ortofon Blue. 

Sumiko Rainier vs Ortofon 2M Blue: Quick Overview 

This Sumiko Rainier vs Ortofon 2M Blue battle is going to be a rough one. Both these cartridges are excellent and have lived up to their hype. 

We assume you are here because you are struggling to pick one? Then, let’s look at this table first to see what we are comparing against.

AspectsSumiko Rainier Ortofon 
Type Moving magnet Moving magnet 
Dimensions (LXBXH)17.2 x 18.8 x 29mm 18.5 x 27.5 mm x 27mm 
Stylus Elliptical diamondNude elliptical diamond
Frequency response 12-25,000 Hz +/- 3 dB20- 20,000 Hz +/-2dB
Load impedance 47 kOhm47 kOhm 
Tracking force 2 g1.8 g 
Weight 6.5 g7.2 g
Interchangeability Not applicable Red 2M 
Price range $145-$155$300-$315 

Let’s dive into the head to head comparison next.

Ortofon 2M Blue's dimensions
Source: Sumiko Phono Cartridge

Sumiko Rainier vs Ortofon 2M Blue: Head To Head Comparison 

Here, we will be nailing points against each other to preview accurate key differences. 

Dimensions: 

These cartridges are smaller than a fist. The Sumiko Rainier dimension measures are 17.2 x 18.8 x 29 mm (LXBXH). 

Ortofon 2M Blue’s dimensions are 18.5 x 27.5 mm (LXB). Due to its complex shape, an accurate thickness is hard to measure. But, you can approximately consider the thickness to be near Sumiko’s. 

Summary: Sumiko is smaller than the Ortofon 2M. Up to you, what shape and size of cartridge you’re comfortable with? 

Stylus: 

Sumiko Rainier stylus is of an elliptical diamond kind. Diamond is the most rigid material known. It protects the records more than soft material needles. 

Soft styluses break themselves and accumulate their abrasive materials in the record’s grooves. 

Ortofon uses a diamond stylus too but slightly modified. It carries a nude elliptical diamond stylus. 

Now, what is a nude diamond? Isn’t a diamond naked enough?  

Well, the term “Nude stylus” means mounting a diamond stylus into a hole in the stylus shank. 

For example, the Sumiko Moonstone Replacement Stylus for their Moonstone Moving Magnet Cartridge. The stylus shank is the little piece that connects the tip to the cantilever. The shank must be aligned precisely in the record groove for getting full raw sound.  

For such mounting, slightly less mass is produced. Lower stylus mass creates more ambient sound. The mounting method sets apart this particular cartridge from the rest. 

Summary: Ortofon has a stronger stylus than Sumiko Rainier.

Sumiko Moonstone Replacement Stylus
Source: Hi-Fi Studio 79

Frequency Response: 

The frequency response refers to the ability of the product to produce a sound of different frequencies. An audio device with a good frequency response can proportionally play high, middle, and low notes.

A good frequency response value can give you a perception of the sound you’re gonna be hearing. You’ll notice there is a plus-minus approximate value in the unit of decibels given beside it. 

The loudness level of a sound is expressed in decibels. Frequency is independent in the sense it doesn’t depend on external factors. But sound intensity level (dB) depends on external factors. 

So, a sound intensity level value besides frequency response can help you perceive-

  • If the external environmental factors vary, how much shift will the sound have;
  • Within the given range at any change of wave, the intensity level will only change this much.

The Sumiko Rainier cartridge frequency response is12-25,000 Hz. Our audibility ranges from 20-20,000 Hz. But this cartridge can even produce sound below our hearing level. 

So, this cartridge can produce a very precise and clean sound. So clean, it’s below our hearing level. 

And that is something impressive. 

On the other hand, Ortofon 2M Blue frequency response is 20-20,000 Hz +/-2 dB. This means its whole frequency range is within the human hearing range. 

The intensity level difference can differ by 1-2. So, there won’t be much shift in intensity level in case of a change in external factors. 

Summary: Although Ortofon provides a more frequent response, it’s unnecessary. So you can go with either. It’s a tie. 

Load impedance: 

Impedance means the net resistance of an electric circuit to AC combined with ohmic resistance. It’s a measure of opposition measured in ohms. 

A load impedance is a long concept. In short, it’s like connecting a component to an output functional block. In this way, it draws resistance from a measurable amount of current. 

With higher load impedance on your phono-stage, you can unload your cartridge to its full potential. You have to try this if you’re looking for more open sound and better frequency. You can try anything up to 47kOhm for MC cartridges. 

Sumiko Rainier and Ortofon both have load impedance of 47 kOhm. This is a standard load impedance for any cartridge. 

Summary: Tie

Tracking force:

It is the weight at which the stylus sits on top of the record. The cartridge must have an ideal weight to put an accurate force on the record. 

The tracking force is adjustable by any turntable. Ideal tracking force ranges from 1.5-2.5 gm. 

Sumiko Rainier has a tracking force of 2 gm and Ortofon of 1.8 gm. The 0.2 gm difference doesn’t really make any radical change. The difference in our opinion is arguably negligible. 

Summary: Tracking force is nearly the same, but if you still want to argue, go with Ortofon. 

Weight: 

The weight of the cartridges can be a matter of concern. If the cartridge is too heavy then it will put too much pressure on the record. Then the vinyl won’t be able to rotate in speed; will slow down or become too warped.

If the cartridge is too light then it won’t put that required weight on the record. In that case, the stylus won’t be able to capture the sound from the record. 

So it’s essential to have a cartridge of an optimum weight to maximize its efficiency. 

The Sumiko Rainier weighs 6.5gm whereas the Ortofon 2M Blue weight is 7.2 gm. 

This ideal weight will prevent the cartridge from being dragged too much across the surface. Sumiko Rainier mm phono cartridge is handcrafted, and the edges are squared off to easily fit. 

Once again, the weights of these two don’t differ that much. Moreover, it’s the tracking force that mainly counts. 

Since there is a negligible difference between these tracking forces so their performance will differ incisively. 

Both of these are good options. 

Summary: Sumiko is the winner for being lighter and hence giving better sound.

Interchangeability: 

Sumiko Rainier doesn’t have any interchangeability option. However, Ortofon 2M Blue can be interchanged with Ortofon 2M Red. 

Having an interchangeability option allows you to get the exact performance within alternative products. 

Summary: Ortofon wins for being more versatile.

Ortofon 2M Blue weight
Source: Fluance

Price:

The Sumiko Rainier is pretty affordable compared to the Ortofon one. Sumiko Rainier can cost you around $145-155. This price range is pretty good for any turntable. There are cheaper options but quality-wise a beginner can try this.

Apart from Sumiko Rainier, some other Sumiko cartridges are listed below.

To treat your ears rightfully, go for Sumiko – Pearl MM Cartridge.

For compatibility with any turntable, Sumiko Rainier Phono Cartridge is a wise choice.

If you love melodic songs, then Sumiko Olympia Phono Cartridge is just the cherry on top.

Ortofon comes with a heavier price tag of something between $300-315 like the Mars Volta vinyl

Ortofon is definitely on the luxurious side of the room. Ortofon could be the one for a musical connoisseur. Someone who can identify every single pitch and drop. Someone with a sharp sense of audibility. 

Verdict: Sumiko Rainier is a very good affordable option. 

Our Recommendation 

I think we can all agree, that was a very solid comparison for two popular cartridges. Before that, here’s someone sharing a beautiful turntable with Sumiko Rainier.

Sumiko Rainier and Ortofon 2M both have very close range differences. Maybe you are just getting into playing with turntables and you want a good play. In that case, look no further beyond Sumiko Rainier. 

But if you have already explored the world of turntables, it’s time to up your game. Then you can try out Ortofon 2M. Although it’s on the costlier side, it sure will not disappoint. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does a Sumiko Rainier stylus last?

Most of the styluses have a lifespan of 200-1000 hours. But Sumiko has a diamond stylus, which is very strong. So its lifespan will easily reach 2000+ hours. Using caution will prolong the lifespan even more. 

Is Ortofon blue better than red?

Both of them are equally good but the red sets a strong example within this price range. However, the Blue is also balanced with warmth and overall dynamics. The good news is that both of them are interchangeable. So you can just get either if it’s too hard to choose.

How long does a Sumiko stylus last?

As the Sumiko stylus is a premium cartridge, it can last 2000 hours or more! Most stylus gets worn out after 900-1000 hours. So, the number is impressive for Sumiko.

Conclusion 

Phew, that was a long argument between Sumiko Rainier vs Ortofon 2M Blue! So much craze over these two.

Which cartridge are you gonna pick for your turntable then? Comment down your choice in the section below! Hopefully, we were able to help you take the right decision with our comparison.

Choose wisely! Good luck!

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