Ortofon 100 year Anniversary book - collector's item
There are very few companies which survive long enough to celebrate their 100th birthday, but Ortofon is one. With the publication of this special book, we share our pride in Ortofon with the public; in particular, with our many loyal customers all over the world. We have chosen to let Ortofon people help to tell this story, because they are proud of the company’s many achievements throughout its long history.
The remarkable history of a company
This book reveals the remarkable history of a company that for 100 years has always been in the business of acoustics. Indeed, for that timespan, Denmark itself, has been recognised as the land of acoustics, with many companies designing innovative products. The country retains that reputation today.
Ortofon has played a significant role in creating a rich heritage for Danish acoustics. We believe that enviable legacy is best protected and continued by the development of exciting new products and keeping Ortofon viable for the future. As you will discover in the book, the list of Ortofon’s famous and groundbreaking products is a long one.
Music historian Kevin Howlett has written this history of 100 years of Ortofon based on a firm foundation of exhaustive research in various archives and in-depth interviews with past and present employees from the 1970s until now. We are indebted to all the many friends and colleagues who gave so generously of their time to contribute to this book.
CHAPTER ONE 1918-1945
PETERSEN AND POULSEN
CHAPTER TWO 1946-1969
MICROGROOVE, HI-FI AND STEREO
FROM CINEMA TO GRAMOPHONE
MAKING THE CUT
GOLDEN EAR RECORDS
CHAPTER THREE 1970-1982
ADVENTURES IN SOUND - TARGETING A NEW MARKET - THE MOVE TO NAKSKOV - MORE MAGNETIC DEVELOPMENT - SPEAKERS AND CUTTERHEADS - THE MC 30 AND THE DIRECT CUT TEST RECORD - THE GOLDEN EAR CLUB - A CLASSIC AMONG THE MOVING COILS - A DELUXE VERSION OF THE SPU - THE CONCORDE ARRIVES - PREPARING ORTOFON FOR THE 1980s - GOLDEN EAR RECORDS
CHAPTER FOUR 1983-1994
TURBULENT TIMES - THE ARRIVAL OF DIGITAL SOUND - ANALOGUE VS DIGITAL - THE BATTLE FOR THE HIGH END - IMPROVING ON PERFECTION - HANG IN THERE! - DEVELOPING THE COMPANY INTO TWO BUSINESSES - A FACTORY IN THE USSR AND PROBLEMS IN THE USA - GROWTH IN THE SCAN MICRO BUSINESS - LAST NIGHT A DJ SAVED MY LIFE - GOLDEN EAR RECORDS
CHAPTER FIVE 1995-2004
THE VINYL PRESERVATION ACADEMY - VINYL SURVIVAL - THE PRO-JECT CONNECTION - THE MOVING COIL ANNIVERSARY CARTRIDGES - OK COMPUTER - A CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP - GOLDEN EAR RECORDS
CHAPTER SIX 2005-2018
STATE OF THE ART - A NEW CHAPTER - THE VINYL REVIVAL - THE SPU ANNIVERSARY EDITIONS - ORTOFON MICROTECH - A CENTURY OF DOING BUSINESS - GOLDEN EAR RECORDS
Golden Ear records
Throughout the book, there are overviews of Golden Ear records released during the last seven decades. Ortofon’s origination of the phrase ‘golden ear’ is described in detail in Chapter Three. In brief, when developing new models of cartridges, Ortofon engineers have always relied on particular albums to evaluate the potential of prototypes.
Ortofon’s Chief Officer of Acoustics and Technology, Leif Johannsen, and the author, Kevin Howlett, have made their Golden Ear choices based not only on the musical excellence and significance of each LP, but also the high quality of its sound. In addition to many well-known audiophile classics, there are some esoteric personal favourites in their selection.
The number of Golden Ear titles was limited to 100 for this book. Of course, many more could have been highlighted.