Is 2M Red better than goldring E3?

Is 2M Red better than goldring E3?

Choosing a phono cartridge can be a daunting task, with countless options available on the market. Ortofon and Goldring are renowned manufacturers, each offering compelling choices in the mid-range category. In this article, we will compare the Ortofon 2M Red and the Goldring E3 cartridges, shedding light on their features, sound characteristics, and performance, ultimately helping you make an informed decision.

Ortofon 2M Red

The Ortofon 2M Red is often considered an entry point to the 2M series, known for its excellent value for money. Here are some key features of the Ortofon 2M Red:

1. Elliptical Stylus: The 2M Red comes with an elliptical stylus, a tried-and-true design that provides solid tracking and minimizes record wear.

2. Versatile Compatibility: This cartridge is known for its compatibility with a wide range of turntables, making it a practical choice for various setups.

3. Warm and Balanced Sound: The 2M Red offers a warm and balanced sound signature, which is engaging and well-suited for various music genres.

4. Replaceable Stylus: The 2M Red’s replaceable stylus ensures easy maintenance and an extended lifespan for the cartridge.

Goldring E3

The Goldring E3 is part of Goldring’s E Series, designed to provide audiophile-grade performance at an accessible price point. Here are the key features of the Goldring E3:

1. Elliptical Stylus: The Goldring E3 also features an elliptical stylus, known for its reliable tracking and ability to preserve the condition of your records.

2. Durable Design: The cartridge boasts a robust design and excellent build quality, enhancing its longevity and reliability.

3. Balanced Sound: The Goldring E3 is celebrated for its balanced sound signature, offering an engaging and musical experience that is suitable for a wide range of musical styles.

4. Precision Engineering: The E3 is engineered for accuracy, minimizing distortion and ensuring detailed sound reproduction.


1. Stylus Profile: Both the Ortofon 2M Red and the Goldring E3 feature elliptical stylus profiles, offering similar tracking performance and record preservation.

2. Sound Characteristics: While both cartridges offer a balanced sound signature, they do have some differences. The Ortofon 2M Red is known for its warm and engaging sound with a pleasing tonal balance. The Goldring E3 also provides a balanced sound with engaging musicality, which audiophiles appreciate. Your choice may come down to subtle differences in their presentation.

3. Versatility: Both cartridges are versatile and compatible with a wide range of turntables, offering flexibility in your choice. The Ortofon 2M Red’s warm sound may be more forgiving of less-than-ideal recordings, while the Goldring E3’s precision is well-suited for revealing the nuances in well-recorded material.

4. Price: The Goldring E3 is often considered the more budget-friendly option, providing a high-quality performance at an accessible price point.


Choosing between the Ortofon 2M Red and the Goldring E3 ultimately depends on your musical taste and budget. Both cartridges offer excellent performance and represent a strong value in their respective price ranges.

The Ortofon 2M Red is celebrated for its warm and balanced sound, while the Goldring E3 offers a balanced and musical experience. Consider your musical preferences, budget, and existing audio equipment, and you’re sure to find a cartridge that complements your vinyl playback setup and elevates your listening experience.

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