CARTRIDGES AND STYLUS - A QUICK OVERVIEW
- Most turntables come with headshell, cartridges and stylus but make sure to verify this before purchasing.
If you're buying your first listening turntable setup, go with a good entry level cartridge like the AUDIO TECHNICA AT3600L.
- If you plan to buy a cartridge for your turntable, figure out if you need a headshell-mounted cartridge or a cartridge that directly mounts to your tonearm (turntable arm).
- Some cartridges, such as the Ortofon Concorde series, bypass the headshell and plug directly into a tonearm.
- Generally, the more expensive the cartridge the better the sound quality, power output, frequency range, and tracking (how the needle rides the record groove).
- There are specific cartridges for DJing, however, these cartridges will work fine for listening purposes. The opposite (using a listening cartridge for DJing), however, is not recommended.
- Most cartridges are Moving Magnet (MM). Because of price and maintenance issues, Moving Coil (MC) should be purchased by advanced users only.
- When you decide on a cartridge do some research on setting up the cartridge properly in terms of alignment and weight. Stylus Force scale Gauge is popular scale for measuring weight.