phono cartridges

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audio: phono cartridges

Types of Cartridge

  • Needle type:
    • Conical/Spherical: least expensive; tip sizes have only one number
    • Elliptical: tip sizes have two numbers, one for each axis (minor axis is side-to-side ("side radius"), long axis ("front radius") points along direction of travel). The smaller the side radius, the better the sound
    In general, smaller tip sizes give better sound and create less wear on records due to less contact. Lower tracking pressure also improves "compliance", which reduces record wear and improves channel separation and fidelity.
  • Mount types:
    • P-Mount
    • Half-inch
    • direct mount to S-shaped tonearm

Available Models

This list of cartridges was gleaned in part from Garage-a-Records (phono cartridge page), an online retail site with horrible html layout but good service. If anyone knows of any other sources, please feel free to add links/information. Note: GaR's "buy now" links have the price embedded, so any links placed here would not accurately reflect their latest prices.

2007-07-10 Added a short list of Numark cartridges from Musician's Friend

Audio Technica

  • Prices have generally been rounded up to nearest $1 or $5
  • Where only one stylus measurement is given, shape is conical; two measurements indicates elliptical
model mount stylus $ list street pricing notes
AT120ET H .3 x .7 $110
AT150MLX H $500
AT250 listed together with the AT301EP, which may be a replacement
AT301EP P/U .4 x .7 $80 GaR:$35
AT311EP P/U .3 x .7 $90 GaR:$45 same as AT301EP except smaller stylus
AT320 listed together with the AT311EP, which may be a replacement
AT3482P P .6 diamond
AT3482U U .6 diamond $40 GaR:$20
AT440ML superceded by AT440MLa
AT440MLa $220
AT70L H .6 diamond $60 GaR:$30 entry-level
AT71ELC H .4 x .7 diamond $70 GaR:$35 entry-level
AT92E may not be available anymore
AT95E .4 x .7 diamond
CN5625AL 1/2" .7 diamond
  • P = P-mount
  • /U = with universal adaptor for other type of mount

Goldring

Very little specific information is available about this brand.

model mount stylus $ list street pricing notes
1006 (D06)
1022GX diamond (GD22GX) $300 GaR:$240 image
Eroica non-replaceable $400 GaR:$320 moving-coil; image

Grado

model mount stylus $ list street pricing notes
Prestige 78C 1/2" .3 GaR:$80 for 78s
Prestige 78E 1/2" .3 elliptical (?) GaR:$130 for 78s
Prestige MC+ 1/2" .1 GaR:$80 for mono 45s/LPs
Prestige ME+ 1/2" .1 elliptical (?) GaR$130 for mono 45s/LPs
Prestige BLACK 1/2" or P GaR$40 the better units of this line become Greens
Prestige GREEN 1/2" or P GaR$60 same production as Black, but higher test standards
Prestige BLUE 1/2" or P GaR$80 the better units of this line become Reds
Prestige RED 1/2" or P GaR$110 same production as Blue, but higher test standards
Prestige SILVER 1/2" or P GaR$150 approx. the best 5% of this line become Golds
Prestige GOLD 1/2" or P GaR:$180 same production as Silver, but higher test standards

Numark

Apparently intended for dance club use

model mount stylus $ list $ street notes
CC-1 $109 MF
CS-1
CX-1 $119 MF

Ortofon

model mount stylus $ list street pricing notes

moving-coil

styli are not replaceable

X1-MCP P bonded elliptical $150
X1-MC 1/2" bonded elliptical $150 GaR:$110
X3-MC 1/2" nude fine line $330 GaR:$230

magnetic

M15 Ortofon's first mag cartridge, introduced 1969; presumably discontinued
OM78 1/2" 3.0 mm $70 GaR:$60 for 78s
OMD25M 1/2" 1.0 mm $70 GaR:$60 for mono 45s/LPs

Super OM Series

  • OM = "Optimum Match"
  • magnetic
  • all models in OM series have the same body, construction and magnetic circuitry; the only difference is the interchangeable stylus unit
OM-20 SUPER H $150 GaR:$130
OM-30 SUPER H $250 GaR:$190
OM-3E 1/2" $40 GaR:$35
OMP-3E P
OM-5E 1/2" $45 GaR:$40
OMP-5E P
OM-10 SUPER 1/2" $70 GaR:$55
OMP-10 P

Shure

model mount stylus $ list street pricing notes
M25C H .7 $40 GaR:$30
M35S H .7 $75 GaR:$50 "DJ mix"
M44-7 H .7 $115 GaR:$74 "DJ competition"
M44G H .7 $100 GaR:$64 "DJ professional"
M78S H 2.5 mm $90 GaR:$55 for 78s; specs
M92E U .4 x .7 $40 GaR:$35 specs
M97xE H .2 x .7 $140 GaR:$90 specs
SC35C H .7 $31 GaR:$25 "DJ standard spin"
V15VxMR discontinued

Stanton

model mount stylus $ list street pricing notes
500EMKII H .4 x .7 $50 GaR:$35 image
680HiFi H .3 x .7 $100 GaR:$70 image
681 EEE/MKIII H .3 x 2.8 (8x7) $147 GaR:$130 image
881 Mk IIs H .3 x .7 $200 image
L720EE U .3 x .7 $50 GaR:$35