Today I will present you with the best turntable cartridge upgrades for your turntable.
- 1 The best cartridges for little money
- 2 The best turntable cartridge guide
- 3 Recommended turntable cartridge upgrades
- 4 Cartridge adjustment
- 5 Conclusion
The best cartridges for little money
If you buy a turntable, a cartridge is usually pre-installed or included, which hopefully sounds pretty good. However, if you want to get a little more out of your turntable, the best place to start is with the cartridge.
You almost need a degree in physics to understand the function of a cartridge in detail, but fortunately, there are some cartridges that offer high quality at fair prices.
For the inclined music fan, however, cheaper variants are also sufficient, which still provide a good sound and you can find them in cartridge tests or guides like this one.
The best turntable cartridge guide
As with the turntable, so with the cartridge, it is not essential to understand exactly what each part does and what it is used for. It is still an advantage to have a little understanding of what is in front of you. In addition to the best cartridges, we also want to explain a few terms in our cartridge guide.
Function and structure of the cartridge
The cartridge picks up the mechanical vibrations of the record and converts them into electrical voltage. In order to be able to fulfill this task, it is mounted on the front of the tonearm.
The cartridge is an assembly and consists of several individual parts. In addition to the housing and the converter, you will also find a flexibly mounted needle carrier and the needle (stylus) itself.
The tip of the record needle is a very sensitive piece, it is usually made of diamond. But there are also needles made of sapphire and ruby. However, the most common is the diamond needle with a playing time of around 1000 hours. In contrast, a sapphire needle only lasts about 50 hours.
There are also differences in the cut of the needles. Needles with elliptical cuts are louder and have a very high-frequency spectrum, but they wear the record more. In contrast, spherically cut needles are quieter and wear down the record less.
MM and MC cartridges
Cartridges are available in two versions, a distinction is made between the transducer system in MM (moving magnet) and MC (moving coil).
Although the procedure is different, in both systems the signal voltage is generated electromagnetically.
The difference is as follows, while in the MC system, a coil that is firmly connected to the needle moves in a magnetic field, in the MM system the magnet itself moves.
MC systems are mainly found in high-end turntables because while you can usually change the needle of an MM cartridge when it is worn out, you have to replace the entire cartridge with an MC cartridge. In return, the MC cartridges deliver a higher-quality sound.
Recommended turntable cartridge upgrades
If you want to improve the sound of your turntable or have already used up your cartridge so much that you need a new one, you will be happy that you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money for a great sound.
Another important note, before you compare the cartridges, is: The product recommendations shown are based on the compilation of test results from other portals as well as on our own experiences with some of the products.
Audio Technica AT95E Cartridge(MM)
The Audio Technica AT95E offers superior overall performance for a mid-range system with an elliptical diamond stylus and dual-magnet construction. An absolute price-performance monster.
Audio Technica AT-110E Cartridge
The Audio Technica AT-110E cartridge has an incredibly good sound for an absolutely fair price. It has been designed for light to medium-heavy tonearms and is an absolute all-rounder.
Ortofon OM 5E Cartridge
The Ortofon OM 5E cartridge features an Elliptical stylus that provides balanced and distortion-free playback. Elliptical diamonds are able to follow the groove oscillations more accurately than spherical diamonds due to their contoured shape. This results in better tracking and less distortion.
Ortofon 2M Red MM Cartridge
If you are a beginner and want to get the most out of your turntable, you might want to take a look at Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. For a super good price, you will get a cartridge that has already convinced die-hard professionals with its sound.
Audio Technica AT-VM95EN Cartridge
A broad spectrum and great sound quality at a low price. The AT-VM95EN cartridge is inexpensive and is ideal for increasing demands after entering the world of turntables.
Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge
It’s a bit more expensive than the other ones here, but of course, I don’t want to leave my absolute favorite among the cartridges unmentioned here. In my opinion one of the best and still affordable cartridges on the market.
A new cartridge also means that everything has to be set and adjusted again because this is the only way to achieve optimal sound and protect the record and needle from excessive wear.
Setting up a turntable and a cartridge correctly doesn’t take long and with the right tools, the good thing is quickly ready for use again and you can enjoy your music again.
I hope that my little best turntable cartridge upgrade guide could help you with the selection.