Many turntable-loving audiophiles will tell you that the cartridge is the most important component of your vinyl listening experience. After all, it’s the piece that turns all those grooves in your record into the sound coming out of your speakers, and which one you choose has a huge impact on the quality and type of sound that you’ll hear. Cartridges have unique sound signatures – one might be warmer, another really bright, while another could be called lively – and the one that’s right for you depends on personal preference (which is why we stock so many).
There are two main types of cartridges: moving magnet (MM), and moving coil (MC). Moving magnet cartridges are more common, though models vary in price and quality. Moving coil cartridges are often preferred by die-hard vinyl enthusiasts because of the giant leap in sound quality you can get with its more advanced design. Keep in mind, though, that a MC cartridge doesn’t have a replaceable stylus, while MM ones do.
The next thing you’ll want to consider when you’re choosing a cartridge is what mounting style you’d like. Standard mount is the most common, and uses two screws half an inch apart, which connects the cartridge to a shell which plugs into the tonearm. A P-mount cartridge has four prongs on the back that plug directly into the arm.
It’s also good to keep in mind the mass of your tonearm when choosing a cartridge and match the two, or your sound won’t be as good as it could be, or you could damage your records.
Another factor is, of course, price. There is a huge variety of price points when it comes to cartridges. Part of the decision is just figuring out how much you can afford to spend (a hard decision, we know!) Keep in mind that a cheap cartridge on a high-end turntable isn’t going to do your system justice.
We carry a huge selection of cartridges from the best brands, like Clearaudio, Goldring, Grado, Ortofon, Rega, and Thorens. With such an enormous selection, we know you’ll be able to find the cartridge that’s just right for you. If you need help sifting through all your options and narrowing down your best choices, we’re here for you! Give us a call, shoot us an email, or stop by our store in Murarrie. Our vinyl experts will be happy to give you all the answers and advice you need!
Toll-free: 1300 308 711