PHONO CARTRIDGES, STYLI, Repairs & Re-tipping
A selection that includes brands such as Audio Technica and Ortofon.
If you have a high quality cartridge which you wish to upgrade, or one which has lost its diamond stylus, use registered post to send it to us for retipping. Turnaround time for the service is usually 3 - 6 weeks.
Moving coil cartridges are generally regarded as providing the best performance, but they are expensive to manufacture and therefore range from medium prices to stratospheric. The majority have a very low output which requires a different circuit and more amplification than a moving magnet cartridges. Make sure your phono preamp has an MC setting for these. There are a few moving coil cartridges that have a higher output and these can be used with the MM setting of a phono preamp.
Typically, moving coil cartridges are heavier than moving magnet, and with lower compliance are more suited to medium and higher mass tonearms.
Another characteristic of moving coil cartridges is that they do not have removable stylus assemblies which means that if the diamond is worn the whole cartridge has to be replaced or sent for re-tipping at a service such as the Garrott Lab. Some manufacturers (such as Ortofon) have a tradein scheme whereby you receive a discount (usually about 10% of the original price) off the price of the same or higher priced cartridge.
Moving magnet cartridges range in price from well under $100 to over $1000. They offer the best performance and value for money in the lower price ranges compared to moving coil. A major advantage is the fact that their stylus assemblies are removable so can be replaced at typically 50 to 75% of the cost of a new cartridge.
A stylus assembly consists of a plastic moulding, suspension "rubber", cantilever, and diamond tip. The term needle is often used for a record player's pointy bit but that goes back to the very early gramophones where a piece of sharpened wood or metal like a needle was used to track the grooves of a 78 rpm record. Once microgroove vinyl records became the standard the "needles" have been diamond tipped cantilevers of various designs and qualities.
We have a sister site that specialises in Stylus Replacement: www.soundring.com.au