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Turntable Cartridges & Needles

A phone cartridge & needle (stylus) reads the modulation in the record groove of a vinyl record and converts these vibrations into an audio signal. There are different types of needles and cartridges for turntables, each with their specific properties.

Moving Magnet

Most phono cartridges are Moving Magnet cartridges. We still distinguish two types here, MM (moving magnet) and IM (induced magnet), but in use they are both the same and have the same output. If a record player with a Moving Magnet, or in short MM Cartridge, is connected to an amplifier, this amplifier must have a special MM phono input or the record player must be connected by means of a special seperate Phono preamp (preamplifier). MM cartridges generally have interchangeable needles and entry level to very good specifications with a great frequency response. The reproduction quality is therefore considerably better than that of the cheaper Crystal and Ceramic elements (which we generally don't recommend). Many of these elements come standard with an elliptical, shibata or even “Naked Diamond” needle. Often the sound quality of the reproduction can also be improved (considerably) afterwards by placing a better quality needle in the element.

Moving Coil

A Moving Coil cartridge design results in, qualitatively, the very best cartridges on the market. Real top record players are practically all equipped with an MC cartridge. The needles are permanently mounted on MC cartridges, so that in the event of a defect, the entire cartridge must be replaced or provided with a new needle tip by the manufacturer. For this reason, most MC cartridges are equipped with a “Naked Diamond” needle tip for optimum performance and the longest possible life. To be able to connect an MC element to your HiFi installation, the amplifier must have a special MC input or special MC preamps or transformer must be used to boost the electrical signal.