Best Phono Cartridge

Top Selected Products and Reviews

"I didn't know records could sound this good" - by Da Bomb Leonard
Even though I'm well aware of the limitations of the vinyl, I've recently fallen in love with it again. I bought an ATLP120 (not the best I know, but for my price range it was a monumental improvement over my previous model, a cheap lightweight Pyle Pro, which I rarely used as it just lacked any sort of definition) back in December 2016. Since then I have slowly been tweaking and upgrading it, including cartridge alignment, using leveling feet, and trying different mats (currently using a leather one which I really like). 8 months later, the only thing left (besides removing the preamp, which I doubt I'll do as the harshness other reviewers of the turntable mention doesn't bother me) was to replace the cartridge system. I had been wanting to upgrade to a 2M red for a time but after seeing so many people start there, then go one ... full review
"great sounding cartridge" - by C. Cable (Saint Charles,IL USA)
I recently got my old turntable out to put in a system in my office. I decided that as the old cartridge was around 30 years old I should get a new one. I want to buy a V15 but discovered that you can't anymore so I purchased this instead.

I was concerned that it would not be as good as what I was replacing as I spent more than twice the price 30 years ago. Playing the same recordings as I did with the old one they sounded much better with better highs. It makes listening to my old Vinyl a lot more fun than it was.

So I wonder if my old cartridge sounded this good 30 years ago, no way to know.

I would recommend this to anyone that wants to update without spending a lot of money. It sounds better than I imagined it would.
"Great Phono Cartridge for the price! Great value! Works great!" - by Glen Moon
Wanted a little higher upgrade to my phonograph cartridge that came with Audio Technica AT-LP3 turntable and decided to get the AT95 cartridge. It was a little tricky removing the old cartridge from my turntable and adding this one. But if you follow the instructions, it worked out pretty well. I am very pleased with it and notice a slightly better crisper, cleaner sound from my records and for the price you can't beat it. I wish I would have gotten a new headshell too, since the one that came with my turntable is red. So I have a red headshell and a green color cartridge stylus. At first it bothered me but now I like it! It reminds me of Christmas! It's a great phono cartridge for the price and works great! Time to buy some new records to listen ... full review
"Super Duper Vinyl Trooper" - by Capt.Mark (Plano, TX)
Ortofon's discontinued cartridge is still a great performer, and at the $70-$75 price point it is here and elsewhere makes it a great choice for those wanting something better than an AT-95e (a great cart for the $40) and the Ortofon 2M RED and Shure M97xe both at $100. Upgradable like it's replacement with just a stylus change you can go all the way to the OM40 top of the line stylus here, whereas the 2M RED peaks out at only being upgradable to the 2M BLUE as the actual cartridge motor structure is different between RED/BLUE and BRONZE/BLACK. My only quirk is the long underbody does make the cartridge hinder performance on very warped records, but that is a one in 100 thing. Great buy while they still are available
"A real giant killer!" - by Doug Bowker (Salem, MA)
This cartridge replaced a Grado wood body that cost twice what the Clearaudio did, and I am amazed at the quality and sound right out of the box. Setup was about a tricky as any high-end cartridge, but not overly so. Sound is strong, precise with no grain or harshness. Smooth where it should be but not rounding over transients. Good depth of sound-stage; in it's first day or so more forward than deep, but I have a feeling that's just needing more break-in time.

Being played on a Well-Tempered Classic TT and arm, through a Grado PH-1 phono amp, then into a Krell KAV integrated amp and out from Pro-AC Response 2.5 speakers.
"Bought this scale for my turntable stylus tracking force verification - works like a champ!" - by Timbo Slims (USA)
I have two Technics SL-1200 turntables, and have always used the manual method of zeroing out the tonearm, then dialing in the required tracking force using the rear counterweight and its numbers.

Recently, I upped my game a bit, and bought more expensive cartridges (Denon DL-110, AT-440Mlb, AT33Mono, etc) and became just a little more cognizant of what the tracking force and VTA were. I am confident in my manual method, but always wondered if the weak link was the counterweight / numbers, and how fine pitch the threads on the tonearm were - or in other words how accurate was the counterweight.

I bought this scale to verify the TF, and learn if my counterweight was accurate. Out of the package, the scale turned on fine after installing the included batteries, and out of the box it measured the expected 5g using the included calibration weight. Then, I ... full review
"A slice of the Allaerts and better than black?" - by Martin00018
Ok, after 100 hours of break in, I think I finally have a handle on this great cartridge. I've also heard the blue and black (or black and blue?). And compared it to my reference Allaerts MC1 eco. The latter is a stupendous cartridge, and is in another price league as well. So the bronze is remarkable for giving a BIG slice of the Allaerts, The bronze has an excellent soundstage with good width, decent depth, separation of instruments and tonal accuracy. The blue is rough around the edges, and not nearly as good as separating voices and instruments, but good for the price. The black is rich and smooth, but the highs are rolled off and voices and instruments are congealed. I returned it. You'll love the black if you want lush. Back to the bronze, the area where it is destroyed by the Allaerts is, as others have ... full review
"Review of the Rega Exact 2 cartridge" - by The Alchemist (Plymouth, Michigan)
I like this cartridge. It is priced fairly. It sounds good. I would, however, encourage you to buy it from a hi fi or stereo equipment store in your area instead of online here at Amazon. Remember to buy local or "Bye Bye Local."
"Excellent cartridge!" - by Bob K. (Albany, OR USA)
An excellent sounding cartridge. It came with my audio technica AT LP3 turntable and sounds as good if not better then a much more expensive cartridge I had owned on my previous turntable.
"Probably the best deal ESPECIALLY given the price" - by Leonid (Fort Lee, NJ USA)
Probably the best deal ESPECIALLY given the price. I got the bundle for $19.99. I was able to quickly set up the cartridge using both tools. Verified against HiFi Test Records Producer's Cut. Everything matched. Note, that you can get the same exact VTA adjustment tool but for $85 from outlets like Music Direct or Needle Doctor which I found ridiculously overpriced.
"Easy To Use" - by CCPofSD
If you own a high quality turntable and cartridge, then you want to have optimum calibration for good music reproduction. This simple device fulfills that necessity. Easy to use. Recommended for those who want every ounce of fidelity from the groove of a vinyl LP record in reducing distortion!