Which Cartridge is Right for Me?
A Guide That Looks at The best Cartridge for Your
Record Deck on a Budget
The traditional vinyl record is making a huge come back! Although, some may argue that it never really went away. However, if you are keen on building a collection and want to take advantage of that warm tone, an essential tune-up of your turntable is certainly worth considering!
Many audiophiles will change their tone arms, cartridges and they will alter their decks to perform better than they did coming out of the factory. In one way, it’s like tuning a classic car – throwing on some twin carbs, changing the cam shaft and exchanging the exhaust system will certainly make a considerable boost in performance. Just like car tuners, audiophiles strive to get more performance out of their ‘stock’ turntable by a series of modifications.
As we are looking at turntable cartridges for beginners and those with a tighter budget in mind, we will be looking at the great ranges available to you – all costing below £100.
The most important place to start is the join between the vinyl record and the player’s needle – the cartridge system:
Some turntables do come with a cartridge fitted. However, these often prove to be weak in terms of performance and can often lead to damaging the records if they weren’t fitted correctly prior to operation. What is suggested is that the existing cartridge, which is usually un-branded, should be replaced by a cartridge that has greater stamina and accuracy than that of the original.
A new cartridge will lead to the following benefits:
- More sonic accuracy. This means that the sound will be more robust and will sound more as it was intended to do by the artist.
- Kinder performance to the record. Playing a record over repeatedly will eventually lead to it wearing out. However, an up-rated cartridge will be kinder and will easily prolong the record’s playing life if it has been fitted and tracked correctly.
- A new cartridge will also help by attaining a certain and desirable sound characteristic. In essence, you can buy cartridges that feature a warm and traditional sound, or, alternatively, a cartridge can provide a more accurate and greater sense of depth or clarity. The choice of sound characteristics can help by boosting or reducing in a certain frequency range.
So, by upgrading, you can get a much better stereo-image, boost or reduce a certain sound characteristic and prolong the record’s life for longer lasting playing pleasure. Listed below are the cartridges that can help dramatically in boosting playback performance:
£17 - £50: