Top Of Best Phono Cartridge Of 2018 (Buyer’s Guide)

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Best Phono Cartridge
Considering the amount of options on the current market, choosing the right phono cartridge is very hard. Many companies offer all kinds of phono cartridge nowadays, and it might take you weeks to explore all the options. Our team made this buying guide for those who would like to get the best phono cartridge in the shortest period.

Phono Cartridge differ by the manufacturer, material, color, and many other characteristics. Moreover, every year manufacturers present newer models, which makes the choice even more complicated. Thanks to our buying guide, you will be able to understand all the nuances of phono cartridge and save a lot of your precious time.

5 Best Phono Cartridge of 2018

Rating Image Name and Features Details
4.8
Ortofon 2m Red Mm Phono Cartridge 1. Ortofon 2m Red Mm Phono Cartridge (Editor’s Choice)
2m series was developed in conjunction with danish designer m.
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4.5
Neoteck Digital Turntable Stylus Force Scale Gauge 0.01g Blue LCD Backlight 2. Neoteck Digital Turntable Stylus Force Scale Gauge 0.01g Blue LCD Backlight
High precision and accurate stylus gauge for accurate stylus force adjustment.
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4.3
Shure M97xe High-performance Magnetic Phono Cartridge 3. Shure M97xe High-performance Magnetic Phono Cartridge (Most Durable)
Accurately reproduces difficult musical passages, particularly in high-frequency range.
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4.3
Shure M97xe High Performance Magnetic Cartridge 4. Shure M97xe High Performance Magnetic Cartridge
The shure exclusive viscous-damped dynamic stabilizer maintains a uniform distance between the cartridge and the record under difficult playing conditions, even those caused by warped records or mismatched tonearm mass.
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3.8
Audio-technica Studio Reference Series 3003 Phono Cartridge 5. Audio-technica Studio Reference Series 3003 Phono Cartridge
Highly polished .0003 x .0007 inch special elliptical diamond traces record grooves with precision and minimal wear.
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Style
5/5
 

Size
4/5
 

Construction
5/5
 

Price
5/5
 
Overall Brand Model Dimensions Weight Details
4.8
Ortofon 2MRED 4.7 x 3.5 x 1.2 inches 2.4 ounces
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Stylus type: elliptical, stylus tip radius r/r: 8/18 m. 2m series was developed in conjunction with danish designer m ller jensen design the same designer who designed the award winning mc jubilee and very successful kontrapunkt series. 2m series of cartridges feature ortofon’s trademark split pole pins. Uses an improved engine, which provides an increased output of 5.5mv. Professional installation encouraged.

 

 
Pros
Professional installation encouraged
Uses an improved engine
2m series was developed in conjunction
Stylus type
Cons
It does not have serious flaws.
 

 

 
 

Style
5/5
 

Size
3/5
 

Construction
5/5
 

Price
5/5
 
Overall Brand Model Dimensions Weight Details
4.5
Neoteck NTK002 3.8 x 1.7 x 0.8 inches 3.52 ounces
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Comes with one weight and two button batteries, enables you longtime standby. Blue backlight display with high-quality stainless scale, packaged with superior leather sheath for good protection. High precision and accurate stylus gauge for accurate stylus force adjustment. For mm/mc/mi and piezoelectric acoustical pickup, nonmagnetic, no magnetic field adhesivity, reading reliable. Accurate stylus force is important for ensuring the playback result and life of your valuable records and cartidge.

 

 
Pros
Blue backlight display
Accurate stylus force is important
For mm/mc/mi
High precision
Cons
The material is not flexible, so it is easy to break.
 

 

 
 

Style
5/5
 

Size
3/5
 

Construction
4/5
 

Price
5/5
 
Overall Brand Model Dimensions Weight Details
4.3
Shure M97XE 22 x 4 x 6 inches 6.4 ounces
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Die-cast-aluminum mounting block; includes mounting hardware and cleaning brush. High-performance phono cartridge with finely polished elliptical diamond tip. Accurately reproduces difficult musical passages, particularly in high-frequency range. Viscous-damped dynamic stabilizer maintains uniform distance between cartridge and record. Side-guard system prevents stylus damage if cartridge accidentally slides across lp.

 

 
Pros
Accurately reproduces difficult musical passages
Die-cast-aluminum mounting block
High-performance phono cartridge
Cons
Was not delivered in time.
 

 

 
 

Style
5/5
 

Size
5/5
 

Construction
3/5
 

Price
4/5
 
Overall Brand Model Dimensions Weight Details
4.3
Shure M97XE 3 x 1.3 x 7 inches 6.4 ounces
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Not recommended for back-cueing the stylus of the m97xe is definitely not constructed to withstand back-cueing. Stick with the dj cartridges for back-cueing. Shure s m97xe is an audiophile phono cartridge with smooth sound and extremely accurate sound reproduction over entire frequency range. Designed to provide long hours of undistorted listening, without fatiguing the ear. Its highly precise tracking ability and flat frequency response are made possible by shure’s unique type ii low-mass thin-wall aluminum alloy stylus cantilever, combined with a precision-crafted, finely polished, elliptical diamond tip. Included accessories: headshell screwdriver, stylus cleaning brush, mounting hardware, stylus guard.

Dynamic stabilizer: the shure exclusive viscous-damped dynamic stabilizer maintains a uniform distance between the cartridge and the record under difficult playing conditions, even those caused by warped records or mismatched tonearm mass. When such stabilization is not required, the stabilizer brush can be locked up into its detent position, which, under ideal playing conditions, can provide even better sound quality. Side-guard stylus protection system: the innovative protection system helps to limit stylus damage if the cartridge accidentally slides across a record. This unique feature responds to side thrusts on the stylus by momentarily forcing the stylus cantilever and tip upward so that the cantilever does not bend sideways. Die cast aluminum mounting block: ensures secure, vibration-free attachment to the tonearm.

 

 
Pros
Shure s m97xe is an audiophile phono cartridge
Not recommended
Side-guard stylus protection system
Dynamic stabilizer
Included accessories
Cons
Has an uncomfortable construction.
 

What are the price limits for decent phono cartridge?

If you want to buy the best phono cartridge on the market, remember that it does not have to be the most expensive one. Of course, costly models are usually good, but there is always a possibility that you can find an option with better price/quality ratio. If you want to get the most value out of your phono cartridge, choose wisely and consider all its characteristics, not only the price.

 

 
 

Style
4/5
 

Size
2/5
 

Construction
5/5
 

Price
4/5
 
Overall Brand Model Dimensions Weight Details
3.8
Audio-Technica 4330175003
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Studio reference series are best known for their excellent musicality, outstanding value, high technology and reasonable price. Fits p-mount t4p or standard half-inch tonearms with the supplied adaptor. Wide and extended frequency response with low distortion: 15 – 27.000 hz. Thin-wall tube cantilever for low mass, high sensitivity and low resonance. Highly polished .0003 x .0007 inch special elliptical diamond traces record grooves with precision and minimal wear.

 

 
Pros
Thin-wall tube cantilever
Fits p-mount t4p or standard half-inch tonearms
Studio reference series are best known
Cons
Not suitable for long work.
It is too short.
 

What exactly I should pay my special attention to when choosing a phono cartridge?

One of the most important factor of any phono cartridge is its material. It has to be durable and easy to clean. If you want to find a phono cartridge that will serve you for many years, you will have to buy an expensive model made out of the best materials.

How long does the warranty lasts for a decent phono cartridge?

We highly recommend you to buy phono cartridgefrom brands that offer prolonged warranty. If something goes wrong and your phono cartridge breaks down, you will be able to repair it without spending a single penny. Most companies offer a two-year warranty for their products.

Are there any reasons to buy phono cartridgewith a lifetime warranty?

Every manufacturer offer various warranty terms. Some companies sell phono cartridgewith a lifetime warranty, while the others only offer one-year or two-year protection. The cheapest models usually do not have any warranties at all. We think that five-year warranty is more than enough for the most phono cartridge.

Is not buying phono cartridgeon the internet is dangerous?

Buying phono cartridgeonline is absolutely safe! In fact, it might be even safer than buying them in a local store, since you do not need to leave your house. Moreover, if you get a malfunctioning item you can always get a refund or a replacement.

Meet the Author
My name is Ron Hughes and I am a Electronic Solderer. I graduated from Clark University - Worcester, Massachusetts

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+1 212-689-9781
ron@damremo.com
276 5th Ave Suite 704 New York, NY 10001
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