How to Choose Best Phono Cartridge 2018 - Buyer’s Guide

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Best Phono Cartridge
The TOP list of the best phono cartridge was made with careful attention to details. Our team tried to cover every important aspect of each model, including its price, material, manufacturer, and many more nuances. Nevertheless, we strongly advise you to read reviews from other users before choosing the best phono cartridge for you.

We are ready to introduce you the best phono cartridge of the current year. Keep reading this page to see our TOP picks of the best phono cartridge from the marketplace.

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.
 

Do I need to worry when buying a phono cartridge online?

Why would be buying a phono cartridge online dangerous? Marketplace is nearly always on the buyer’s side during the conflicts resolution. Getting a refund is very easy and only takes a couple of hours. You and your money are completely safe — there is no need to worry. Try to order a phono cartridge from our rating list yourself — this website is very convenient thanks to myriads of user reviews, so you will definitely like it.

 

 
 

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.
 

Is there a way to get my money back for a phono cartridge?

Shop has a customer-friendly return policy, which means that you will not have any difficulties returning your money. If there is something wrong with your phono cartridge, you only need to contact the customer support and ask for a refund. However, you should carefully read the item’s description before buying a phono cartridge.

How much money do I need to buy the best phono cartridge?

Obviously, a good phono cartridge cannot be very cheap. If you want to buy a decent product, you should not be trying to save money on it. We recommend you to order the best models from our list of the best phono cartridgeif you can afford it.

What warranty should be offered with a decent phono cartridge?

We think that a two-year warranty is more than enough for a decent phono cartridge. There are many premium options with a lifetime warranty, but we do not think that it is necessary. We recommend you to simply replace phono cartridge with a new one after some time.

Are there anything special that I should know before buying a phono cartridge?

You can find out everything you need to know about any specific phono cartridge at our site before buying it. That is why we like this marketplace so much: it offers a very convenient website with “Compare” feature, as well as hundreds of user reviews. Read them to understand whether a phono cartridge is suitable for you.

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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