Top Of Best Phono Cartridge Buyer's Guide & Reviews

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Best Phono Cartridge
Do you want to know, how did we make this list of the best phono cartridge? We considered all characteristics of various models, such as review score, price, material, and other things. Our team tried to cover every important aspect of each phono cartridge, but if you think that something is missing, feel free to contact us and we might update our list.

Everyone wants to get the best value for their money. That is why choosing the best phono cartridge is so difficult. We wanted to help our readers and made the TOP list of phono cartridge with the most pleasant price/quality ratio.

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.
Read reviews
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.
Read reviews
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.

 

 
The Good
Professional installation encouraged
Uses an improved engine
2m series was developed in conjunction
Stylus type
The Bad
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.

 

 
The Good
Blue backlight display
Accurate stylus force is important
For mm/mc/mi
High precision
The Bad
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.

 

 
The Good
Accurately reproduces difficult musical passages
Die-cast-aluminum mounting block
High-performance phono cartridge
The Bad
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.

 

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

How much money should I spend for a nice 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.

 

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

What factors did you consider while making the TOP list of the best phono cartridge?

During the creation of this buying guide, we had to look through hundreds of phono cartridge. Our team compared many products from various brands in order to find the most optimal model with the best price to quality ratio. The goal was to determine phono cartridgethat offer the most value for their money, and we think that we have achieved it.

How long is the minimum warranty period for an average 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.

Do good phono cartridgerequire 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.

How to find out whether is phono cartridge that I am buying is good?

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

Contact me if you have any questions:
+1 212-689-9781
ron@damremo.com
276 5th Ave Suite 704 New York, NY 10001
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If you have goods for review, contact us: +1 212-689-9781 | ron@damremo.com | 276 5th Ave Suite 704 New York, NY 10001.
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