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How to choose cartridges for DJ turntables?

The cartridge is the part that sits at the end of a turntable's tonearm. This is the cell that supports the main element for playing vinyl: the diamond. Indeed, it is the diamond (also called stylus) which ensures the sound reproduction by transmitting the vibrations of the grooves of the vinyl to the cell which will translate the analog movements into electrical signals. Some turntables are delivered with an original cartridge. Otherwise, you will need to get some in order to play your vinyl.

To obtain a sound reproduction close to perfection, it will be essential that the audio signal path is of high quality. The beginning of this chain is none other than the reading of the grooves of the vinyl by the diamond. The choice of cell and stylus will be de facto very crucial.

To choose the right cartridge, it is important to take into account the tracking force, that is to say the weight applied to the stylus. The higher the weight, the more faithfully the tip will reproduce the irregularities of the microgroove, with less chance of "jumping" out of the groove. However, too much weight will wear your vinyl (and your stylus) more significantly due to excessive friction. It will therefore be necessary to arbitrate according to your needs.

The diamond

platine usb dj pioneer

We also advise DJs to choose a stylus with an extended frequency response so that the sound is well defined for both treble and bass. Your stylus should also be able to withstand vibrations caused by powerful bass, especially during performances. A good quality diamond keeps your vinyls in good condition for longer.

There are two types of turntable diamonds: spherical points and elliptical points. (examples of models? marks? with redirect links) On spherical models (whose end is similar to a half-sphere), the tip follows the subtleties of the groove a little less faithfully. These diamonds wear less vinyl and lend themselves more to scratching by moving more easily on the groove.

On the elliptical models (whose tip is narrower and more pointed), the movement is a little more complicated, but it nevertheless allows to obtain a much better sound resolution.

The DJs, by dint of going back and forth from the diamond to the vinyl, damage their diamonds more quickly. But rest assured, you can buy them separately so you don't have to buy the whole cell.

Questions ?

You now have all the basics you need to get started and choose your DJ cartridges. It is obvious that everything is not summarized in this guide and you may have some questions or wish to have additional advice regarding the choice of your DJ cartridges. The Star's Music team is at your disposal to guide you in our stores or by telephone on 01 81 930 900.