DJ Cartridge Reviews & Buying Guide 2019

Gregor

Hello, I'm Gregor and I put this site together. At first, you'll find an overview of recommended dj cartridges, followed by a public poll and a general buying guide on dj cartridge. Further down on this page, we do link to other well-written articles and reviews about dj cartridges. At last, you'll be able to weight in your own opinion in the comments section.

If you choose to buy an item that I've chosen indepenently and recommended it here, I may earn commissions to support my efforts. For you, the price of the product will not change, I'm just saying this to be completely open with you.

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The 10 Best DJ Cartridges of Our Choice

Quick comparison in an overall view
Brand
Shure
Ortofon
Numark
Ortofon
Ortofon
Ortofon
Ortofon
Shure
Ortofon
Ortofon
Name
M44-7 Standard DJ Turntable
2m Red Moving Magnet
CC-1 | Premium DJ
Headshell Stylus
2M Red Cartridge Mounted
S120 Single OM Style
Concorde S-120 Twin Pack
OM Q.Bert Single Turntable
MCC DJ Cartridge Case
Concorde Q.Bert Twin Pack
Condorde Mix MKll Cartridge
Image
Shure M44-7 Standard DJ Turntable Image
Shure M44-7 Standard DJ Turntable Cartridge
Recommendation
Ortofon 2m Red Moving Magnet Image
Ortofon 2m Red Moving Magnet Cartridge
Numark CC-1 | Premium DJ Image
Numark CC-1 | Premium DJ Turntable Cartridge (Headshell + Stylus)
Great Deal
Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge Mounted Image
Ortofon: 2M Red Cartridge Mounted on SH-4 Headshell
Ortofon S120 Single OM Style Image
Ortofon S120 Single OM Style DJ Cartridge
Ortofon Concorde S-120 Twin Pack Image
Ortofon Concorde S-120 Twin Pack - 2 x DJ Cartridges each fitted with stylus
Ortofon OM Q.Bert Single Turntable Image
Ortofon OM Q.Bert Single Turntable Cartridge
Shure MCC DJ Cartridge Case Image
Shure MCC DJ Cartridge Case
Ortofon Concorde Q.Bert Twin Pack Image
Ortofon Concorde Q.Bert Twin Pack - 2 x DJ Cartridges each fitted with stylus
Ortofon Condorde Mix MKll Cartridge Image
Ortofon Condorde Mix MKll Cartridge Twin
Rating
according to our criteria
98 %
in comparison
93 %
in comparison
88 %
in comparison
86 %
in comparison
85 %
in comparison
85 %
in comparison
85 %
in comparison
83 %
in comparison
83 %
in comparison
83 %
in comparison
Features
  • Engineered for scratch DJ's and turntablists the m44-7 is designed ...
  • Unique wide-diameter Type S cantilever with a tracking force of 1.5...
  • Skip Resistance: ultra high
  • 2M series of cartridges feature Ortofon's trademark split pole pins
  • The name 2m was chosen as it represents the abbreviation for moving...
  • Uses an improved engine which provides an increased output of 5.5mV
  • Frequency response: 20 to 22,000Hz
  • Channel balance: within 1.5dB
  • Tracking force: 3-6g
  • Industry standard entry level audiophile cartridge pre-mounted on s...
  • Moving magnet design
  • Designed to work optimally with a wide range of turntable setups
  • Single OM Cartridge Model
  • Its superior tracking force ensures the s-120 stays in the groove e...
  • In addition its design achieves an unprecedentedly low level of rec...
  • CC s-120 DJ Turntable Cartridge Twin Pack
  • The Ortofon/Serato s-120 Turntable Cartridge may be the world's fir...
  • Unlike other cartridges this new technology makes it possible for D...
  • Designed together with DJ QBert for scratch and back-cueingSpherica...
  • Crush-Proof
  • Water-Tight Structure
  • Legendary Shure durability
  • Styluses with anti-skipping and output of 11-12mV
  • These Ortofon Q
  • Bert turntable styli give you the ultimate scratching tool with sup...
  • Output voltage at 1000Hz 5cm/sec - 6 mV
  • Channel balance at 1kHz - 1.5 dB
  • Channel separation at 1kHz - 20 dB
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Results of the Straw Poll: Popular DJ Cartridges

Every month, we analyze which products our readers like the most:

Which DJ Cartridge Would You Buy Online? (August 2018)

  • 30.30 % (10 votes) Numark CC-1 | Premium DJ Turntable Cartridge (H...
  • 24.24 % (8 votes) Ortofon Concorde DJ S Twin Pack - 2 x DJ Cartri...
  • 21.21 % (7 votes) Shure M44-7 Standard DJ Turntable Cartridge
  • 9.09 % (3 votes) Ortofon OM Pro S Single Pack - 1 x DJ Cartridge...
  • 9.09 % (3 votes) Shure SC35C All-Purpose DJ Phono Cartridge
  • 6.06 % (2 votes) OM PRO S Cartridge Premounted on SH-4 Headshell...
  • 0 % (0 votes) Ortofon Concorde Pro S Twin Pack - 2 x DJ Cartr...
  • 0 % (0 votes) Ortofon Concorde Pro Twin Pack - 2 x DJ Cartrid...

33 total votes.

If you also want to vote on the best dj cartridge, click here to view the poll.

DJ Cartridge Buying Guide

DJ Cartridge Image
Picture: M44-7 Standard DJ Turntable from Shure

The sound quality produced from your turntable largely depends on the quality and condition of your DJ cartridge. A poorly constructed or dysfunctional cartridge could scratch your records in addition to reducing the quality of your DJ efforts. The good news is that the market for DJ cartridges is expanding, so you have many options when selecting a high-quality cartridge that works well with your turntable.

The bad news is that it can take some time to learn about your options and find the one cartridge that works well for your DJ equipment and personal style. What works well for one person may not satisfy the next, so this is a personal decision. This guide is designed to save you a bit of time by helping you learn how to select the DJ cartridge that can take your art to the next level.

Types of DJ Cartridges

The type of phono cartridge that you select depends largely on your DJ style. This list will introduce you to the most common types seen on the market today.

  • Scratch Cartridges – These cartridges are designed for scratching. They can come with a variety of features, but the goal is to protect your vinyl from unnecessary damage while allowing you to scratch aggressively if desired. If you enjoy scratching, it's important to purchase a cartridge designed for this style.
  • Mixing Cartridges – These cartridges are designed for superior mixing results. They do vary in features, but the primary goal is to produce excellent sound quality while mixing.
  • Concorde Cartridges – Concorde is a specialized line of cartridges manufactured by Ortofon. There are now five models available, ranging from a low-budget cartridge designed to maximize value to a scratch cartridge and a digital model that minimizes decoding errors and vinyl damage.
  • Digital Cartridges – These phono cartridges are designed for efficient mixing from digital files. Many are designed for superior sound quality even when you're mixing analog and digital files. Many modern DJs are looking for digital cartridges, but you can mix the types. For instance, you may find a digital cartridge that is also designed for efficient scratching.

Important Turntable Cartridge Features

You may first look at the overall design of a DJ cartridge, considering how it will look once connected to your turntable. Hobbyists and beginners may settle for an affordable cartridge that has an attractive style, but you will need to think about the performance of the cartridge as you start to take the craft of DJing more seriously.

The best DJ cartridges will score well in all of the following categories:

  • Sound Quality/Clarity – Whether you're a professional DJ, a weekend musician or a hobbyist, sound quality is important. You want to hear all elements of the music from the high frequencies to the bass without distortion or static. The overall design and material used to make the cartridge will determine the overall clarity, so do your research and read at least a few user reviews before making your final selection.
  • Frequency Response Range – Accurate audio reproduction comes from a delicate balance between frequencies. You don't want any frequency to receive too much or too little emphasis because it will impact your sound output.
  • Output Level – If the output level of your cartridge isn't a proper fit to your equipment input, you will have too much noise or distortion in the sound output. Make sure to find one that will work well with your sound equipment, or just look for a good cartridge that works well with most modern turntables.
  • Durability – You want your cartridge to last as long as possible. This often means spending a bit more today so that you don't have to keep purchasing replacements for worn out cartridges of lower quality. You do have a budget to consider, but the expected life of the cartridge is a serious consideration as well. Try to find a balance between durable materials that will last and an affordable DJ cartridge.
  • Skip Resistance – The stylus needs to stay firmly in the groove of a record to prevent skipping and excessive scratching. This is especially important for DJs who enjoy scratching and cutting because a low-quality stylus will lead to a shorter lifespan for the vinyl. Look for advanced cartridges made from polished spherical gemstone or other high-quality materials if you want to prevent skipping and unnecessary scratching.

It's difficult if not impossible to find a cartridge that scores a perfect 10 in all of these categories, but that's okay because every DJ will place more emphasis on some features anyway. The goal is to find a cartridge that fits your turntable and works well with your personal DJ style. You may go through more than one cartridge before you find the one that works best for you.

You can also use the above list as a reference when reading product descriptions and reviews. You will see these terms when discussing the performance of specific cartridges, and a full understanding of what they mean will help you make the right buying decision.

Why You Need a Great DJ Cartridge

Since vinyl records are becoming more and more difficult to replace, the quality of your phono cartridge is also increasing in importance. Some records are also expensive to replace, and others are nearly impossible to find today. The rarer and more expensive your vinyl, the more time and money you may want to invest in selecting the highest quality cartridge possible.

If you're a hobbyist or beginner and you don't own high-value vinyl, then you may want to save a bit of money and just select a cartridge that looks great on your turntable while producing reasonable overall sound quality. With time and improved skill, you can invest in something of even higher quality that will take your art to a new level.

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DJ Cartridge Reviews & Additional Articles

New: Our editorial list of additional articles. We decided to gather informartion all around the internet and present you a list of helpful, external links to interesting reads about the best dj cartridges and their reviews and guides.

Reviews Stylus 45/ 45/$50Also available as OM only + spare stylus: 95 or Concorde twin pack: 250. Introduction. Ortofon Serato s-120 review. ...
0 persons liked this post.
Source: djworx.com
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Buying Guide Beginner's Guide To DJ Equipment Setups Buying your first DJ setup can be a daunting task. Using our knowledge and experience, the Lab breaks it down as  ...
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Buying Guide DJ Controller and Interface Buying Guide .. Competition DJ Cartridge has been the go-to cartridge for both scratch and mix DJs for decades. The Essential Gear Every   What DJ controllers do   DJ Headphones ...
0 persons liked this post.
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Buying Guide The right turntable and cartridge buying guide will ensure you buy the best record Most professional DJs prefer this design which allows them to effortlessly  ...
0 persons liked this post.
Source: onecall.com
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Buying Guide DJ Turntable Buying Guide: 2016 Edition . The only deal breaker for a straight arm is that you can't use elliptical needles due to the angle,  ...
0 persons liked this post.
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Buying Guide Needles, styli, cartridges, pick ups, call them what you like, every You can still buy a high end parallel tracking arm but the fact that they still  ...
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The DJ Cartridges of Our Choice At a Glance

You're not convinced by the previous writings about dj cartridges? Of course you can just choose by visual impression, that's why we present you all our chosen products at a single glance. A click on any image is enough to open an external link to the best offer we could find.

Tips from YouTube about DJ Cartridge

Today - Ortofon MF7 - A Shure M44-7 alternative for vinyl DJs?

CHANNEL UPDATE******* I'm now producing tutorial and review videos exclusively for DJcity.com, the world's leading music pool for DJs. Please subscribe to ...

Disclaimer: This video is not from us, but we found it relevant enough to show it here.

Comments

Conclusion for this DJ Cartridge Buying Guide in March 2019

Finally, we want to present you our rating criteria for our dj cartridge comparison, so you can better understand and comprehend our recommendations and the rating process itself. Furthermore, we still ask you to keep your eyes open for short term deals in order to make some great bargains with dj cartridge in 2019.

Published by on StrawPoll.com (last update on ).

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17 of 22 readers found this article helpful.

Your opinion will appear tommorow, since this page is cached for 24 hours.

(Corresponds to a rating of 3.86 / 5)