Top 5 Turntable Cartridge and Stylus Combination Products

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.Music lovers, young or old, often invest in a phonograph or turntable on which the record rests. As the turntable revolves, the record moves in circles as well, and the slender stylus reads the grooves on the record so that the player produces the music.
From time to time, parts of turntables or record players suffer damage or wear. Although owners can purchase styluses separately, many choose the more popular cartridge and stylus combination products, which are more cost-efficient and provide distinct sound improvements over the old stylus types. Buyers should find a variety of   cartridge and styluses online from websites like eBay or in their town at stores that sell audio equipment and parts.
1. Audio-Technica Moving Coil Turntable Cartridge and Stylus

The Audio Technica  AT33EV Moving Coil Phono Cartridge (AT33EV) is a high-end turntable cartridge and stylus combination product with a correspondingly high price. Audiophiles who love moving-coil cartridge technology rate the unit highly and give it stellar reviews online. The stylus is elliptical, made of a material called Duralumin. The accompanying stylus guard protects the slim needle from wear and damage, and the cartridge body is made of durable aluminum with a titanium finish for extra strength and style. The cartridge and stylus are fairly easy to mount, but users should follow the instructions in the owner's manual carefully in order to avoid damaging their player, cartridge, or stylus.
According the manufacturer, users should load the AT33EV with a 100 Ohms or more of resistance. Owners may need to boost the volume a bit more than normal with another cartridge and stylus combination, but the volume level is the sole potential drawback for this well-designed unit. Its sound enhances the low frequencies for tight, powerful bass. The midrange and higher frequencies are vibrant and clear. Although it shines during rock numbers, the AT33EV is even more impressive during slow, ballad-style songs or classical numbers, allowing music lovers to enjoy delightfully detailed, highly accurate sound.

2. Ortofon 2M Red Turntable Cartridge and Stylus

The Ortofon 2M Red turntable cartridge and stylus won Product of the Year in the 2008 Editor's Choice Awards from a leading technology website. The product also won honors in each succeeding year. According to third-party reviews, it functions well above its expected level. When combined with the right player and speakers, the cartridge and stylus combination elicits clear, accurate sound from vintage records, making listeners feel as though they are present at the original performance. The manufacturer, Ortofon, is well-respected among audiophiles for its high-end products and thoughtful designs. The 2M Red turntable cartridge and stylus is compact and lightweight so that owners can mount it easily onto nearly any standard turntable.
The unit's 2M technology upholds the standard of pure, unadulterated sound that is free of color or interference. The elliptical diamond tip ensures smooth, accurate tracking. The slit pole pins on the device are unique to Ortofon and achieve the desired flat frequency response that is similar to that obtained with a moving coil cartridge. Features such as stunning quality and sound fidelity at an affordable price place the Ortofon 2M Red turntable cartridge and stylus among the top five turntable cartridge and stylus combination products.

3. Shure M97xE High-Performance Magnetic Turntable Cartridge and Stylus

The Shure M97xE High-Performance Magnetic phono cartridge is equipped with an elliptical diamond stylus for crisp, accurate sound. Its features include a dynamic stabilizer that keeps the stylus at precisely the right distance from the record, reducing the possibility of scratches or skips. The dynamic stabilizer has a viscous damper to further absorb resonance and interference. Customers rate this cartridge and stylus combination highly because of its smooth, even sound and its superb tracking ability. The stylus cantilever employs a unique Shure design, with a low-mass aluminum alloy that ensures flat-frequency response. The die-cast aluminum mounting block attaches firmly to the tonearm, eliminating vibration.
Cartridges do not usually wear out, but styluses do. To preserve the stylus as long as possible, the Shure M97xE cartridge includes a side-guard. Should the cartridge slide across the record, the side-guard acts as a protective shield for the slender needle. It also moves the stylus and cantilever up briefly to keep the cantilever from becoming bent.
Owners who have used stock cartridges or cartridges from the original equipment manufacturer notice an immediate difference once they install a Shure M97xE cartridge and stylus. The unit handles high-frequency sections or complicated passages of music with ease. It also allows listeners to hear subtle nuances in the music that are indistinguishable with cartridges and styluses of lower quality.

4. Grado Prestige Black 1.5-Mount Turntable Cartridge and Stylus

The Grado Prestige Black turntable cartridge and stylus combination is one of the top products on the market, according to many reviews from Internet customers. The stylus has an elliptical diamond tip, and the entire assembly follows Grado's ideal of the optimized transmission line, creating smooth function with as little vibration and distortion as possible. Each section of the unit includes dampers to absorb unwanted resonance and produce pristine, detailed sound.
One of the special features of the Grado brand is its commitment to all-American production. Grado workers in the United States assemble every Grado cartridge and stylus combination product by hand. They test each unit for including, resistance, inductance, channel balance, frequency response, and other performance criteria. The result is a machine that offers excellent sound quality and accuracy, allowing users to enjoy all the layers of the music. A true audiophile may want to spend much more on a high-end cartridge combo, but for the average listener, the Grado Prestige Black supplies amazing quality at a very affordable price.

5. Audio-Technica Dual Magnet Turntable Cartridge and Stylus

The Audio-Technica Dual Magnet Phono Cartridge (AT95E), like most other top turntable cartridge and stylus combinations, has an elliptical stylus with a diamond tip. Music lovers revere the Audio-Technica brand name and offer consistently positive reviews of products like the AT95E.
First of all, the AT95E supplies excellent tracking that allows listeners to hear subtle, soft portions of the music and enjoy multiple layers of sound. While the AT95E does not boast the most open high frequencies or the richest lows, it is perfect for buyers who love their records but must enjoy them while staying in a budget. It tracks better than the Grado Prestige Black, but does not have the incredible musical detail and superior handmade quality of the Grado Black units. Nevertheless, the clarity and fidelity of the sound from the AT95E has won many fans over the years that the product has been on the market.
Buyers should purchase the unit either brand-new, nearly new, or lightly used to ensure longevity. If they plan to buy from an online seller, they should make sure that the cartridge and stylus they purchase also includes the stylus guard and the mounting hardware.

Comparing Frequency Response and Price Level

As buyers search for replacement cartridge and stylus combinations, they have many different factors to consider. Two key points are the frequency response and the price level, which are illustrated below.

Turntable Cartridge and Stylus Combination Products

Frequency Response

Price Level

Audio Technica AT33EV Moving Coil Phono Cartridge and Stylus

15 Hz to 50 kHz


Ortofon 2M Red Turntable Cartridge and Stylus

20 Hz to 22 kHz


Shure M97xE High-Performance Magnetic Phono Cartridge and Stylus

20 Hz to 22 kHz


Grado Prestige Black Turntable Cartridge and Stylus

10 Hz to 50 kHz


Audio-Technica Dual Magnet Phono Cartridge and Stylus

20 Hz to 20 kHz


For each cartridge and stylus combination that buyers consider, they must ascertain the compatibility with their turntable.

How to Buy Turntable Cartridge and Stylus Combination Products on eBay

Buying turntable cartridge and stylus combination products is simple with eBay's convenient search features and broad selection of products. Once you have entered your search term, such as " Grado Prestige Black," you can save the search so that eBay has permission to email you each time a new item matching your search is listed. If you cannot find the cartridge and stylus combo you need with a regular search, try searching eBay Stores. In this area of eBay's website, search results appear as links to sellers' shops rather than links to separate product listings. eBay Stores caters to buyers who enjoy a more relaxed and leisurely approach to their online shopping. If you need more details about a product or want to request additional photos, click on the "Ask a Question" link in the listing and type in your inquiry or request.


Whether buyers enjoy their records while relaxing at home or work as DJs who rock their music old-school, the right turntables, cartridges, and styluses are key to a successful music session. Shoppers must ensure compatibility with their player before they pay for a cartridge and stylus combination product. If they opt for a used product in order to save money, they should confirm that the unit is lightly used or like new. A lightly used unit that was well cared for can last buyers for years, especially if the materials and design are of high quality. With one of the top five turntable cartridge and stylus combination products, owners should notice improved sound quality and less distortion as they play their favorite records.
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