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Important Questions to Ask About Pfanstiehl Cartridge and Needle Combos

As an audio buff who loves the richness of sound that only classic vinyl can bring, you know that a sharp cartridge and needle combo is key. A new stylus does more than transmit your sound: it preserves the quality of your audio. A Pfanstiehl combination may meet your needs.

Why are the needles so important in a turntable setup?

Your needle, also called your stylus, is the point of contact between your album and the outside world. Think of the stylus as the first step in the journey that the audio takes from the turntable to your ears. When you put your record on the turntable, the album turns. To make the sound play out loud, you gently lower the arm and fit the needle into the long groove on the surface of the record. The cartridge containing the needle is at the end of that long arm. Needles pick up vibrations from the groove as the turntable spins. Those vibrations are transmitted through the arm and into the amplifier. The amplifier magnifies the audio and makes it possible for you to hear your tunes.

What is a cartridge and needle combination?

A cartridge and needle combination looks like a little box with a stylus sticking out of it at a sharp angle. This is a complex mechanism that helps convert the vibrations picked up by needles into audio. Some types of turntable system have separate needles, but many combine the two into one complete unit.

What are some factors to consider about a Pfanstiehl combo?
  • Weight: Cartridge weight can affect your sound quality. If the mechanism is too light, your needles will skip over the grooves as the record spins on the turntable. If it’s too heavy, your needles could damage the record. Check your manufacturer's specifications for the ideal weight of your cartridge.
  • Accessories and refills: Although most stylus and cartridge combos include all necessary components, it is best to ensure that the stylus will be included.
  • System-compatible cartridge: Understanding which Pfanstiehl cartridge will work with your player's tonearm is important to determine before placing an order.
How do you know when to change your Pfanstiehl combination?

It's important to keep all the parts of your system in working order. Because your Pfanstiehl stylus is constantly being used, there are a number of good reasons to check your stylus frequently to make sure your records sound their best:

  • Clear sound: If you're hearing a lot of popping and hissing, the distortion in the sound may be due to a worn stylus.
  • Skipping: Skipping can happen with older needles. Worn needles are more likely to jump out of the groove more easily because they are not "seated" deeply.
  • Preserving vinyl: Needles that skip or jump out of the groove tend to damage the delicate surface of your vinyl over time.
Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Pfanstiehl.
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