As we survey all of the major DJ gear and equipment in the market, we continue look through the cracks and crannies when it comes to fine-tuning your setup with the smaller details: the best DJ turntable cartridges. Only for serious scratchers, many of us know that the stock needles and cartridges won’t cut it if we’re serious about actually DJ’ing (considering a lot of DJ’s nowadays don’t even use a turntable!). Even if you’re just learning how to DJ, it’s important you’re here in order to get started on the right foot. Actually, we’d like you to comment below if you do still scratch, and share some of your stuff if you have it online! It’s becoming more and more a rarity, but still a very sacred art (especially to us). Whether you have your DJ turntable and want to upgrade it’s inner-workings or are starting from scratch, let’s get those DJ cartridges upgraded — we found some of the best for you down below.
The best DJ turntable cartridges
Up first as our favorite pick as the best DJ cartridge for turntables, we have a valuable brand in Audio Technica who has presented a very unique and good all-rounder product for all artists alike. With its recommended use at tracking weight two grams, the AT95E provides excellent tracking mobility and a good performance with many turntable you may already have at hand. It’s made of high-quality material (dual magnets) and not cheaply made it all, even the smaller parts that make up the whole. It should be compatible with any table out there.
With its particularly moderate price point, the AT95E has a great reputation for being a great all-rounder. Reasonable fixes could be given to resolution and detailing of the stylus profile – however its good to note that this is overlooked even in high-end cartridges (you’ll see a few more below). Given the decent cost and just overall solid quality, the Audio-Technica AT95E has a reputable name for being a general go-to product for DJ artists who seek the best, moderately priced turntable cartridge.
The CC-1 is Numark’s presentation of a newly formatted range of devices form its previous models, and this particular pick is one of our favorites as the best DJ turntable cartridge if you can spend a few more bucks as compared to the previous A-T pick. The device offers a rotor design, LED lights, pitch specification, inversion operation and the newly programmed start and break functions on the exterior. The device has an easy installation and adjustable tone arm for maximum effect, which suits its durable frame. It also provides responsive and timely programming which is something that jumps ahead of its competitors.
The CC-1 model shows a lasting bass performance and a moderate treble sound although falling behind on the mid-range slightly. The tracking force and circular diamond stylus give for a unique style of sound, high versatility and resistance to tip skipping. The combinations of high output and greater tracking allows for a constant quality and reliable sound. The CC-1 DJ cartridge also provides a highly versatile and distinctive experience for all skill levels. Customers will be drawn to the relatively low price on this product considering it reasonable performance ability that caters for many low-end operations. For the price, the Numark CC-1 presents the best cartridge for turntables with a very high-quality upgrade to your rig here.
Ortofon OM Pro S
The Omega (OM) Pro S is Ortofon’s best cartridge designs in their range of turntable equipment for DJ´s that offers a great sound, durability and affordability in their product range. The design features a broad spherical needle, which creates less wear and tear on records, something that is overlooked by its competition, giving the OM Pro S a nice selling point here. This cartridge covers a broad spectrum of functions, which is great for all types of DJ’ing whether beginning for professional.
The OM Pro S offers a spherical stylus, high 5.0mV output, great 5g tracking force and a large frequency response giving a great balance of sound and receptive tracking ability – a good all-arounder turntable cartridge. It has a flat and seamless sound and is rather easy to handle with a light design having one of the longest running standards in DJ equipment. Also, it has retained most of its qualities from previous models including sonic properties but now provides a wider stylus and low wears in timely conditions. The Ortofon OM Pro S offers a balanced price point in the low-end cartridge market, which is great for entry level DJ and advancing DJ´s alike. Although rather inexpensive, the cartridge offers a great performance besting many other cartridges and other DJ turntable equipment. If it’s cheaper than our previous Audio-Technica pick, we say grab it.
The Shure M44-7 is a newly revised edition to its original version, produced for the new generation of DJ equipment. This model is a relatively light design catering for the high-end market with enhanced tracking capabilities that rival its top competitors in its turn-tabling ability. It’s a bit more rare to find in the market and the price is a bit higher than the previous two picks, but if you can find it somewhere decently priced (around the one-hundred dollar price-tag), we’d say grab it. This device one of the best cartridges for DJ turntables with a great aptitude to play on even warped records despite any cuts or scratches.
This cartridge is catered to DJ´s specializing in turntablism and different techniques with it particular design outlay. The ultra high output allows for loud bass sounds widely used for EDM or hip-hop beats and DJ´s that work towards sticking beats to the turntable. The tracking force reaches three grams allowing for a light treble that is compatible with even low-end systems good for both listening and mixing. The sound still has a little to be desired that can be quite shrilling in the highs – the system relies more on DJ using low sounds. this device will power through all frequencies with clear and defined sounds with any system. For its price, the Shure M44-7 is worth the effort to purchase and definitely one of the best DJ turntable cartridges around right now.
The Stanton 750 is a great DJ cartridge marketed to high-end customers heading into professional DJ settings. It can deliver a large range of dynamic audio and vinyl recording grades and allow us to smoothly preform digital mixing, scratching, and recordings through vinyl with constant pure sound with ease, compiling its many functions at the same time. The design is catered to optimizing professional techniques with a handy turntable giving the best sounding system with cartridges for DJ´s.
The Stylus type is a .7-millimeter polished diamond tip with a frequency response of 20 – 22 kHz allowing for a great response time for functions used. The device also has a large output capability of 5.5 mV giving a moderate bass sound and great treble sounding; this couples well with the wide channel balance and moderate tracking force giving a unique set of functions. The lightweight DJ turntable cartridge also has a fast response time which couples with the 27dB separation and high resistance, a good addition to mixes in professional settings. The Stanton M44-7 has specs that are specially designed accordingly to be one of the best of its competition – it does not disappoint in terms of sound quality and usability. It’s Stanton, after all.
The Q.Bert design is made specifically for hip-hop style music and scratching techniques for DJ’s looking for the best cartridge equipment for the turntable to stay under the groove. If you’re unaware of who DJ Q Bert is, he’s literally one of the best scratchers of all time. He paired up with Ortofon for this, and even though it’s just a title, shows that he had at least some say in what goes into a cartridge meant for scratching some records. This one has offers great handling, a high output and low record wear that is easy to install with the one-piece Concord design allowing DJ’s to see how the needle will sit in the groove. The build quality of the design is very durable and is able to withstand a lot of work when under pressure.
The Q.Bert DJ cartridge has a high output range, high frequency range and a spherical stylus type that allows for a quality sound. The ability for the device to find a groove and stay there sets it apart from other competitors and gives the product its distinct features. The spherical diamond was especially designed for scratching and backs cueing, which is essential for most specific styles of sound. The reliability and robust design of this device is what gives it a good selling point never allowing it to be damaged too much with its high durability. The Bert tends to be a bit on the expensive side due to the low competition of products in the specific DJ sound style area. It is however quite worth the investment for DJ that wants to get into scratching and back cueing that takes this seriously, especially if you’ll be doing so on stage in front of others. The Ortofon Q.Bert does have a reputation among DJ’s for being one of the best DJ cartridges used for hip-hop turntabling styles.