Even with the best amps, loudspeakers, or deck- if your stylus and cartridge aren’t on point, your sound quality will suffer. Many experts believe that the point where the stylus meets the record is the most important link in the entire chain of sound: if the stylus is not absolutely perfect, then it won’t matter if all of the following projection elements are operating flawlessly. There are a couple of varieties of styli and cartridges depending on your technology and preferences.
Choosing the Best Cartridge & Stylus
Ceramic Cartridges are designed to produce sound as they move across vinyl. The rear end of a stylus is embedded in a small ceramic block, and the front end has a diamond tip, which is the part that plays and moves with vinyl grooves. This is understood as more “classic.”
Moving Magnet Cartridges are not embedded in ceramic material, but rather move freely with a stabilizing magnet holding everything steady in the middle. The sound-producing electrical signal created by a moving magnet cartridge results from the movement of thee diamond tipped stylus causing the middle magnet to move further and closer to four wire coils situated inside of the cartridge.