When people ask for my recommendations regarding cartridges I always encourage them to purchase a cartridge that has a line contact style of diamond (such as hyper-elliptical, MicroLine, Shibata etc).
This is because the V-shaped tip traces the grooves more precisely, giving better detail retrieval, improved tracking, lower surface noise, and lower wear.
Unfortunately, these more complex diamond tips are considerably more expensive than elliptical or round diamonds, so cartridges including them typically range from $300 upwards.
The most popular over the last few years has been the Audio Technica AT440ML series. These are now superseded by the VM540ML which is $440.
A recent addition to our product line is the JICO JR645SE at $275 which is excellent value for money.
We now also have a JICO hyper-elliptical stylus for the Ortofon OM series cartridges. This is similar to the Ortofon Stylus 30 which has an RRP of $429, so at $155 this is excellent value for money.
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