Why are Phono Cartridges so Expensive?

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The manufacturing process of a phono cartridge involves a lot of labor, especially if it is made in low-volume production. The high price of cartridges is due to the marketing bloviation that surrounds the domestic audio market.  A quality pick-up uses a diamond-tipped stylus, which is one piece and slides into a magnetic carrier. The phono cartridge is attached to a tonearm, which is a proprietary part.

There are two types of phono cartridges. The first type is the moving magnet type, and the second type is the moving coil type. These both use a coiled wire and a magnet inside. The stylus is attached to a cantilever that moves up and down on a groove and moves the magnet on the other end.  The electrical current created by the coil moves the stylus and the magnet, which then drives an amplifier.

Two Types of Phono Cartridges

There are two basic types of cartridges: moving magnet cartridges and moving coil cartridges. Both types are expensive and make excellent sound, but some cartridges are more expensive than others. The moving magnet cartridge is generally more expensive, but it should last for thousands of album sides and can be spun a thousand times without replacing the needle. Similarly, needles for old wind-up Victrolas are cheap but can cost several hundred dollars each.

When buying a phono cartridge, the first thing to consider is the shape of the stylus, and ask questions like do phono cartridges go bad easily? to be sure of the originality. You have two options: moving magnet and moving coil. The former is cheaper than the latter, but it has a lower reputation, and be conversant about what a phono cartridge overhang is. You’ll find that most cartridges are more expensive than the latter. Then there are those that are made with a moving coil but aren’t as good as the former.

When buying a phono cartridge, you should consider the shape of the stylus. There are two basic types: conical and moving coil. The first has a circular contact patch, while the other is elliptical. Both have different advantages and disadvantages, but the main difference is that the conical is more expensive than the latter. If you’re planning to buy a moveable cartridge, you should choose one that has an elliptical contact patch.

Firstly, they’re very expensive because of the materials used to make them. A premium cartridge is a handmade product that contains a magnet. It’s therefore very expensive for the same reason as a regular cartridge. Its materials also determine the price. Some are made from copper, while others are made of more expensive material. In addition, premium cartridges are usually better-quality and come with a higher price tag.

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