Question: How do I select a replacement or upgrade stylus for my Audio-Technica VM Series phono cartridge?
Answer: All styli for VM Series cartridges are physically interchangeable, making it easy to find either an exact replacement stylus or an upgraded one to take your cartridge to the next level of performance.
The following matrix will help you determine which model is right for you.
- Since SP records only have monaural modulation, combining an SP stylus with a stereo body would be recommended only when used with a dedicated archiving phono Preamplifier-equalizer. These incorporate various features to allow Mono reduction from Stereo inputs (Mono L+R, Mono L, Mono R, L&R Variable Mix). When an SP record is played with a standard Stereo Phono Preamplifier, it is recommended that a VM600 body is used for signal to noise ratio optimization and to minimize record surface noise.
- For best results when playing vintage mono LPs, Audio-Technica recommends using the VMN510CB Conical stylus. A Special Line Contact, Shibata, Microlinear or Elliptical type stylus can be considered if you are sure that the dimensional groove construction of the LP(s) can safely handle these stylus tip shapes.
- Lifetime of the replacement stylus is approx. 300 to 500 hours for Conical, 300 hours for Elliptical, 1000 hours for Microlinear, and 800 hours for Shibata and Special Line Contact.
For more information on styli, please see our previous blog post explaining the different types of styli.
For more information on VM Series cartridges, see our previous blog post explaining the features of VM Series cartridges.
As always, if you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Audio Solutions Department for assistance.