DJ Cartridges - have you tried it?

Hi there,

I browsed some DJ cartridges yesterday. They look real appealing and the price aint bad either. What do you think of the infamous DJ cartridge? Good or bad or should it be banned? I want to buy a cheapie just to see how it performs... something like an Ortofon Concord...

The DJ cart is made to have a super stuff, unbreakable cantilever. So if your 3 year old is using your system, get the DJ cart. f you have wild drunken all night parties and let your guests play music on your TT, get the DJ cart.
Otherwise, most "audiophile carts have a cantilever that you barely touch and it is broken.
The twain shall never meet.
Stiff and strong vs. subtle and delicate.
And so is the music.
DJ is for 'scratching'to tolerate LP movement backwards/forward by hand while using synth beats, Audiophile is to listen to music.
The DJ will play music as well as or better than a 1950's Barbie phonograph. (when on your $1,000. plus TT) but it will NOT sound much better....
If all you got is a $99 used Japanese mass market turntable and a 1980 receiver, with $50 Radio Shack speakers, you may not notice a problem using the DJ cart.
I have a KAB modded Stanton Trackmaster. It is an integrated headshell cartridge w/ a NOS Stereohedron stylus. It's a big reality check as to what makes up a cartridge. This thing is superb and has the midrange of a $1500 moving coil.
Elizabeth, I enjoyed that... I had a very brief internship at my college radio station (RIT in Rochester NY) and know what you mean!
Just the kind of reaction that I knew I would get. But you know what - I am going to try a Shure Whitelable just for the heck of it...

Dewald -good luck with your experiment and please post your impressions. I think it's too easy to swallow the audiophile hubris from magazines and dealers when there's a lot of very good pro audio gear available that is never covered in home audio magazines.
Mr. Visser- You're asking a few questions lately about DD TTs and now DJ carts. Try the KAB Technics DD TT with the integral Stanton cart "Psychicanimal" suggests. It's really a good package at a grand.
Elizabeth, you need to go to a REAL discotheque with five way amplification* and shake your money maker! You'll find out DJ cartridges are not bad at all. Although they use three grams (and up) tracking force, their 12" singles are better made and slightly thicker than regular releases and can take some rough handling. Their short playing time permits wider dynamic range modulations (12 dB more in the case of a 45 RPM single, I think). Also, the molds don't make as many copies as a regular LP.


Dewald, just get a 1200 and do the mods. You'll get $5K performance at a fraction. E-mail me if you need help.

*Five way amplification is separate amps for tweeters, midranges, midbass (250 Hz), bass and subs, using pro audio electronic x-overs. It's totally kick ass--not boom boom boom. I've been inside the cabin of several such setups, one with Bryston amps throughout. After all, it's the Caribbean...

With psychic power and primal intensity,
Speaking of Carribbean...
In T&T "Trinidad and Tobago" the smallest diameter speaker driver used is a 15"... that should tell you something about the size of the speakers used down dare. "Jump up jump up, everybody wine up wine up"
Midbass are usually 10 inches, and they're critical for punch--that's why they have dedicated amps. Woofs will be around 15 and subs 18". Drivers by JBL, of course!

Right folks - I placed my order online for a Shure Whitelabel DJ Club Cartridge... Will be here mid nextweek.
It is a 'concord' style unit with 'S' mount.

I also own a KAB modified Technics SL1210M5G with KAB modified Stanton "DJ" (Groovemaster) cartridge. Am very impressed with the wonderful sound from this setup.
Got the Shure Whitelabel DJ Club Cartridge.

It sounds surprisingly good. Shure recommends it for "Hi-Fi" use aswell...

I've been an audiophile playing vinyl only on my hi-fi and a DJ for 20 years so maybe my experience with vinyl playback will help. If you aren't satisfied with the Whitelabel and you want some cartridge flexability you may want to think of picking up an Ortofon OM10 cart and mount it to a ZYX Live! or Sumiko headshell, if your using a TT that uses the 1/4" headshell. You can upgrade the tip on that cart all the way up to an OM40 tip for higher fidelity playback which has a Fritz-Geiger stylus or swap it for an Ortofon DJ tip and reset the tracking force for a night behind the 1's and 2's. The FG is a slimmer profile cut tip and will track the groove like a train on tracks and at much less force which will save your record collection and sounds worlds better than the DJ tips. That tip tracks the top-end like nothing in it's price range(I see it used in up to $1000 and beyond carts for Hi-fi) and the music will breath with more life(dynamics + detail)when set up properly in a headshell with all the perameters that a turntable must be setup correctly. It will yield a surprisingly high quality playback for not braking the bank, I know because that was one of my first carts that I used. You can't set all the parameters needed to get the stylus to sit in the groove correct with the Concorde style carts but they're quick setup and sexy looking none the less.

The Shure is sounding better by the day. To be honest - it already sounds better than my Sumiko Pearl...

Great! Stick with it then:)
I found this thread while searching for information about another cartridge.

I know a lot of you will roll your eyes but a DJ Cartridge can make good music in a non club environment. At least it did for me. I have tried a Technics EPC-U1200 DJ cartridge that I got from Japan and paired it up with a re-built Technics 1200 Mk 2. The phono preamp I was using was the phono section of an Accuphase C200. With all sorts of rock, alternative and electronic music I tried with the EPC-U1200 it all sounded really good. I would say I got 80% of the sonic performance of a Denon DL-110 cart for under $40. YMMV but with my system the Technics DJ cart wasn't bad at all.
In most analog systems you won't hear a big difference anyway. They are great for the majority of listeners who do not care.
I have a KAB modded Stanton Trackmaster. It is an integrated headshell cartridge w/ a NOS Stereohedron stylus. It's a big reality check as to what makes up a cartridge. This thing is superb and has the midrange of a $1500 moving coil.

On my KAB 12XX, damper, yadda, I use the Trackmaster when I have to bring it on the road. In a proper system it will bring me at least 90% of my VPI Traveler/Ortofon 2m Black.