Phono Cartridge Stylus Recommendations


What would you recommend for a replacement cartridge stylus for a vintage Technics SL- 1400 turntable? I inherited this from my dear Dad. The cartridge stylus has never been replaced. 

Thanks in advance for your help. 


What cartridge is in the headshell? What preamp will you be using? How much will you spend?

Soundsmith ’rebuilds’ cartridges, but they also educate people in easily to compehend ways.

An easy explanation of stylus shapes

cantilever material (stylus is attached to a shaft), are stiff and stiffer, Aluminum the basic material, then you get into Ruby, Safire, Boron etc, stiffer materials transferring the groove information without flexing some.

answer for me:

advanced stylus shape: microline or shibata, ...

cantilever: to start with reasonable money: aluminum.

my preferred ’stiffer’ material: boron. this is after you prove you will stick with TT/lps

I won’t go stiffer/more expensive than boron, too pricey and too brittle.

my recommendation to get started:

MM moving Magnet because no signal boost is needed (like most MC moving coils need), and because you can replace only the stylus,

My ’get statred’ recommendation:


you can get it without the headshell for $20. less, but having an extra headshell is a good idea.

check the specification details: for help with imaging, this cartridge has wide channel separation of 28db (high is better IMO), and it’s channel balance is _/- 1.0 db (smaller is tighter, better IMO)


if you consider another cartridge, check those two factors.

Hello Jasonbourne52,

The cartridge stylus is whatever came with the Technics when it was purchased back in about 1977. No markings on it. I have Marantz AV Pre Tuner AV 7701. And the cost not sure, just whatever is compatible with the Technics SL-1400 that will sound good. 

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There is a new-in-box Grado XF3E+  cartridge for $99 on eBay. Seller is wrfb7718 in New Jersey. Free shipping. I recommend you purchase this. It will sound excellent on the Technics TT.