Pioneer PL-550 Cartridge and Needle


I just purchased a Pionner PL-550 turntable. I am 29 yrs old and this is my first turntable.

I was wondering if anyone could offer me a suggestions as to what cartridge and needled I need to purchase with this and from where.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

Shawn Janes
There are plenty to choose from but I would look at Denon, AT, Benz, ect. or possibly a Grado. I wouldn't spend too much on the Cartridge possible $100 tops.

BTW, what did you pay for this and why did you choose a direct drive unit when Pioneer made a few nice belt drives PL 512-514 and 516, which I believe to be better. These 3 models can often be purchased via eBay for way less than $50, often only needing a new belt. They are solid MDF plinths and easy to mod.

Anyway, I picked up a PL 514 with the intent to do some extreme mods in order to see how close I can come to my Well Tempered on the cheap. Sort of a fun project! I'll probibly use a Denon Dl 160 or 103 on it. I'm also going to rewire the arm and run a tone arm wrap around it. If need be I will remove the power supply from the plinth and place it in its own sheilded project box and terninate it with a 4 pin XLR. I found that often the power supplies in these units often add EMI and increased noise. I fiqure that I will put another $50 dollars into it excluding the cartridge. Consdering I bought it for $20.00 it won't hurt and should be a lot of fun. I'm sure these mods can also be done to your table, thus adding to the sound and interactive enjoyment.