In this Dubspot Top Picks guide, we look at a selection of our favorite turntable cartridges that deliver high accuracy audio reproduction, impressive trackability, and durable designs.
Choosing the Correct Cartridge
Choosing the right cartridge for your needs may be a daunting task at times. There are many things to consider before selecting the right tool for the job. Ultimately, the performance potential of any turntable is defined by the capabilities of the phono cartridge you use for different purposes. Things to consider are audio clarity, response range, trackability, stereo separation and imaging, elimination of noise and distortion, stylus type, weight, output voltage, and tonal balance. Whether you are a mix DJ or a scratch DJ, the cartridge you choose can also affect the life of your records. To help narrow the many options, we rounded up a selection of professional DJ cartridges suited for both mixing and scratch DJs.
The Shure M44-7 is arguably one of the best scratch cartridges on the market used by many champion DJ’s worldwide, including The former Invisibl Skratch Piklz, X-ecutioners, and The World Famous Beat Junkies. This legendary battle needle is built to withstand the rigorous punishment of turntablists and scratch DJ’s. The durable M44-7 offers ultra-high skip resistance and the highest output on the market capable of producing a powerful, vibrant sound with an emphasis on detailed bass. It also features a polished spherical gemstone stylus designed to remain faithfully in the record groove without skipping while preserving vinyl during intense cutting and scratching. Read more at Shure
Turntablists and mix DJs alike will appreciate the Ortofon Q.Bert Cartridge co-designed by the legendary turntablist DJ QBert. This ultimate scratch cartridge comes in two versions, the Concorde or OM Series. The Q.Bert provides unsurpassed handling, high output voltage, and low wear characteristics known for producing accurate sound with a profound bass response. Ortofon also toned down the high end to help minimize surface noise from worn vinyl and accentuated the mid-range to help bring scratching and back-cueing to the front of the sound stage. Read more at Ortofon
The Audio-Technica AT95E cartridge has long been a favorite amongst serious vinyl enthusiasts. The AT95E features an elliptical diamond designed to track record grooves with high accuracy for superior audio reproduction and a dual magnet design that offers superior clarity and detail. High frequencies cut through the mix with stunning detail, and bass tones are strong and accurate. The AT95E features a half-inch standard mount so it can be used on a wide variety of turntables and an elliptical diamond stylus designed to track record grooves with high accuracy for superior audio reproduction. Read more at Audio-Technica
The Shure Whitelabel cartridge is engineered with the modern DJ in mind. It is an optimal choice for Digital DJs, providing superb tracking of time-coded records, and minimal sonic coloration when mixing between digital files and analog records. Tailored for the club environment, Whitelabel features sonic characteristics including solid drop bass, flat mids, and accented highs. With a sleek and ergonomic design, the cartridge additionally delivers higher trackability, lower tone-arm resonance, and better skip resistance which ultimately extends the life of your records. It also includes an adjustable stylus overhang, reliable electrical contact, and improved stylus visibility. Read more at Shure
Stanton Groovemaster.V3 MP4
The Groovemaster.V3 is Stanton’s high-end club integrated headshell cartridge perfect for club DJs looking for a reliable design that delivers excellent sound with precision. Equipped with an elliptical stylus, the Groovemaster.V3 delivers clean transcription of the record groove while the 4-coil pickup ensures exceptional sound quality. Read more at Stanton
Immerse yourself in the complete art of DJing: from the fundamentals of beatmatching and mixing to using effects and programming extended club sets. Whether you’re a beginner wanting to learn fundamentals or a seasoned pro looking to take your talent to the next level, our curriculum is designed to accommodate all skill levels and styles of music. This comprehensive DJ program covers everything from basic mixing to advanced digital DJing with both Serato Scratch Live and Traktor Scratch Pro.
About This Program
At Dubspot you’ll be working at personal student workstations equipped with industry standard and cutting-edge technology: Technics SL-1200 / 1210 series turntables, Pioneer CDJs, Pioneer DJM or Rane TTM mixers, Apple iMacs and MacBook Pros, Native Instruments’ Traktor Scratch Pro, Serato Scratch Live, vinyl, CDs, timecode, and MIDI controllers.
Our instructors teach you the necessary techniques and draw on their vast collective experience to give you insight into the mindset, workflow, and art of DJing. Graduates of the DJ Extensive Program will have an opportunity to perform at an event in a New York City venue, organized and promoted by Dubspot together with you and your fellow students. At Dubspot, we want you to do more than just learn. We want you to be great at doing what you love. Let us help you get there!
- DJ Level 1: Rookie Sessions | Essentials I
- DJ Level 2: Phrase Mixing | Essentials II
- DJ Level 3: Beyond The Blend | Intermediate Skills
- DJ Level 4: Preparation | DJ Psychology
- DJ Level 5: Classroom to the Club | Advanced Techniques I
- DJ Level 6: Club to the World | Advanced Techniques II
Visit the DJ course page for detailed information on this program here.
If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.