DJ Turntable Cartridges - What's the Difference?
Ortofon Concorde cartridges provide a full range of options when it comes to your individual needs. The range includes the Mix, DJ, Club, Scratch and Digital. All of these are available in our showroom or on our website. A DJ deck is made up a few vital ingredients that make it a Vinyl DJ's best friend. The first part is the Turntable itself. This will consist of the base, platter, tonearm and anything extra that the manufacturer wants to add (such as speed/pitch adjustment).This is consistent for 99% of DJ turntables. One thing that is interchangeable and varies from deck to deck is the cartridge/stylus choice. Some decks don't even supply one in the box, meaning you have to source one from the plethora of available cartridges! dj deck vinyl cartridges stylus ortofon concorde reloop

What's out there?

There is one range of cartridges that have become synonymous with Vinyl DJing - Ortofons 'Concorde' model. Comprising of an all-in-one solution (headshell, cartridge, stylus) that can be chopped and changed, the Concorde screws straight onto the tonearm without the need for an additional headshell. The trademark style of the Concorde is instantly recognisable, and the new generation offers a full range for every DJ. The question is, what's the difference between them? Why am I paying more for the 'club' over the 'mix'? It's due to the design and build, which in turn dictates how good the cartridges are for the purpose. ortofon concorde generation new mix club dj scratch digital vinyl

Stylus Types

The first port of call when looking at the differences between styli is the shape of the stylus tip. Common iterations include Spherical, Elliptical and Shibata. Elliptical styli have a smaller radius on the side compared to Spherical, with Shibata styli having even more contact with the record grooves. This all leads to the stylus tracking high frequencies better, so sibilant 'S' sounds are less distorted. The Concorde range all have Spherical shaped styli, with the Club stylus having a 'Spherical / Elliptical' design. This makes the overall sound quality of the 'Club' better than it's alternatives.

stylus spherical elliptical shape diamond tip difference Tracking Force

The tracking force of cartridges tells you how much pressure is recommended to be put on the record. This is set when the cartridge is first set up on your tonearm. If the force is too weak, then the stylus will jump out of the groove. Too strong and the record will wear out quicker and likely distort on playback. All Concorde MKII models have a tracking force between three and four grams. An example of why it is heavier on some and not others would be the 'Scratch' cartridge. While it has a standard Spherical stylus (to avoid damaging records when rigorously scratching), the Scratch tracks heavier in the groove so the DJ doesn't have to contend with the needle jumping out all the time! ortofon concorde club cartridge stylus dj

All About Digital

DVS vinyl is a new beast in itself, combining vinyl DJing with the endless possibilities of digital DJing. This is because it sends a signal from your phono cartridge and interprets it to reproduce your digital library. Whilst this works fine with standard cartridges, the higher signal to noise ratio of the Concorde 'Digital' is the optimal solution. This is due to a higher output that allows the software to decrypt the signal more accurately. The digital cartridge also tops out at 18kHz rather than 20kHz, so unwanted noise isn't even picked up. ortofon concorde digital stylus cartridges

Plenty of Choices

There's a Concorde to match every Vinyl DJ's wants and needs. The range covers all basis, so here's a quick overview: MIX - Starter in the range. Good sound quality with all the basic features. DJ - All-rounder. Great for at home or in the club. CLUB - Best sounding. Professional-level features. SCRATCH - It's in the name. For the scratch DJ's. DIGITAL - Designed for DVS. High output for digital interfaces. Next time you are out and see a DJ mixing vinyl, take a peek at what cartridges they are using. It will more than likely be one of the above! Available in-store or order online!