Phono Cartridges for DJ Mixing

FAQ #687 Updated September 14, 2012

Question:

I recently bought the 07 pro mixer by Vestax. What is the best needle for this mixer and what is the best for the 05 pro Vestax? Is there a difference because I heard that the Shure M44-7 is best for the 05 pro and that the M44G is the best for the 07 pro. I would also like to know more about the M44-7X.

Answer:

Thank you for your inquiry concerning Shure phonograph products.

We do not recommend cartridges for specific turntables. However, 95% of the time, the cartridge mount will be one of the following two types:

1) Standard Mount - by far the most common
Two screws, half an inch apart, thread through the cartridge body to secure it to the headshell, which then plugs into the tone arm.

2) P-mount - Primarily on Technics brand turntables
The four prongs at the back of the cartridge plug directly into the tone arm. A set screw goes through the side of the cartridge at the back, to hold it in place on the tone arm.

All DJ cartridges are standard mount; these are not recommended for home audio use.

Here are two installation methods: Standard DJ, and Unorthodox DJ.

Standard DJ:
Install the cartridge on the headshell w/o the headshell weight.
Align the cartridge to the rear of the headshell slots.
Anti Skate to zero
Tone arm height set level
Balance the tone arm, then add 3 grams

Unorthodox DJ:
Install the cartridge on the headshell with the headshell weight.
Align the cartridge so that the tip of the stylus is flush with the front of the headshell weight
Tone arm height set level or slightly down 4.5-5.5
Reverse the tone arm weight
Eye the weight somewhere between flush with the rear of the tone arm and halfway toward tone arm pivot joint.

M44 cartridges are stiff when you first install them. Please allow 2 weeks for break in.

The cartridge can be angled outward (away from the spindle) 23 degrees to increase skip resistance.

Here is a link to M44 information: http://www.shure.com/americas/products/phono/m44-7-m44-7-h-turntablist-record-needles

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