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A Bit Confused - Cartridge & Stylus?


New member
Aug 10, 2019

Basically I think I might have got confused between the cartridge and the stylus on a turntable. I always assumed the stylus is the actual needle part and the cartridge is the thing it attaches to (the plastic/metal bit).

So when an item says 'replacement stylus for ....', does that mean I just get the tiny needle bit and I have to fit this? Or does it mean the whole plastic/metal bit and the needle? As most pictures show the whole plastic/metal bit rather than just a needle.

Also, I currently have a Dual 505-1 with a half-inch mount. Can someone recommend a cheap'ish (below £50) cartridge/needle (both items) as a replacement for an Empire 2000 E/IV?

I'm a complete newbie to the world of vinyl and turntables and am in the process of setting up my first (budget) turntable setup. I have basically bought a Dual 505-1 and Rotel RA-820AX based on recommendations from people who know a lot more about vinyl and turntables, I don't have a clue, which is why I am asking this question.

Thanks for your help and time.


the cartridge is indeed the metal and plastic

the stylus is the needle usually mounted into a piece of plastic which fits into the cartridge body

the half inch mount is a standard mount so you could consider the at95e or the ortofon om5e as their both good cartridges and will fit

styluses are available for your current cartridge if your willing to import them from japan or america but the two cartridges ive mentioned arent expensive

youll find plenty more info on vinylengine about all things turntable related


Is the Empire 2000 E/IV a good cartridge though? Would I be better off upgrading the cartridge or getting a new stylus for the current one?

I'm a member on Vinyl Engine, it's where I got most of the recommendations on what to buy. Great forum with lots of useful info like you said.

Thanks for your help.


Well-known member
Jan 10, 2008
Nor me - TBH, the ortofon OM5 is such a good match for the Dual 505 range (it's what was fitted as standard), it seems daft to look elsewhere. Around £45 so within budget.

It has a replaceable stylus (which is a diamond, fitted to a metal stick (cantilever) housed in a bit of plastic that makes it simple to replace. For the OM5E, it's £35ish

However, it's only a tenner or so more to get a whole cartridge and stylus, so I would go that way.


So, does the OM5E come with a stylus and cartridge? If so, where can I find one?



New member
Oct 7, 2008
d3moliti0n: So, does the OM5E come with a stylus and cartridge? If so, where can I find one?

Try here http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/662 for an example of said cartrdidge. They also sell the replacement stylus separately, including the OM 10.

Alternatively, just try Ortofon OM in a google search and you should find alternative online sellers. (Of course, this will only be helpful if you are able to purchase from the UK...)

the record spot

Cheap, cheerful and classic for good reason, check out:-

Nagaoka MP11 (about £20)
Audio Technica AT-95E - £25 or so
Audio Technica AT110E - about £35 or so.

Any of these three would do a job. Check out Ian Harrison on the web (he's based in Derbyshire) and specialises in turntables and all things related; he also price matches and has a ton of experience and stock - highly recommended.



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