Ask an expert: Cartridge choice with detachable head-shell arms

Ask an expert

I like the 'Ask' section very much where I can pick up valuable information about everything hi-fi. That’s why I write to you hoping that you can help me to find the right cartridge for my turntable.

I have recently bought a Logic DM101 record player with an Audio-Technica AT1100 S-shaped tonearm. I have found some info about the tonearm on the internet and it says that the effective mass of the straight arm is 6 gr while the S-shaped one weighs much more at 12.5 gr. As I’ve learned from your articles, a low mass tonearm requires a high compliance cartridge to keep the resonance in the acceptable range (6-14 Hz). Although if the data is correct, the S-shaped arm is not a particularly light one. I would really appreciate if you could recommend me a budget cartridge that would work with my turntable/arm combination and if you could give me some info about where to find a suitable head shell as well.

Thank you very much for your help in advance and please keep up the good work!

Hello … and thank you. A typical removable head shell arm comes in at around 12gms minimum, so the 12.5gm figure you quote is about right. An arm of this mass suits a good quality cartridge like a Goldring 1024GX. This is a balanced sounding cartridge with a Fritz Geiger profile stylus that gives excellent treble and a Pocan body that provides firm bass. Alternatively, try one of the Ortofon 2M series, like the Red. It’s brighter than the Goldring but no better in its stylus; good, but not my favourite. Standard bayonet fit headshells can be bought mail order from Jerry Raskins Needle Doctor