Home Vinyl How does a phono cartridge work

Playing your favorite records seems to be quite simple. The motor empowers the system as a whole. The platter rotates the record. The direction is always clockwise. A slipmat is on the top of the platter. It absorbs the resonance and dampens unwanted sounds. However, the miracle happens when the stylus touches the record. The small part located on the bottom of tonearm reproduces the sound. The best phono cartridge provides top-quality information. How does it happen? Let’s check.

Role of the principal cartridge parts

What are the undulations on the records? They would ring hollow without the device able to read them. Phono cartridge converts these movements and deformations into a signal. Later, a converter transforms the data into the sound.
So, the basic parts that determine the sound faithfulness are:

  • tonearm
  • needle
  • cantilever

The operation is initiated when the stylus touches the record’s top. This part is tiny and precious. It’s made of diamond and cone-shaped. The stylus is supported by a cantilever. This metal part works as a spring. Its vibrations are to be as precise as possible. It traces the signal. Then, magnets or coils convert and send it through the wires.

How to improve sound quality?

Have you positioned and leveled the turntable properly? The things that matter include:

  • the cantilever and stylus mass
  • needle trackability
  • its tip geometry

The cantilever mass is to be low. It improves contact with the record’s groove. Maximum velocity of the stylus tip is to be achieved.

Additionally, adjust the tonearm height. It is to be parallel with the disc record. The body of the cartridge is to be aligned. Being square to the lines, it works smoothly. A gauge like a protractor is essential. The lines are to be exactly parallel. When you meet all of these conditions, you get the accurate sound you like.

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