Audio Technica AT-VM95E phono cartridge

DavidRDavidR Frets: 771
edited March 13 in Other Reviews
Just replaced the original Rega CARBON cartridge (currently £33) on my Rega Planar 1 turntable with this Audio Technica AT-VM95E (£49.95). I think the sound is appreciably better - just more depth to it. About 30-40% better. I've listened to a variety of different LP's. I've just heard things on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here that I don't think I've heard before (I know this piece of music really well and I've been listening to my original copy since it came out in in 1975, originally on an old record player and for the last few years on my Rega P1).

Audio Technica upgraded the  AT95E in 2018, releasing the new AT-VM95 family of cartridges and claiming that the AT-VM95E  improved on the AT95E’s output level, dynamic range and frequency response. Apparently, the older AT95E had been very popular as a well performing budget cartridge.

£100 seems to be the cut off point for budget cartridges. You can pay a lot more for mid-price ones and £1,000s for top-end ones. Eek! Rega Planar 1 turntables only retail for £299 so not sure I would want to go that far! I'm not a HiFi geek, I just want a halfway decent sound to listen to vinyl on.

So, not only a swap for my P1's Rega CARBON cartridge that was due for replacement, but a significant upgrade in sound to my ears.

Replacing the stylus cartridge on a P1 is a bit of a fiddly job. You need the right tools and a good light. The pins on the AT were smaller than the Rega cartridge's pins and the connections needed a bit of a crimp to stop them falling off. Fiddly because the connections are so small. Then you need to put it all back together (new screws are provided), print off the right alignment protractor for the Rega RB110 tonearm and, finally, buy a turntable stylus force gauge (£10) to set the correct weight (2g) for the stylus. All quite simple if you're a bit handy. Highly fiddly if you're not I would think.

Glad I made this change and would recommend this cartridge as an upgrade if you don't want to spend megadosh on your mid-range turntable.
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