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Thread: Vinyl DJs - Best needles in your opinion and why

  1. #21
    Member Adzm00's Avatar
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    Book me, I won't ask for needles
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  3. #23
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    Another vouch for the 44g's here. I've been using them for like 10 years. They have all the great tracking of the 44-7, but without the harsh highs.

  4. #24
    Member Finnish_Fox's Avatar
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    Love the 44-7s but am not crazy about the sound reproduction. It is decent.

    If it were me and the DJ was going to play a good amount of vinyl, I'd go with the Whitelabels or the Ortofons, as long as they get a good reading on the timecode.
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  5. #25
    Member djknowledge's Avatar
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    m44-7's or ortofon pinks for scratching.

    for club use - shure white labels or any ortofon will do. preferrably the dj or ortofon gold.

  6. #26
    Junior Member DJ SB's Avatar
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    Pro S here. I don't know how you guys can compare tracking weight without taking into account needle (and headshell) weight but whatevs. In most cases I can run mine at 3g with no issues. I am a house music DJ but have a turntablism alter ego and the Ortofons have never disappointed in the slightest.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ SB View Post
    Pro S here. I don't know how you guys can compare tracking weight without taking into account needle (and headshell) weight but whatevs. In most cases I can run mine at 3g with no issues. I am a house music DJ but have a turntablism alter ego and the Ortofons have never disappointed in the slightest.
    Properly zeroing out your counterweight accounts for that.

  8. #28
    Junior Member DJ SB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrspyaman View Post
    Properly zeroing out your counterweight accounts for that.
    Wow. Duh. I wasn't thinking at all.
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  9. #29
    Member Mahatma Coat's Avatar
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    This is a great article on the Shure M44-7:

    Of all the components in a DJ's kit, we probably understand turntable cartridges the least. We know they traverse the groove of a record and help turn it into sound, but most of us haven't thought much about how they do it or what makes one better than another. It's not especially clear what "better" even means in this context: is it good sound, solid grip on the groove, low wear-and-tear, or something only an audiophile would really care about? For many DJs, if you put the needle on the record and hear sound it's serving its purpose.

    It makes sense that your choice of cartridge would be an important one, though—they're the point of contact between your record collection and the soundsystem. Mess something up at that stage, and it'll be messed up at each point down the line, not least when the music hits the crowd's ears. Anything that makes such intimate contact with your records has the potential to damage them, either with one gnarly gash or subtly over time. And even those who don't know about the principles of phonography are probably aware that not all needles can withstand even light cueing, let alone beatmatching or scratching.

    If you've peaked into a DJ booth in the last ten years, you've almost certainly seen an Ortofon Concorde headshell extending from a Technics 1200's tonearm like a anteater's nose. There's certainly an argument to be made that the Danish brand has captured the standard (for house and techno mixing, at least) with a product that's easy to install and looks good to boot. Like plenty of other bedroom jocks, I'd seen them in clubs, bought a pair and used them religiously for years.

    Then in 2012, while taping a Critics Roundtable in Berlin that featured a segment on mastering, I met Christoph Grote-Beverborg, AKA CGB, an engineer at Berlin's famed Dubplates & Mastering studio. During the segment, he called out Ortofons as inferior needles—"Really the worst DJ pickups ever built in this planet" is how he put it at the time—and mentioned Shure's M44-7 cartridge as a better bet for DJs. After the taping, we did an A/B test between Ortofon's Concorde DJ S and a vintage Shure cartridge Grote-Beverborg had brought with him. The difference was stark enough that I ordered a pair of M44-7s as soon as I got home.
    Industry standards: Shure M44-7
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  10. #30
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    That's interesting, to me M44-7s have always sounded worse than most Ortofons although the way they respond to bass can be nice for some tracks.

    Last Shures I tried were M35Xs I think, the quality control was really poor (had to send back a couple as the needles were bent on arrival) and the sound and tracking really didn't impress me. maybe they take a long time to break in or something but I switched back to Ortofons pretty quickly.

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