How Long Will a Phono Cartridge Last?

How Long Will a Phono Cartridge Last? You may often wonder about it. Let’s discuss it! The lifespan of a Phono cartridge will depend on the model. It varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Generally, a phono cartridge will last 500-1000 hours or about 3 years with regular use.

However, this number can be longer or shorter depending on the type of stylus and the build quality. Let’s examine the article, How Long Will a Phono Cartridge Last?

How Long Will a Phono Cartridge Last?
How Long Will a Phono Cartridge Last?

How Long Will a Phono Cartridge Last? Explained

While some companies claim their cartridges are made to last for a long time, there’s no way to tell exactly how long they’ll last. Even a few years isn’t a lot for a phono cartridge. The lifespan of the unit depends on the type of stylus. In the past, most phono cartridges were rated at 500 hours.

Now, you may want to check your cartridge’s longevity to ensure it’s still functioning properly. A moving coil cartridge will need to be replaced when the moving coils become worn out.

Thankfully, the process is simple and painless. If you’re worried that replacing your phono cartridge might be difficult, consider a Gemini HDCN. This product has a tracking arm and a rubber washer to keep the stylus in place.

The Gemini brand is known for its high-quality products and offers a lifetime warranty for its products. Besides the stylus, there are two other types of phono cartridges. The Moving magnet and the Moving Coil technologies work together to create quality sound.

Gemini HDCN-15 Turntable Headshell and Cartridge

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01/21/2023 06:57 pm GMT

A moving magnet phono cartridge uses a magnet that interacts with a coil to generate an electrical signal, and a moving coil cartridge has a metal cantilever between the coils. These components are used to track vinyl. Depending on the technology used, the quality of your music will vary.

Unlike moving coil cartridges, these products use moving coils to track vinyl. This method uses less force to track the record, meaning the stylus should last up to 1,000 hours. However, it won’t restore the sound from the record.

Rather, you’ll need to replace the entire cartridge, which is expensive. A moving coil phono cartridge will not work with a disc with grooves etched. How Long Will a Phono Cartridge Last? It depends!

In general, a Shibata stylus will have a shorter lifespan than a midrange model with a more durable diamond tip. To replace a phono cartridge’s stylus, you must remove the terminal PIN. Hold the cartridge between your index and thumb, and then pull on the stylus to remove it.

A light tug will release the stylus, and you can replace it with a new one. You can substitute a lower-quality stylus with a higher-quality one but always choose the more expensive option.

MM cartridges have a VTF of 1.5 to two grams. The manufacturer recommends a certain VTF for their cartridges. You can adjust the counterweight’s position by loosening the thumbscrew on the body.

This will increase or decrease the VTF, and you should then tighten it again. A new stylus may need a few hours to break in, so make sure to leave the old one in place.

There is the best way to preserve the sound quality of your records. If you don’t want to invest a lot of money in new parts, a phono cartridge can last for up to 30 years.

Generally, a phono cartridge should last around 1,000 hours before it needs to be replaced. The stylus can vary from two to four hundred hours to several thousand. It is possible to replace the stylus in your MM turntable if it breaks.

The needle should be changed after 1000 hours. A new stylus will also increase the sound quality of your records. The needle and stylus will wear out over time, so you may want to purchase a replacement.

Watch this video: How Long Will a Phono Cartridge Last?

How to Know When to Replace Phono Cartridge

You should change the phono cartridge when you notice the quality of the sound being delivered by it is decreasing. To replace the deteriorating cartridge, you can easily remove the old one and then reinstall the new one.

After the replacement, you should make sure to install the new one correctly. The replacement cartridge is a must for your cartridge to maintain the same level of performance. Ensure that the new cartridge matches the model number of your old one.

In the case of a phono cartridge, you should check the mounting process before you replace it. The cartridge should be installed properly using screws or a bolt.

Never pull the wires from the metal tip

You should also check the connection between the wires and the tonearm. If the connection is not proper, you might cause damage to the cartridge. Ensure that the mounting bolts are not loose, as this may break the wires.

Before you remove the cartridge, make sure to disconnect the arm leads from the pins of the headshell. Some newer designs are screw-less and don’t require bolts or pliers.

Remember to align the wires for optimal performance

Then, attach the headshell back into place. Afterward, reconnect the wires. The new cartridge will have the same wiring as the old one. Once you have taken out the cartridge, you should be able to attach it properly to the tonearm with screws.

Depending on the type of cartridge, you may have to use nuts or bolts. If you can’t find those, you can use tweezers to remove the bolts. Ensure that the screws are tightened properly. A tweezer will work to pull the bolts out of the pins.

A new phono cartridge must be fitted properly. You must be sure that the cartridge has a high VTF to prevent it from slipping. You must also ensure that the new earphone has the correct balance to avoid any distortion. If you have a damaged stylus, you should replace it immediately.

This will improve the quality of sound. It should also help prevent the noise generated by the cartridge.

Do Phono Cartridges Wear Out?

As with any mechanical device, phono cartridges can wear out. The best phono cartridges are made with a thin contact radius. The thinner the contact radius, the better. It is also possible to buy a new one after it’s worn out.

You may want to buy a replacement with a high-quality stylus. If the phono cartridge you’ve purchased has a conical stylus, it’s likely that the stylus will have a shorter life.

What if my cartridge needs replacing?

If your cartridge needs replacing, you can replace the stylus with a new one. To do this, pull on the detachable part of the stylus, and it will come off.

You can then replace the stylus with a new one of the same brand. Alternatively, you can substitute an inferior model with a superior one. Just make sure you replace it with a high-quality one.

What is a stylus?

The stylus is the key to the performance of your turntable. It converts the groove of the record into music. Changing your stylus can give your turntable a new lease of life. It’s worth changing it every few years, though.
A stylus is the most important component of a turntable. It converts the groove of a record into music. The phono cartridge is crucial for the sound of your records.
A new one can help your system sound better and last longer. It will also increase your system’s performance. Using a new stylus can help extend the life of your phono players. The cost of a new phono cartridge is usually the first consideration.

Conclusion: How Long Will a Phono Cartridge Last?

To replace the phono cartridge, you must first remove the headshell. Then, you should carefully remove the cartridge. You should carefully remove the small screws with a flathead screwdriver. Next, you need to unscrew the screws that hold the cartridge to the headshell.

Then, you need to connect the wires to the new cartridge. When installing a new phono cartridge, you should ensure the wires are attached properly. Now you have the idea How Long Will a Phono Cartridge Last? Visit Audio Ambition to learn more.

Gemini HDCN-15 Turntable Headshell and Cartridge

Comes with a rubber washer so the headshell snugs fit into the tone arm. This headshell and cartridge assembly comes assembled out of the box. No mounting needed.

Product SKU: B002SSA79G

Product Brand: Gemini HDCN-15

Editor's Rating:


  • A high-quality cartridge, and a solid headshell.
  • Tracks good, sounds clear.


  • Limited frequency range.