Why Don't We Sell Online?
Model numbers are very unreliable due to the fact that most headshell assemblies have removable/replaceable cartridges and most replacement needles are after-market and so have different codes and names.
So, because there is vast room for confusion and error we would rather talk to your personally, over the phone or via email and make sure you get what you need first time around. Before you do, please scroll down the page as we have answered, in great detail, many FAQS.
And yes, we do mail-order. Full in stock accessory list here. But before we continue; a community service announcement ...
CSA : PG Recommended
Did your or someone else's progeny destroy your stylus? Fear not, this is not at all uncommon. In fact it is so common that you may consider your child as part of an elite squad of stylus destroyers. To commemorate the tears of both despair and joy (from having a budding music lover in the clan) we have a created a celebratory star for the youngster to wear with pride. Simply click on the image to enlarge, save to your desktop and print.
Terminology - Headshell Assembly
Should you be unsure as to the various terminologies, fear not, there are just a few simple things you need to know to get you on your way.
Every turntable has a tone arm, at the business end of that is the 'headshell assembly' (see image below with funky coloured outlines): this is comprised of the headshell and a cartridge (cart) into which the "needle assembly" (commonly referred to as the needle or stylus) sticks. On less expensive turntables the headshell assembly is permanently attached and so you MUST find the correct replacement needle.
BUT 90% of home HI-FI turntables have a removable headshell and 90% of those have a standard "universal" collar fitting, which means that in most cases you can easily remove the entire headshell assembly to replace the needle OR the entire cartridge. All carts and needles look slightly different so the below images are simple guides.
Standard Half-Inch Mount Headshell Assembly
ADC Half-Inch Mount Headshell
Standard "Universal" Tone-Arm Bayonet
Do You Need to Replace Your Stylus?
We always, always, err on the side of caution. For the sake of $50 - $70 dollars, better safe than sorry is the law of the land. So if you have inherited or bought a deck, why not start fresh? Then you can count the 600-800 odd hours of play you get from each needle.
BUT, if you want to know more, worn needles have telltale signs.
This whole thing is what people mean when they refer to the 'needle' or 'stylus'.
FIRST visually inspect the tip and make sure there is still a bit diamond left on the end of the cantilever (the tiny tube thing). If there is, woo. THEN play a good condition record (don't worry, you are not going to kill a record by playing it once with an old needle). If the sound is good, you are okay. If the sound is bad, that's a pretty solid sign that you might need to replace your needle (as long as you know your sound system is working in the first place). Yeah, pretty high tech stuff here :) But you have to love a technology this simple.
ALSO if the cartridge it sitting nice and high up off the record you have a bunch of life left in the thing because old/worn/abused cantilevers get weak and don't support cartridges as well so they sit very low near the vinyl, sometimes even touching it - this is very bad). If this is the case you should check the weight of your tone arm (if you have an adjustable tone arm that is) and if the weight is okay and your cart is still sitting low, think seriously about replacing your needle.
If your cantilever tube is bent to one side you have ignored physics, the little anti-skating wheel and most likely the instructions. You also need a new needle, and please ask us to explain about anti-skating; we are here to help and it's not rocket surgery :)
YES we can almost certainly find you a replacement stylus - send your details through here and we'll email you back asking for some photos of your needle, cartridge and headshell.
NOTE: Model numbers are very unreliable due to the fact that most headshells have replaceable cartridges and most replacement needles are after-market and so have different codes and names, so in-focus and well-lit photos are essential to determine what you need.
NOTE 2: We do not have our email on the website so that robots don't spam us but just use the form to contact us and we'll get back to you 'real fast'.
Should You Upgrade Your Cart?
As you may have read above, to replace the cartridge you need to have a removable one, usually you can remove the whole headshell (easiest) but often the headshell is fixed (trickier but doable - don't rip your wires out) and on cheaper decks you are stuck with the cart you have got :(
Basically, anything with 2 little screws is removable.
So, should you just replace your needle or upgrade your cart/needle? For most people, a standard cart and needle will do the job however, the beauty of this music reproduction technology is that you can upgrade should your sound system warrant it.
Personally, we are fans of the 10:1 rule. This is that your cart should be worth about a tenth of your rig. So if you have a $10,000 set of speakers and amplifier, by all means, plump for a $1000 cartridge.
Having said this, if you have a half-decent audio set up, you will hear a difference if you upgrade. There is, however, a law of diminishing returns.
For a great workhorse home HiFi cart & needle we the Ortofon OM range. We keep the OM10 and 5 in stock but this is about to change as they are upgrading their range - fear not, replacement needles are all compatible.
The next step up from your standard cartridge is to the $200 price point. The is generally the case across all brands. We recommend and stock the Audio-Technica VM range - mostly because we sell their turntables and they are fab. This starts with the little blue guy you see down below which you can then upgrade with the V520, V530 & V540 stylus for increasingly sophisticated diamond production techniques.
Audio-Technica is Japanese audio specialist with 53 years of experience they have been making cartiges and styli for this whole time and have supplied countless other brands around the world.
The needle is arguably the most important part of your set up! Think about it, this is where the action happens. People often make the mistake of leaving their stylus on until it wears out. This is not good. The more worn your needle, the more damage it's doing to your wax every time you play it.
In addition to regularly replacing your needle(s), we also strongly recommend that you get yourself a little bottle of stylus cleaner and clean your needle regularly between plays.
Now that we've had our little rant, regarding replacement needles, we keep a limited range of the best styli in stock. For DJs: Ortofon OM & Shure N447 and as stated above, for home use we recommend the Ortofon OM PRO S cartridge. We also keep a select range of the more common home Hi-Fi needles in stock.
However, we can (and do) order most any other needle from our local supplier with a short turnaround.
If you are not sure what you need or want, please or do not hesitate to call us on 02 9380 8223. We would love to guide you through this process to make sure your you get the right needle and that your beloved vinyl is being cared for and played in the best possible way. We are more than happy to do mail order around Australia.
We can get almost any home HI-FI replacement needle, but, be aware that turntable make and model number IS different to the cartridge make and model number.
Some players will sport the original cartridge, however many, many of the the cartridges will have been replaced at some stage - or even at the time of original purchase, as many turntables do not actually come with a headshell assembly or were loaded up by different suppliers.
This is not a problem but it means that along with your turntable make and model number you will need to know your cartridge make and model number.
Contact us with whatever info you have we'll track down your specific stylus and get back to you in no time with availability and price information.
If you want a replacement (which is often simpler and not much more expensive) we recommend and stock the Audio-Technica AT95e (the green one pictured in the gallery here). It is a very reliable, great-sounding, elliptical stylus made by the same company that makes a hand-made moving coil $7000 stylus. I.e., they don't mess around.
About 80% of old (and new) players have a standard fitting half-inch mount headshell (left). The circled parts are where the headshell plugs into the tone arm (below)
If we can't determine the make and model of your machine or cartridge then we can, in most instances, replace your entire cartridge (see bottom for terms).
If you go this option, the cart and stylus come together and it is only marginally more expensive to buy both than a merely a replacement stylus.
This is a tone arm. Note the collar at the bottom of the image. This is where the back of the Headshell (circled in red above) fits in.
As we have said, most turntables have this fitting which means that, in the worst case, you can bring in (or send) your whole Headshell assembly for us to sort you out.
Please note that it is vital to get the correct stylus (needle) for your cartridge. They are all different and virtually NONE of them are interchangeable.
This might sound dumb, but back in the day every company made their own needles and due to the awesome longevity of both vinyl and turntables, this non-cross-compatibility is locked in.
As we've said, don't worry, we can usually find your replacement needle but even if we can't, replacing the cartridge is not expensive and recommended every 10 years anyway.