• Swaraj Mahapatra

    Get your best DJ services and turntables products from us by following our site…
    PIMPMYTURNTABLES

  • Jateen Bhana Jay-B

    please advise where (online) i can buy A pair of M44-7′s mounted for $79 . thanx

  • Djsureshot

    I’ve been using M44-7′s ever since I started DJ’n 10 years ago. They stick like glue to the vinyl, tracking force needed at 3grams, less record ware (but with the simple cost of CV cue burn isn’t much of a factor) than that of the Concorde series ,the 44-7′s though a bit bulky and not as pleasant to look at, hold their own both in quality and performance. Surpassing in my opinion that of the Ortofons. For the price of two M44-7′s mounted on Technics headshells ($167.00 at PSSL), you’ll still come out nearly $130 cheaper than the S120 twins, and have just as good, if not better tracking. The only thing is the highs on the 44-7′s can be a bit harsh on the ears. But most folks won’t even notice.

  • uri

    Thanks for the post, this helps.

    However, I do not understand why not considering the Shure 44G.

    [quote post="6034"]This experiment was conducted with the mix DJ in mind, so I did not test how well the needle stayed in the groove of the control vinyl during scratching, nor compare record wear over time.[/quote]

    At least according to this also good article,

    http://www.skratchworx.com/reviews/447_v_44g.html

    the 44g do perform better for mixing than the 44-7.

  • http://www.planetdj.com PlanetDJ.com

    [quote comment="30788"]What happened to the Stanton 680? They were the industry or club standard… now I’m having trouble finding a replacement stylus.[/quote]

    Replacement stylus for the Stanton 680/680E can be found here:
    http://www.planetdj.com/k–Stanton+N680

  • AA24/7

    well its not about how aesthetically pleasing a needle looks. looks do not matter. what matters is skip resistance, the S 120 hold pretty well but the catch is the weight has to be 3.5 – 4 grams of tracking force.
    But with that said it still skips and is not as skip resistance as the Shure N44-7
    i am still not sure about ortofon’s claim for less record wear. my shures stick like glue on 3 grams of tracking force.

  • niros

    M44-7s all the way, they track the best and have the least record wear of them all. I know they’re control records, but they are still records and when you find the perfectly flat ones, you try and keep them as long as possible. Also why create more waste when you don’t have too. Plus the 44-7s look beefy and in my opinion is more visually appealing on the end of a tone arm. The ortofon looks good on its own, but has too much of a feminine look when attatched.

  • Guy

    thank you DJTT for all the great articles, i certainly learned a lot since i found you guys..
    a review on hardware and software focused on digitizing vinyl would be so helpful for djs who stepped into the digital era and wanna digitize their old collection!

  • http://www.silkwolf.com SILK WOLF (ATL)

    SHURE M447 for life! They have proven themselves to me over MANY years in every situation I’ve come across. I’ve still got scratch and battle records that I’ve been cutting on for years that hardly have any wear, so obviously I’m not worried about it burning out a Traktor or Serato vinyl anytime soon. It provides a clear and reliable signal to my soundcard for using with a DVS, so the old saying goes, “IF ITS NOT BROKE DON’T FIX IT”. I’m blown away with people buying into the hype and using cartridges and hi-fi stuff to use with a DVS since the EQ of the needle doesn’t actually affect the EQ of the mp3/wav output. Anyway, enough of my 2cents. Peace!

  • stefan

    shure 44-7′s are ugly and ortofon looks out of space cool. I have them both, ortofons (I like them) and ortofon concordes (Don’t like to dj with concordes). , but I rather dj-ed with stanton 500. Yes, they sound bad. But they did feel good :)

  • AA24/7

    [quote comment="30997"]Check out this explanation of why the S-120 is said to track better, and reduce vinyl wear; plus why it’s so unprecedented in specification… http://www.henleypro.co.uk/assets/_managed/products/files/s-120techsheet..pdf[/quote]
    This is a bunch of marketing hype, i own a pair of them and they still skip like crazy compared to my shure 44-7′s. What are u smoking??? Doesn’t anyone here know that ortofon’s are notorious for heavy record wear, and they don’t stick to the groove like the shures do.

  • Anonymous

    Check out this explanation of why the S-120 is said to track better, and reduce vinyl wear; plus why it’s so unprecedented in specification… http://www.henleypro.co.uk/assets/_managed/products/files/s-120techsheet..pdf

  • http://www.myspace.com/djrodrigosm RodrigoSM.br

    Very nice article, tackling myths and publicity machines. Although I understand why one would set height and weight as you did, I’d just like to point out that the values chosen are not the best for all carts tested (as a matter of fact, aren’t the bast for ANY of them in this case), and, in the future you guys might wanna repeat that at either the manufacturer recommended values or the ones that yielded the best result. That way, we can get the best possible result from a piece of equipment. Cause that’s really what we’re looking for, right?

    • Djsureshot

      Agree. When I had SL1200′s (I now own TTX) I had my M44-7′s set thus. Tracking force 3 grams with the tone arm height set at 3, anti skate zero. Boom! Perfect. Those bad boys lasted forever and never jumped the groove.

  • jimspree

    An easy test to measure record wear is to use the lead-in groove or track separation groove on a brand new record. Find an empty area and cue back and forth and record the output and amount of times you change direction. With needles that really eat into records you can hear the wear really fast.

    Another idea would be to use the locked grooves on timecode vinyl at the end of the disc. I would love to see how those timecode displays look after 5-10-30 minute intervals.

    To me that is a very important aspect of the review. A needle that deteriorates your time-code signal faster will result in degradation of signal quality that cannot be compensated for no matter what the output level of the cartridge is… unless of course we all play our timecode once and then buy a new vinyl.

    I always used the 680hp with timecode because they had strong output, good tracking, low record wear and great frequency response on lower frequencies (not so good on high frequencies but that doesn’t matter for timecode).

  • http://www.independent.com nikita

    [quote comment="30802"][quote post="6034"]The output level of the cart has to do with signal to noise ratio. The louder the output of the cart, the better it will track in loud environments because the signal level compared to the noise level (bass feedback from turntable vibrations etc) is higher.[/quote]
    This is a bit wrong. The louder the output from the cart is, the louder the noise level especially bass feedback will be. You can not make “just the signal” louder. How should the needle distinguish between the signal which is pressed on the vinyl from the signal which is just beeing bass feedback hitting the vinyl?[/quote]
    Just to add… if you define noise as being the signal which is added while you transmit the signal from the magnets/coil to the amplifier, then louder needles with a louter output will improve the s/n ratio. But it does NOT mean that it will help increasing the ratio of signal to noise where noise is defined as for example bass feedback directly fed onto the vinyls.

  • benmuetsch

    Hello,

    very good article..keep the good work up! I would really like to know how one or some of the “old” ortofon concorde would perform on this test because i also noticed some time ago that these (DJ,nightclub 1, pro (s), elektro etc) pull out a very weak signal in dvs systems but could not compare it to others because in every club i play there are ortofons mounted.

    greezt from germany

  • http://turntablepoetry.com/blog dj professor ben

    [quote comment="30789"]
    Record Wear: How would you subjectively measure and report this? Impossible.
    [/quote]
    By putting a record on the turntable and placing the needle in the groove and playing, backspinning, cueing, scratching, etc., and measuring how long it takes to create noticeable record wear. This is a pretty straightforward objective determination. It may take a while but if you get an old cheap record on thin vinyl that wears fast you can see differences right away. I compared the 447 and the Ortofon Scratch cartridges side by side years ago and noticed far more verifiable and reproduceable record wear from the Ortofon.
    [quote comment="30789"]
    Sound Quality: Anyone that claims to measure this is high
    [/quote]
    Perhaps they are high but that doesn’t mean this can’t be measured; again, some of it is pretty objective. There is some subjectivity in terms of what you like better, but things like noise and the presence of certain frequencies can be objectively measured.

  • http://assistdirectory.info Anonymous

    This year’s NAMM show saw no shortage of big stories from New Zealand-based Serato, who teamed up with Ortofon to announce a “cartridge of unprecedented specification,” the S-120. The news quickly made its way to the Serato forums, and some users were intrigued by a needle that tracked “to levels never before accomplished” yet promoted minimal record wear, while others pledged steadfast allegiance to their trusty M44-7s and Q.Berts. DJ Tech Tools had the pleasure of testing the S-120 Concorde against Ortofon’s DJ Q.Bert and Digitrack, Shure’s M44-7 and Whitelabel, and Stanton’s Trackmaster V.3 to see which produced the strongest, cleanest control signal in Scratch Live 2.0. Can you guess which cartridges produced which scopes above? Check out the results after the jump.
    +1

  • Mudo

    Check the documents I posted.

  • http://www.independent.com nikita

    [quote post="6034"]The output level of the cart has to do with signal to noise ratio. The louder the output of the cart, the better it will track in loud environments because the signal level compared to the noise level (bass feedback from turntable vibrations etc) is higher.[/quote]
    This is a bit wrong. The louder the output from the cart is, the louder the noise level especially bass feedback will be. You can not make “just the signal” louder. How should the needle distinguish between the signal which is pressed on the vinyl from the signal which is just beeing bass feedback hitting the vinyl?

  • tommy

    [quote comment="30770"]the article fails to show why any of these needles would result in better performance over any other needle. My experience has been that it doesn’t take much to get a good signal in a DVS program. If it says 99% quality then the rest isn’t going to matter. I find the standards of measurement for this article to be deeply flawed. I think that price, record wear, and sound quality on regular vinyl is far more important than anything this article mentions.[/quote]

    The Standards you mentioned we should have used are Price, Record Wear, sound quality

    Price: This was compared in the article

    Record Wear: How would you subjectively measure and report this? Impossible.

    Sound Quality: Anyone that claims to measure this is high

    Then you point out that output volume is not important.

    This is absolutely not correct. Boosting the gain after the fact just raises the noise and the signal equally. Having a loud signal with a low noise floor from the start is important and more importantly- is measurable.

    The goal of this article was to point out the only measurable differences between the needles and demonstrate that yes- you can use just about any needle for DVS as long as it is:

    a) loud
    b) clear
    c) a good value.

  • Anonymous

    What happened to the Stanton 680? They were the industry or club standard… now I’m having trouble finding a replacement stylus.

  • Sir Andy

    Awesome article! I control Torq via MIDI contollers only and still think that this is a very informative article. I’ve never used vinyl and have only now began to contemplate purchasing Scratch or Itch, even still this is great knowledge to have should I begin to use vinyl-thanks DJTT!

  • http://soundcloud.com/ocdautomatic ocd

    The output level of the cart has to do with signal to noise ratio. The louder the output of the cart, the better it will track in loud environments because the signal level compared to the noise level (bass feedback from turntable vibrations etc) is higher.
    +++
    Great article, but I think its important to mention that Ortofon’s official recommendation for tone-arm height is exactly 0mm or lower even if you can. The length of the tone-arm should be exactly parallel with the record surface for proper tracking and i know from experience that having the height set above 0mm is bad practice for the banana style Ortofon cart.

  • DJ R3 Bonaire

    I have installed the M44-7 on a set of 1200′s in a Jazz Cafe for a friend. They are really top notch for that price.Gives a clear and crispy sound on old and new jazz & latin style. Although I regred i didn’t buy them with the headshell pre mounted. This is a true fustrating job. The little screws and mini connectors,so advice to any body with med/big hands spend 2x $20 extra and save an hour of G*! F#%!%$.

    • Jalgarin1087

      Couldn’t have said it better. FACTORY SPEC is 99% better then what we feel is correct also. IMO

    • Djsureshot

      LOL. +1 on that

  • Mudo

    Ok, I hope this will be understood as no advertisment, ok?

    http://www.mspinky.com/WreckedSystem_RecordSignal.html

    http://www.mspinky.com/Some_Technical_Info_on_VInyl.pdf

    Read and understand about DVS internals before argue, please.

    I hope it helps and all we grow.

    Peace

  • Patch

    M44-7 it is, then. Why no Stanton 500′s in the round up, though?

  • http://soundcloud.com/tos ToS

    Really, is this and ad-post? C’mon, you can tell us, we will understand.

  • Santiago Páramo

    Very useful!!!
    Thank you very much guys and long life to your blog.

  • Anonymous

    i was actually research i about this all day yesterday… crazy how you guys wrote an article about it.. kinda creepy… lol..

    Here’s one information i couldn’t find on the Net regarding this topic.. Say If you took the S-120′s Stylus tip and say mounted it to a Concorde Cartridge (night club) would it still work as advertised??

  • http://turntablepoetry.com/blog dj professor ben

    I enjoyed the article but I have to agree with TWD – I’m not sure these differences are meaningful in the real world for DVS use. All you need your needle to do ultimately is send 1s and 0s reliably to the computer program, and I’m not sure why any of these would be better or worse at that task. Much more important is that you aren’t destroying your records too quickly and that your needle doesn’t skip if you do any scratching or juggling. And if you’re going to use them on regular vinyl, you obviously are concerned with sound quality and signal strength.

    I think cartridges are an individual preference by and large, but there are noticeable differences if you’re using regular vinyl. I’m a long-time M447 user myself and have no plans to switch. I have also extensively used Stantons (both the ubiquitous 500 series and the old Trackmasters) and Ortofons (only the pink “Ortofon Scratch” needles that came out years ago), but with regular vinyl, not DVS. While I’ve gotten better sound out of the Ortofons, I’ve found the M-447s the best all-around deal in terms of record wear, skip resistance, sound quality, and price range.

  • Vinicius Hoffmann

    Man, this is really interesting even for people like me, who doesn’t scratch :D

    Really Good, I’ve loved the pictures, they are so Hi-Res and Clean :D

  • http://thewhitedragon.net TWD

    I too fail to understand what the output level has to do with anything. If the level is too low you can boost it from within serato. My understanding is that the only thing that matters is how round you can get the scope, and how sharp the circles are.

    More to the point the article fails to show why any of these needles would result in better performance over any other needle. My experience has been that it doesn’t take much to get a good signal in a DVS program. If it says 99% quality then the rest isn’t going to matter. I find the standards of measurement for this article to be deeply flawed. I think that price, record wear, and sound quality on regular vinyl is far more important than anything this article mentions.

  • zeba

    i use ortofon but i’ll switch to shure
    -cheaper
    -higher output signal
    -more lifetime

  • http://www.djmoonie.co.uk DJ Moonie

    Although not a serato user, this article was interesting none the less.

    However, the only disernable difference mentioned in the article was the ‘loudness’. Perhaps an explanation of why the louder carts are better (as implied).

    Given that all carts had at least 99% timecode quality (as per screen shots), its left me unclear what the real difference between them really is.

  • Armando

    [quote comment="30751"]Does this have any correlation to traktor scratch. Can i assume similar results with traktor control vinyl if not any chance of another comparison.[/quote]

    I would think so. They’re virtually doing the same thing, software really separates the two. I guess we’ll have to try it out :)

  • Sarasin

    That was me! ^^^

  • Anonymous

    KILLER article!!

    I have the Stanton Scratchmaster v3′s and the Ortofon Concorde Elektro.

    Both give VERY good signals and have served me well so far.

    Got them both for free with the decks I bought.

    :)

  • http://www.nem0nic.com/blog nem0nic

    To be fair, you can find the Stanton Trackmaster V.3 for under $100 USD from many retailers if you spend 10 seconds looking in Google. And you can find the matched pair box at GC / Musician’s Friend for $199 all day long (better deals on the pair can be easily found on the first page of a Google search as well).

    However, I had a hard time finding the S-120 (in the concorde configuration, not the OM) at anywhere near $114. After looking through 7 pages in Google shopping, I’m seeing it at between $199 and $169. Same goes for the other carts, with the QBert going for between $189 and $129.

    Typically, you can find the Whitelabel everywhere for less than $100 USD (B&H has it for $74, so does Juno).

    Good article, but I’m not sure your pricing reflects the real world. Did you just look at a single brick and mortar store to get your pricing, because you couldn’t have looked online.

  • Mudo

    At specs has the new serato cartridge any “frecuency” difference over the rest? More amplitude? Anything?

    Thanks and good article.

  • pilmat

    Nice round up article, clear and concise. Sure to be a come-back reference for many!
    ..
    Phil.

  • Karlos Santos

    Brilliant article. A lot of people will find this really useful when deciding what to buy. I love my Qberts but maybe ill look at picking up some S-120s next..?

  • http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11964 Double DutchDj

    Great to see this round up! Nice to know it’s not just my M44-7′s that gather muck quickly. An annoying problem that is made worse by lack of vinyl change in the dvs scenario.

  • Taz

    Great article. Been rocking the M44s and Qberts for a while and am needing some new ones, will definitely pick up the S-120s.

  • http://www.sevendays.no FDRK

    SUPER ARTICLE! :)

  • n4Sphere

    nice comparsion!!!

    now i am quite amused that my shure m44 are realy good ones, and there was a really great difference in the high volume output between my old non name ones! So i will use them for shure for my dvs system.

    greetz

  • BRad

    Does this have any correlation to traktor scratch. Can i assume similar results with traktor control vinyl if not any chance of another comparison.

  • Mike

    Great Article as usual, DJTT is always so helpful!